Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Friday, May 05, 2006

Interview Triple-Play!

Okay, so a week or two ago everyone was doing the interview meme. It looked like fun but I didn’t have time to answer questions. Then my schedule cleared a bit. So I asked three friends to interview me. And, would you believe it? They all did! So, for those interested:

From xochitl42:
1. What is the one behavior or habit that people have that you simply cannot stand?
I only get to pick one? :)
Okay, going for broad strokes—unreliability. That drives me nuts. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you tell someone you’re going to be somewhere, be there. If you don’t think you can, say so—don’t say you can and then not. That’s rude, and selfish, and can seriously screw up other people’s lives.

2. If you could have any one superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation disks, like Ilyana from the New Mutants. That would rock. My best friend could join our game group, I could see my dad and my sisters whenever, we could travel to anywhere.

3. Coming to New York was such a huge step to take--what led you here, and why did you choose to come?
Well, I’ve always loved NYC. My parents were both born and raised here, my grandparents lived here most of their lives, my aunt still lives here. We used to come up to visit regularly when I was a kid, so I already knew the city a little. Plus it’s one of the two places to go for publishing jobs (the other being Chicago, though that’s more magazine than book).
So when we got utterly fed up with Kansas, I decided to come here and try my luck. I came up during the summer and visited with my aunt and interviewed with a few places, just to see what the job market might be like for me. Everyone I talked to said I shouldn’t have a problem finding a job here (hah!). And my aunt offered us a place to stay while we were getting settled.
And we made the move. It was a big step, but I’ve always considered myself a transplanted New Yorker so in some ways it was like coming home.

4. Your sense of humor can, at times, be aggressive and/or relentless. Do you ever worry that you hurt people with it?
Yes. No. Maybe. :)
I worry all the time. About everything. I’m always studying what I’ve done, what I’ve said, what others are doing.
But I don’t unleash my humor at people I don’t know. I reserve it for friends. Usually, when I meet someone, I chat with them for a while before I start making quips. I see what they’re like and get a sense of how they’ll react. Then I loosen up a little and see how that goes.
My real friends are the ones I can be myself with, which means I can be sarcastic and biting and even talkative. I do sometimes worry that a friend will take something I said the wrong way, but most of the time I trust them to know I’m kidding—and to tell me if something I said did offend them, so we can straighten it out.

5. I know that family is very important to you. How has becoming a father changed the way you see the world? And 'm not looking for the cheesy easy answers, here.
Heh, most of the things I would say here are cheesy, though.
Family is important to me. It always has been. I grew up in a tight-knit family of six (total, not kids) and most of us are still close. Getting married meant adding one more to that unit.
But being a dad is different. Suddenly I’m the patriarch. I know that sounds pompous, but it’s true. Suddenly I’ve got people who depend upon me, who look to me for answers and solutions and support and care. It’s amazing.
It’s also an incredible responsibility. It’s a huge burden, but one I’m happy to shoulder.
How has it changed how I see the world, though? I see danger everywhere. All the time. It’s awful, really. I see everything that could harm my children and do my best to prevent as much of it as possible. And some of it is ridiculous, or at least unlikely, like someone shoving us off the subway platform or a drive-by shooting. But I think of it anyway. I can’t help it. I live to protect and raise my kids. That has become my primary objective. Everything else is secondary.

From the_themiscyran:
1) What work are you currently happiest about having written? Why?
The latest one. :)
Actually that is my answer. Right now I’m happiest with the Warhammer RPG supplement I just did and with the first half of my second Warhammer novel.
Because I’m getting better.
I honestly believe that. I go back and reread some of the things I wrote a few years ago and I still think they’re good but I know my current stuff is better. I get stronger as I go, which means the most current piece is always the one I consider my best so far.

2) Why New York? I mean for you personally, not the obvious answers. :)
Heh, I answered that in the previous interview. :)

3) Which of your own personality traits do you hope your children also have? Which one/s do you really hope they can avoid? Any particular reason?
I want my kids to get my reliability, my common sense, and my level-headedness. I expect they’ll have a sense of humor—my daughter already does—but it’s okay if it’s not the same as mine.
I don’t want them to get my shyness—yes, that’s right, those of you who didn’t know it, I’m often very shy around strangers. I don’t want them to get my frustration with people, or my inability to suffer fools. I don’t want them to get my inability (or refusal) to play the little games that are often so necessary in social settings. I’m not sure if I want them to have my tendency toward self-effacement—while it’s a big part of who I am (not tooting my own horn and such) I know it’s cost me some opportunities over the years.

