Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pteradactyl Samurai: 13 Questions with Kirsten Alene

The missing piece of the puzzle has fallen into place.  Here is my interview with Kirsten Alene, author of Love in the Time of Dinosaurs

How did your becoming one of the New Bizarro Authors come about?

I met Cameron Pierce last year and ended up writing the book for him as a birthday present. When he read it he told me to send it to Kevin Donihe (the editor of the NBAS) immediately.

Other than Jurassic Park and Anonymous Rex, there's a noticeable lack of dinosaur fiction on bookshelves everywhere. What made you go with a human-dinosaur love story?
I love dinosaurs. When I was nine I discovered that it would be impossible to grow up to be a golden retriever and decided on a Pterodactyl instead. Dinosaurs are really outrageously terrifying. I couldn't think of a better enemy. The love story evolved very organically as I was writing the book. I intended Dinos to be a story about war and destruction. I guess I'm a big softy.

Was there a book that made you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I decided I wanted to be a poet when I was seven for no real reason. It sounded like a really good idea at the time. The book that made me realize I COULD be a writer was Andersen Prunty's Zerostrata.

Who are some of your influences?
Everything I read goes into a big spaghetti-noodle maker in my mind. It all gets ground up and reused so I really have no idea.

What's your favorite book?
100 Years of Solitude. Or In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan. The former is my favorite novel, the latter is my favorite 'thing.'

Who's your favorite author?
My first literary love was Arthur Rimbaud. I love L. Ron Hubbard's classic sci-fi western genre explosion works (like Mission Earth and Buckskin Brigade). My favorite literary author is probably Marquez - no matter what else delights me, I always come back to him.

What's the best book you've read in the last six months?
I re-read The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton recently. I love Edith Wharton in a girl-ish way. The best new book I've read in the last six months was probably Michael Crichton's Pirate Latitudes. It was all of the awesome suspense and action of Michael Crichton without all of the over-researched, analytical bull. And there was a giant squid.

Favorite Kung fu movie?
They're not EXACTLY Kung-fu movies but, Sukiyaki Western Django and Ran.

Favorite dinosaur?
Trachodon. Duh (Although, if Pterodacytls were dinosaurs, it would be the pterodactyl, but they are Pterosaurs, not Dinosaurs).

If you could punch one celebrity in the face, who would it be?
Marlon Brando in Streetcar Named Desire. Then I would fall into his arms and marry him.

What's the strangest thing you've ever ordered at a restaurant?
I don't know. But I do know that I peel the onion out of onion rings and leave it on my plate. People probably think that's weird.

Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?
Don't expect to publish a short story collection in which none of the short stories have been published elsewhere. Listen to editors and take their advice. Even if they are not smarter than you, their perspective is better than yours. No one can judge his own work.

What's next for Kirsten Alene?
Grad school. But for right now, I'm working on selecting and editing short stories for the websites Unicorn Knife Fight and Bizarro Central. I have a short story in the new issue of Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens (edited by Bradley Sands) and I'm working on another novel now, a little longer than Dinos about a city of skyscrapers surrounded by water and a group of vigilantes who ride genetically altered bionic unicorns.

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