Friday, October 15, 2010

The interrogation of Karen Schindler.

Today I am delighted to welcome Karen Schindler (editor and writer) to our special interrogation time. Before you start pouring forth answers Karen - I am required by Occupational Health and Safety to run through an earthquake drill. In the event of an earthquake – Drop, cover, and hold. My desk is sturdy and I believe there is room underneath for two. One other thing… you are now on the bottom of the world – please use guide ropes provided.

 Cat: What’s your favorite type of takeaway? (Yes, that means take-out in NZ speak)
Karen: Thanks for starting me out with a softball question Cat. I’m still a little disoriented from being upside down like this. *hangs onto guide rope for dear life* My favorite take out would be Spaghetti and Meatballs from this little Italian mom and pop place nearby.
 Cat: Describe your current mental status.
Karen: Dazed and confused.
 Cat: How exhausting is it being the Queen of Flash Fiction?
Karen: That title actually belongs to Laura Eno, but she once  let me carry her train…. and sometimes on very special occasions she tranquilizes a bunch of us and lets us sit in her official float vehicle and parade wave.

Cat: Do you have a favorite coffee?
Karen: I like a good dark Columbian coffee. With milk. Not cream. Not lightener. Milk, dammit.
 Cat: I am almost afraid to ask – where do your ideas come from?
Karen: From almost anywhere actually. Something I see when I’m out and about, a news headline, a conversation with a friend, a snippet of a dream…but most of the time they come from  random thoughts that just pop into my head…..I’ve been known to wake from a dead sleep with an entire story just waiting to pour out of me.  I love moments like that.
 Cat: Do you make sure you’re wearing your lucky underpants before you sit down to write, or perhaps you prefer commando? While we’re discussing your underpants, thong, granny pants, boy-leg, something totally sensible in black and cotton?…inquiring minds want to know. (Okay so it was friend Dionne who wanted to know.)
Karen: You can tell your friend Dionne that I’ve always worn bikini’s, and always will.  And it’s funny that you should ask about my underpants at this particular juncture in time because I’ve been on a quest the last week to find a solution to a specific underpants emergency.  I’m going to a couple of Halloween parties this year and the devilishly delicious red dress I found for my costume ends barely an inch south of the promised land.  Not that anyone will see them , mind you, but I went out looking for teeny tiny boycut red satin undies to wear over my fishnet stockings just in case it’s windy on all hallow’s eve.  I’m wearing them in this photo. Can’t tell I have teeny shorts on can you?   

Cat: Do you ever see yourself writing a vampire story? (Team Edward or Team Jacob… or are you more likely to join me by stuffing your head into a gas oven than ever going to the Edward or Jacob place?)
Karen: *shoves Cat over and joins her at the oven* I can’t see me writing a vampire story. I read Dracula in junior high. I haven’t seen or read any of the new vampire tales.  Vampires have buckets of style, but they raise a lot of questions for me.  For one thing….since they have no reflection, how the hell do they put on eye liner?
Cat: Who would you turn gay for, or alternately who would you turn straight for?
Karen: That’s a great question because I wrote a poem that was published in a chapbook with a lot of other poets who just happen to be gay and I got mail ranging from “I am boycotting you because I just found out you’re gay” to a friend of twenty years just casually mentioning that she didn’t know I was gay ….that one cracked me up. I’m straight. I have an extreme fondness for the male of the human species. But if I were to hypothetically wander off that trail it would be with someone like Kristin Davis, Halle Berry or Sandra Bullock. Someone who’s real and can light up a room with her smile.  [That sound you just heard was my daughter fainting dead away in her apartment. But not from shock, it would be from laughing …. I think that by now there’s very little I could say that would still be shocking to her.]
Cat: Who are your favorite writers?
Karen: Oh my gosh there are too many to mention more than a couple. I love Terry Pratchett, Carl Hiaasen,  Tim Dorsey, Janet Evanovich, Rex Stout, so many other mystery writers, and I just read something really bizarre by Jasper Fforde that I loved. Oh and speaking of bizarre. Eric Garcia. Love him.

Cat: Do you ever put pants on your dog, cat or budgie?
Karen: When my daughter was growing up we had hundreds of pets over the years.  A lot of them were either in the rodent family or the reptile family; and some were insects. I can honestly say I never dressed any of them.  Teddy bears are another story altogether.
Cat: Describe your ultimate day?
Karen: Every day that I wake up is good. I consciously make it better from the time my eyes open until they close again at the end of the day. Life is a gift to be gleefully gobbled moment by moment.
Cat: Do you have any unusual quirks? (I realize how dangerous that question is – and yet I asked it anyway!!)
Karen: Well, I’m not sure what you’re asking…..if you mean can I see dead people? No. If you mean would it surprise me if I could….that would also be a no. I’d just ask the flying monkeys to set another plate at the table.

