As 2016 continues, so too does our series of interviews. These galactic travels to ‘Distant Worlds’ are a cool way of spotlighting the very best new speculative fiction along with its creators – those hidden gems that are so often ignored by the mainstream. So, as today marks the 4th year anniversary of this little blog, we celebrate with another gem…this time an editor of fantasy fiction!
Having watched so many fantastic interviewers (Tricia Drammeh and her Authors to Watch, AFE Smith, Katrina Jack and her New Authors section and Susan Finlay’s Meet the Author to name a few of the best – please check out their wonderful blogs), I’ve always been a little reluctant to throw my hat into the ring, but here goes!
One of my all-time favourite worldbuilding PC games, is Sid Meier’s ‘Alpha Centauri’. So, in homage to that (and a shameless rip off of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ and AFE Smith’s brilliant blog series Barren Island Books), here is my own author interview series – Distant Worlds.
The Distant Worlds strand started last year, focusing on fellow fantasy and sci-fi authors from ultra-cool UK publishing house, Grimbold Books and their imprints, Kristell Ink and Tenebris Books – a bunch of uber-talented and whacky characters who I am also proud to call friends. Check out their cool titles while they’re still at bargain prices! hyperurl.co/GrimboldBooks
Right, now to our nineteenth interview and one of the newest members of the Grimbold Books family, the mysterious editor at large and fellow cool cat…
Augusta, YOU find yourself cast adrift in deep space, your colony pod’s life support is failing, your only chance of survival is a distant habitable world…
What 5 essentials would you choose to help you survive?
A kick-ass sword, a water-detector, an endless supply of raspberry jam and butter sandwiches, suncream, a light flowing scarf and a pogo stick.
What 5 personal items would you salvage from your crashed ship before it explodes?
My diary, my ink pen, my white rabbit, my guitar and my yoga mat (which transforms into a flying carpet).
Would you seek life-forms for help or go it alone?
I would definitely seek other life-forms for help, and try and make some friends along the way, but I also like the idea of trekking through arid deserts alone for a while.
What 5 fantasy/sci-fi books would you have to keep with you and why?
Patrick Rothfuss’s ‘The Slow Regard of Silent Things’ – because Auri, the book’s main character, is alone throughout the book, and deals with it brilliantly – never losing hope. Neil Gaiman’s ‘Sandman’ series, as I would probably be in need of some delectable illustrations and dark humour. Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, for its sumptuous illustrations, as well as this book’s relevance for the person who finds themselves roaming a distant world. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s ‘The Little Prince’ for the same reason just mentioned. J G Ballard’s ‘The Drowned World’, for its gorgeous, surreal descriptions.
What 5 songs or albums could you not live without?
Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours, Ask the Deep’ by Sóley, ‘Play’ by Moby, ‘Nomade’ by Cat’s Eyes and ‘An American Prayer’ by The Doors.
You are all alone on a distant world with little chance of being rescued…do you choose water, vodka or coca-cola to drown your sorrows?
Vodka, the Bison grass one, a little apple juice and a lime twist wouldn’t go amiss…
Random comet question: Which fantasy world would you choose to live in and why?
A world that looks like a cartoon – I’m thinking Neil Gaiman or Studio Ghibli… Where all the people are cats…
Which villainous fantasy character would you befriend or be?
I would befriend Bellatrix Lestrange, because I think she’d be a riot, and am convinced she has a softer side.
You have 30 seconds (max 100 words) to tell the alien approaching you about your latest book. Remember this is more pressurised than an elevator pitch – screw up and he’ll eat your brains! Go!
N / A – I am a Grimbold editor!
How would you choose to spend your time on this distant world?
Taking things really slowly, learning some new skills or crafts, learning how to converse with aliens, becoming bad ass at survival stuff and swordplay.
What 5 things would you miss most about Earth?
My family and friends, the Internet, mud and rain-sodden days (for some reason I always imagine other worlds as primarily desert!), old houses, sushi, art shops.
What 5 things would you NOT miss about Earth?
Fast food chains, tabloid newspapers, pollution, adverts, the loading icon on YouTube.
Time-traveller questions (for Dr. Who fans): What is the one thing you wish you could turn back time and change?
I wouldn’t necessarily change anything, but I would love to have the chance to live my life over and over again in different ways, taking different paths each time.
What 5 indie authors and books you would recommend to any carbon based lifeform – and why?
Not sure what constitutes indie…
What advice can you give to fellow space travellers (writers and readers) out there?
Do things at your own pace, heed others’ advice, but don’t let them tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, live madly, follow your instincts, love deeply, always have faith in yourself.
Before we leave you and blast into another parallel universe, please tell us about yourself, your inspirations and your publishers!
I am a former Sims addict who now lives in London, where I hoard books and go on city jaunts. I edit the Advaya Magazine, an online quarterly specialising in arts, activism and ecology. When I’m not editing for Grimbold, I tinker away with my own writing webs. I like stepping back, seeing the world for what it is – strange, magical, and utterly surprising. I am inspired by the visionary work of Guillermo del Toro, director of ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and, most recently, ‘Crimson Peak’, as well as the work of Angela Carter.
Having graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Manchester, Augusta decided to take a break from institutional structures, to focus on creative writing. This brought her to a highland cottage in Wales, where the sheep did not take to her, despite her best efforts. Now she is based in London, where she edits Advaya Magazine, an online quarterly specialising in arts, activism and ecology. When Augusta is not working, she traipses the streets of London, nurturing her thirst for travel and adventure. The macabre, the eerie, the gothic and the outlandish all appeal to Augusta’s tastes. As a child she was addicted to Sims, and now she is a compulsive hoarder of books. She also greatly enjoys music, yoga, being helpful to others, and refrigerated macaroons.
Thank you, Augusta. Congratulations, you are survivor! A passing fleet of mining drones has honed in on your distress beacon, you’re going home!!!
Happy Horizons! 😀 xx