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Editors Unplugged: Get to know our panellists for Editing Worlds: Speculative Fiction and the Editorial Process

Interviews conducted by Catherine Dorton.

More details on the program forthcoming.

Our popular monthly program meetings often feature a jam-packed agenda. We like to keep our introductions short, so you can hear more from our panellists and less from us! It’s hard to do justice to the incredible wealth of experience these guests bring to the table, so we are offering you a preview with this short Q&A beforehand.

This month, we are honoured to be joined by Jen Frankel, JF Garrard, Dominik Parisien, and Drew Hayden Taylor.

Photo of Jen FrankelJen Frankel

If you could co-write a piece of speculative fiction with a famous author of any genre, who would you pick?

Definitely Anne McCaffrey. As long as I’m allowed to go back in time to do it. If I’m limited to now, Val McDermid. I’d drag her to the dark side and make her consider some supernatural interjections.

Star Wars, Star Trek, or Doctor Who? 

Marry: Star Trek. Date: Star Wars. Kill: Doctor Who. I really want to love the Doctor, but ever since the reboot, I feel like I’m in a downward spiral toward despair. But I haven’t watched the new season…

Who is your favourite monster? 

My favourite monster is Lilith, mother of all monsters and I’m absolutely sure totally maligned!

Photo of JF GarrardJF Garrard

If you could co-write a piece of speculative fiction with a famous author of any genre, who would you pick?

It would be Stephen King. He is one of the most hard-working writers out there, and I fell in love with reading and writing through the horror genre.

Star Wars, Star Trek, or Doctor Who? 

Love all three, but if I had to choose one, it would have to be Doctor Who! I love the BBC and their clever scripts!

Who is your favourite monster?

My toddler! Hahaha, just kidding… sort of. (I was inspired to publish a Kraken toddler cookbook so I could feed him.) But seriously, my favourite monster would be the man-eating mermaids in Rumiko Takahashi’s Mermaid Saga mangas.

Photo of Dominik ParisienDominik Parisien

If you could co-write a piece of speculative fiction with a famous author of any genre, who would you pick?

A young Michael Ondaatje. I would sit him down, tell him how much I love his poem “Spider Blues,” make him read my flash fiction “Spider Moves the World,” and tell him we’re going to co-write a mosaic novel about spiders. All spiders, all the time. Flash fiction. Prose poems. Poems. Novellas. We’ll look at art and people and life through spider eyes and the gossamer threads of their webs. He will probably hate me for it, and I won’t even care.

Star Wars, Star Trek, or Doctor Who? 

This is a nasty question. My immediate answer is Star Trek, because I do so love The Next Generation and especially Deep Space Nine. Deep Space Nine is in fact one of my favourite TV shows. However, I do think Doctor Who is a fabulous approach to science fantasy with near limitless potential for varied storytelling. (But I’m still going Star Trek.)

Who is your favourite monster? 

Up until relatively recently, I would have said the Gray Caps from Jeff VanderMeer’s Ambergris books. They are terrifying, strange, mysterious fungal creatures that take on very different meanings throughout the books. However, the bear in Alex Garland’s adaptation of VanderMeer’s Annihilation is very much at the top of my list now. That monster is quite possibly the most unsettling thing I’ve seen on screen, in no small part due to the brilliant physical and sound design. I’m also fascinated how it doesn’t actually feature in the novel. Garland took elements from the book and altered them to create one of the most memorable monsters in recent memory. The bear is very true to the spirit of the book, but not the actual facts. It led to really interesting conversations about adaptation versus interpretation, and it’s also a damn fine monster that made people squirm in their seats and haunted their dreams.

Photo of Drew Haden TaylorDrew Hayden Taylor

If you could co-write a piece of speculative fiction with a famous author of any genre, who would you pick?

Growing up I was a huge fan of most of the “old school” writers. H.G. Wells was a particular favourite as was John Wyndam. I know they are both dead, but still, they ignited the fire in me and I would have loved the chance to see where our minds would have met.

Star Wars, Star Trek, or Doctor Who? 

Star Trek. Star Trek. STAR TREK!!!!

Who is your favourite monster?

It’s a tie between Godzilla or the alien from ALIEN. 

More About Our Speakers

JEN FRANKEL is the author of the Blood & Magic series (forthcoming from Final Girl Press) and the vegan zombie satire Undead Redhead. Her short fiction has appeared across North America including in the Pop Seagull Publishing anthology Robotica and in an upcoming Dark Dragon Publishing anthology of horror/noir. You can find her at Amazon and at jenfrankel.com; her Instagram/Twitter are @jenfrankelauthor/@jenfrankel.

JF GARRARD is the founder of Dark Helix Press, co-president of Canadian Authors Association–Toronto, deputy editor for Ricepaper Magazine, and assistant editor for Amazing Stories Magazine. She is an editor and writer of speculative fiction and non-fiction. Her short fiction “The Metamorphosis of Nova” was published in the Blood Is Thicker anthology (Iguana Books and Canadian Authors Association, 2018) and “The Perfect Husband” was published in the We Shall Be Monsters Frankenstein anthology (Renaissance Press, 2018). Her background is in nuclear medicine and she has an MBA in marketing and strategy. Currently, she is pursuing a creative writing certificate from Ryerson University. You can find out more at  jfgarrard.com.

DOMINIK PARISIEN is an editor, writer, and poet. With Navah Wolfe, he co-edited The Starlit Wood: New Fairy (Saga Press, 2016), which won the Shirley Jackson Award; Robots vs Fairies (Saga Press, 2018); and the forthcoming The Mythic Dream (Saga Press). He also co-edited, with Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, the Uncanny Magazine special issue Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction (2018). He is the author of the poetry chapbook We, Old Young Ones (Frog Hollow Press, 2019), and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fiddlehead, Quill & Quire, Arc Poetry Magazine, and various other journals. Dominik is a disabled, bisexual French Canadian, and lives in Toronto. Find out more at dominikparisien.wordpress.com.

DREW HAYDEN TAYLOR is an award-winning playwright, novelist, journalist, and filmmaker. From the Curve Lake First Nation in Central Ontario, Drew has done everything from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to being artistic director of Canada’s premiere Indigenous theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. During the past month, two of Drew’s plays have been produced in Hamilton and Toronto, and he has just recently celebrated the launch of his 32nd book. He is currently working on a new novel and television series. His many contributions to Indigenous speculative fiction include the short story collection Take Us to Your Chief and Other Stories (Douglas & McIntyre, 2016) and The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel, a teen novel about an Ojibway vampire (Annick Press, 2007). You can find out more at drewhaydentaylor.com.


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