Thursday, February 12, 2015

Keynote Interview: Seanan McGuire

Compiled by Jason Henry

Are you excited? We certainly are! Why shouldn't we be? The 2015 Pikes Peak Writers Conference is just around the corner! It has been an absolute pleasure recruiting the incredible faculty that we have lined up for you this year and the workshops they will be teaching are proving to be just as amazing.

Pikes Peak Writers Conference is known as one of the best and friendliest conferences for many reasons. One of those reasons is that we provide as many opportunities as possible to not only learn from our faculty, but to get to know them. Keeping in the spirit of that very statement, we interviewed all of our faculty members to get inside their heads just a little. Really, we don't see the point in waiting until April. Do you?

Over the weeks to come, we will be posting those interviews along with the responses right here on the PPW Blog. Be sure to check in on Facebook and Twitter as well! We hope you enjoy reading these brief Q&As as much as we have!

Seanan McGuire (KEYNOTE SPEAKER, Author, California)

1. What are the most compelling elements you feel are necessary for a good read? 
The story has to catch and hold my interest, without being so in-jokey that it shakes me off, or so outre that I can't find my footing.

2. What do you see as the pleasures and difficulties of being a writer/artist in today's world? 
Pleasure: I can interact almost instantly with people as they read and hopefully enjoy my work. Difficulty: I can interact almost instantly. People tend to forget that authors, artists, all kinds of creative professionals are outnumbered. If I spent as much time on social media and blogging as people want me to, I wouldn't have time to write.

3. What is the best career/writing advice someone has given you? 
Don't quit your day job until you can live off your royalties.

4. Would you pass that same advice on or alter it? 
I would add "find a good accountant."

5. What do you love most about your career? 
I get to make things up for a living. How does it get better? It doesn't.

6. What is something you wish everyone knew (or didn't know) about you? 
I have clinical OCD. This means that going "oh, I'm going to follow Seanan's exact writing routine" is not healthy or safe. It also means that sometimes, when I say I have to finish one thing before I do another, I'm not kidding.

7. Which fictional character do you relate to the most, and why? What character would your friends/family pick for you? Emma Frost. She's just here out of the eternal hope that she will one day be issued minions. Pretty sure my friends and family would pick the same.

Quick Qs:

Pen or Keyboard? Keyboard.

Plotter or Pantser? Almost no one is purely one or the other. I am somewhere in the middle.

Book or E-Book? Book.

Spicy or Mild? It depends entirely on the type of spice.

Sunrise or Sunset? Sunset.

Mister Rogers or Sesame Street? Sesame Street.

Facebook or Twitter? Twitter. I loathe Facebook.


Seanan McGuire is a prolific science fiction and fantasy author, averaging three books and multiple pieces of short fiction every year since 2010 (her first book came out in 2009). She doesn’t sleep very much. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2010, and has been nominated for several Hugo Awards, both under her own name and the name “Mira Grant,” who she claims is her own evil twin. Seanan’s interests include horror movies, horrible things found in swamps, doll collecting, and visiting Disney Parks all around the world, which may also account for some of that missed sleep. Seanan lives in Northern California and writes wherever she happens to be at the time. She can be bribed with Diet Dr Pepper, which is thankfully easier to get than many quest items. She’d love to talk to you.