An Alternative Author Interview:
TCL’s Countdown Questions.
This meme was inspired by my fellow blogger Jill Doyle who has a lovely thing on her blog called “Five on Friday” where she asks authors five questions that each require five answers. After quite a bit of thinking, I came up with my own version of this, with the following that I call TCL’s Countdown Questions:
- If you could visit five (5) places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?
- Name four (4) foods or dishes that you enjoy so much that they’ve practically become part of your personality.
- There is the past, the present, and the future – if you could choose, which of these three (3) would you prefer to live in, and why?
- Best and worst – you choose which – name two (2) of either your best moments of your life, worst moments of your life, or one of each.
- Name one (1) book you’ve read in the past year (or so) that you wish you had written, and why.
This week I’m featuring my personal friend, the Sci-Fi and Fantasy author Jacey Bedford.
Jacey and I go WAY back; back to the time when the Internet was all monochrome and modems that made funny noises when you hooked up to go online (ever heard a fax machine? Like that). As I described in one of my first posts on this blog, Jacey was one of the people on the usenet message board misc.writing, and when the UK members decided to meet up at what we called a “wrevel” I decided to join in. Jacey was generous enough to open her home to this potential axe murderer, before the remainder of the group met up in the lovely city of York. Well, we’ve been friends ever since, even though I’ve never read any of her books (sorry, fantasy and science fiction are not my genres, I’m afraid). Jacey has published six books (so far, because the manuscript of her seventh novel, “The Amber Crown” just went to her publisher!). Jacey’s Rowankind trilogy books are Winterwood, Silverwolf, and Rowankind. Her psi-tech trilogy books are entitled Empire of Dust, Crossways, and Nimbus. With without any further ado, here are Jacey’s answers to my Countdown Questions.
If you could visit five (5) places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?
- The Grand Canyon, because it looks awesome (literally). And besides I’ve already ticked Niagara Falls off my bucket list.
- Mars, because I’ve been there via a virtual reality headset, so now I’d like to do it for real. But I’d settle for the moon, I guess.
- Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland for book research, preferably with someone who knows their way around. (I’ve been to Estonia, but I’d love to go back to Tallinn because 2 days is not long enough!)
- Iceland to see the waterfalls and the Northern Lights. I saw the Lights once in Canada on the road between Banff and Calgary, but it was a gentle show, so I’d like another look.
- Narnia during the golden age of rule by Kings Peter and Edmund and Queens Susan and Lucy. Why? Because: NARNIA! (I might have said Westeros, but I know I’d end up dead.)
Name four (4) foods or dishes that you enjoy so much that they’ve practically become part of your personality.
- Chocolate (especially with Salted caramel)
- Cheese (very ripe Brie, 3-year-old Gouda, strong Cheddar or Yorkshire Blue)
- I know this last one is weird, but a sandwich of tinned tomatoes on white toast, with thick salted butter. You have to eat it leaning with your chin over a plate because otherwise it drips melted butter and salty tomato juice up to your elbows. It’s neither elegant nor refined, but it really hits the spot when you’re hungry. And I haven’t even mentioned scallops, mango, prawns or smoked salmon with lightly scrambled eggs. You’ll note that nearly everything is either sweet or salty.
There is the past, the present, and the future – if you could choose, which of these three (3) would you prefer to live in, and why?
- The present, because much as I like reading and writing about the past, I’m probably too much of a wimp to actually survive in it. Also, at the rate the present is going I’m not actually sure what the future looks like, or if we’ll even have one. I think I’m very lucky to have lived through the time I have. I remember things being much harder for adults when I was a kid, and then my friend Dennis telling me that the silicon chip was going to change my life. Now we have smart-everything, and though I resist cutting edge tech, I’m very happy to make use of trailing edge tech. (May Windows7 live for ever!)
Best and worst – you choose which – name two (2) of either your best moments of your life, worst moments of your life, or one of each.
