So I have this friend and she’s awesome and I’ve mentioned her on several occasions before. We met on the QT forums (where friendships have been known to bloom) and started swapping work. From the outside, we looked pretty different. She, a hardcore sci-fi writer specializing in cyber and biopunk. Me, a speculative literary writer who went through a good ten years of reading literary fiction exclusively. But, no. Kismet. We found we’re both expats (she’s from France, living it up in Louisiana; I’m from the US, basking in the awesome that is Montreal); we both love music and could not write without it – in fact, I’m gonna splice in some of her favorite songs of the moment; we both love literature (of course!); and, yes, we both love sci-fi.
So, I decided it’s time you know her, too! And Frinterviews are born! So much more fun than a cold interview, everything I already know about Steph made it really easy to think of questions I really wanted her to answer. And go!
Stephanie still remembers the face of her middle school librarian when she returned Dune after reading it in one day. She wanted to be an archeologist for a long time just so she could find the Stargate but settled for being an adult/YA science-fiction writer instead. If only she could click her heels three times and materialize in a cyberpunk world, she would live there forever. (From her Pen Punks bio)
Thanks for letting me grill you, Stephanie-Dahling. I’ve had the pleasure of reading your amazing cyperpunk/biopunk – and you opened my eyes to the fact that I have always been drawn to punk fiction/film; what made you want to start the Pen Punks? And can you tell us a bit about what it is?
The Pen Punks is a group blog focused on everything relating to Punk fiction, and a little more. I wanted to start the Pen Punks because of my love for the punk genres and my wish to spread that passion to others. Steampunk has been mainstream for a while now but most of the other punk genres (such as cyberpunk, biopunk…) have been niches, often completely unknown to the general public. Most people have had a glimpse of those genres (who hasn’t seen The Matrix or Tron?) while still having no idea that they actually follow specific science-fiction subgenres. I wanted to give readers the opportunity to discover those genres, learn about them and who knows, maybe even become as passionate as I am.
And it’s not just an awesome place to read about the varying genres or find out about forthcoming or classic punk novels, it even boasts a database of agents and publishers interested in the genre. Because Stephanie is lookin’ out, y’all. Click here to check it out!
In your other life, you’re a nurse – how intimately do these passions intertwine, if at all?
As different as both passions are, they seem to be bound to affect each other. Being a nurse has helped me tremendously in my writing as I have seen quite a lot of personalities and reactions from patients and families. Add to that the fact that I am an oncology nurse and the notion of grief and death are definitely put in perspective. All experiences have been a gold mine in terms of emotions in my writing.
My passion for writing and reading have helped me reach patients in a way (at least I would like to think so). 99% of the time patients in the hospital hear about their diagnosis, treatment plan, symptoms…etc. Noticing a book on a patient’s bedside table and asking about it can break the bubble of sickness and make them think about something else for a moment.
I love this answer for so many reasons, particularly transferring the emotional resonance from your unique work life to your characters, even though the situations may be as different as night and day. YES.
As a writer whose native language is something other than English (but who writes in English), how has the process of CPing helped strengthen your own work?
Where should I start? As an ESL writer, I should probably say that everything in the CPing process has helped me. Having lived in the US for almost 10 years now, I’ve been facing the fact that I’ve adopted some bad habits and crutches within the English language, most invisible to me unless they are pointed out. I’ve also had the pleasure to CP literary pieces and that has probably helped me the most because it showed me just how refined prose can be. Something that I had experienced in French literature but never in English. It has encouraged me to learn to love line edits.
See, this is why we’re meant for each other, children.
You have to pick a planet other than Earth to spend the rest of your life: which do you choose?
Dune. There was no guess there. The ecosystem and the hardiness of its native people makes it a fascinating planet. The fact that it looks like a giant desert at first glance but reveals to be so much more is all the more part of its attraction.
Please, believe. I *did* know your answer to this. ::Scout’s honor::
Srsly. Her love of Dune is arguably one of the first things you find out about Steph! And there’s plenty more to find out when we finish our Frinterview tomorrie! ::glitter cannon:: For now, I leave you with the only thing almost as awesome as her biopunk work-in-progress, Nirvana – the jamazing mock cover. To find out how it came about and who is the talented artist behind its conception, click the image! (As if you could resist it.)