4) For the most part, your public face seems to be that of a fairly reserved, quiet kind of guy. Is there any sort of loud performance-type thing that you have ever tried or wanted to? Why or why not?
Not really, no. I’m just not that loud. I’d be willing to try karaoke, I think, if it was in one of those places where it was only friends together (and I’d had a few drinks). And I did theater long ago, but I don’t consider that the same thing because you’re putting on a persona rather than being yourself.

5) Best Kung Fu movie EVAR! What is it, and what scene sold it for you?
The Master Killer (aka 36th Chamber of Shaolin aka Disciples of Master Killer aka Shaolin Master Killer aka The Thirty-sixth Chamber), 1978. This movie rocks! I saw it when I was a kid, during the whole Sunday-afternoon Martial Arts theater thing (the same one that inspired us to do HKAT!) and loved it. It’s not only got amazing martial arts but I love the fact that there’s a real story, and real character growth, and you get to follow the character’s progress through the temple and through martial arts mastery.

From serpentstar:
1) Why "gryphon rose"? Your LJ hints that it's a ship, but it also sounds like it could be an heraldic design of some sort.
A ship? That’d be cool.
No, sadly, it’s not that exciting a story. When I was in school and got my first email account I chose “arose” because I liked it more than just putting my first name and as much of my last as I could fit. A little while later a friend showed me how to change the account name to anything I wanted. I was playing a World of Darkness game with some friends at the time and I had a really cool urban werewolf character named Griffen. I also remembered Andre Norton’s books The Crystal Gryphon and Gryphon in Glory. So I changed my user name to The Gryphon Rose. It sounded cool, archaic, very heraldic. I’ve been using it ever since.

2) How has being a Dad changed your life? What are the drawbacks, if any?
Answered above, amigo. :)

3) How do you view your writing work? Is it "just a job," with deadlines to meet and bills to pay, or is it an artistic calling? Does the answer vary depending on the project? If so, how and why?
Closer to calling than job, but really I consider it a vocation. Writing isn’t what I do—a writer is who I am.
That probably sounds pretentious, but it’s not. Because it’s not about selling. It’s just about the writing. I get withdrawal symptoms when I go too long between writing fiction—just ask the wife. Writing for me is an actual need, something I have to do. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t write because I enjoy it—I write because I must.
Having said that, I do consider writing a job. There are deadlines, it does pay the bills, etc. It has to be treated that way if you’re going to write professionally. You can be a writer and never publish anything, hell, never submit anything. But if you’re going to be a professional writer it is a job and it has to be approached as one.

4) When will we see you guys at DragonMeet or otherwise in the UK again? Did I already mention that both [info]bridiep and I can cook quite well, and that you'd be welcome to stay?
Heh, you have mentioned that, and we’d love to take you up on it. We’d also love to go to Dragonmeet again—it’s one of our absolute favorite cons. Right now the infant is too small to handle a trip like that, and the toddler would handle it but would be running around nonstop. I do have sisters who have offered to watch the kids, though, as soon as they’re both out of diapers (the kids, not my sisters). So we’re thinking in a year or two we’ll be able to sneak away sometimes, which means going back to Vegas and going back to Dragonmeet.

5) Why NYC? Are you guys planning to stay there indefinitely, or like many city-dwellers, do you aim to move to the country someday? Do you miss being able to see the stars?
I’ve answered the “why” question above. But yes, we’re planning to stay here indefinitely. I love New York. I’ve always been a city boy, so country life doesn’t appeal much—there’s so much to do here, so many places to eat, so many things to see, and you can always find something at any hour. That’s great. And, living in Queens, we have a nice quiet neighborhood when we don’t want to wander Manhattan. I think the wife is more interested in the idea of country life than I am, though now that she’s got space to garden I suspect she’s reasonably satisfied. But living some place where I had to drive to get anywhere would drive me nuts. I like being able to walk around, and being able to take public transit.

Not much else to report. The kids are doing well, though the infant is still working on his teeth. The lovely wife and I are good and looking back fondly on those days when we and sleep were regular acquaintances. Work is fine though busy. Writing is good and I’m talking to people about new projects. Have a great weekend!


Post a Comment

<< Home