An Interview with the Authors of the Noir Urban Fantasy Anthology STREETS OF SHADOWS
Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon, co-editors of the Bram Stoker and Black Quill nominated Dark Faith anthology series, are turning to Kickstarter to fund their latest partnership, Streets of Shadows. The new anthology promises to blend the best of crime and urban fantasy.
Maurice and Jerry sat down with contributors Kevin J. Anderson, Seanan McGuire, Brandon Massey, Kristine Kathryn Rush, and (not surprisingly) themselves to talk about blurring genre lines and getting away with murder. You can support their Kickstarter by clicking here.
Q: What attracts you to the idea of writing a story that mixes crime and urban fantasy?
Kristine Katheryn Rusch: I tend to mix crime with everything—romance, sf, fantasy. I particularly love urban fantasy noir. When Jim Butcher crosses into that territory, I enjoy those books of his the most. And I love writing it. So this appeals to me greatly.
Brandon Massey: I think it’s the juxtaposition of genres that interests me. It presents a fascinating challenge, especially since I usually write supernatural horror. I don’t even know what I’m going to write yet…but I’ve got a few ideas bubbling.
Seanan McGuire: I will write basically anything. I mean, I honestly try to dodge this question whenever it’s asked, because what attracts me to writing anything is just that: writing. I get to write things. That is what I get to do. Why should I go looking for reasons? I have the best job in the world.
Kevin J. Anderson: I love classic movie monsters. I love my character of Dan Shamble, Zombie PI…a detective who was killed but is so dedicated to his job that when he comes back from the dead he just gets back on the case. So the whole concept pulls together my love for monsters, a crime/noir mystery series, and adds humor.
Jerry Gordon: Crime and Urban Fantasy let you dip a toe into dangerous, exciting, and sometimes deadly worlds that are just outside most of our experiences. What’s not to love about that? Also, I’m a big believer in blurring genres. The result is often greater than the sum of parts.
Maurice Broaddus: My entire series, the Knights of Breton Court betrays my love of mashing up these two genres. I see both genres as extremely versatile, being able to tell all manner of stories that defy easy categorization, and still speak to the truth of the human condition.
Q: If you knew you could get away with it, what would your dream crime be?
Brandon Massey: Robbing a high end Las Vegas casino, a la Ocean’s Eleven. If I’m going to go down for a crime it better be for an obscene amount of money.
Seanan McGuire: Not telling for reasons of maybe someday I’ll actually be looking to get away with it.
Kristine Katheryn Rusch: I suspect I’d castrate a few pedophiles…
Jerry Gordon: I’d be a white-collar Robin Hood, engineering a ridiculously complex scheme to empty the bank accounts of the wealthiest one percent.
Maurice Broaddus: It sounds like I’d be part of Jerry’s Leverage team. If I haven’t already run a complicated pyramid scheme to become the kind of corporate super-villain he’d have to take down.
Q: Old school noir (Maltese Falcon) or modern noir (Memento)?
Seanan McGuire: Definitely modern noir. Oh, I love me some modern noir.
Kevin J. Anderson: Old school. My detective is hard-boiled, which is so full of clichés, and so much easier to spoof.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Oh, your examples prejudice me. Because I edited for so many years, I knew exactly what happened in Memento from the very start. So let’s ignore those. I love it when someone does something modern with noir. I pick up those books immediately. (As for the movies, duh. Maltese Falcon.)
Jerry Gordon: I lean more toward modern noir, but do something cool and you have my attention.
Maurice Broaddus: Why choose? From Double Indemnity to L.A. Confidential to Pulp Fiction to Snatch, I love them both. I’m a little bit country and a little bit hip hop.
Q: If you could give yourself a magical ability or superpower, what would it be?
Kevin J. Anderson: To be in multiple places at once, because I have so much to see and do, and not enough time.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The ability to make 24 hours 100 hours without aging. That said, I kinda feel like I have a superpower. I can imagine anything I want…
Brandon Massey: I’d love to be able to occupy multiple places simultaneously. Since I’m typically pulled into a hundred different directions on a daily basis, this would be a most useful power to acquire.
Seanan McGuire: Teleportation, automatically corrected for the movement of the Earth (so none of this shooting off into space and being lost forever business). I would never leave Disney World again.
Jerry Gordon: I’d say flying, but I think immortality is the smarter choice. Hang out long enough and they’ll invent every superpower you desire.
Maurice Broaddus: I’m torn. On the one hand, I think Reed Richards has the most underestimated superpower: a genius who stretches. Or to have telepathic/telekinetic powers. Or, immortality with regenerative powers so I can be eternal, young, and quick healing. No, I haven’t thought about this too much.
Q: What writer is currently inspiring your work?
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Great question. I’m greatly enjoying the Scottish noir writers. Just finished the latest Ian Rankin. Love his work.
Seanan McGuire: All of them.
Kevin J. Anderson: Deadlines inspire my work! Who has time to read???
Jerry Gordon: Geoffrey Girard just put out a cool new thriller, Project Cain. The book mixes cloning, conspiracy theories, and serial killers.
Maurice Broaddus: I have a bunch of books I’m reading at the same time, depending on my mood. Michael Chabon (Telegraph Avenue), Amelia Gray (The Museum of the Weird), Junot Diaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), and Frank Bill (Donnybrook). Yeah, I have no idea why I might like editing a crime and urban fantasy anthology.
Kevin J. Anderson has published more than eighty novels, including twenty-nine national bestsellers. He has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the SFX Reader’s Choice Award. His critically acclaimed original novels include Captain Nemo, Hopscotch, and Hidden Empire. He has also collaborated on numerous series novels, including Star Wars, The X-Files, and Dune. In his spare time, he also writes comic books. He lives in Wisconsin. Visit www.kevinjanderson.com for more.
Seanan McGuire was awarded the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer by the 2010 World Science Fiction Convention, largely because of her urban fantasy/detective story Rosemary and Rue and has published a number of other novels since then also featuring October Daye. Writing under the pseudonym Mira Grant, she published the political thriller/zombie trilogy Newsflesh including the books Feed, Deadline and Blackout. Blackout received a 2013 Hugo Award nomination for Best Novel. That year McGuire received a record five Hugo nominations in total, two for works as Grant and the other three under her own name. Find out more at www.seananmcguire.com.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2001 for her story “Millennium Babies” and the 2003 Endeavour Award for The Disappeared. Her story “Recovering Apollo 8″ was a finalist for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History in 2008. She edited The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for six years, from mid-1991 through mid-1997, winning one Hugo Award as Best Professional Editor. Visit her site at www.kriswrites.com.
Jerry Gordon is the Bram Stoker nominated co-editor of the Dark Faith and Last Rites anthologies. His fiction has appeared in Apex Magazine, Shroud, and The Midnight Diner. You can find him blurring genre lines at www.jerrygordon.net and saying inappropriate things on Twitter as @jerrylgordon.
Maurice Broaddus has written hundreds of short stories, essays, novellas, and articles. His dark fiction has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, and web sites, including Asimov’s SF, Cemetery Dance, Apex Magazine, Black Static, and Weird Tales Magazine. He is the co-editor of the Dark Faith anthology series (Apex Books) and the author of the urban fantasy trilogy, Knights of Breton Court (Angry Robot Books). He has been a teaching artist for over five years, teaching creative writing to elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as adults. Visit his site at www.MauriceBroaddus.com.
Filed under: Interviews
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