UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Michael Harris Cohen

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The launch of the UnCommon Bodies anthology, edited by Pavarti K. Tyler, is fast approaching. Today I’m talking to another of the UnCommon Bodies author, this time Michael Harris Cohen about the opening story in the anthology – We is We.   What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project? I’m always drawn to freakish and twisted characters, though usually my characters are more psychological freaks than physical ones.  So I was stoked right off by an anthology whose notice was “Give us your freaks, your sideshow acts, your mutations,” like some tilted version of Lady Liberty’s inscription. The other attraction was that it was the end of my break and my classes were starting soon (the death knell for any serious writing) and I was unsatisfied with the work I’d done over the summer. I’m mired in a messy but endlessly fascinating (at least for me) novel draft that’s probably a year or more away from something that satisfies my inner critic. Anyway, I felt creatively constipated and wanted to write something to the end before the start of the semester.  An attraction to freaks and a desire for closure, that’s the short answer for what drew me in. What was the hardest … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Sessha Batto

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Pavarti K Tyler’s anthology, UnCommon Bodies , launches on Tuesday  (but it’s available for pre-order on Amazon right now) and to celebrate I’m running a series of interviews with the authors from the book. Next up is Sessha Batto, talking about Made for This. What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project? I love the idea of imperfect people, they are the core of what I write. Everyone is attracted to external beauty and perfection, I like to peek inside and see the inner unique beauty of each individual. No matter how odd or quirky, everyone has something we can be attracted to. What’s the setting for your story? My story could be set anywhere, really. It is mostly an internal journey of transformation, the thought processes of the purposefully unnamed character. Purposefully unnamed because he could be anyone – me, you, a stranger we pass on the street. What was the hardest thing about writing the story? Or was it just a walk in the park? 🙂 No story is a walk in the park. The hardest thing is to make the abstract concrete. To set out an internal journey in language that is accessible to everyone, to make it so any individual … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Christopher Godsoe

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Pavarti K Tyler’s anthology, UnCommon Bodies , launches on Tuesday  (but it’s available for pre-order on Amazon right now) and to celebrate I’m running a series of interviews with the authors from the book. Today I’m talking to Christopher Godsoe, author of The Zealot. What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project? I’m a huge fan of short story collections in general, having read several from authors like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, and I’ve long been a fan of the Future Chronicles anthologies by Samuel Peralta (featuring contributions from several of my favorite authors). Also, Karl Schroeder’s stories in the MetaTropolis audiobook series have heavily influenced my writing. I’ve always wanted to contribute stories to anthologies like UnCommon Bodies, so when Pavarti posted that she had begun accepting submissions, I immediately committed to writing something to send in. Tell us about your lead character, what makes them UnCommon? The main character in The Zealot is named Dru, and she is the new partner of Tobin Maldovan, the antagonist in my science fiction novel pre://d.o.mai.n. Dru and Tobin are both FBI Agents, with Tobin having transferred across the country following the events in pre://d.o.mai.n. I don’t believe in good vs. evil, I believe … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Bey Deckard

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My series of interviews with the authors appearing in the Uncommon Bodies anthology continues. This time I’m talking to fellow Canadian, Bey Deckard about Don’t Touch Me. But before we get to that, UnCommon Bodies is now available for pre-order on Amazon. I’ve read the entire anthology and I enjoyed all the stories. It’s themed around the title, not genre, so there’s a real mix of fiction – everything from science fiction to magical realism to erotica – so even if one isn’t your particular cup of tea/glass of wine/bottle of beer, the next one will be very different. Well worth a look and a good way to reach outside of your reading comfort zone. And if you’d like to hang out and chat with the authors from the anthology, and maybe win some prizes, we’re having a Facebook launch party on Tuesday. Tell us about your lead character, what makes them UnCommon? Beau’s just an ex military guy who fights for a living because he thinks it’s all he’s good for. He wins almost all of his fights due to a severe touch disorder—all human contact causes him extreme terror, and in a fight he uses the resulting “hysterical strength” to destroy his opponent. In Beau’s own … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Vasil Tuchkov

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Welcome back for another UnCommon Bodies interview. Today Vasil Tuchkov is here to talk about his mysterious tale, In Her Image. What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project?  A fellow writer showed me the UnCommon Bodies project, as he thought my work might be a good fit for it. He was right, as I like to think of myself as an “enemy of symmetry”, and a fan of the odd and quirky (which inevitably seems to sneak into my work even when I’m going for a straightforward narrative). The prompt’s cover was cool, and the part about the “misfits” caught me. My thoughts were that I had just the animal for this gathering of weird ones, and as it turned out, it was well accepted. What are you most proud of about the story? What I like about In Her Image is the attempt to put into words a thing that is beyond a description; an ephemeral moment reached (and lost) by a craftsman in the pursuit of mastery. Immune to the strive for perfection, an unexpected brink of brilliance that cannot be contained. Naturally, I failed, as by definition, it is impossible to pin down the “thing”. What was the hardest thing about … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Samantha Warren

