Good morning, and welcome back to Monday!
Today I have another good friend of the Cassidyverse dropping in: S.E. Anderson!
S.E. Anderson can’t ever tell you where she’s from. Not because she doesn’t want to, but because it inevitably leads to a confusing conversation where she goes over where she was born (England) where she grew up (France) and where her family is from (USA) and it tends to make things very complicated.
She’s lived pretty much her entire life in the South of France, except for a brief stint where she moved to Washington DC, or the eighty years she spent as a queen of Narnia before coming back home five minutes after she had left. Currently, she goes to university in Marseille, where she’s just received her PhD in Physics and aiming for a career in Astrophysics.
When she’s not writing, or trying to science, she’s either reading, designing, crafting, or attempting to speak with various woodland creatures in an attempt to get them to do household chores for her. She could also be gaming, or pretending she’s not watching anything on Netflix.
Star Trek or Star Wars?
GATE! Ok,Trek – but it depends on my mood.
DCU or MCU?
MCU but not religiously.
Firefly – gone too soon or overrated?
Way too soon, but probably wouldn’t have been as good if it had been allowed to go on.
Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity?
Lack of creativity. Unless we’re talking shows cut down in their prime.
A book you’re looking forward to release (by someone else)?
Can’t wait for Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon!
A book that pleasantly surprised you?
When Women Were Dragons: I can’t get it out of my head!
Coffee, tea, or cacao?
Tea for flavor, coffee for the energy.
Favorite hangover recovery recipe?
Not getting hungover. I’m either a wizard or lame at parties. Maybe that’s the same thing?
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always knew I wanted to tell stories. My family is full of great storytellers, from my grandfather’s knack to keeping you thinking his anecdote actually happened to him until he hits you with the punchline, or my dad’s skill at crafting a sci-fantasy on the spot to keep my sister and me occupied on long hikes, they were just always a part of my life. It’s only when I started talking to other authors that I learned it could actually be my LIFE.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Inspiration hits when you least expect it. Though I do get a lot of setting inspiration from the papers I read for my day job (Astrophysics research). An idea will pop into my head that will either lead to a great discussion with my colleagues or the widest, most confused looks. I jot them down and sometimes a story busts out of them.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
My very first one I have a record of is from when I was four and wrote a fanfic about my teddy bear. It features such classic quotes as “The clock stuck midnight. The cat meowed.”
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Other than reading, right now I’m trying out every hobby I can get my hands on to see which one is the right one for me. Drawing, knitting, gaming, mosaics, ceramics, roller skating, pastries…
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Just how much life your characters take on. You’d think as a writer that you’re in full control, when most of the time the characters act in ways that manage to surprise you. Who’s writing who?
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have lot track of how many I’ve written, but I’ve published ten, now. I have little favorite bits from each and every one of them. But I think the one that took the most of our me was Aix Marks the Spot. It feel like I was carving myself up and plating it during the writing process.
Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
You’ll hear it time and time again: just. Keep. Writing. I’m not kidding, but for your first drafts, really focus on quantity over quality. Why? Because EDITING comes afterwards. Learn to get in the habit of writing every day, of not being afraid of the page in front of you. Quality can be handeled when you’ve put the story on paper, and that’s really the hardest part when you first get started.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut, but alas, I stopped growing as a teen and I’m still too short.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Depends on the scene. When I’m writing, I feel like I’m on fire. But when I’m done, I feel depleted, especially after handing in a finished draft.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Hurt, for sure. It’s great to be proud of your work, but you have to be able to recognize when criticism is valid. I have worked with a lot of big ego people in my life (both as a scientist and as an author) and they haven’t given me any reason to want to read their work.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Sometimes, if I want to write something I don’t want my coworkers to see. Am I already out there somewhere, under a different name? Who would know?
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Deliver tham what they want – so long as they want more originality ;)
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
More people need to know about Space Opera by Catherynn M. Valente. It’s like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Eurovision, and it packs an emotional punch.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
An embarrassing amount. Like, if I were to finish them ALL, I’d need to buy more bookshelves.
What does literary success look like to you?
Having made an impact on someone’s life. Having written a story that meant something to someone. Oh, and being in a book subscription box. That’s the dream!
What do you have coming next?
Over the Moon comes out January 10th! This Wizard of Oz retelling set in space is full of robots, clones, and girls who love science. I’m so excited for it!