Cat: All-time favorite movie and why?
Karen: That’s a toughie, because the answer depends on my mood. If you held me down and threatened to never allow me to have pie again unless I answered with a single title….I’d have to go with The Princess Bride because it has everything. Romance, adventure, horrible puns, quotable lines, great costumes, gorgeous scenery and of course, Rodents of Unusual Size.
Cat: What’s your preferred medium when it comes to writing – pen and paper, computer, typewriter.
Karen: I love my computer keyboard. Sometimes my keyboard acts just like a Ouija board. I put my fingers lightly on the keys and after a while….fiction comes out.
Cat: Being an editor yourself, how much do you enjoy being edited?
Karen: I don’t mind being collaboratively edited. Surprise editing bugs me. I’m not a fan of my work being changed without my consent.

Cat: If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Karen: Ireland. It’s beautiful and no one would ever give me grief me about not being tan in the summer again.
Cat: What is one thing you know about New Zealand?  (Do not mention LOTR. I hates it… I hates it my precious.)
Karen: You have bugs the size of a bus.
 Cat: Name a book you wish you had written.
Karen: To Kill a Mockingbird.
Cat: What were you before you became a writer?
Karen: Wandering in the wilderness.

Cat: What can we expect from you next?
Karen: Eventually you’ll see me have a fairy tale ending. I just hope it’s not from the Brother’s Grimm school of writing.
Cat: Do you carry a notebook or keep one by the bed for those sudden brilliant ideas?
Karen: I always have a notebook in my purse. I also always have a paperback and a cookie in my purse. Reading, Eating, Writing are not things taken lightly in Karenland.
Cat: What is the most random thing you have ever written on?
Karen:   I think it’s a tie between the inside hem of my skirt and the wall in my dining room during Nano 2009.
Cat: If you’re not writing, what are you most likely to be doing?
Karen: Trying to figure out how to get trees to open up so I can step through into another dimension.

It’s been a pure pleasure having you over today Karen – but please, please, take the flying monkeys with you when you leave… I thought birds made a mess! Let’s just say I’m happy I’m wearing a baseball cap and leave it at that, shall we?


Anonymous said...

Oh wow, that's some great insight into Karenland Cat, nicely done!

Hope Karen did take the flying monkeys with her, they can be most annyoing, right?
I'm still trying to get over them ever since she stopped by my place last Spring ;)

PS: this was the most interesting post on my Google Reader subscription list all week! Glad I saw it as soon as you posted :)

Cat Connor said...

I'm going to be cleaning up flying monkey you-know-what all day! Those things are a menace. :)

Thanks for stopping by Estrella! Lovely to see you over this way. xx

Karen from Mentor said...

Ok, I'm back from taking the flying monkeys on an adventure. I posted a link at my place just now to alert the minions that I'm I hope you baked enough cookies for everyone.

*takes a cookie*

Thanks for having me Cat. You're a wonderful hostess.

*smooches Cat*


Laura Eno said...

So many fun things in here!
I'm sorry I forgot to tranquilize you for the trip to NZ and I can't believe how restrained you were on the unusual quirks question! I mean, talk about trying to pass yourself off as didn't take the human suit to NZ, did you? Tsk.
Wonderful conversation, Cat and Karen. I hope NZ recovers quickly from Karen's visit.

Cat Connor said...

The way the cookies are disappearing here I'm starting to suspect Karen brought those pesky flying monkeys back.... *looks under sofa*

Laura: I managed to bake some tranquilizers into the cookies - if I were you I'd only take the ones without the skull and cross bones on top. Just sayin'

Karen from Mentor said...

I just hope people CLICK on the photo to see that my legs are not actually stick like...laughing...I think you squished the photo a bit to be able to fit it in next to the text...yes/no?

It was pointed out to me on twitter that it looks better full size.... which made me laugh a lot, especially since he followed it up with "not stalking....really...not stalking"...giggling.

*takes another cookie*

Cat Connor said...

Blogger made the photo 'medium' to fit with the text - so haven't actually tampered with it. No proportions were harmed in this blog :))

*gives Karen another special cookie*

KjM said...

You got interviewed by a Cat! How cool is that?

Great interview - terrific mix of questions, and even more terrific answers. From underwear (curious I'd start there) to authors, to straightness (or not) and film and...and...and...

Loved it all.

Thank you for the peep into Karenland. Looks like fun there.

Cat Connor said...

