Luisa Perkins on her novel Dispirited

Luisa Perkins discusses her new novel Dispirited, which was recently published by Zarahemla Books

Luisa Perkins new novel Dispirited was recently published by Zarahemla Books. It’s a work of supernatural fiction or maybe “contemporary dark fantasy” (that a term Luisa uses on her about page). You can read more about Luisa and her work on her author website Kashkawan.

She is also a frequent commenter here at AMV and other Mormon blogs and an active Twitter user. When I heard about the publication of Dispirited, I had a few questions for her…

The synopsis for Dispirited on the Zarahemla Books website is a bit on the vague side. Could you tell us more about what the novel is about?

A boy named Blake teaches himself how to get out of his body in order to go looking for the spirit of his dead mother. One night when he comes home, he finds that another being has taken over his body in his absence. For years, he watches an impostor live his life. Then his father remarries, and Blake hopes to get help from his new stepsister, Cathy, who has some unusual gifts. Continue reading “Luisa Perkins on her novel Dispirited”

Karen Kelsay’s Light Touch: An Interview

Poet Karen Kelsay has been on my radar since Th. pointed me her direction eighteen months or so ago in conjunction with my work on Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets. She’s got an exquisite voice and her lyric is grounded in both its formal features and content that centers on making connections among individuals, generations, nature, memories.

But I’m getting ahead of myself—I’ll save my review of Karen’s work for a day in the not-so-distant future. Today it’s time for a little Q & A with Karen, Pushcart-nominated poet, journal editor extraordinaire, and virtual friend. She has been the featured poet in The New Formalist and Unfettered Verse: A Journal of Poetry, has made frequent appearances at Wilderness Interface Zone, and has two collections of poetry that occasion this interview: Dove on a Church Bench, which was released in April by Punkin Books, and Lavender Song, which will be released later this month by Fortunate Childe Press.

What follows is the result of a back-and-forth Karen and I shared via email over the past month or so. I want to thank her especially for humoring my string of follow-up questions! Continue reading “Karen Kelsay’s Light Touch: An Interview”

Elna Baker: A Serious Interview

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So your whole book is based on the structure of kissing, how did you decide to do that?

It’s funny because the sort of themes or structures that are pointed out to me usually they’re a surprise, like oh I did do that! So I think that I noticed that there were so many stories about kissing and so I just started calling them Take One, Take Two, Take Three and then there were the stories that ended up being about kissing too so we just called them Take Eight, Take Nine and then I found an in an old journal this map of Manhattan that mapped out the different places and I thought it was so funny that I made a copy of it and redrew it for the book. Its something I did when I was 22 but it sort of reflects the 15-year-old behavior and so then I didn’t fill it out when I got older but in the book I just extended the map and filled in all the other people I kissed.

So that raises a couple interesting questions. Before you took the book to the editor—as opposed to how it looks after the editing process—do you think the book is structurally the same now? Did little things like that make a big difference or was it just clarifying what was already there? Continue reading “Elna Baker: A Serious Interview”

Interview with John Brown, author of Servant of a Dark God

John Brown is yet another Mormon speculative fiction author success story. Servant of a Dark God was just published last week by Tor — the first in a trilogy by Brown that the science fiction and fantasy giant picked up. He lives in the NE corner of Utah with his wife and four daughters. More about John, including a rather entertaining bio, is available at his website JohnDBrown.com. John was kind enough to do an AMV Q&A even though he’s in the middle of a book tour.

Take us through a brief review of your writing career so far — how and why did you first begin writing speculative fiction and what led up to you signing a three-book deal with Tor?

It all started with Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. When I was a teen I loved the Rankin/Bass Christmas animation specials and I decided I wanted to be an animator and tell stories. I even saved up and bought a movie camera and the blueprints for an animation stand. But my camera got crunched in a conveyor belt at the Athens, Greece airport. And I just never moved forward with those plans. Heck, I was a teenager. Continue reading “Interview with John Brown, author of Servant of a Dark God”

This is What I Did: by Ann Dee Ellis (a review and interview)

“Imagine if you had witnessed something horrific. Imagine if it had happened to your friend. And imagine if you hadn’t done anything to help.”

The world of LDS literature is rife with can only be termed “issue novels”. Whether they are out to take on drug abuse, polygamy, suicide, racism, or even date rape, issue novels pick a socially difficult topic and discuss it. The aim of these novels seems to be to bring awareness to an issue and to help those dealing with it do so in a faithful manner. Some of these novels turn out distastefully didactic. Others, however, open our minds to new points of view and provide much needed catharsis. This is What I Did: by LDS novelist, Ann Dee Ellis, is one of the good ones. Continue reading “This is What I Did: by Ann Dee Ellis (a review and interview)”