Author Interview #21, with dark/steampunk/cyberpunk/lyrical-trance aka “very cool” author, Vixen Phillips!
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Hi Vixen! Describe yourself in 5 words:
Enigmatic, Dreamer, Stoic, Individualistic, Retro-geek…
Mathematically-challenged (sorry, couldn’t resist).
Share a short excerpt and
blurb of your work (10-100 words):
Set in Melbourne in the late 90s, Trapdoor is a psychological journey through darkness and light — a story of love, obsession and beautiful self-destruction. Raven and Pegasus each have their own reasons for denying their feelings for one another, but once they are all they have left in the entire world, how long can this charade really hold out?
Sometimes, if you wish hard enough, dreams can come true, even if you should wake to find them gone like shadows in the morning. A transgressive novel that contains adult themes, coarse language, homoerotic content, violence, and self-harm, suicide & drug references.
Raven guides me to sit at a table by the wall, and squeezes my hand. “I’ll get us a drink.” His warm breath against my earlobe sends a shiver down my spine. I lean back, try to relax, and keep an eye on his shadow as he lopes off towards the neon glow of the bar. He takes a seat next to a man wearing a big straw hat and a spotted fur coat, with a younger boy playing ruined-glamourous on his arm. I don’t allow my thoughts to linger on this boy too long. Not so short a time ago, that could have been me. I can spot my own kind, even in the dark of a smoky club that probably isn’t even open, legally speaking.
—Trapdoor, Chapter 8 (Pegasus): Blood Makes Noise…
Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):
so this jody stands up then/and for the first time I realise just what a specimen she is/a touch older than the other two, almost my age/but weird with it/I mean, there’s weird and weird, right/but jody was off the edge of normal and right along some/nothing to do with how she dressed, because that was scruff central, with a touch of couldn’t-give-a-monkey’s-tutu hippie shit/but her face, her whole manner, every last vein spoke of jitter, of flex, of what the fuck/body pinched shut, and so thin, the skin stretched taut over wire/black hair scraped to fit the skull, knife-edge whisper/and two of the coldest eyes that ever did view the world, I swear/they were eyes detuned, right through zero, and into the minus
reminds me of a bathroom mirror I once knew, the one I had to veil/turn to the wall/the peeling silver skin on the back of it/and that too, eventually, I could not dare approach
—Jeff Noon, Needle in the Groove
Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:
I really enjoy both of them. They obviously involve different skillsets, much in the way people talk about left/right brain functions, I suppose. I feel as though I’m getting more achieved by the time I’m immersed in the publishing stage, probably because by then the results of each step are far more tangible. But it’s important to keep the two aspects separate during production, I find.
What is your definition of “good writing”?
Writing where the author isn’t afraid of themselves… Personally, I tend to gravitate towards lyrical writing that arouses emotion or a kind of waking-dream vision in the reader. “Clever” plots are an unnecessary by-product, more often than not, though I have been known to appreciate them from an intellectual angle.
Please share your #1 tip for writers:
Trust yourself, your voice, and the story/work. Don’t get too hung up on how others think things should be done; give it what it needs and take it where it needs to go.
Lost Violet Press: http://lostviolet.com/
Author Blog: http://lyrical-trance.org/
Follow me on twitter @lostvioletpress
Trapdoor on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004DI7LOS
and Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/4781
Much thanks to Ms. Vixen Phillips for the chat — love her website, vision, and the Jeff Noon excerpt (I had a copy of that book some time ago)!