Please welcome today's guest, Vonnie Winslow Crist. Vonnie is the author of The Greener Forest, The Enchanted Skean, Owl Light, and other fantastical books.
Q&A with Vonnie Winslow Crist
EJ: When did you begin writing?
Vonnie: I've loved words since I was young. An avid reader, I began to write poetry with some seriousness in my late twenties. It wasn't until ten years later that I started writing prose. At first, I tried to write mainstream fiction, but I found I couldn't keep the speculative elements out of the stories. I think I comfortably settled into the "speculative writer" niche in my late forties, and have happily been writing science fiction, fantasy, and horror poetry and prose for the last fifteen years.
EJ: What brought you to the science fiction genre?
Vonnie: Truth time here – I'd say Star Trek, Star Wars, and the books of Andre Norton hooked me on science fiction. Of course, once I was bitten by the science ficiton bug as a reader and television and movie viewer, it was only a matter of time before those influences appeared in my writing. I remember a poetry workshop many years ago, led by poet Roger Kamenetz, where the poets had to send in three examples prior to the workshop. Roger handed our poems back to us at the beginning of the session. Scrawled in big letters on the top of my stack of poems was: "Science Fiction poetry – interesting. You don't see this every day." From that moment on, I realized my poetry was speculative in nature.
EJ: If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?
Vonnie: I'd like long life, though I wouldn't want to be a vampire. Perhaps some sort of Faerie being or person with Elven blood which granted longevity would do the trick. I'd like to know what happens next, and after that, and after that. The future has so many possibilites, I'd like to see a few of my science fiction dreams become a reality.
EJ: Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.
Vonnie: Owl Light is a speculative story collection, so there's a variety of tales. If one story doesn't quite strike a reader's fancy, I suspect another one will. The book includes steampunk, other-world science fiction, a fractured fairy tale, ghost stories, dark fantasy, and more. It should be noted, every story takes place between dusk and dawn, and every story has one or more owls in it.
EJ: If your book were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?
Vonnie: Since this is a collection of short stories, there would be lots of roles to cast! That said, I can see: Johnny Depp as the time-traveler, Mr. Hopewell, in “The Clockwork Owl;” Zoe Saldana as the archeologist in the science fiction tale, “Pawprints of the Margay;” Christine Ricci would make a good Darleen in the ghost story, “Bad Moon Rising;” Liam Hemsworth (he played Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games and its sequels) would be a great Fen in “The Burryman,” and for the protagonist, Thorn, in the fairy tale retelling, “Feathers,” I think Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage would be wonderful.
I guess a few other movie roles I can envision: Selma Hayek as Mari in the Day of the Dead story, “Gifts in the Dark;” Ansel Elgort (he played Gus in The Fault in our Stars) would make a good Duffy in the dark fantasy, “Henkie's Fiddle;” Shailene Woodley (of Divergent, its sequel, and other movies) would be a good fit for sideshow performer Dusana in the mermaid story, “By the Sea;” and last, but not least, Game of Thrones' Emilla Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) would make a convincing Audra in the Halloween story, “Gabeta.”
The “whys” to all of the above castings are because either past roles, body language, or physical appearance seem to fit my vision of the character. But to be honest, I'm glad I'm a writer not a director casting a movie!
Thank you Vonnie for joining us here today at From the Shadows!
Owl Light by Vonnie Winslow Crist
In Owl Light, mystery and magic are close at hand. A deer hunter encounters the Daughter of Winter. Ghosts join a holiday celebration. A clockwork owl is the key to preventing murder. A gravedigger unearths a vengeful trow. To save the woman he loves, a dwarf strikes a bargain with faeryfolk. A sideshow attraction wishes to be normal, with unexpected results. And an anthropologist must choose between her modern world and an ancient culture.
These stories and more dare the reader to step into Owl Light, where early stars flicker, owls wake from slumber, and shadows appear where shadows ought not be. But be warned: Owl Light dims to darkness, dreams turn to nightmares, and dawn is more distant than you know.
Release Date: April 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
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To learn more about Vonnie Winslow Crist and her books, please visit her website or blog, Whimsical Words. Have a question for Vonnie? Leave a comment below.
Have you ever had an encounter with an owl?