Laura Resnick, smart lady, fun to talk to and a writer you’ll enjoy.
* Where are you from?
I was born in Chicago, spent my adolescence and much of my adult life in Cincinnati, and have also lived in New York City, Washington, D.C., London, Palermo, and Jerusalem.
* Where do you do your best thinking?
Unfortunately for others, I seem to solve many of my plot problems while trying to make a left-hand turn cross six lanes of traffic during rush-hour.
* Where in the multiverse do you wish you could retire or at least vacation to?
I dream of living in one of those villas built into the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast in Italy, which is perhaps the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, and where you’re never far from a good place to eat.
* Which fictional character do you think you’d like to have lunch with?
Sir John Smythe (not his real name) from Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss novels. John is an art thief, forger, antiquities expert, master of disguise, skilled amateur musician, occasional hero, and frequent coward, as well as very urbane and erudite. I can’t imagine a better lunch date.
* Who would you love to get a cover quote from?
JD Salinger. It wouldn’t be at all appropriate to my work, but it would probably get a lot of people to pick up the book.
* Who gave you the weirdest compliment ever?
People often say things to me like, “Your book is better than I thought it would be,” uttered with the clear conviction that they’re complimenting me.
* Of all the historical world leaders who do you wish you could put in charge today?
The Emperor Asoka, who ruled an empire in India around 250 BC. After expanding his empire through warfare (which part I would ask him to skip this time around), he converted to Buddhism and spent the rest of his reign passing socially enlightened edicts in pursuit of peace and justice.
Of all the characters you’ve written or edited which one gave you the biggest fits?
A character named Baran in The White Dragon and The Destroyer Goddess. After I finally figured him out, I loved writing him, and he’s probably my all-time favorite of the many characters I’ve written so far. But it initially took me months of hair-tearing to nail down that characterization. Baran in intelligent, mercurial, amoral, sentimental, witty, ruthless, compassionate, talented, whimsical, and mentally unstable, and he enjoys agitating people in such a way that they all wind up fighting with each other whenever he’s present.
* Rudyard Kipling or Stephen King
Kipling. Kim is one of my favorite novels, whereas I don’t read horror at all.
Reading Shakespeare, Wrong or Very Wrong
* I’m a huge Shakespeare fan.
* Did you realize writing was for you?
After the third time I tried to quit and discovered I couldn’t.
* Do you feel best about your work?
After I’ve finished proofreading the galleys (the publisher’s typeset page-proofs of the finished book). That’s when the meal is finally ready to be served after many months of hard work, and when I feel best about it.
Complete the sentence:
* The worst advice I ever got:
It came from a literary agent whom I queried a few days after I got my first book offer from a major house. He advised me to turn down the offer, retire the manuscript permanently, decline to send the house the other manuscripts of mine they were asking to see, and instead devote myself to writing a horror novel or a glitz-and-glamour novel on spec, because those were the genres he thought were about to become “hot.”
I thanked him for his time, said we didn’t seem to suited for each other, and hung up. The next day, I accepted the publisher’s offer, sold them a total of 11 books over the next few years, and have been a full-time self-supporting novelist ever since that first sale 20+ years ago.
* My working space is:
Tidy and well-organized. Clutter and mess confuse and disorient me.
* The most annoying job I’ve ever had:
Anything to do with the public. An extraordinary number of people are unbelievably rude to waiters, receptionists, store clerks, etc.
* When I’m done working I unwind by:
Hanging out with my friends. Reading. Watching movies. Sleeping. Going to museums. Traveling. Saving humanity from the forces of Evil. The usual.
* The one thing you probably don’t know I’m good at is:
I’m a very good cook. I love cooking because it’s the antithesis of writing a novel. A book is all mental and in my head, and I’m finished with it long before it’s finally shared with others. By contrast, cooking is physical and sense-oriented, and a meal is usually ready to be shared with others only an hour after I started work on it.
* The piece I’ve had the most trouble with:
The White Dragon and The Destroyer Goddess. Those novels turned out well (and made Year’s Best lists), but they were a bitch to write.
* The piece I’ve had the most fun with:
I had tons of fun writing my most recent novel, Vamparazzi. It was a great experience, one that really helped me regain the pleasure of writing, which is something that the business tends to beat out of a writer. (As a friend of mine often says: Writing is a lot like sex, in the sense that the exchange of money substantially changes the nature of the act.)
* The next project to come out is (indulge yourself with this one):
My most recent release was Vamparazzi, which came out last month. It’s the fourth book in my Esther Diamond urban fantasy series, and probably my personal favorite so far. My next scheduled release is also an Esther Diamond novel, Polterheist, scheduled for October 2012. To read an excerpt from Vamparazzi, go to: http://sff.net/people/laresnick/Excerpts/UnsympMag.htm#vamparazzi
Laura Resnick is the author of the popular Esther Diamond urban fantasy series, whose recent releases include Vamparazzi, Unsympathetic Magic, and Doppelgangster. She has also written traditional fantasy novels such as In Legend Born, The Destroyer Goddess, and The White Dragon, which made the “Year’s Best” lists of Publishers Weekly and Voya. An opinion columnist, former award-winning romance writer, frequent public speaker, and the Campbell Award-winning author of many short stories, she is on the Web at www.LauraResnick.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.