Author Interview

Circle of Magic Anthology

J. J. Sutherland

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 WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY

WRITING?

My current WIP is a sequel to The Once and Forgotten Thing, which will hopefully debut this fall.

 WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY

WRITING?

My current WIP is a sequel to The Once and Forgotten Thing, which will hopefully debut this fall.

WHAT IS YOUR MUST-HAVE WRITING TOOL & WHY?

Well, obviously that would be tea. Aside from the fact that tea is simply glorious and a must-have for every activity, sipping tea allows for moments of reflection between paragraphs. This mindfulness dramatically reduces the amount of time I need to spend editing.

WHAT IS YOUR MUST-HAVE WRITING TOOL & WHY?

Well, obviously that would be tea. Aside from the fact that tea is simply glorious and a must-have for every activity, sipping tea allows for moments of reflection between paragraphs. This mindfulness dramatically reduces the amount of time I need to spend editing.

IF YOU COULD INVENT ANYTHING YOU WANTED, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

If I were a brilliant software engineer I would invent a program that automatically dictates my daydreams into written documents. After pumping out a plethora of stunning literary masterpieces, I would sell my program and retire to that deserted island we were talking about earlier.

IF YOU COULD INVENT ANYTHING YOU WANTED, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

If I were a brilliant software engineer I would invent a program that automatically dictates my daydreams into written documents. After pumping out a plethora of stunning literary masterpieces, I would sell my program and retire to that deserted island we were talking about earlier.

 WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR? IF YOU HAD 5 MINUTES WITH THEM, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

Hands down, my favourite author has always been Agatha Christie. Her mastery over subtle implication to build vivid picture and the art of the unexpected are what I aspire to. Had I five minutes, I would thank her for the fearless trail she blazed in the world of literature, and I would ask her to tell me how she managed to wrangle all those many characters wandering about in her head.

 WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR? IF YOU HAD 5 MINUTES WITH THEM, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

Hands down, my favourite author has always been Agatha Christie. Her mastery over subtle implication to build vivid picture and the art of the unexpected are what I aspire to. Had I five minutes, I would thank her for the fearless trail she blazed in the world of literature, and I would ask her to tell me how she managed to wrangle all those many characters wandering about in her head.

IF YOU COULD TRAVEL ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

This is a tough one; there are so many places. But I suppose, if I could only pick one, I would choose New Zealand. Backpacking across such a diverse landscape would do wonders for my mental and emotional health, as well as my creativity.

IF YOU COULD TRAVEL ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

This is a tough one; there are so many places. But I suppose, if I could only pick one, I would choose New Zealand. Backpacking across such a diverse landscape would do wonders for my mental and emotional health, as well as my creativity.

IF YOU WERE TO WALK INTO A ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE WHAT CAN YOU CONFIDENTLY SAY YOU DO BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM?

Were I to walk into a crowded room full of people - which I would be unlikely to do in the first place - I daresay it would be within my power to wield the semicolon with greater skill and elegance than any of them.

IF YOU WERE TO WALK INTO A ROOM FULL OF PEOPLE WHAT CAN YOU CONFIDENTLY SAY YOU DO BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM?

Were I to walk into a crowded room full of people - which I would be unlikely to do in the first place - I daresay it would be within my power to wield the semicolon with greater skill and elegance than any of them.

WHAT IS ONE MOVIE YOU CAN PRACTICALLY QUOTE FROM START TO FINISH?

I don't believe there are any movies I have ever watched this much. Now, if this question were about books...

WHAT IS ONE MOVIE YOU CAN PRACTICALLY QUOTE FROM START TO FINISH?

I don't believe there are any movies I have ever watched this much. Now, if this question were about books...

 DO YOU HAVE A WRITING PARTNER?

You could call them my team. First there is my significant other, whose main duty is to listen attentively when I need to read aloud. There is also my cat, who takes her job very seriously by ignoring me completely when I'm writing - and when I'm not. Finally, I do have a best friend and writing partner. She is the one who shares in the daydreaming stage and keeps me motivated to turn those dreams into realities.

 DO YOU HAVE A WRITING PARTNER?

You could call them my team. First there is my significant other, whose main duty is to listen attentively when I need to read aloud. There is also my cat, who takes her job very seriously by ignoring me completely when I'm writing - and when I'm not. Finally, I do have a best friend and writing partner. She is the one who shares in the daydreaming stage and keeps me motivated to turn those dreams into realities.

WHAT IS THE MOST RANDOM THING YOU HAVE RESEARCHED FOR WRITING?

I once grew black nightshade - the less deadly relative of belladonna - for research purposes. (Honest!) What I learned was that black nightshade is exceedingly easy to grow. With very little water and almost no maintenance of any sort (because I am a horrible gardener) a single plant was able to produce well over two-hundred berries in less than four months - more than enough to kill someone. Moral of the story: absolutely anyone can grow enough nightshade to poison and/or murder. (This is neither a suggestion nor an endorsement. Your victim's stomach will be pumped and the authorities will catch you...unless of course you happen to be poisoning people in the fifth century like my character is.)

WHAT IS THE MOST RANDOM THING YOU HAVE RESEARCHED FOR WRITING?

I once grew black nightshade - the less deadly relative of belladonna - for research purposes. (Honest!) What I learned was that black nightshade is exceedingly easy to grow. With very little water and almost no maintenance of any sort (because I am a horrible gardener) a single plant was able to produce well over two-hundred berries in less than four months - more than enough to kill someone. Moral of the story: absolutely anyone can grow enough nightshade to poison and/or murder. (This is neither a suggestion nor an endorsement. Your victim's stomach will be pumped and the authorities will catch you...unless of course you happen to be poisoning people in the fifth century like my character is.)

IF YOU HAD TO BE SHIPWRECKED ON A DESERTED ISLAND, BUT ALL YOUR HUMAN NEEDS -- SUCH AS FOOD AND WATER -- WERE TAKEN CARE OF, WHAT TWO ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT TO HAVE WITH YOU?

There are few things I dream of more than solitude. To be alone on an island, with all of my needs met, sounds like the perfect retreat; I would require only a gigantic stack of paper and a never-ending fountain pen.

IF YOU HAD TO BE SHIPWRECKED ON A DESERTED ISLAND, BUT ALL YOUR HUMAN NEEDS -- SUCH AS FOOD AND WATER -- WERE TAKEN CARE OF, WHAT TWO ITEMS WOULD YOU WANT TO HAVE WITH YOU?

There are few things I dream of more than solitude. To be alone on an island, with all of my needs met, sounds like the perfect retreat; I would require only a gigantic stack of paper and a never-ending fountain pen.