Interview: with Kel. E Fox
Kel E. Fox ran an apothecary in a past life, was a stage technician before she finally embraced writing in this life and hopes to be a wizard in the next. She writes an eclectic mix of fantasy, science fantasy and poetry. Her poem Butterflies and Thunderbirds appears in Breach #11. Find out more at kelefox.com
Hi Kel, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a reader and writer of fantasy and science fantasy, with short works published and a novel coming soon (hopefully 2020). I live in Western Australia with my partner, where we exist by the grace of two crazy cats and a moody teenage Alaskan Malamute.
Do you have any particular writing rituals you are comfortable sharing?
Apart from wine and chocolate? Power walking is probably my most regularly-used tool – a good brisk walk will unlock a lot of ideas and scenes for me.
Are there any horror/fantasy/sci-fi tropes or sub genres which you feel are played out? And vice versa, what tropes would you like to see more of?
I think it’s usually worth reimagining tropes or sub-genres to see what new angle can be found. I suppose I am a bit sick of the strong, independent woman because that shouldn’t have to be a thing. Being ‘strong and independent’ is not the essence of a personality, it doesn’t preclude vulnerability, love, sensitivity … and it shouldn’t be something that is inherent in male characters but must be established in females. I think more nuance is starting to appear though, probably thanks to the trope.
What books are beside your bed right now?
Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb, A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin, Iron by Aiki Flinthart, Fake Geek Girl by Tansy Rayner Roberts (okay, those last two are on Kindle, but still in my about-to-read list), The Science Delusion by Rupert Sheldrake and The Golden Age by Joan London.
Published or unpublished, what's the hardest scene you've written?
At some point in my unfinished novel, my 18-year-old protagonist has to have some sort of intimate relations with her roughly-1000-year-old alien god boyfriend. He believes she’s his universal destiny. She’s not sure if she even wants a boyfriend, but their kiss was electric and now they’ve got to either get over it or take it to the next base. It’s proving to be awkward.
What are your thoughts on indie publishing in Australia?
I’m pretty new to the scene, but I’ve met some wonderful people already and am excited to be part of the indie publishing community as I prepare to launch my debut novel. I am assuming it’s tough, though.
To what degree do you feel everything has already been written, in some form or another? Have you ever started writing a story, only to discover someone has already written it?
I often find that I explain something I’m working on and the person I’m talking to says, “oh, you must have read this book about (something vaguely similar in concept)!” And almost always I’ve never heard of it. There’s a theory that innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum and in many cases of breakthroughs in science or development, the idea has occurred simultaneously (roughly) to multiple people across the globe who are not in communication with each other at all. I suspect writing might be similar, and that’s kind of cool – a subconscious collaboration working away on a concept. We’re all stealing ideas across space and time. Everyone still has their own unique voice and the development of that is, to me, what makes a story worthwhile.