Wednesday, February 23, 2011
GUEST BLOGGER: Sophie Littlefield
INTRODUCTION: Please welcome author Sophie Littlefield, who has kindly agreed to be the first ever guest blogger to visit In one eye, out the other... I have been a fan of Sophie's work for a while now, and I'm kind of amazed by her range as a cross-genre novelist. I was introduced to her via her Stella Hardesty mystery series, the first two of which I've reviewed here and here. Next, Sophie published a young adult fantasy novel, Banished. Now, she's released an honest to goodness zombie apocalypse! Aftertime is garnering rave reviews from Publishers Weekly to readers on Amazon. My review may be seen here.
Now here's Sophie...
I wish I could say that I have a favorite little coffee shop down in the Mission district, where life in all its variety teems around me; where the homeless rub shoulders with the hipsters and the smells of Korean barbecue and baking artisan bread mingle with the odors of garbage and sweat; where folks duck in for shelter from the fog and drizzle, or to read their newspapers in dozens of languages or to write their memoirs; where a long day at the keyboard can be rewarded with a cocktail in an edgy bar or a walk in the mission gardens.
That’s about as exotic as I get. But in a strange sort of way, I think that the blandness of the suburbs – not to be too hard on my zip code but it does smack of comfortable predictability, of sameness, of conformity – lends itself to giant leaps of the imagination. There’s little in the way of competing stimuli, for instance. A Starbucks is a Starbucks is a Starbucks – whether the shelves of attractively arranged mugs and the subway-tile backsplash is positioned here or over there – and one cell phone toting suburban telecommuter isn’t, I’m afraid to say, all that different from another. (I am aware of the hypocrisy of that statement and accept that the proper response is probably “but wait – isn’t one bottle-blond middle-aged Volvo-driving wedge-heel-wearing zombie author pretty much the same as the next?”)
When there’s not a whole lot going on in one’s environment, one’s mind goes more easily into that vortex of creation where stories are born. My eyes glaze over with visions of teeth tearing flesh, for instance, or desperate coupling in ravaged and abandoned streets, or even mothers reunited with children they’d given up for lost. All the attendant emotions, the sensory details, are so immediate when there are no distractions. (It’s a little disorienting to put the finishing touches on a dismemberment scene only to have a nice older lady in a velour track suit ask if I’m using the extra chair, and I’ve missed more than a few high school pickups and dentist appointments because I lost track of time – but anything for the demoness muse, I always say. She giveth and she rendereth stupid.)
Now I’m not saying that every 40-something woman needs the threat of zombies to come into her authentic self…sometimes, becoming an author at the age of 45 is all it takes.