Bloody War Between Interviewer and Interviewee

Sometimes interviewers ask polite questions, and sometimes interviewees give polite answers.
Other times…things get ugly.

Seven Questions With Gloria Oliver

Yes, it’s time again for Seven Questions, where I waste the valuable time of busy people by asking them seven questions! Today’s victim is fantasy author Gloria Oliver, who looks very much like this:

1. The tagline for your book The Price of Mercy asks “Which is worse…the monster within or without?” I think the monster without because it can throw busses and knock over power lines and stuff. What do you think?

You do have a point there. But the one within is the one that points and laughs and you’re never aware of it, but everyone else is.  He’s the one whispering and telling people to tape “kick me” signs on your back. Sometimes insidious trumps “Hulk SMASH!” You can get a new bus, but heal your wounded, traumatized soul? Unlikely. Bwahahahahahaha!

2. You go to a lot of conventions each year. Which are your favorite ones?

That I do, ‘cause I’m crazy, and they keep letting me come back!  I love them all for different reasons. A-kon and Animefest have tons of people in all sorts of anime and game related costumes (and lately lots of steampunk!) and the inventiveness of the people trying to recreate mechs and giant swords and hammers is AMAZING! A feast for the eyes, though you do run the risk of occasionally seeing something which will be burned into your retinas forever and no amount of scrubbing will ever get the image out! My eyes! My eyes! (Lobotomies are always an option, but I don’t think they’d do much for the writing career.) So in a way, they’re fraught with scintillating danger and can be a lot of fun!

ArmadilloCon, EpiCon , ConDFW, SoonerCon, Fencon, and Aggiecon, are great for the networking opportunities and getting to hobnob with other writers and lovers of fiction. Some like them for the room parties with nitrogen frozen ice cream, Hurtling Monkeys, posing with a Dalek and all sorts of other craziness. There’s a few that love them for the hotel bars and gossip alone. 😛

Did do some extra fun stuff at SoonerCon this year. Jeff Turner was filming bits to do a Bubbas of the Apocalypse video (based on the comedy anthologies from Yard Dog Press, and I got to help out by racing after the ghouls and gals in the 1st Annual Zombie Walk. The peeps in the Zombie Walk did a great job! All sorts of zombies walked about the streets of Oklahoma City with blood and guts hanging out as they moaned the unfairness of lack of equal rights with the living. (No brains were harmed in the making of the film. Or so they kept saying. Hmmmm.)

3. Wow! That’s one scary looking samurai on the new cover for In The Service of Samurai. What kind of unruly behavior does he engage in during the book?

Oh not much, just kidnapping an apprentice mapmaker, fighting undead ninja, and bringing back his retainers by pure force of will into an undead existence solely to complete their mission. The honor of the Asaka clan must be regained at all costs! (Yeah, Asaka-sama is a little grumpy about the whole having his entire clan killed due to political chicanery and sabotage and is not afraid to share in his displeasure. Poor Toshi…) 😛

4. “Do you outline?” is a pretty generic question, but I never pretended that this interview wasn’t going to suck. Do you outline? Do you have a firm writing schedule?

ROFL! It doesn’t suck! You rule. Just saying. Ask anybody. (Especially after some free drinks.)

Ahem, but to answer the question, generally, no, I don’t outline. But I’ve broken that rule and did outline for Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles. And it’s likely I will do it again. (Always a rebel?) Normally I do have some idea of the road I wish to take, but in big generalities or a major scene or two and then I try to connect the dots rather than have most of it premapped before I begin.

As to a writing schedule, I normally spend at least a ½ hour before work, and a ½ hour at lunch writing. If work is slow I sneak some more in when no one is looking. Weekends and weeknights are normally family time, though Saturday nights are given over to whatever is on my Marketing To Do List or editing.

5. What kind of really cool stuff do you do when you’re not writing?

Uh, cool stuff? Cool stuff? Me? Yeah, about that… (Feel free to take a nap about now, ya’ll – a minute or so will do) Uhm, day job, fulfill my duties as canine and feline petting slave, radiate presence waves and plot spoilers (we authors can be party poopers) for my hubby as we watch TV, be the balancing weight on the mattress so hubby can sleep comfortably – important if not so glamorous jobs.

When I can get away with it, I read, watch movies, TV, Japanese Anime, and also play MMOs online. (I had to give up playing first person shooter games on the PC, not enough time in the day! Same happened to translating Japanese Comics. I need a clone! I need two!)

6. Remember that one time we were in Portland and I tried to buy a rail ticket and the machine stole my two bucks?

Yeah, I remember… You blamed me for it!  Me! The poor innocent bystander… Oh the humanity! Tattled on me to your wife, too! Was watching my back for weeks. Weeks I tell you! (Well, okay, maybe not. And I did get back at you by taking that incriminating picture of you and that FROG at the EPIC Ebook Awards. You two were awfully chummy. We know there was stuff going on there. Heh heh. Heh heh heh. Heh heh heh heh.) Oops, did I type that out loud? Hee!

[Note from Jeff: I do not recall blaming Gloria for the machine stealing my two bucks. I do not emphatically deny that such a thing happened, but I have no memory of it.]

7. Let’s pretend that you had one long paragraph where you could promote your writing like a madwoman, including links if desired. What would that paragraph look like?