Hey Kevin, thanks for dropping by!!

Karen is such a good sport... seriously who else would talk about underpants and provide a picture?? :)

Alan W. Davidson said...

Har! Flying monkeys. We only panic when the moose about here take flight...Great interview, ladies. I nearly shot coffee out my nose when I read the part about Laura Eno tranquilizing people and sitting them on her parade float. I nice insight into the brain of Karen Schindler.

Jen Brubacher said...

Great interview, guys! The reaction to your "coming out" made me laugh *and* roll my eyes. Yeesh. Some people.

(Um, my word verification is "porked." Really.)

Maryann Miller said...

Wonderful interview. I am so glad that I followed the links from Helen Ginger's blog to yours, Karen, and then to this interview. This is one of the best author interviews I have read.

Good luck on the quest for the red undies.

ceebee308 said...

Nice to see a serious exchange between the two of you. Allows one to see a whole other side. Lovely Halloween dress, btw. Me likes it. :)

Helen Ginger said...

A very fun interview that revealed a lot about both of you.

The Halloween dress is totally cute and do not show your red undies, but you might not want to sit down. Or maybe you do.

Karen from Mentor said...

I tested out the sitting down thing Helen...laughing...and I can do it and not get arrested.

Since the dress has long sleeves, I don't see me dancing a lot in it without boiling.

So I'll just stand around looking sultry.

*looks gleeful about that*

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks for taking the time to stop in and comment everybody.

Cat and I have waaaay too much fun.
She's my favorite bad influence.


Cat Connor said...

A bad influence, moi?
How very dare you.... (of course I can see how one might think - but that's not the point!) :D

*helps self to last cookie and closes door on way out*

Cat Connor said...

The door's not really shut... I couldn't close it with my hands full of cookies.
Cookies for breakfast seemed like a fine idea....

shannon said...

How did I miss this?! Great interview, Cat! Karen is one of the most interesting writers/persons I have met online. I am secretly stalking her and have changed my name to Karen. lol

Hey, Karen- I actually got to meet Tim Dorsey last month, he's so down to earth, nice guy.

Really enjoyed this gals!
the other Karen (aka Shannon)

Karen from Mentor said...

I love Tim's work Shannon. I emailed him right after I finished Atomic Lobster last Christmas to say so.

He emailed me right back. It was delightful. I have almost all of his books. Some in hardcover was nice to "meet" him online. I envy you meeting him in person.

I love the idea of you morphing into me. Does that mean you get to do my laundry?

*hugs shannon*

Kil Conor said...

I do hate commenting on mobile devices but Karen luv, you're a positive DELIGHT to have in my tiny world. Lovely dress. I might borrow it from you for the next office party. Cheers, xKil

Laurita said...

Best interview ever. Karen is so entertaining, in her writing and her comments, and of course, in interviews. This was hilarious.

Jodi MacArthur said...

One's gonna have a hell of a hard time Killing a Mockignbird wandering aruond the desert in a dress like that! <3 Phew. Glad you fuond your place, glad you've got great friends, and best of all glad yuo've got great legs to kick it in a smashing devilish dress on all hallow's eve.

Love this girl. Yuo are always a joy to raed whether its fictoin (clowns from space) or describing yuor coffee (milk not cream-check).



Cat Connor said...

Thanks for dropping by Shannon, Kil, Laurita, and Jodi.

Karen was a joy to interview... as you can tell.

Now back to sweeping up cookie crumbs, and scrubbing flying monkey you-know-what off the furniture!

hagelrat said...

good coffee is essential. :)

Cat Connor said...

Yes it is! :)

Zippo Hippo said...

I have to admit that it was the promise of an underwear shot (made by Karen on her blog) that brought me here. Plus I had to meet the brave person giving the interview. Do you know if Karen got the flying monkeys from the pet store at the mall?

Cat Connor said...

I believe it was the mall on your way out of Kansas. But having seen the mess they make... I'm no advising anyone to keep them. (and there is always the chance that they could be used against you!)

Nice to meet you Zippo. :)

Adam J. Campos said...

Nice to meet you too. I guess signing in with my Google account signs me in to a very old blogspot account (Zippo Hippo). You can get to know me better here

Karen from Mentor said...

You guys are great. I really appreciate everybody stopping in. Even though some of you *looks at AJ* may have misconstrued my underwear plight into something other than it was.
I'm sure I've never used the word "shot" unless it was preceeded by the word "jello" at Miscellaneous Yammering.
*goes off to check just in case*

Thanks for putting up with the flying monkeys Cat. I'll send the steam cleaning guys over to do your carpets after you've had a couple of days to air out the place.

I see you...

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