Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Micro-interview: Kathryn Scannell

Question 1: How did you choose the plot and characters of your story for the Charity Sip Blitz?
As usual, I started out with too much plot. I had this idea since I wanted to make this a contemporary story of using some recent experiences at my day job as background. Then it became a question of what kind of environmental disaster to inflect on my characters. I decided to go with a man-made one (a falling satellite) because I wanted the story to revolve around people, not around a struggle against something like the aftermath of a flood or a tornado. Originally I was thinking of having some bad guys trying to get their hands on the satellite, but it became quickly obvious that I couldn't do justice to that in 8000 words. I may write a sequel later.... So I cut way back to the single plot line of having to go back to his old home town because it made such a lovely graphic way to demonstrate how much better things *had* gotten for my hero.

Question 2: Why did you decide to participate in the Charity Sip Blitz?
I've done it every year since I sold my first story to Torquere. There are so many good causes, and it's nice to be able to give something back. Also it pushes me a little outside my comfort zone - usually I write fantasy, and for most of the themes, fantasy just doesn't feel appropriate, at least for me. Your mileage may vary. So it ends up being a win for everyone - we give some money to a good cause, I get that little extra push that makes me stretch and grow as a writer, and hopefully the readers get a fun story.

Question 3: Does the theme, It Gets Better, have any personal significance for you?
I feel a little out of place on this one, because I've really been amazingly lucky in my life. I didn't have an awful high school experience - there were some issues here and there, but mostly I didn't care. I participate in much of the social life - perhaps if I had, it would have been messier. I saw high school as a stepping stone, a place where I'd do the right things to get myself into college and walk away from the small minds in the blue collar town where I grew up.

When I finally figured out that I wanted a relationship with another woman, my family were great. When Beth and I got married, both her parents and my Dad were part of the ceremony. I know my Mom would have loved to be, but she'd passed on a couple of years before NH made gay marriage legal. I have great, supportive co-workers, several of whom were at the wedding too.

So I see writing a story for this particular charity as sort of a way to say "Thank you" to whatever providence put me where I am now, and to offer a little something back. Maybe it will make the world a little better place for someone else.

Find Kathryn Scannell's Salvage Operation at Torquere Press or our sponsor, Rainbow Ebooks

1 comment:

Giselle Renarde said...

Kathryn, I already loved you before I read this interview, but take a look at my answer to question 3 -- we're practically the same person! (Okay, big exaggeration)

I'm delighted that I'm not the only one out there who wasn't bullied by family and peers for being queer. Makes me feel a bit less guilty. LOL