Misty Massey is the author of Mad Kestrel (Tor Books), a rollicking adventure of magic on the high seas which was nominated for the 2010 SCASL Book Award. Misty is one of the featured writers on the MagicalWords.net blog, along with David B. Coe and Faith Hunter. When she’s not writing, she studies Middle Eastern dance. Misty’s short fiction has recently appeared in the Rum and Runestones anthology (Dragon Moon Press) and the Dragon’s Lure anthology (Dark Quest Books). A sequel to Mad Kestrel, Kestrel’s Dance, is in the works. I’m delighted to have fellow NC author Edmund R. Schubert on to interview Massey for “Coming to Town” ahead of the both of them appearing at illogiCon this weekend. I should have thought to ask Massey to interview Schubert as well, turnabout being fair play and all… though, of course, pirates don’t play fair.
Interview by Edmund R. Schubert
Your novel Mad Kestrel was a wonderful, magical (both literally and figuratively) romp through the world of high piracy. I know you’ve published a number of short stories and contributed to the non-fiction book How To Write Magical Words since M” came out. What are you working on now?
Right this minute I’m finishing a short story for The Big Bad II, a wonderful anthology planned for a late summer release. I’ve written the second book in Kestrel’s adventures, “Kestrel’s Dance”, and had an editor friend read and critique it for me. As soon as the story’s done, I’ll be diving into that rewrite. I’m also working on a fantasy western involving lost love, faerie hunters, a little bit of voodoo and a lot of electricity showing up in all the most dangerous and inconvenient places. The hardest part is trying to write one thing at a time, because all the ideas keep crying for my attention at once.
Speaking of Magical Words, how are things going over at MagicalWords.net? It’s one of the most helpful writer’s websites I’ve ever visited and I’ve seen a lot of new folks have been writing there in the recent months.
Things are pretty exciting over at Magical Words right now! Back in the fall, Faith Hunter, David Coe and I sat down and talked about how things were going. We’d been at it for four years, and we were all just a little tired. But Faith came up with a brilliant idea – for the next year, we’re inviting writers to guest-blog on Magical Words. The focus is still on helping writers to find their own success, but instead of just the same folks every week, we’ve asked some great writers to visit with us for one day out of each week, for a month each. Fridays will be the day for the Magical Words regulars to come back and chat. Then the next month we will usher in the next batch of writers. We have a thrilling bunch already scheduled, and even though we’ve only been at this for a few days, readers are responding and enjoying the format change. Which is lovely, because after four years, we needed a little break!
I also noticed that you and two of your fellow Magical Words founders are going to be presenting a more in-depth writing workshop at ConGregate in Winston-Salem this summer. How did that come about?
I initially contacted Tera Fulbright, the programming director for ConGregate, to see if she’d be interested in having the Magical Words team present writing seminars similar to some we’ve done at ConCarolinas. While we were talking, she said she had hoped we might be willing to hold an actual writing critique workshop. Two meetings and about a million emails later, we were all on board. Faith, David and I will critique every submission separately, and the workshop attendees will also have the opportunity to read and offer critique on each other’s work. The workshop is limited to 12 participants, so that we’ll have plenty of time to talk with each and every writer about their submissions. There are still spots open for the workshop, so if anyone wants to know more about registering, here’s the link: http://con-gregate.com/magwordsworkshop.htm
I know you’ve been a fan of RenFaires for a long time now. My daughter just attended her first and had a wonderful time. What is the appeal for you of stepping into another place and time and living there for a little while?
I love playing parts. I dabbled in theater for a time when I was young and foolish, and even though it never went very far, I developed a love of taking on characters and being on stage. At faire, I become a different person, with all the cares and worries of the real world left in the parking lot for a few hours. And I’m not always the same different person at faire – sometimes I’m Kestrel, a pirate and a wench, which means I sing bawdy songs and say things that make even the most jaded kilt-wearing cabriolet driver blush. Sometimes I’m Mahisti, a dancer from the mysterious East, with kohl-darkened eyes and mesmerizing hips. So I suppose it’s the freedom from being ordinary that appeals to me most. I’m able to let go and have fun, without having to worry what anyone else might think. And then there are the clothes….
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise your readers.
I lift weights three times a week. I’m not talking about the little pink hand weights Target sells. I use the big ugly metal ones on the rack. I’ve worn out more than one set of leather lifting gloves. I put my earbuds in, crank up some Rage Against the Machine or Rise Against, and start sweating. I work out with my husband, and I’m generally the only woman in the weight area of the Y, which means I occasionally see guys giving me the Take-Your-Girl-Cooties-And-Go-To-The-Aerobics-Room-Where-You-Belong glare, but we just laugh and ignore it. Lifting makes me feel powerful, and I love it.
Edmund R. Schubert is the author of a novel, Dreaming Creek, and some 40+ short stories, about half of which are collected in The Trouble with Eating Clouds. He’s held a variety of editorial positions, currently serving his eighth year as editor of Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show. He co-edited a trio of IGMS anthologies with Card, as well as editing and contributing to the non-fiction book, How to Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion. Schubert still insists, however, that his greatest accomplishment came during college, when his self-published underground newspaper made him the subject of a professor’s lecture in abnormal psychology. He can be found online at: www.EdmundRSchubert.com