Where are you from?
I was born in Virginia, moved to the Lowcountry of South Carolina when I was twelve, and knew then that I was home. There’s salt on the air, and a breeze that never stops blowing. The trees bend down over the roads as if they’re respectful courtiers bowing to me as I return, and the years of history on every brick and stone resonate with stories. I used to play Robin Hood in the marshes near my house, and I couldn’t help thinking that if I stood still, the fae lords would appear from behind the moss-laden trees.
Where in all of the multiverse would you curse the worst of humanity?
The marsh at low tide. The mud looks solid until you get a few feet from shore, at which point you start sinking fast. If you don’t know how to get out and do it quickly, you’ll find yourself stuck up to the knees in smelly, filthy, sucking mud, tortured by crabs nipping at your nose and humongous mosquitoes biting your back until the tide comes in and drowns you.
Where do you hide the stories you don’t want others to see?
Where do you do your best thinking?
At the beach. There’s something about the constant noise of the waves crashing and the wind blowing that makes my imagination soar. But since I live 200 miles inland for the time being, I have to make do with the shower and my ocean sounds alarm clock.
Where in the multiverse do you wish you could retire or at least vacation to?
I honestly don’t need the whole multiverse – a little house on a South Carolina beach would do me fine. We promised my son we wouldn’t move back to the coast until he graduated high school, which he has now done. So I’m ready to go any time my husband is!
Where are you going?
Who was the first objective person to tell you your writing/art was good?
Faith Hunter. I had been writing short stories recreationally for about a year when I saw a flyer at the library, advertising a local writer’s critique group. I decided to give it a try, and it was there that I met Faith Hunter. She was the first published writer I’d ever met, so I spent most meetings in a state of terrified awe. It blew me away when Faith started telling me that I should try writing a novel, because she thought I had the talent for it. I didn’t believe I could do it, but she did, and that made all the difference.
Which fictional character do you think you’d like to have lunch with?
Who would you love to get a cover quote from?
Tim Powers. He’s just about my favorite writer in the business, and a cover quote from him would probably be a shining treasure. At the same time, I know I’m going to have to write a pretty incredible book to deserve it.
Who gave you the weirdest compliment ever?
An older gentlemen who was a member of my writing group. He wrote westerns, and I wrote fantasy. One evening, after listening to me read five pages for critique, he looked up, leaned forward and said, “What drugs were you on when you wrote this?” It sounded insulting, but now I think back and realize he was rocked by what I’d written. And isn’t that something we all hope to do to our readers?
Of all the historical world leaders who do you wish you could put in charge today?
Eleanor d’Aquitaine. She was queen of England and of France, she led her own brigade of soldiers in the Second Crusade, she became a patron to several well-known literary figures of the time and ran the country while her son, Richard Couer de Lion, was off fighting. She was wife and mother to kings, and I can’t help thinking that all she’d need to do to bring our Congress back in line would be to stand up on the speaker’s podium and give them that motherly glare we all know and fear.
Of all the characters you’ve written or edited which one gave you the biggest fits?
Of all the made up religions you’ve run across which makes the most sense?
The religion in Katherine Kurtz’ Camber of Culdi series, which is based on and very similar to the Roman Catholic Church, but with certain magical aspects included. Then again, I’m a High Church Episcopalian, so it may just be familiar to me. Except for the magic, of course. Even we Episcopalians don’t have that. Darn it.
Which made up element is the silliest?
Adamantium, the metal that makes Wolverine so indestructible. It’s not that I necessarily think the element itself is funny, but the name automatically brings up memories of Adam Ant, the punk singer from the 80’s. How can an element be that tough when it makes me hum “Stand and Deliver”?
What yet to be realized invention do you want the most?
A transporter, a la Star Trek. I love being in new and exciting places, but I despise the travel it takes to get there. A device that would alleviate all that annoying travel would be worth any price to me.
Spiderman or Wolverine
My laughing at his enhanced skeleton aside, definitely Wolverine. He’s way hotter. Besides, I’m afraid of heights, so swinging through Manhattan with Spiderman would not be a dream date.
Dumbledore or Professor X
Lucille Ball or Roseanne
Rudyard Kipling or Stephen King
Superman or Batman
The Telltale Heart or The Pit and the Pendulum
The Pit and the Pendulum probably scared me more. The first version I ever heard was a recording of Vincent Price reading it, while I sat listening in a darkened classroom on Halloween. Honestly, though, my all-time favorite Poe is The Cask of Amontillado. There’s something perversely attractive about the success of Montresor’s revenge.
