If you could time travel and steal somebody else’s novel/short story/film for yourself, what would it be?
My answer might be a little different than most. I wouldn’t really want to steal a great classic or something similar, but I would love to step back in time, go to wherever it is that they decide who writes licensed fiction (Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, etc.), and ensconce myself. Recently, I noticed a published Pathfinder book based on a gaming module, but could only make it a few paragraphs into the novel before I gave up. It was terrible! Present tense when actions should have been past tense, flat vanilla characters, and less emotion and soul than was in a gaming module. Readers deserve better than that!
And then I’d steal Harry Potter.
What writing sin do you actively have to struggle against in your own work?
I have a tendency to get lost in setting infodumps, and pull “back” from what is currently going on, It then takes work to zoom back in on the characters.
I also tend to skim through some scenes too quickly – a particular conversation or fight might deserve ten pages, but get only three.
Pick three writers, past or present, that you would want to have dinner with. Why those writers?
Stephen King – Regardless of my feelings on any of his individual books, King was the first author I voraciously read through, and I would love to have the chance to speak with him at least once.
Terry Pratchett – One of the funniest and most intelligent authors in the business, “Sir Pterry” has the kind of brain I would love to pick. Sadly, as he is suffering through early-stage dementia, his brain will not be easy to pick for long.
Jim Butcher – My writing style (and novel content) has developed similarly enough to his that I would really love to hang out with him. And maybe collaborate.
Can I add a fourth? Because J. R. R. Tolkien should be grandfathered onto any genre fiction writer’s list.
You have forty-two words, write a story.
Fishman fell down the stairs.
(Note: This was the very first “story” I wrote on a typewriter at age five-ish or so. Who was Fishman? Why did he take such a painful journey? The world may never know.)