Interview with Anne Michaud: Girls & Monsters
This week I have the wonderful, and exceptionally talented, Anne Michaud, to answer some questions about writing, her new novella Girls and Monsters and whether or not Firefly should have come back to our TV screens.
So, let the questioning begin.
1. Can you tell us a bit more about your book? Where did the idea come from? How long did it take to write?
I wrote Girls & Monsters on a four-year time frame, sometimes writing a story between novels or other projects and at other times, I’d write two novellas in a row, to shape the project into completion. Four of the five stories had already been written in shorter forms, but after reading them again, I realized I wanted to expand them. Strong girls kicking monsters butts, that’s my book.
2. Who’s your favourite character in the book?
Dust Bunnies’ Christiane would be my favorite of the bunch of girls in my collection. She started as an homage to Christiane F., the young Berliner who turned to prostitution to get her fixes of heroin in the 70’s. When you look closely at the plot and characters, you can easily spot where the line between reality and fiction blurred. The real Christiane died last year of an overdose, and like many others, her story touched a very dark part of my soul, I had to celebrate her life in my own way.
3. Which character from your book would you most like to meet?
Limnade, the mermaid of the lake. Well, the fact that she eats souls every year doesn’t make me want to meet her, but I’d just like to see her: hair like algae, claws colourless as her scales, mouth scissored with pointy teeth. Quite a sight to behold, even if she did first appear in a dream.
4. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I have, many times. My trick is to switch project, to always move forward, whether or not it’s my next novel, short story, script – always keep my mind in motion, always finding ways to inspire myself. After I directed my second short film, I could NOT write for the life of me, until I went to check out an abstract art exposition – instant inspiration.
5. Best and worst writing tip you’ve learned?
“Keep writing” and “keep writing”: it’s as good as it’s bad. As a writer, what you must learn to develop (if you don’t own it naturally) is to know when to stop, when to move on, or when to push through. My sense of storytelling came later in my writing life, after years of practising: like a rock in your throat, you feel it when something’s wrong with your story, and you shouldn’t need somebody else to tell you. So “keep writing” until you’re finished or let go of a project that isn’t working right now (which doesn’t mean you can’t go back to it another time).
6. If you could work with any author who would it be?
Someone cool like Neil Gaiman, someone prolific like Carlos Ruiz Zafon, someone dark like Michael Grant, someone as heartbreaking as Meg Rosoff, someone as scary as Sarah Waters, and someone inspiring like Suzanne Collins. Or better yet, have all of them write an anthology, that’s a book I’d read.
7. You can be any comic book superhero – Who would you be?
Travel-girl: go anywhere in space and time.
8. What skills do you possess that would help you survive a zombie apocalypse?
I can roller-skate, so give me a blade and I’ll bring you to safety, Steve.
9. What is your favourite band?
The Cure, for the past 26 years.
10. You can pick one series to return to the TV. Firefly or Angel?
FIREFLY!!!!!! Oh, how I miss it so. I want to LIVE on that ship!
If you want want to read more about Anne’s work or learn more about her, here’s some info and links.
She who likes dark things never grew up. She never stopped listening to gothic, industrial and alternative bands like when she was fifteen. She always loved to read horror and dystopia and fantasy, where doom and gloom drip from the pages.
She, who was supposed to make films, decided to write short stories, novelettes and novels instead. She, who’s had her films listed on festival programs, has been printed in a dozen anthologies and magazines since.
She who likes dark things prefers night to day, rain to sun, and reading to anything else.
She blogs http://annecmichaud.wordpress.com
She Facebooks: http://www.facebook.com/annecmichaud
She tweets @annecmichaud
Girls & Monsters Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17335353-girls-monsters
Thanks for taking part, Anne. Also, thanks for saying you’d save me on your roller-skates. It’s good to know people are out there who can help me make a very slow getaway if the world is ever under siege from the undead. Also, everyone picks Firefly. Rightly so.