25) Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.
It’s kind of rare for my characters to have pets, now that I think about it. Neither Brutal Light nor True Places has any. The main characters in my serialized novelette nihil nations: Electricity in the Rain had a cat, but it was mainly a background detail. My other short works are notably petless. Some pets show up in my Superguy and SfStory writing, but these are also fairly minor (with the notable exception of Lucky, a six-foot-at-the-shoulder mutant cat who is actually someone else’s character anyway) or Not What They Seem.
My most notable usage of ‘pets’ comes in Onyx Fire, the kids book I co-wrote with my wife, Kristyn. It has various animals, domesticated and otherwise, who end up talking during the course of the story–my favorite being Jitters, a hyper-caffeinated, self-absorbed black squirrel… not a pet, okay, but still my favorite.
24) How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What’s the most interesting way you’ve killed someone?
I’m always willing to bump off my characters if that’s what the story involves. I’m also willing to maim, stab, defenestrate, mutilate, burn, and otherwise seriously inconvenience my characters — if it’s part of the story. Otherwise, their reps complain.
Also, I’m not going to tell you the most interesting way I’ve killed someone. Haven’t you ever heard of the statute of limitations and how it doesn’t apply? I mean… oh. You mean what’s the most interesting way I’ve killed one of my characters. Riiiight. Well, let’s see. There are some juicy ones in Brutal Light, but I’d rather not spoil them. Same for True Places. My published short fiction is low on killings. As for Superguy… well, to count as being killed, do the characters have to stay dead? (And let’s not even mention SfStory, where getting killed leads to an exciting new career in Hell’s space armada…)
16) Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing? 😉
Romance and sex have been part of many things I’ve written, from some fairly straightforward romantic subplots in Superguy and SfStory, to some partially-to-completely dysfunctional relationships in Brutal Light and True Places. My novels have been more explicit in terms of sex scenage, though I took great pains to have them be part of the story, rather than something that stops the story dead for x number of pages. (Given the nature of these novels, this also means that the scenes end up being very weird and possibly disturbing, and overall not likely to simply take you to your happy place.)
13) What’s your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?
I think what is meant by this poorly worded question is ‘what is your favorite culture to have your characters interact with, or relate to, or somesuch.’ To which I answer… um. I don’t think I have one, per se, and I’m not going to make one up to answer the question. I’ve enjoyed spoofing aspects of ‘superhero culture’ and ‘fan culture’ in Superguy and SfStory. I’ve enjoyed having characters discover hidden cultures based on mythic beings in stories like Fabulous Beasts. But… favorite culture? I just don’t have an answer for that one right now.