I don’t consider myself a science fiction writer. I’m a fantasist, which means that almost everything I write has a fantasy element, but only perhaps a quarter of my fiction can be classified as science fiction. Most of it is just “weird” fiction. My novel, FITCHER’S BRIDES, is a historical dark fantasy novel based on the Grimm’s fairy tale “Fitcher’s Bird” (a variant of Bluebeard); my novel prior to that, THE PURE COLD LIGHT, was a science fiction novel set in an alternate Philadelphia; and the two before that, TAIN and REMSCELA, were retellings of the Irish Cu Chulainn stories and thus categorized loosely as “high fantasy”–which means there were swords and magic. I’m hard to pin down, which explains my life of abject poverty.
Damian McNicholl’s successful novel, A Son Called Gabriel, tells the poignant story of a boy coming to terms with his sexuality within the bosom of a family that’s hiding a dark secret from him in conservative Northern Ireland.
When local author Shawn McBride read at the recent Philadelphia Stories’ silent auction, he did what he does best in writing: merge art and humor in an entertaining way. He called up poet Daniel Abdal Hayy-Moore, who had just read from his vast portfolio of work, and asked him to accompany him on autoharp as he read his “Ode to Breasts.” His debut novel, Green Grass Grace, also combines humor and art – coupling lyrical prose with the comedy of raging hormones. The novel rang true to fans and critics alike, and it was selected by Barnes & Noble for its “Discover Great New Writers” series. McBride spoke with Philadelphia Stories about writing, not writing, and his love for Philadelphia.
Jennifer Weiner has fulfilled the dreams of many an aspiring writer: take an unfortunate situation, write a book about it, and watch it soar up the best-seller list (Good in Bed). Write another book, and have Cameron Diaz star in the movie version (In Her Shoes). Write a third book (Little Earthquakes), and watch it appeal to the challenges faced by thousands of new mothers.