Acoustic Spirit, the German activist band I’ve recently been enjoying, has released a new video in mid December and I’m thrilled that they have chosen some more of my digital collage pieces to pair with their music.
While, sadly, I don’t speak German, this time they sing in English for us pathetic mono-linguists. Thanks Acoustic Spirit—proud to contribute. Enjoy the video below, and please consider going to YouTube to give this new band some likes, follows and shares.
Now that I finally have a little time off I’m renewing my creative self with music and working my printer overtime with Borderlands Bootcamp prep work. As I begin this massive stack of reading with my red pen, I’ll share with you what I’m listening to tonight…
This year we helped get thousands of Amazon packages out the door and under Christmas trees around the world.
It took a lot of hours. We worked so much that our focus has been narrowed to eating, sleeping and work since Black Friday.
Early Christmas Eve morning the last packages we helped pack were boxed and sent down the conveyor belt and we walked out to find the first snowfall of the year waiting for us.
The sun was just cresting the horizon to find the city waiting like an eager bride bedecked in shimmering white. The rays moved across the blue shadows setting everything alight in fragments of starry fire. It was lovely and brilliant.
Now that the holiday is here, we will be moving away from overtime rush and into our dream schedule: three nights at a job we love and four nights off to do other stuff we love (write).
For the moment, we are enjoying this restful holiday with gratitude and making our goals for 2018. We hope that all of you are also experiencing a beautiful holiday, whatever and however you celebrate.
How Santa’s Elves celebrate… feet up in front of the fire and some Bailey’s in coffee.
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro at Continuum Australian science fiction convention. Photo courtesy of Catriona Sparks.
Today I have another interview from my friend, Soraya Murillo Hernandez, from Spain. Soraya speaks Spanish, and I only speak English, so our friendship has leaned heavily on technology and Google Translate.
Soraya—In the year 2003 you were named a great teacher of terror. What was that like for you?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—A Grand Master award is given for a body of work, not a single title, just as Life Achievement awards are. It’s always flattering to receive that kind of recognition. The words on the page are the same as they were before the award was given; it is the work that counts, awards or not.
Soraya—You have very good average of books a year. How many hours do you dedicate daily to write? Did writing become an addiction for you?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—My average is three books a year, and one or two shorter works. I’m lucky not to need to do many drafts of my work as many others do, and that allows me to produce enough work most years to keep a roof over my head. I’ve been writing stories since I was six years old.
Soraya—You’ve touched virtually all genres from science fiction, westerns, historical, horror… do you think a writer should know enough to write in any genre?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—The way I keep my stories fresh is to work in many genres. I find that changing genres frequently is similar to crop rotation, in that I let my skills in one genre lie fallow, so that I can tell more stories over a year, or a decade, for that matter.
Soraya—You created a sexy, erotic vampire far from the traditional Monster. Why did you think it necessary to make a change to the vampiric tradition?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—Negative vampires have been a mainstay of vampire stories since before there was literature: so far as we can tell, vampire stories have been around for 35,000 years. After I read “Dracula”, I wondered if it would be to possible to push the vampire to the positive and still have a recognizable vampire — apparently it is.
Soraya—Saint-Germain is a vampire in a novel of terror where the evil is not the Vampire, they are certain human. You wanted to humanize the vampire or give any message about the evil?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—It seems to me that anything anything even a very greedy vampire couldn’t come close to what human beings could do to themselves. Dracula versus Jenghiz Khan, Jenghiz Khan wins every time for atrocities. I call the Saint-Germain books historical horror novels not because vampires are horrifying, but because history is.
Soraya—How long do you research? Can there be too much research?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—Writing any kind of historical novel — or any other kind of genre for that matter — requires research. Luckily, I like research, and I have a private research library that I can visit frequently for all kinds of information. For a novelist, the hard thing to find out about people in history is not what they did — we know what they did — it is what they thought they were doing. Once you can get that about an historical period, you will be ready to write about it.
