After giving you teasers of the stories included in the Shades of Pink Charity Anthology in September, this month I'll tell you a little more about the authors involved. I interviewed them with questions about their contributions, their writing life, their works in progress...
Today, Gill Taber
Kallysten - Let me first thank you for taking part in this project. When we first talked, you mentioned you don’t write much romance. What genres do you prefer?
Gill Taber - Thank you for including me! As to genres, I do write most things but horror and fantasy are my favourites. There’s something about not knowing what is going to hurtle out from behind the locked door which sets my creative juices buzzing; similarly, the world of fey is my happy place and I love writing from that world too.
K - The heroine in ‘Harlequinade’ has a deep fear of clowns. Do you share her fear, or is there something else that frightens you terribly?
GT - Clowns horrify me. I mean who the hell thought it was a good idea to plaster their face with ghost white and creepy great fake smiles and then tout that as a good way to entertain kids? It’s probably the whole psychological aspect, the face behind the mask and what that face is hiding, and that’s a great premise for both scares and introspection. But yeah, I am terrified of clowns and reading Stephen King’s “It” kept me awake for more nights than I care to mention! (My favourite King book, by the way)
K - How did you come up with the idea for this story? Did something in particular spark your muse?
GT - You know, it’s really hard for me to answer this question when people ask. Usually, the ideas just snap in out of nowhere; I blame Terry Pratchett’s “Sleet of inspiration”, although specific things can trigger a story. This is the second time I’ve based a story around the idea of fairs and circuses, and I think Harlequinade was just waiting for the right time to be written. There’s something of the romantic in the idea of traditional fairs with tiny, one ring circus shows, but it is always laced with a side order of menace… but that may just be my weird mind *grin*... and I think that’s why Harlequinade coalesced around this project. Plain romance bores me to tears (I apologise to any die-hard Mills and Boon fans reading this) so I knew I’d have to find an edge to whatever I submitted.
K - What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
GT - Getting the stories out of my head. I have Bipolar and having those stories stuck in there with an already chaotic mind is a challenge! I do love the act of writing though. There’s something exciting, wild and free about putting fingers to keyboard and not knowing where you are going or who with. I don’t plan stories, write out back histories or how things will go. I literally just write what comes, go back to check for spelling – at which I am atrocious by the way, so never let inability to spell or remember grammar rules stop you writing – and then send it out into the world. I rarely change anything I write; if that is what the story is, that is it.
K - Can you tell us about your current writing project or next release?
GT - Stories come as and when, without any schedule. I am a huge fan of the short story genre and find it sad that it is not as popular as it once was. I envy Mr King’s success in that respect. He has enough clout to be able to publish books of short stories and for no-one to argue his choice (and he is very good at it; the Raft gave me nightmares for weeks!). I publish short stories on my website occasionally, but stories are meant to be read and I have a very low readership so it often feels like I am talking to myself which can be saddening. I am currently working on building up a series of short stories in the fantasy genre which are based around Green Lake and its magical inhabitants. I believe the first four or five are on the website. I hope I can get them published one day.
K - Would you care to share an excerpt from it?
GT - From the story of Brack the Boggis
Brack hurried over, keeping a sense of Maria’s parents as he moved. Once or twice he had been interrupted by parents and it tended not to end well. However, Mayor Garner and his good lady were snoring strongly and he anticipated no troubles.
He hopped up onto the woollen coverlet, set his sack down on the side table and began to sing. He sang softly, the ballad of Brin the Boatman, a favourite in his family. Maria dreamed on for several minutes, but stirred when Brack changed to the heroic saga of Marlet the falcon and his epic duel with Faugran, king of rats. Her eyes fluttered open and Brack was careful not to acknowledge her as she stared in stunned surprise.
She wriggled out from the covers, sat up, rubbing sleep from eyes of cornflower blue.
“How did you get in?”
“A bat dropped me at your window.”
To his relief, Maria accepted this. At seven years old she was still able to accept the strange and wild without question. She would be eight on the morrow and beyond Brack’s reach. No Boggis had ever managed to retain a child after the age of seven.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Brack. I’m a Boggis.”
“Is that a fairy?”
Biting back an annoyed response, Brack shook his head, his corkscrew top-knot bouncing in a way which amused Maria.
K - Thank you again for being a part of Shades of Pink. Any last word before I let you go back to your writing?
GT - I’m very glad to be a part of the Shades endeavor, and I look forward to reading the other stories. Let’s hope it sells a million! Also, if people pop by my site, can I be cheeky and ask that they leave a line to say they’ve been, please? I like to interact with people who read my stories and I can’t do that if I don’t know they are there *wink* Good luck and bright blessings to all.
Find Gill Taber at http://mojowritin.wordpress.com/