OMG! Look, look! Jeff Strand, yes, THE JEFF STRAND is interviewing me on his blog! That’s like manna from heaven, yes? YES! And because Jeff will zap each and every one of you with his mind control ray and make you buy his latest novels, like [Note from Jeff: Link deleted because it makes it look like was all like “Hey, Gloria, it would be cool if you promoted MY books during this interview!” which would be tacky] and [This link deleted, too, for the same reason], there will be some left over resonating waves which will also make you go check out my website at and read sample chapters of my books – In the Service of Samurai, Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles, Willing Sacrifice, Vassal of EL, and the shiny new The Price of Mercy, as well as the free short stories and who knows what else and then you’ll immediately fall in love with them all then go straight to the buy page so you can click all the links and purchase numerous copies of all the novels and share them with everyone you know and make them viral. Then, because you feel you’ve not done enough, you’ll stalk me and subscribe to my newsletter, my blog, and follow me on Twitter, even Facebook! All the while hoping that I can somehow give you a way to protect yourself from Jeff (I recommend the foil pyramid hats) but in reality it’s way too late for that and soon you too will be overpowered by furry masters who will use you as cushions and petting machines and who knows what else!  (Breathe) Heck just feel free to send us signed checks with no amounts written in and we will put them to good use no really we will I promise how can you not love me now forever and all that stuff, huh?

8. Wouldn’t it be funny if I added an eighth question without telling you, and then didn’t include an answer so it makes you look rude?





Seven Questions With Elizabeth A. White

Welcome to a new feature of this website where I waste the valuable time of busy people by asking them ridiculous questions. (Okay, and a couple of serious ones.) My first victim is Elizabeth A. White, book reviewer, taco aficionado, and treadmill-hater. Her website Musings of An All Purpose Monkey is where you should be spending all of your online time.

1. So what exactly IS an “All Purpose Monkey?”

I would think the name is self-explanatory: it’s a monkey who can get done whatever needs doing. Ok, seriously, it started off with the avatar I use most places online, which shows a gorilla reading a book. My husband started calling me the “book monkey” because of it. I’m an attorney by profession (“Hey, you’re a law monkey!”), but I’m also a pretty serious amateur chef so he jokingly said I was a “chef monkey” too. I do all the yard work around here, which means I’m a “landscaping monkey”… you can see where this is going at this point, right? Eventually one day he just declared that I was an “all purpose monkey” and that was that. It stuck.

2. Do you ever have authors behave like big whiny babies over your reviews?

Thankfully I’ve not had anything like those recent author meltdowns that went viral happen to me, though they are entertaining to read – in a train wreck kind of way – when they happen. Of course, I won’t review something if I flat out don’t like it so the odds of such a confrontation happening are pretty low.

3. Who are the best writers working today that not enough people are reading?

Wow. Unfortunately there are so many, some of whom haven’t even gotten mainstream contracts yet. Two that have a fair amount published I highly encourage people to track down are Steve Mosby (The 50/50 Killer, Cry for Help, Black Flowers, etc.) and Duane Swierczynski (The Wheelman, Expiration Date, etc.). Mosby is difficult to find in the U.S., but does free worldwide shipping. People should also be jumping onboard the trains of authors Benjamin Whitmer (Pike), Wallace Stroby (Cold Shot to the Heart), and Lynn Kostoff (Late Rain). Damn, there are so many.

Some more that I recommend are Chris F. Holm (8 Pounds), Chuck Wendig (Irregular Creatures, Double Dead – coming soon), Josh Stallings (Beautiful, Naked & Dead), Anthony Neil Smith (Yellow Medicine), Dave White (More Sinned Against – and no relation), and Brett Battles (Little Girl Gone, Sick). And authors with debuts coming in the not too distant future you should be on the lookout for are John Hornor Jacobs (Southern Gods), Frank Bill (Crimes in Southern Indiana), Stephen Blackmoore (City of the Lost), and Owen Laukkanen (The Professionals).

I could go on and on. It’s sad so many great authors are either struggling just to get signed or are still flying under the mainstream’s radar.

4. You consider your treadmill your arch-nemesis. Do you think this relationship will ultimately end in violence, or will you learn to understand each other and become the best of friends?

Mr. Treadmill is a punk bitch. He even started a Twitter account (@MrTreadmill) so he can harass me in cyberspace. I foresee our relationship ending very similar to this: (NSFW)

5. Describe your ultimate taco.

Is this a trick question? Any taco is an ultimate taco. Except for fish. Really, what’s up with that you Left Coast people? Fish tacos are a crime against nature. A taco should have the following components, in the proportions you individually find pleasing: ground beef (with spices of choice, the hotter the better IMO – if done properly at this stage the taco beef should end up hot enough that it doesn’t need hot sauce as a topping), onions (some cooked in with the ground beef and some more, raw, as a topping), cheese (preferably queso oaxaca/asadero), shredded lettuce, finely diced tomatoes, and if you’re feeling frisky, a little dollop of sour cream. And even though I know it’s more of a North American thing than a traditional Mexican presentation, I am a proponent of the hard shell, not soft.

6. Share something about yourself that would make me cluck my tongue in a disapproving manner.

I don’t really care about Halloween. The holiday that is, the movie is great.

7. In 75,000 words or fewer, tell me about your website and make me want to visit it RIGHT NOW.

FREE TACOS!! That and I am incredibly passionate about the books I review. I try very hard to focus on exactly the kind of authors you asked about in question 3, the ones who are doing great work but not getting anywhere near the recognition they deserve. I also let my site get taken over on a fairly regular basis by authors, and they have been kind enough to share some very powerful and personal things in their guest posts. Please stop by, look around, and leave a comment:

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