Author Interview – J. Syringa

More From This Author

Story Art Sneak Peek

Amazing Artwork By Daniela Rivera

"A Sliver in the Vein"

Anthology: More Than a Monster
Release Date: Sept 8th, 2023
Preorders: Paperback | Kindle
About the Author: J. Syringa is strictly a human being (contrary to what the overly large plants and equally distressing sleeping habits might indicate). Syringa lives in Canada and is a writer with a particular fondness for non-human narratives, exotic food, and natural world trivia. When they aren’t networked to the hive-mind, Syringa is writing about robots, monsters, and other unusual beings. You can find them on Twitter @robotbotanicals.
Q & A

How does it feel to have this story published for the first time?

I'm always pleased when a work finds its forever home. This piece especially, since it's got a somewhat storied past. It was actually picked up by another publication some years ago but never published because the journal unfortunately folded during the pandemic. Gotta say, I can't wait for readers to finally get a chance to check this story out!

What inspired the idea for your story?

Oh boy, the inspiration, huh? Dunno if I should be shy about admitting this or not, but I'd originally wanted to challenge myself to write a fun little erotica short where all the characters would be entirely inorganic. That way I wouldn't be able to fall back on metaphors about ports and dongles (if you get my drift). The gargoyle was actually a later addition, and in a secondary draft there was even an evil wizard at one point. You can probably tell that things got a little away from me there. I'm not complaining though, I really love how this story turned out.

We know that writing can be a tumultuous journey with a lot of obstacles, what is your kryptonite as a writer?

More like what ISN'T my kryptonite. It's hard to balance writing — which is an entirely sedentary and solo pursuit — with trying to squeeze in: other hobbies, being active, a social life, furthering my education, working to afford that pesky alive-state, and the myriad of other responsibilities that come with being an adult. You might notice that I didn't mention "sleep" on that list. That's because a healthy sleep schedule was one of the first things I had to kick to the curb. (Don't be like me, kids.)

Clearly, you’ve succeeded at writing a captivating story for GrendelPress, but we all start somewhere. What advice would you give yourself as a young writer?

I've got a lot I'd say to the baby-writer version of myself. The main take-away would be these two things though:
Hey, precious little dumpling and light of my life; listen up, Kiddo. Number one: That story you want to share with those tweens you're trying to impress? Don't. Just trust me on this. It's going to haunt us forever, and I still resent that you're going to go ahead do it anyway.

Number two: I don't know if it's us or the technology, but Sweetie-pie, we might actually be cursed. Even when you think you're safe, and that you've done enough to backup your external hard drives, or that you've made enough voice recordings of all your story drafts — just know that you're wrong. You're going to lose so much work in the future due to spontaneous technology failure and an alarming amount of acts of god.

We’d like to argue that every good story makes both the author and the readers feel something. What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with your story?

I'd like to believe I've challenged a number of norms with this little story. Some of which include:
  • That your protagonist should be human, or barring that, at the very least have organs and a central nervous system.- That your protagonist should always get the girl.
  • That robot-adjacent fellows with a lust for violence and tax evasion can't also, at the same time, still be good dudes.
  • And that sometimes, the real treasure, needs to be more than the friends we made along the way.
    Now underline this last challenged idea, and especially remember to pair it with the second one.
  • What do you love most about your story’s genre?

    I'm a sucker for any genre that lets me explore facets of humanity through the lens of a non-human character while maintaining an exciting sense of the fantastic.

    Tell us about your favorite author. What about their book(s) call to you and how do they inspire your own writing?

    Terry Pratchett and Kamome Shirahama are my idols. They're very different story-crafters, but both do phenomenal speculative fiction worldbuilding, write complex and nuanced characters, shine a light on ethical and real-world cultural issues, and wrap it all up in works that aren't afraid to have a lot of genuinely funny moments. If possible, I'd like to order a liberal amount of whatever they've been having, please.

    What are some other genres you’d like to break into and why?

    I touched on this before, but I actually really want to try my hand at breaking into saucy fantasy erotica. (I'm talkin' the weird esoteric silly stuff.) And while I already anticipate a number of problems with the fact that I don't intend to write to market, I just can't help myself. The genre sounds like it could be so much fun. I'm always looking for something fresh, and would love to read about more happy ghosts smooching each other, or something. But since there just isn't enough of that around, you know what they say: Be the change you want to see in the world.

    If you had to pick another story of yours to share with your readers, what would it be?

    I've got a number of steamy little projects in the works, but those are all secrets at the moment. So for now, please check out this funny little poem of mine that Shrapnel Magazine recently published. It's titled Scoville Kindergarten.
    Prev post
    Author Interview – Bert S.G
    Next post
    Storytime With Grendel: Thief – Finale

    Write a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    2023 © All rights reserved by GrendelPress LLC

    No products in the cart.