- Well, not counting the days my two children were born, or my wedding day, I think my best has to be the day I got my first book deal. Sheila Gilbert of DAW emailed to say I want to buy your book, when can I call you? How cool is that? It was six in the evening and I’d just arrived home. I sat down to email back and tell her I’d be at my desk the whole of the following day when I suddenly realised – she was in New York. It was still early afternoon there. I emailed back and said NOW! The phone rang almost before I’d hit send. She said those marvellous words that every author wants to hear: What else have you got? (And of course, I had other finished novels!) I wandered around with a big silly grin on my face for days. It was even better when I got my dream agent on the back of the offer, and then my agent turned my one book sale into a three-book deal! (And a further three books followed that!)
- Worst? I don’t know, really. I mean, there have been grim days. My father had terminal bone cancer and took his own way out, suddenly and unexpectedly, but I have been so lucky that I have not suffered many soul crushing disasters.
- Can I do another best? (TCL: Aw… why not? Go ahead…) This one is quite fleeting, but memorable. For twenty years I sang as part of an a cappella folk trio, Artisan, (www.artisan-harmony.com) with my husband, Brian Bedford, and Hilary Spencer. It was all vocal harmony and fell into the contemporary folk pigeonhole, so a bit of a niche market, but we toured all over the world. Thirty-one tours to North America in a ten-year period. It meant being away from our kids, of course, because you can’t take small children to late night concerts, especially when both of you are on stage. The kids stayed at home with my mum when we were working, but it did mean we were home with them a lot of the time on weekdays and during school holidays when most ‘normal’ parents are out at work. Anyhow, as they got older, there were opportunities to take them to festivals. One year we took them to Canada for the summer. We were playing at (amongst other events) Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival in Nova Scotia. We’d played there the year before and had had a fantastic reception, finishing our last concert to a wild standing ovation. So, this particular year, the kids were backstage for our main stage performance, and as we walked out on to the stage, the crowd leaped to its feet and we got another standing ovation before we’d even sung a note. After that we simply couldn’t go wrong. It was one of those concerts where you feel like you’re flying. But the best bit was when we came off stage at the end. The kids were standing there with dropped jaws. “They liked you.” Joe said, as if he could hardly believe that his mum and dad could be so well received by audience of 1200 people. I think it was the first time that the kids really ‘got it’.
Name one (1) book you’ve read in the past year (or so) that you wish you had written, and why.
- Can I pick a series? (TCL: Sure thing!) I’d go for the Greatcoats series (4 books, one continuous story) by Sebastien de Castell. The books are – in order – Traitor’s Blade, Knight’s Shadow, Saint’s Blood, and Tyrant’s Throne. The Greatcoats are travelling magistrates, still trying to hold together the truth and justice they were created to dispense, five years after the king who created them has been assassinated. It’s a thankless job. Many of their number have been killed or have simply vanished, but Falcio, Kest and Brasti are trying to hold on to their ideals by their fingernails. It’s smart and Sassy, all three of them are great characters, particularly Falcio. They are full of interesting flaws, which Falcio is the first to admit. It’s dark and full of action, but lightened by quirky humour and great dialogue. I’ve reviewed the series on my Dreamwidth reading blog here: https://jacey.dreamwidth.org/
Thanks Jacey! (And yes, I still listen to the CDs of your a-capella group Artisan. I adore your music! Say “Hi” to Brian for me!)
Jacey Bedford is a British writer of fantasy and science fiction living high up on the edge of the Yorkshire Pennines. Her six (so far) novels are published by DAW (part of the Penguin Group) in the USA. She’s sold close to forty short stories to anthologies, magazines and e-zines and has been translated into an assortment of languages such as Estonian and Galician. You can catch up with her at her own website: http://www.jaceybedford.co.uk and sign up to her mailing list. You can also find her on her writing blog https://jaceybedford.wordpress.com/ She tweets (when she remembers) @jaceybedford. She first met Davida Chazan, The Chocolate Lady, online in the usenet newsgroup misc.writing, and then they met in person at various misc.writing wrevels (face-to-face get-togethers). They’ve stayed in touch ever since.