I know where my ideas come from.
They come from the murky insides of my head, from the hole where I pour all the things I read and watch and think about. There are things that have been added recently, and things that have been fermenting for as long as I can recall. Many of these things have been in the soup so long all rememberance of where they came from before have eroded away, or become grossly distorted. Many of these things have combined with other things, becoming something else entirely.
They can see out of the hole. They know what’s going on, out in the Cartesian Theater where my illusion of consciousness and control hangs out, working the controls of the body. Sometimes, when something flashes across the stage, it draws these things. Makes them want to come out.
Other times, I have to reach in and haul them out, whether they’re done fermenting or not. The best bits are never quite ready for their showtimes… but I pull them out anyway. They come out in my words and my stories. In truth, they are also still in the hole, looking for new things to join to, to congeal with, and to ferment in.
That’s where my ideas come from. That’s why I read the strange things I love to read, knowing that even if I never consciously use what I read, it will still be down there, somewhere, becoming something else. Something that will one day come, willing or not, into words and light.
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.)
10) What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!
There’s too many of these for me to enumerate. Just off the top of my head, in Brutal Light, one of my characters has been imprisoned in her memories while another character runs her physical body, and realizes the way out may involve murdering herself in said memories. In True Places, there’s a situation where a character finds he can only escape by, essentially, holding himself hostage. In my current SfStory storyline, various characters are trying to thwart the revenge of a breakfast food item from before the start of the universe. And… well, I could just go on. Most of what I write could be counted as ‘weird situations.’
11) Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?
This, of course, depends on the universe and the situation. I find that the characters of mine with the fewest internal brakes are the ones I like writing the most. Kelly, from Brutal Light, is one — a trickster type with no detectable moral inhibitions, who is undermined only by his tendency toward distraction and unwillingness to remember, let alone stick to, a plan. Conversely, characters with a lot of internal baggage, such as Kagami, another Brutal Light character, are my least favorite to write. Emphasis on ‘to write’ — I wouldn’t carry that baggage for the character if I didn’t like them — it’s just a lot more work. Satisfying in the end, though!