Miniview – Alexandra Seidel

This week’s mini-interview comes from Alexandra Seidel, author of the poetic folktale-style “Castle of Ashes” in the spring quarterly.

1. For those who haven’t read it yet, can you describe “The Castle of Ashes” in one sentence?
Well, “The Castle of Ashes” is a bit like a story in a story–think one of these Russian nesting dolls–with elements of fantasy and folktale, along with something wicked, something demon-like, and something bloody (and it wants to be read, right now!).

2. Yes, I think you’re right, it clearly does. This is a pretty fairy tale that doesn’t pull its punches, and the voice is gorgeous. What inspired you to write it in this lyrical style?
That would be Calliope, Muse of Poetry! You see, I first came into contact with the genre of the fantastic through spec(ulative) poetry. (I have always been an avid reader of course, but that’s a given.) Spec poetry–and poetry in general–is a wonderful tool to sharpen a writer’s instinct for language, structure, and style. And good poetry can do in a few lines what a story does in a few thousand words. Mind you, I am not saying one is better than the other, but I am saying that diversity is a thing to embrace, both in what you read and write. But going for the straight answer, nothing in particular inspired me to write like this, it’s all just me, my verse-shaped voice.

3. What an excellent way to put it — as usual. So, can you tell us a little about your recent big news…?
Oooh, I could spend hours talking about that, like a wide-eyed girl in a toy store! But I will try to be brief. As has recently been announced, Morrigan Press is to publish my collection All Our Dark Lovers on Valentine’s Day 2013. In this little book (or “The Book,” as I refer to it), the reader will find stories and poems of dark and bitter places, there are pagan gods, wolves (and girls dressed all in red), lovers, and those who want love so much it cuts into them like knives (also, actual knives). It occurs to me that I have not yet done a body count. I shall leave that to the readers.

Haha, can’t wait to count the poetry bodies, Alexa. Thanks for stopping in, and for the beautiful story.

2 Comments

Filed under Interviews

2 responses to “Miniview – Alexandra Seidel

  1. “Castle of Ashes” was my favourite story in this issue – deep and touching, and, incidentally, it gave me a big boost during some rather sad real-life occurences. Thanks, Alexandra, for writing it and RPP for featuring it :)

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