Soraya—In 1985 John McTiernan directed the film “Nomads.” Then you adapted movie to a novel. What did it take to do so?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—I’ve done three novelizations, one of which was never published. When a writer is contracted to do a novelization, you get the screenplay, and about a month to turn it into a novel, which makes it a wonderful exercise in craft. Often there are problems in the screenplay that do not work well in prose, such as explosions, since you cannot see them on the page and are reduced to the limitations of words instead of special effects. Generally speaking, it is a way to get paid quickly, and for working writers, that is an unusual benefit.
Soraya—In addition to writing, you compose music. What do you usually listen to while you write?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—Yes, I often listen to music while I write — usually classical music and grand opera (not Wagner). It helps me pace myself.
Soraya—From your sci-fi novel, “Jacinthes,” Jeanne Bliss is a woman whose ambition took her to unhappiness. Is that the message that you wanted to tell, that all human beings are corrupt?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—“Hyacinths” was intended in part to show what kind of poor decisions get made after prolonged frustration. Jehanne is a capable woman who has not received the advancement she deserves, and so she becomes reckless, and that emerges to destroy her. She is not evil, but what she does to others is wrong.
Soraya—They say that you have one of the most complete personal libraries. Can you please tell me about it?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—I do have an extensive library, as I’ve mentioned. I’ve spent over forty years assembling it, and I’m still adding to it. Much as I like ebooks, I like to makes notes and to underline in my books, and although there are ways to do it in ebooks, it hasn’t the same impact that it does on paper.
Soraya—Having such a library is fantastic. What do you think about the e-book?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—I’m all for ebooks. Hidden-Knowledge brought out my first one in 1999. And finally a great many of my out-of-print books, some of them out-of-print for decades. On the other hand, it is difficult to police the Internet for pirated material, and that is a serious concern to me. I’ve been saying for twenty years that the electronic back-list is going to save mid-list writers, like me.
Soraya—As a lover of the occult it is inevitable to wonder: do you believe in beyond?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—Yes, I’ve been doing occult studies since I was about nine, It’s a matter of personally cosmology: many people in this culture see the world as essentially rational with occasional bits of irrationality. I see the world as essentially irrational with a thin veneer of rationality, which is more in line with occultism than rationality. But I also think that the occult is a branch of physics that we have not yet described, and in that, I am in accord with Isaac Newton, who was as much an occultist as a physicist.
Soraya—I’d like to tell me about your way of writing. Tell me how it is a typical day when you are writing a book.
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—Most days I get up around 7:30 am, feed my two cats, take my vitamins, have a cup of tea, and a little after 8:00 am, take a bath. I go to work around 9:00 am and work until noon, when I have lunch, and take an hour or so to watch the news on TV. I go back to work for about four hours, then stop around 4:00 pm (1600). Occasionally I go back to work around 8:00 pm (2000). Writing is my job, and I treat it that way.
Soraya—To which writers do you admire? What book do you have better remember?
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo—My favorite writer was and is William Shakespeare. All others are subject to change without notice.
Soraya Murillo Hernandez
From Soraya Murillo Hernandez: I am an early reader, I started reading very soon and I was interested in terror, I liked to look for monsters and ghosts in the stories. Then I knew that the greatest terror came from humans. I am a book reviewer in Spain, I do it free to help its authors to know their works.
Soy una lectora precoz, comencé muy pronto a leer y me interese por el terror, me gustaba buscar monstruos y fantasmas en las historias. Luego supe que el mayor terror venia de los humanos . Soy reseñadora de libros en España, lo hago gratis para ayudar a sus autores a conocer sus obras.
Now that I work for Amazon, I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like to be an elf at Santa’s Workshop at Christmas.
We are finishing up our second night of overtime and it’s exciting to be part of the chaos of the season.
Working at Amazon is fun and the pay and bonuses are incredible but the new schedule is keeping me too busy to blog at the moment… and all the moments until after Christmas.
I’m figuring out where to squeeze time out of this new schedule, but until then expect to see MANY of Soraya’s interviews coming very soon. She has an incredible line up of authors and others that she has spoken with, and I am grateful she allows me to share them here. You can find all Soraya’s interviews at From Soraya.
Until then, I’m heading off to Santa’s Workshop(a.k.a. Amazon) to help make Christmas happen 🙂