Sunday, February 10, 2013

Q&A With A.M. Supinger

In the year since Elephant’s Bookshelf Press started publishing, A.M. Supinger has become its most prolific author. She had three stories published in Spring Fevers and two in The Fall. She says she’s hoping to finish a story for the upcoming summer anthology, but there’s another deadline in the offing that takes precedence – she and her husband are eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child. We wanted to ask her a few questions before she went into labor.

Elephant’s Bookshelf: The stories you’ve had published by Elephant’s Bookshelf Press have all included an element of fantasy. Do you consider yourself a fantasy writer primarily?

A.M. Supinger: Without a doubt. Other things tend to creep into my work—like horror, erotica, and small hints of mystery, depending on my mood and/or what I’ve been reading—but my passion is fantasy. I credit Anne McCaffrey and her beloved Pern. 

EB: The stories of yours that I’ve read also have tended to focus on birth and motherhood. I know you’re looking forward to the birth of your son. Has your perspective on motherhood changed as the reality of it approaches for you?

AMS: Strangely, most of my stories containing themes of motherhood and birth were written well before I got pregnant. In fact, ever since discovering I was expecting this baby, my tendency has been toward more macabre subjects. I blame pregnancy dreams—zombies all the way from conception to now, only days from my due date.

Since I know more about pregnancy and motherhood now, I can honestly say that my stories about the subject will never be the same. The experience has already changed me, and I’ve yet to actually meet my son.

EB: Do you think your approach to stories and characters will change as a result of becoming a mother?

AMS: That is one of my fears. I love writing, and yet I have an odd approach to getting my stories and characters out. It could be said that I have a bad case of “Writerly Bulimia.” Basically, I write to purge. Most of my inspiration is dream-based; my regular dreams are vivid and intense, my nightmares more so. Getting the stories out of my head is sometimes the only way for me to get a peaceful night’s rest. But with a newborn almost here…well, I worry that I won’t have time to sit and write out whatever the Sandman throws at me. If I ever again get enough sleep to dream, that is…

EB: If I recall correctly, the trio of stories in Spring Fevers were your first publications. How long have you considered yourself a writer, and what did it mean for you to be published finally?

AMS: I’ve only considered myself a writer for a short time, even though I’ve been writing consistently for about two years. I guess I didn’t think my stories were good enough to “make it,” especially since I’m still developing my voice. I’m very glad that I heard about Spring Fevers and decided to test myself, because getting accepted and published has given me so much confidence. As far as first experiences go, mine has been nothing but positive, and I’ve learned so much from everyone involved.
The feeling of validation that came with seeing my name in an anthology was overwhelming, and I still thank my lucky stars for the privilege!

EB: Any novels in the offing?

AMS: Two, actually. Both are YA Fantasy in different stages of completion. I’m working on editing one and writing the second half of the other. DESMONA CHILD follows the misfortunes of a hapless girl destined to sink Atlantis, and GOLDEN is the twisted fairytale I’ve yet to finish.

EB: Where did your fascination with owls come from?

AMS: Your guess is as good as mine! I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love owls. They are beautiful, majestic creatures, but are also true predators and masters of stealth. The combination of beauty and power is riveting.

EB: Well, that seems quite appropriate for you, then. (Well, maybe not the predator part.) Thanks so much for sharing with us, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for you.

AMS: Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to chat with me! I enjoyed your questions and can’t wait to see what Elephant’s Bookshelf Press comes out with next!