HEIDI'S PICK SIX - Tobias Buckell

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketTobias Buckell


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
Good question. I just finished up Karl Schroeder's Sun of Suns and enjoyed it immensely, and I am wrapping up The Android's Dream by John Scalzi, which was a lot of fun as well. Next on the bookshelf is another Phillip Reeves Hungry City Chronicles book.

6. Pop culture or academia?
Pop culture. Without a doubt. I wanted to write some negative things about academics then realized I was an instructor at Seton Hill's Writing Popular Fiction program and hit myself, because I guess I am tainted with a little bit of academia. I'm the man, man.

Frankly pop culture is what, after enough time passes, turns into the stuff that academia studies. Why not love the original source? I'm down with it. I want to be on the ground floor where the action is.

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?

9. Food you could eat everyday.
Emily, my wife, makes this homemade mac&cheese that is literally to die for. I could eat that any day and all day. After that, anything with strawberries.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
I liked weightlifting until a year ago when I tore a shoulder. I used to like soccer and basketball, but the weird thing about the US is that when people get out of school they stop playing sports and get to work on being out of shape as quickly as possible. I find it frustrating, I would mind playing in an adult league of some sort, there isn't much out where I am. I've started playing Wii Nintendo sports, boxing, with two pound wrist weights, it's a great workout and lots of fun. I'm using light weights to slowly get back into the game.

For years I've wanted to learn a martial art. But some people who do it struck me as showy and useless (yeah baby, I'm a black belt, can I buy you a drink?). My sister was belted at some high level in some art, and she was in a bar fight. I was excited to ask a question that had been on my mind. "Did you use any moves on them?" She told me she didn't, once you have a bottle hit you upside the head you don't have time to remember series of moves. I know, I know, the martial arts are more to train you to clear your mind and achieve a discipline, but I can do that sitting on a mat near a waterfountain for a lot cheaper. If I'm going to workout and condition and pay loads of money in a class I want to be able to at least know how to quickly disable a mugger, right?

So Muay Thai or Brazilian Ju-Jitsu seem to fare well in Ultimate Fighter Championships, they look fairly brutal, but I live in the middle of nowhere and won't be training in either anytime soon. Maybe Wii Karate will come out at some point? I can hope.

11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
A bit of both. If I don't outline some I lose complete track of what I was doing and spin out. I'm easily distractible and have no memory, if I don't write something down I end Frankenstening the story so bad the stitches can't hold, and I also do it with all the wrong pieces. Flippers don't belong where the ears are, no matter how frikkin cool they are. A map helps. But I love playing around withinthe rough outline as much as I can.

I find each writer has to figure out what works best for them and roll with it.

13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
I watch some anime and Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. I swear I'm about ready to start watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force just out of solidarity. Recently I caught Afro Samurai. Have you seen this? It's got everything I love. A cartoon with a samurai with Samuel L. freaking Jackson doing voice overs. I died and went to heaven. And the dude's got a rockin' afro. It's got attitude and spirit, I love it.

Tobias S. Buckell is a Caribbean-born speculative fiction writer who grew up in Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has published stories in various magazines and anthologies. He is a Clarion graduate, Writers of The Future winner, and Campbell Award for Best New SF Writer Finalist. He now mentors in Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program.

His first novel Crystal Rain was nominated for a LOCUS Award and will be coming out in paperback this month.
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The follow up novel Ragamuffin will be out soon.


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