Reading Shakespeare, Wrong or Very Wrong
Reading Shakespeare is wrong – unless one is reading it out loud with a group of like-minded friends. I spent many a Saturday in my youth tossing around lines from The Taming of the Shrew. “What, with my tongue in your tail? Nay, come again, Good Kate; I am a gentleman!”
Is your favorite time of year?
Autumn. There’s usually one perfect weekend, sometime in late October/early November, in which the sky is as blue as the sky in a fairy tale, the leaves are fiery red and orange and gold, the air is neither hot nor cold, and the breeze carries the smell of wood smoke and change. It’s the kind of day when any wish you make might come true.
Do you see a movie?
What time of day is your favorite?
Early morning. I’m particularly fond of rising before everyone else and sitting on my porch with a cup of coffee, watching the sun come up. There’s a lovely tranquility at that time of day that’s almost meditative.
Did you realize writing was for you?
The first time I sold a story. It went to a small press magazine, and I was paid in copies, but the thrill of seeing it on print, and hearing an editor tell me my work was good…that was all it took.
Do you feel best about your work?
Goes on your pizza?
Peanut sauce, chicken, garlic and cheese. Yes, I do make my own pizza at home – how did you guess?
On your ice cream?
Not a thing. I like my ice cream unsullied.
On your feet on your day off?
I go barefoot whenever it’s possible (including occasionally at work, if I’m sure no one will catch me.) And yes, that holds true even in the winter. I’ve never met a pair of shoes that felt better than barefootedness.
Complete the sentence:
The worst advice I ever got:
I can’t get enough of:
My working space is:
A lovely wooden desk with a hutch that’s full of promotional materials, pirate toys people have sent me, cards I’ve bought to send to my college-student son, framed pictures of my son and my nieces and important papers that haven’t been filed away yet. And to my right is a photo of the actor Christian Kane holding a sign that says “Hi Misty”, sent to me by a lovely fan who was able to go to LeverageCon. My desk is messy and I love it that way.
Never call me before:
Cthulhu always told me:
The most annoying job I’ve ever had:
Babysitting a little boy who lived across the street from Drill Field B on Parris Island, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Back then, drill instructors were still allowed to use the foulest language imaginable, and that little boy had learned every single word and phrase. There was something disconcerting about listening to a toddler cursing like a…well, like a Marine.
When I’m done working I unwind by:
Belly dancing. I’ve been studying Middle Eastern dance for nearly ten years, and there’s nothing better for easing those locked-up muscles than turning my shimmy loose.
When I take a break during the workday I:
The one thing you probably don’t know I’m good at is:
Singing. I have a decent voice, and a fair amount of training. I sang in three different choirs in my younger days. Unfortunately, I’m so terrified of singing alone in front of anyone that you’ll likely never hear me sing solo. Unless, of course, there’s been a liberal application of alcohol…
Favorite game or sport to watch:
Favorite game or sport to play:
I would never do X for fun:
Jump out of airplanes, off of platforms, or zipline. Heights are my bane. Heck, diving boards give me the willies!
The piece I’ve had the most trouble with:
Kestrel’s Dance. It’s the sequel to Mad Kestrel, and I’m currently working on the rewrite now. It’s the second in a planned trilogy, which means lots of information has to be included, but not so much that the third book is all given away. I had hoped to be finished by the end of July, and I’m not. But I’d rather take a long time and get it all just right than to rush it and turn in something less than my best.
The piece I’ve had the most fun with:
Once I’m finished with Kestrel’s Dance, I’ll be getting back to work on a weird western I started early this past spring. I’ve got so many neat ideas for that story – it’s like a party in my head.
The one I’d most love to see made into a movie or tv series:
I keep hoping I’ll meet someone who knows Jerry Bruckheimer, because I’d be thrilled to death to let him option Mad Kestrel for the continuing saga of the Pirates of the Caribbean.
You can catch-up with Misty Massey:
My site www.mistymassey.com
My group blog – Magical Words www.magicalwords.net
Facebook – Misty Massey http://www.facebook.com/home.php?filter=lf#!/profile.php?id=100000420963853
Twitter – MistyMassey http://twitter.com/#!/MistyMassey
Livejournal – madkestrel http://madkestrel.livejournal.com/