As many of you probably know, I’ve worked with a number of writers over the years. I was involved in successful (and not so successful) collaborative projects… and one that was particularly close to my heart was the anthology Women of the Apocalypse.
Why was it close to my heart? Because it was the first project that I ever pitched. (Didn’t do it alone, but still, I was involved!) And then it was accepted (!), and we had an absolutely awesome celebration/launch. And then, we hit the road. We managed to get that book into bookstores all over Edmonton. Not just Edmonton, but Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto. (Close to cross Canada!) And then–it won some awards! (2 Auroras, as a matter of fact!) And I got to meet (and be interviewed by) the other, more famous Eileen Bell. All heady stuff.
I’ve taken a step away from collaborative writing–but I thought it would be neat to find out what Roxanne Felix, Billie Milholland, and Ryan McFadden have been doing since Women.
So, here is the first. Roxanne Felix, who wrote “A Choice Among No Choices” for Women, telling us, in her own words, what’s she’s been doing since Women of the Apocalypse.
Roxanne Felix: I loved the Women of the Apocalypse project – everything about it was so focused. Focused writing time, focused marketing time, focused length (novella!).
All of my other projects since then have not been so focused.
When Eileen asked me to write about what I’ve been up to since the launch of Women of the Apocalypse, I realized that I had met and married my husband (we started dating two weeks before we launched our book at the San Jose World Con), changed jobs twice and changed residences twice.
And, in there, I actually still have been writing. But not as focused 🙂
To be honest, the publication and marketing of Women of the Apocalypse led to some realizations about the role of writing in my life. (I enjoy the writing but not anything else). It’s also led to some interesting insights and discussions about the publishing world and the perspective of women (both as authors and characters) in speculative fiction. (Eileen planned and participated in a fantastic panel on this topic last year in Edmonton).
And what have all those insights translated to practically? I have found myself writing more on my blog (www.roxannefelix.com) and in my professional work on diversity and inclusion. I managed and moderated a panel on the issue of race and speculative fiction in our own local Speculative Fiction conference one year (www.purespec.org) – which led to more questions than answers. But that’s ok.
I’ve had a lovely little short story published in World on a Maple Leaf (2011), a treasury of Canadian multicultural folktales. That little piece emerged from a whimsical pursuit I wrote for a Story Slam event in Edmonton. It always amazes me what creativity unfolds from pursuits that are “just for the heck of it” .
I also have been working on my labor of love – a novel started years ago and finally ready to be sent out. I was nervous – I had grown so much as a writer over the years, I didn’t know if a piece of work from my early days of a writer would make the cut. But I’ve had some interest from some publishers and it’s in the midst of being reviewed. For now, it’s reached and touched the hearts of my two nieces – and that’s good enough for me.
Oh yeah, and I learned how to grow vegetables. My new home came with a garden and I found another (less iterative) way to invest my time in creation. Carrots. Someone asked me how I had the patience to grow vegetables. Clearly, this individual had never written a novel 🙂
And am I allowed to say how thrilled I am that Eileen is launching her second novel???!!! Because that’s what I am – thrilled!