I was honored to interview Madolyn Locke. She’s an artist, poet, editor, playwrite and author. And it was a facinating conversation.
What books have you read so many times that you wore out a copy?
Too many to name! LoL The first was probably Ballet Shoes (Noel Streatfeild), but a couple
others would be: Shakespeare’s collected works & I Will Fear No Evil (Robert A. Heinlein)
What author inspires you the most?
Anyone who can create a world that pulls me in, characters that I care about, and a story that keeps my attention.
What was the first book that you remember reading and realizing that your own work was way better?
You know, I really don’t remember. I know it’s happened, because everyone thinks their work is great (when they’re not telling themselves it’s drivel!) but I can’t pin down a ‘when’ specifically.
Stephen King talks about writing for just one person, a constant reader. For him, that’s his wife, Tabitha. Do you have that sort of constant reader in mind when you’re writing?
Not a specific reader, no. I write stories that I would like… I guess I just believe there are readers out there who agree with me.
What made you want to start publishing anthologies?
I’ve always loved a good anthology. ‘Back in the day’ they were everywhere. The Confederacy of the Quill was born out of a desire to create an artists’ cooperative where everyone pooled their creative talents – the anthology just seemed like a natural result of that cooperation.
What’s your biggest pet peeve when editing stories for the anthology every year?
LoL! Thankfully it doesn’t happen often, but it really bugs me when writers don’t do a good, SOLID, initial proof of their own work. As an editor, I should be able to focus on content, not the minutia of spelling, punctuation, & sentence structure. Some of the best writers are guilty of not proofing well!
What inspires you to come up with the themes every year?
G. Russell and I take about a day to breathe after the SylverMoon Chronicles anthology launches every year, and then we turn toward the next one. The first thing we do every year is decide on the theme. It’s usually a rapid-fire back & forth conversation where we throw ideas at each other until ‘the one’ sticks & we go “Yeah! That’s it!”
Tell us about your own novels.
I only have two, actually, and neither is very long. Of course, my perception of what’s ‘long’ may
be a bit skewed because I’m used to editing VERY long (and very good!) novels from a
couple of my writers. But I have ‘One Real Summer’ which is a young adult, ‘finding yourself’, summer-read book. The other is ‘Silent Love’, a pseudo-historical (depending on if you believe in Camelot or not) fantasy romance… that one gets a bit spicy – definitely not for the ‘under-age’ set.
So, you actually write screenplays and novels. How different is the process for writing screenplays?
Extremely different! I actually find screenplays much easier. With a screenplay, it’s 100% about dialogue. You don’t have to describe the scenery, the history, the ambiance… you don’t have to bring your audience into the world – that’s ultimately the job of the director, location scout, and production designer. You can just focus on your characters & what they want to say to each other.
You also write poetry. Is there a particular poet who speaks to you?
E. E. Cummings. I always had an appreciation for poetry, but when I first read Cummings it was like a whole world of possibility opened up. These poems didn’t rhyme. They didn’t have a particular cadence. They were hugely open to interpretation both in meaning and how they were presented. I actually used Cummings in Poetry Interpretation competitions in high school. I was the only one who ever did – at least at the events I went to.
Most authors find that they have to write in a lot of places, but have a place they write best. Where do you feel that you write best?
No place in particular, really. Whatever I’m working on I generally do on my tablet, sitting on my sofa, covered in cats.
What does your writing routine usually look like?
Can you think of a modern author who doesn’t get enough attention?
Absolutely. My best friend & creative partner – G. Russell Gaynor. The worlds he creates are AMAZING and more people need to recognize that. Also, Jean Brashear wrote a wonderful book called ‘The Goddess of Fried Okra’, and I never heard a splash for it like it deserved.
Do you have anything coming out soon?
Just SylverMoon Chronicles: Volume VIII! (And the bonus-book, CyberMoon 2020)
Finally, if you hadn’t become an author, what would you be doing?
To be honest, I’m not really sure how to answer this because I don’t consider myself an author ‘first’… more like an author ‘also’. My first focus (outside of my day job) is my art. I’m a fine-art photographer & digital artist working under the studio name of ‘SylverLight’. So – I suppose that’s what I ‘would’ be doing… since I already am.