Interview with Roxanne Bland
How does one learn to speak or write Galactic Basic Standard?
Aliens, of course. Two little guys dressed in black came to my house one day claiming to be thirsty and could they have a glass of water. Well, they looked harmless enough, but I should have known something was up when I saw one guy’s eyes start rolling independently of each other. Still, I let them in. Next thing I knew, everything went dark. When I came to, I had this silver circlet on my brow and one of them was holding this little box. And I could speak Galactic Basic Standard. Here, this is a casual greeting in GBS : “T’lar ess ku yebet.” It means “let’s have sex.” J
Who was your favorite interview on your blog?
Danielle Ackley-McPhail, I think. She was so warm and forthcoming, just like she is in person. You can find her interview on my blog, Of Werewolves And Other Strangers, http://roxannebland.com
Do you prefer writing short stories to full novels? Why or why not?
I don’t think I prefer one over the other. I like writing both, though I’ll admit my shorts have never seen the light of day. Shorts, though, to me are a lot more difficult that writing novels. In each you have to make each word count, but in shorts you have to do it in a lot less space.
Would you rather have fame or fortune?
Fortune. That way I could write to my heart’s content without wondering how I’m going to pay the mortgage. Or eat.
Are you and introvert or an extrovert?
Definitely an introvert. I don’t do people very well, so I prefer to be by myself. If you go to a party, I’m the one standing against the wall, watching the festivities. That, of course, is assuming you can even get me to go to a party. When I meet people, my first response is to pull away. These days, though, as I’ve grown older and more experienced, I’m better at faking it.
Do you speed when you drive?
Not anymore. I used to be a little speed demon. It wasn’t unusual for me to fly down the highway at 90, 100 miles an hour in my Corvette. Now, though, I’m older (and so is my Corvette) and a lot more cautious. There’s so much more traffic on the road these days, and driving like that isn’t just dangerous, but downright insane. Now I know you’re going to ask if I’ve ever gotten a speeding ticket. The answer is yes. Two. Funny thing is, when I got those tickets I was only going about ten miles over the speed limit.
Pick one book that is your all-time favorite?
Gee, that’s hard. I have so many favorite books. But when I think about it, it has to be The Outlaw Bible of American Literature. It’s an anthology of essays and short stories by people like Margaret Sanger, Hunter S. Thompson, Ken Kesey, Sonny Barger, Melvin Van Peebles, and a whole lot more. The point is that to one extent or another, they were all considered outlaws in their day. It’s a fabulous book. The writing styles are so different. It’s like chowing down at a smorgasbord. And it’s just as tasty.
What’s your favorite thing about the writing process?
World building. It’s great being God.
Your favorite type of music – jazz/blues
Your favorite color of Skittle – never had them, so I can’t say.
Your favorite memory – wandering around Paris at night, in the rain, by myself.
Your favorite quote – “Forget what they told you. You want the truth, follow the money.”
Your favorite way to spend an evening – writing or reading, with soft jazz playing in the background.
Your thoughts on Self Publishing?
I think self-pubbing is coming into its own. I don’t hear so much anymore “oh, you’re self-published? Couldn’t get a real publisher, huh?” I mean, even some established writers are turning to self-pubbing. I’m not saying traditional publishing is on its way out, but I think self-pubbing has become a viable alternative for many writers, especially those whose works don’t clearly fit into any one genre, or that the gatekeepers don’t think will sell. But let me say this: to all you would-be self-pubbed authors, please, please have your work professionally edited and polished before your throw it up on Amazon, or wherever. There is nothing more that says “self-published” or “amateur” than grammatical mistakes, misspellings, and the like. It turns readers off, and that’s not what you want.
Anything you would like to say to the aspiring authors reading this blog?
Read, read, read. Read outside your genre. Read for content as well as style. If you find one you like, don’t copy it, but learn from it. Write, write, write. Try to write a little every day, even if it’s just a paragraph. Don’t worry if it’s drivel. You can whip it into shape later. The thing to remember is that writing, honing your craft, is like playing a musical instrument. You have to practice, and practice hard, if you expect to be any good at it.
Blog address: http://roxannebland.com