How did you start writing?
I'd always told stories to my three younger brothers, my cousins, the campers in my cabin when I was a junior counselor at Harand Camp, and my friends. Writing fiction was the best part of English class. I was finally paid for my writing in the early 80's by a magazine called Video Action for technical articles on broadcasting. My first paid fiction was for Mayfair Games's Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine game and their Role-Aids game supplement line.
Where do you get your ideas?
From the same people who supply David Letterman's Top Ten Lists. All you do is send in your money to the Home Office (I think they're in Wahoo, NE right now). They take checks or plastic, and the quality is guaranteed... But, seriously, folks. I get my ideas everywhere. One of my favorite sources is the science news in the newspaper. Reading about advances in physics or genetics gets the little whirligig in my brain spinning and saying, 'Well, what if...?' Usually, 'What if they did that, and something went terribly wrong.' My cats are a great source of inspiration, too.
Are you really that crazy about cats?
Isn't everybody? My two are with me every step of the way (especially on the way to the kitchen). I think cats are beautiful, warm, cuddly, and of a convenient size. I've made friends with cats all over the world. I often travel with pictures of my cats, and I include friends' cats on my holiday list (friends' dogs, too!). Big cats are nice to contemplate on the other side of a fence, and I'm very worried that they are being decimated in the wild. It's wrong to destroy your habitat even when parts of it scare you. No, you can't put tigers eating your cattle in the same category with the AIDS virus. Tigers don't have a chance against people.
As for house cats, cruelty to animals infuriates me. Three of my five cats have been rescue cats, and one is the son of a rescued animal. Lila was saved by the ASPCA, who took her away from people who had tried to hang her and left her in their front yard to die. I could never, from the first moment I saw her, understand how anyone could harm such a beautiful animal. When we lost her to cardiomyopathy, it broke my heart. Cassandra was the kitten of a feral mother. She was brought in with her siblings to a good no-kill shelter in our area. She had distemper, and was considered in desperate condition. They told my husband (privately) that WHEN she died, they would give us another kitten for no extra fee. She survived and was loved, until she passed away from pancreatic cancer four days before her sixteenth birthday.
My two current cats are named Jeremy and Miles. Jeremy is a genuine Texas Longtail. All right, so that's not an actual breed, but he does come from Texas, and he has much more tail than most cats. It's so long it hits him in the sides when he swishes it. His body matches his tail. He is just tall enough to look over the top of the counter when he stands on his hind legs and stretches, and his toes are almost as long as a baby's fingers. He was born in the home of friends, to a nice young female cat whom they rescued from the streets. Sophie is still there with her new family, thriving and well. Jeremy has three sisters and a twin brother named Nicholas, who is living with one of their sisters in a home in Oklahoma.
Miles comes from a local rescue facility, Kay's Animal Shelter, which brings animals up from downstate Illinois where there are many homeless animals but few homes to adopt them. He was one of four brothers. He's happy-go-lucky, fearless and friendly, with a purr that is a force of nature. Both he and Jeremy have black fur and gold eyes, so they each think the other is the brother he left behind. In typical cat fashion they play hard, thundering through the house like a passing express train, or wrestling all over the floor.
What happened to Meisha Merlin Publishing? Where are the promised Myth Adventures, Mythology books and Wolfe Pack tales we've been waiting for?
Unfortunately, Meisha-Merlin went out of business in 2007. They produced lovely books printed on acid-free paper with gorgeous covers that can be treasured for years, but their collapse left three of my active series adrift. Myth-Adventures have been produced all along in mass-market paperback by Ace Books, and will continue to be. You can still keep up with the series from them, but for those who have to have the hardcover/trade paperback editions, I'm happy to say that Wildside Press has heroically stepped in and filled the void. Their first volume, Myth-Chief, came out in March, 2008. The second, Myth-Fortunes, will debut in November, 2008. Its cover, once again by Myth-Adventures stalwart Phil Foglio, is on my home page. (Also stop by the official series website, www.mythadventures.net to see all things Myth). As for the Mythology books and the Wolfe Pack, I am still looking for new homes. Please keep an eye on the website for details.
What will happen to the Myth-Adventures series now that Robert Asprin has passed away?
I will continue to write the books that Bob and I planned. We had big plans, some of which I can’t talk about yet, but I hope you will enjoy the results. I have loved the series and the characters since I first read the books, almost thirty years ago, and I respect them.
Will you be doing any more books with Anne
Probably not. I can't be that greedy - over the last several years, I've written two chosen-path books set on Pern, wrote and re-wrote the Dragonlover's Guide, co-authored four novels with her in some of her very most interesting universes, followed one up with a solo sequel, wrote short stories for an anthology she co-edited and for a licensed product she created - that's a lot! It's not to say I wouldn't if the opportunity arose, but I must make my own mark in the world. She's been very good to me, and I learned a considerable amount about my craft from her.
Can you tell me where the bathroom is?
Back there, behind the children's book section. (Sorry, that's an FAQ in bookstores.)
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