Member Spotlight: Dark End

1. Tell us about your most recent project (written or published). What inspired it?

My most recent published story was “Da Capo al Fine” in the latest issue of Heat. It is from my Hotel at the End of the Road setting, a distant future where humanity have created artificial lifeforms called “metas” that live for only three years but can pass their memories on from generation to generation. When I wrote my first story in this setting, I created a lot of rules to make the story work, not really thinking too hard about the greater implications of each rule. Later, I found myself going back to those rules and wondering if they could be broken, or what would happen when they did. One such rule said that metas could not just copy their memories into a near identical body in order to preserve their identity. “Da Capo al Fine” was inspired by wondering how I could break this rule. So I had to figure out both why the rule would be broken (the main character is a famous meta actress, and the Hotel wants her fame to continue past one three-year lifespan) and what impact breaking this rule would have (she begins to have trouble distinguishing between the present and her memories).

2. What’s your writing process like? Are you a “pantser,” an outliner, or something in between?

I’ve done both ways. It really depends on the story. “Da Capo al Fine” was pantsed, because I wanted to really be in the moment with my protagonist, seeing what she saw and letting her attention drift into her memories in an organic way. “The Moment at Eternity”, my first published story, had to be carefully outlined, because it jumped between three different timelines, and I needed to be sure that the order of the scenes made sense.

3. What’s your favorite kind of story to write?

Cerebral, “what if” sci-fi.

4. Which character from your work do you most identify with, and why?

Laika. She was originally created for a bit part in the story “Unnecessary Monsters”, but she burst into the plot and made it all about her. She’s a cruel, conniving, sadistic monster who knows that if she stops being a monster, even for a moment, it could destroy her family and everything she loves. I don’t identify with her because I am similar to her, but I understand where she is coming from and why she does what she does far better than any other of my characters.

After all the crap I’ve put her through, I really just want to give her a hug.

5. Which authors or books have most influenced your work?

Within the fandom, Nathan Cowan was a big influence on my writing. His Foxforce novels directly inspired my Hotel at the End of the Road stories, and it was seeing him get published in Will of the Alpha that convinced me to send “The Moment at Eternity” to Sofawolf. I’d also point to Gene Breshears and M.C.A. Hogarth.

Outside the fandom…wow that’s hard to say. I read a bunch of sci-fi and fantasy novels as a teen that have kept my imagination churning ever since. Books like Foundation, Fahrenheit 451, The Dispossessed, and Redwall.

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