An Unlikely Interview with Julie Frost

In the spirit of our issue of deliberately terrible fiction, we asked our authors some deliberately terrible questions. Luckily, they were kind enough to play along. Here’s what Julie Frost, author of War of the Were-Mice had to say…

Where do you get your ideas?

I troll through Yahoo!Answers and steal them from dewy-eyed teenagers after telling them that no one will steal their ideas.

Actually, I get them from everywhere. A glove in the road. Mouse shows. Themed anthologies about coffee, cyborgs, glam bars, or necromancers. Errant clichés, such as “quiet graveyards.” Song lyrics. Jack and the Beanstalk. A honeycomb. Giant bugs. Remarks that friends make about “angry bitter angels” or bears being “big, dumb, and dangerous.” Seriously, they come from everywhere. I just have to be alert enough to write them down when they happen and then get into the brainspace of creating Story from that little tiny nugget.

Have you written anything I’ve heard of?

I wrote a short story about a werewolf private investigator whose case involved a were-squonk. It was called “Different in Blood” and appeared in a well-regarded, award-winning small press called “Plasma Frequency.” You…might be noticing a pattern here.

Nope, I haven’t heard of that. Have you considered writing more like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling? They seem to be pretty popular and rich, so maybe you should do that.

I might, were I a novelist rather than a short story writer. Alas, writing novels is apparently not
part of my skill set. At least not yet. As it is, I’ll toil away in the trenches of short fiction and hope I can one day wring seven novels out of one idea rather than ten short stories/novelettes starring the same characters. Uh, don’t hold your breath.

I have a really great idea for a story about a cowboy and an astronaut who are best friends. It’s kind of like Toy Story, except set during the time of The Great Gatsby, only it takes place in the Lost City of Atlantis. Robert Redford would be perfect for the movie version. Why don’t you write it, and we can split the profit 50/50? Maybe 70/30 since I came up with the idea and that’s the hard part. What do you think?

Let’s see. 70% of nothin’, carry the nothin’… What’s this “profit” of which you speak?

And on a slightly more serious note (but only slightly), given your story is gracing the fine pixilated pages of an issue of deliberately terrible fiction: Do you have any regrets?

I regret that I didn’t start writing much earlier than I did. Protip for the kiddies: Don’t stop in high school like I did and then take it up again in your forties. That’s a whole lot of wasted years. On the other hand, I was a truly terrible writer in high school and never finished anything, so maybe wisdom (or at least better writing) has come with age. I like to think so, anyway.

Julie Frost lives in the beautiful Salt Lake Valley with her family among a slew of anteaters, toucans, and Oaxacan carvings, some of which intersect. You can read her blog at agilebrit.livejournal.com/. No actual mice or cockroaches were harmed in the writing of this story, although all family members (including the pets) lost several brain cells.

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