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Time for another UnCommon Bodies interview, this time with Samantha Warren about her mermaid ninja story, Saltwater Assassin. What’s your favourite part of being involved in the UnCommon Bodies project? It gave me the chance to write the mermaid ninja story I had rolling around in my head but no place to put. What do you hope readers will take away from the story? I hope people realize that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. You can change your life. You don’t have to be stuck. Are there any authors that influenced your story or your writing in general? I’m definitely influenced in general by JK Rowling and Jonathan Maberry. I also like weird, quirky stories. What are you most proud of about the story? I thought I was going to kill her off, but I managed to save the end without having to do that, giving her a chance to redeem herself. Any plans to revisit the world of your story? Not at the moment, but anything’s possible. Once readers have read your story, which of your books/stories should they read next? All of them! If you like short stories, I recommend the Vampire Assassin series. About Samantha Warren … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Bob Williams

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A new anthology, UnCommon Bodies, containing my story, Phantom Pain, comes out on November 24th and to celebrate I’ve lined up interviews with a lot of the authors from the book. Today, I’m talking to Bob Williams, author of Ruby. What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project? I was about half-way through my story for the upcoming “Shape Shifter” Chronicles and I’d hit a snag. I had just chosen the day before to put it down for a couple of weeks when Aletia Meyers (a friend to the Indie publishing scene) alerted me to Pavarti’s UnCommon Bodies Anthology. Oddly enough I knocked out this story in about a week. Maybe I found my genre. What’s the setting for your story? The setting for my story “Ruby,” is 1936 Ransom, Oklahoma. A fictional hard luck town barely surviving after the devastating “Dust Bowl” storm from the year before. Most of the townsfolk left after the storms and the few that are left feel hopeless and have given up. In to town comes a traveling freak show: Melvin Mitchell Presents: Ruby and Her Amazing Freak Show Friends. An odd assortment of freakish characters with a genuine appearing barker in Melvin Mitchell. However all is in … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Keira Michelle Telford

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For my third UnCommon Bodies interview, I’m talking to Keira Michelle Telford about her dark erotic story, All the Devils. What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project? There aren’t many projects that welcome the particular uncommon body I like to write about! When I saw the call for submissions for UnCommon Bodies, I nearly peed myself with excitement. Usually I’m too weird for people. But in UnCommon Bodies, I fit right in! 🙂 Tell us about your lead character, what makes them UnCommon? My lead character is a futa woman, which means she has a fully functioning penis in addition to her vagina. What inspired you to write All the Devils? Futanari fascinates me. I think there’s a lot of potential in the subject matter, and I believe I’m writing it in a unique way. I don’t know of any other authors who are truly incorporating it into lesbian romance and erotica in an authentically lesbian-oriented way, and this is something I’ve always wanted to explore. What are you most proud of about the story? The futanari genre (if one can call it a genre all unto itself) is saturated with bad erotica. Futa women are usually written as a … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Robb Grindstaff

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For the second of my UnCommon Bodies interviews, I’m joined by Robb Grindstaff. His story, Rudy and Deidre, is described as “A shorter than average man admires a taller than average woman from afar.”   What’s your favourite part of being involved in the UnCommon Bodies project? I’ve been able to participate along with some writers I’ve known for quite a while and have a lot of respect for, along with some excellent writers I’d never met before. Writing is, by its nature, such a solitary endeavour, so it’s great on occasion to be a part of something a little bigger. Are there any authors that influenced your story or your writing in general? In general, a lot of writers over many years. To narrow down the main influences to perhaps the top three (and ask me again tomorrow, I might list a different three authors): 1. John Irving 2. F. Scott Fitzgerald 3. Ernest Hemingway 4. Edgar Allan Poe (yeah, that’s four, I know) What music should readers listen to when they read your story? None. Read with no distractions. After reading, listen to some melt-your-heart blues and set-your-hair-on-fire guitar. Think Stevie Ray Vaughan and Samantha Fish. How will … Read More

UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Laxmi Hariharan

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UnCommon Bodies, a new short story anthology edited by Pavarti K Tyler will be released on November 24. My short story, Phantom Pain, is featured in the book alongside some great authors. I’m working my way through the book at the moment and so far, every story has been a winner. It’s been a while since I posted any interviews on the site so I got in touch with the other UnCommon Bodies authors and put together a series of Q&As that all be posting here in the run up to the release of the book. First up is Laxmi Hariharan, whose story, UnTamed, is a coming of age tale with a twist. What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project? I actually saw a call for entries from Pavarti Taylor, specifically she was looking for a wolf girl story and something clicked there for me. Tell us about your lead character, what makes them UnCommon? Wolf girl Leana Iyeroy, the first hybrid in her family, only ever wanted to be 100% human. When she inherits her grandmother’s ancient sword, she decides take it back to Bombay; to the temple where her grandma had touched the sword to the altar and set off a … Read More