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Today's guest is author Nancy Fulda. Welcome Nancy!
Thanks, Andy! I'm a trained computer scientist, an author, a cancer survivor, and an incurable dance fan. I'm also the mother of a child on the autistic spectrum and the evil mastermind behind AnthologyBuilder.com. Yeah, I know. That's a lot of hats.
Well, thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule, Nancy!
Now it's time for The Same Six Questions!
1. Have you published a book yet?
Yes! Dead Men Don't Cry is a collection of 10 science fiction stories that originally appeared in print and online magazines. It includes my first award-winning story ever. Also two Writers of the Future finalists and my 2006 Apex Digest Halloween Contest winner. (I'm afraid readers will have to wait until the next collection for my Jim Baen Memorial contest winner. I don't have rights reversion on that one yet.)
The stories are thought-provoking, occasionally disturbing, but generally optimistic about mankind and our future on this and other planets. They were a lot of fun to write, and I hope readers will find themselves pondering the stories long after they've turned the last page.
The book is available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, and DRM-free formats.
2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Since about the fourth grade. I brushed it off as a childhood fantasy, though. I went to college, traveled the world, founded a family, and still wound up back at the keyboard inventing imaginary cultures. I guess there are some parts of yourself you can't leave behind.
3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?
*laughing* It was an ambitious novelette about a winged unicorn named Brimstone who set off on a daring journey to unlock the secrets of her universe. I can still hear her tagging along behind her mother, whining: "But I want to know!" I wrote it in the fifth grade, I think, on my Dad's PC using WordPerfect 5.0. Alas, the floppy disk it was saved on is no longer readable by any modern computer.
4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?
It happened when I sold "The Man Who Murdered Himself" to the Phobos Science Fiction Anthology. There were a lot of great authors in that anthology: Virginia Baker, David Walton, Eric James Stone, James Maxey... I remember flipping through the galley, reading the biographical information and thinking, "If I can make it into an anthology with these people, maybe I can make it as a writer after all."
Ironically, it was my children who made writing a reality for me. Without children, I would have taken a full-time job doing software development. But I wanted kids, and I wanted to stay home with them. Programming was too brain-intensive for a new mother, but writing worked great. In fact, a large number of the stories in Dead Men Don't Cry were typed one-handed while I snuggled a sleeping baby on my lap.
5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?
Good heavens, I wouldn't want to meet any of them! Imagine the flack they'd put me through. "Why did you kill my mother?" "What do you mean, I'm not sentient?" "What kind of author would invent a reality with plasma bees and alkaline lakes?" Nope. Let 'em stay between the pages of their stories. They're less inconvenient that way...
6. It's a dark and stormy night...you're alone in the house...there's a knock at the door...you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?
I'm trying to remember the last time I screamed like a little girl. I think it was at a family picnic where a pesky wasp kept buzzing at my clothing and I just couldn't take it. I had a small baby at the time, and I swear, those maternal hormones make me hypersensitive to poisonous insects. I loved tarantulas before I had kids. After? Uh-uh. But I think I'm getting off topic. What was the question again...?
Thanks so much, Nancy! I had a moment of nostalgia for floppy disks...then I remembered how unreliable they were and it passed. ;) For more of Nancy and her writing, check out her blog and Amazon author page, or find her on Twitter.