In July 2013, I served as the “editor-in-residence” for the Codex Writing Group, which meant basically I was asking a month-long AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) interview. With Codex’s permission, I’m re-posting the Q&As here on my blog. The questions were all provided by members of Codex.
I think sometimes writers forget that editors are people too. Would you tell us a few personal details that you feel comfortable sharing? Your cats, your hobbies, your interests, things like that?
Charles Tan (Bibliophile Stalker) just did a little interview with me along these lines: i.e., not about publishing, but about my other interests.
In an interview a couple years ago, when I was asked a similar question, I led off with “I’m a geek. I listen to metal. I follow the Oakland Raiders and the Orlando Magic. I’m obsessed with Rock Band. I have an illogical affinity for Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
Most of those things are still true. Still a geek, still a metalhead, still obsessed with TNG. I don’t follow sports as much anymore, though I’m still interested and I could fall back into it at any time. (Kind of ironic that, now that I actually live in Raiders territory, that my interest in football would wane.) Rock Band, it wouldn’t be fair to say I’m obsessed anymore. I don’t play it much these days, and in fact I’m so out of practice that I can’t really play on Expert anymore.
If anyone’s interested in the metal I listen to, here’s a spreadsheet export of my iTunes library. It’s almost all metal, though there’s also probably some random stuff in there that I added to my library and rarely (if ever) listen to it. I do like some lighter stuff, but I just don’t listen to it very much. Here’s my current playlist.
Some of my favorite bands: Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Protest the Hero, At the Gates, Baroness, Eluveitie
I go through periodic binges on video games. I try to avoid trying new ones a lot of the time though because I become obsessed with them and want to do nothing but play them until I’m done with them. I’m a huge fan of the Fallout series (I’m old enough that I actually played 1 & 2 even) and Skyrim. I lost a good month or more of my life to Grand Theft Auto 4.
One of my favorite books that I read in recent years is this book of video game criticism called EXTRA LIVES by Tom Bissel. Bissel is just such an astute video game critic, it’s a really enjoyable book. It probably helped that he and I seem to have an almost identical taste in video games, and reading his experience playing GTA IV was uncanny because of how similar it was to mine (though he, apparently, was also doing cocaine at the time, so that’s one major difference).
If you want to hear more about the intersection of JJA and video games, listen to Episode 84 of my podcast, The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Actually, if you want to learn more about my other interests, checking out the podcast is often a good way to do that. We talk about so many different topics on the show. A lot of the time we’re talking about publishing-related things, but we’ve done whole episodes focused on video games, horror movies, and all sorts of geeky things.
I’m a big TV watcher. My favorite show ever is THE WIRE. Other favorites include BREAKING BAD, DEXTER, SOUTHLAND, HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, THE OFFICE (US), PARKS & REC, THE WEST WING, GAME OF THRONES, HOMELAND… And, of course, as I mentioned above, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (though only maybe 25% of the show’s episodes are actually good, probably).
So as you can guess from my favorites there, one of my non-SF/F interests is police procedural type stuff. I’m fascinated by homicide detectives and whatnot. If I could be a homicide detective without all the dangerous/violent aspects of the job, I would totally be that (or would have tried to be). Though I may not have been very good at it, given I’d probably be crap at getting confessions out of people since, as my wife often points out, I am without guile. (And a good copy needs guile, it seems to me.)
I have two dogs and two cats, plus a third new cat that is technically Christie’s office cat, so I’m not sure whether or not to count him yet. (We’ve only had him for a couple of days, and he won’t let us pet him yet.)
Here’s a Flickr set.
The dogs are Suki and Jack. They’re outside dogs. Jack’s pretty derpy and an inveterate barker, so he wears this collar that sprays citronella in front of his face when he barks. They’re both impossible to walk.
Chewbacca and Maya are the house cats. Yoda is the new (office) cat. Chewie is basically the best cat ever, though we often say that he can’t possibly be a cat and he is clearly some other kind of cat-like creature. Maya is a very catty cat; she allows pets only when she wants them, and when she’s done with pets, the claws come out. Yoda we don’t know very well yet, but he’s been very skittish thus far. If you look at the photoset, you’ll see that Chewie is obviously my favorite.
From October 1 – October 31, I’ll be running a Kickstarter campaign for a new project called HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!!, an anthology of improbable, futuristic, magical, & alternate-world crowdfunding projects. Please check it out, consider backing it, and, if you’re so inclined, spread the word!