Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Author Interview: A.C. Wise

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Weightless Books interviews A.C. Wise, author of The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again and over one hundred published short stories.

the-ultra-fabulous-glitter-squadron-saves-the-world-again-coverQ: The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again is a tender presentation of the well-dressed personalities behind some really effective ass-kicking. The sexual orientation of the team members is on a wide spectrum. Why did you choose to tell the story with sexual identity at the forefront?

Wise: Part of it is the way the stories turned out, who the characters revealed themselves to be as they made it to the page. The other part is the idea that you should write the kind of stories you would want to read. Basically, I want to see stories that reflect the best parts of the world as it is, and that includes the whole spectrum of gender, sexuality, race, background, and so on. There’s a tendency in a lot of mainstream media to focus on a very narrow part of that spectrum as if it represents the entirety of human experience. There are so many stories out there, and I did my best to tell a few of them.

Q: In a fight against giant squids from outer space, who from the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron would lead the charge?

Wise: Well, the fight would definitely have to be a team effort, but Bunny would lead the charge. She is the team leader after all, and she does have experience fighting tentacled beasts, though of the underwater variety. The basic idea is the same though, right? Dodge the tentacles and aim for the squishy bits.

Q: You’ve published over 100 short stories since 2004. What’s changed about your writing or your interests since you started writing?

Wise: Hopefully my writing has improved since I started off in 2004. I look back on my older stuff, and some of it makes me cringe. Some, I still think is okay. I tend to notice the things that have stayed the same more than what’s changed – it’s hard to see that kind of thing from the inside. But there are certain themes that recur throughout my work over the years. Birds tend to turn up a lot, as do foxes, witches, tattoos, and water. Just at my publication history with Shimmer, four of the five stories feature water in a very prominent role.

Q: How did your Cthulhu mythos story, “Chasing Sunset,” come to be included in editor Ellen Datlow’s recently-published collection The Monstrous?

Wise: “Chasing Sunset” was originally written for Whispers from the Abyss, a Lovecraftian anthology from 01 Publishing. In writing the story, I wanted to play with different kinds of monsters, human versus inhuman, and I liked the idea of two horrific mythologies battling it out to see who is the biggest bad of the big bads. When Ellen put out a call to authors she’d previously worked with asking for reprint stories that weren’t the typical depiction of monsters, but were still monstrous, I sent it off hoping it would be a good fit. Luckily, it was!

Q: How does reading affect your writing?

Wise: Bits of inspiration are constantly creeping in from the things I read. A stray bit of imagery here, a throw-away line there. Sometimes they spark an immediate idea I can twist around into something new, and sometimes they linger for months or years until I unexpectedly find them in the middle of something I’m writing. In a more direct way, fairy tales and Lovecraftian fiction have provided inspiration for several re-tellings and tales that play with the mythos.

Q: What are you working on now?

ACWPortraitWeb_320Wise: I’ve always got a handful of stories on the go in various stages of completion – writing, editing, or just floating around in my head as ideas. (There may be some more Glitter Squadron stories in that last category.) On the editorial side, at Unlikely Story, we’re getting ready to release our first print anthology. Up until now, we’ve been online only. Now we’re dipping a toe into the print world with an anthology of flash fiction about clowns in all their various forms titled Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia remix. We were lucky enough to get some really wonderful stories from some fantastic authors, and we can’t wait to share them with the world!

A.C. Wise’s fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, Apex, and The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2015, among other places. Her debut collection, The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again was published by Lethe Press in 2015 and is available DRM-free on Weightless Books. In addition to her fiction, she co-edits Unlikely Story, and contributes a monthly Women to Read column to SF Signal. Find her online at www.acwise.net.

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