Wednesday, July 3, 2013


AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Alasdair Stuart Note from Nayad: The series continues. This week and next I'll post interviews of the authors contributing to WHAT FATES IMPOSE: Tales of Divination. ADVISORY: every one of these authors is full of talent and marvels. I hope you enjoy what they have to say!

As of this morning we have only eleven more days to go on the Kickstarter Fundraising Campaign for WHAT FATES IMPOSE: Tales of Divination. We're up to $3,368 from 136 Beloved Backers, but we still need some help to get to $5,000!

If you'd like to help out, telling your friends is free and easy by clicking here, and there are reward levels from $1 on up at our Kickstarter page.

Alasdair Stuart's introduction to WHAT FATES IMPOSE is the kind of inherently interesting piece of writing you often see as a non-fiction article but rarely get to have at the beginning of a book, because someone wrote in some Publishing Scripture somewhere that nobody actually reads introductions, but you still have to have one for Reasons. Well, you're going to want to read this one. I mean, first of all, it's called "Singing from the Book of Holy Jagger." It must come from a different sect than that Publishing Scripture I mentioned. But you don't have to just believe me about how good it is. You can listen to Alasdair reading the heck out of a portion of his intro on the project's page by clicking that great big arrow in the middle of our cover image.

And here he is! It's Alasdair! With ideas about divination, and thoroughly correct writing advice. *cheers*

What's interesting to you about divination?

The fact it’s the point where faith, math and fact all collide. I’m taking an extended leave of absence from religion after a couple of particularly nasty experiences but spirituality and faith is something which I still feel a strong call towards. I’m also naturally inclined towards wanting to work out what might be heading down the line so if it’s rubbish I can turn the lights off and pretend I’m not in.

Have you ever had a reading (Tarot, palm, runes, or whatever)? If so, what did you think of the experience? Was it accurate, or at least useful?

Aged 15 I had a medium tell me a variety of things, pretty much all of which turned out to be crap. Interestingly, I still believe, due to some of the things I saw rather than what I was told.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Oh I have A BUNCH, that’s the beauty and the horror of it, everyone does. This is what it boils down to for me though:
  • Just sitting in the chair and writing is a win. It may be the only win you get a lot of the time. Please, please learn to accept and revel in that. It will help so much later.
  • You actually are a beautiful and unique snowflake, Tyler Durden’s full of crap. However, there are countless thousands of beautiful and unique snowflakes out there. The trick is to be more noticeable than the others and refuse to melt.
  • Always be the most professional person in the room.
  • Always volunteer.
  • Always deliver on time or early.
  • Never, ever be afraid to ask questions.
  • Take the five damn minutes it takes to put together a proper pitch or approach letter. Throw a rock online and when you don’t hit porn you’ll hit good advice on how to do this.
  • Just sitting in the chair and writing is a win. Seriously. That’s why it’s on here twice.
  • You will move twice as fast as most people and four times faster than anything you want to hear back about. Keep yourself busy. Probably by writing.
  • Blog. Tweet. Facebook if you have to. For the love of God don’t endlessly plug your own stuff. Have opinions, be polite, be friendly, and TALK. Twitter in particular is a conversation not a lecture. Act accordingly.
  • On a related note, if you can’t say it in 140 characters split the tweet. No1 likes it when u txt spk. Obvs.
  • Don’t cash your emotional chips in on a job just to get to the end of it. Getting to the summit and finding it empty is one of the worst experiences in the world. Revel in your achievements.
  • When you get paid for work? Buy yourself a coffee. A BIG one. Or your equivalent.
  • Read constantly. If you’re going for non-fiction, firstly, I salute a fellow word Viking. Secondly, READ. CONSTANTLY. Be prepared for other critics to piss you off because they’re clearly wrong. Use that anger and energy to power your own words. Then rewrite the piece to make sure it’s polite, put it on your blog, tweet it and Facebook it.
  • Unless you’re very lucky, and believe me, the authors in this anthology are, you may be severely disappointed by the level of professionalism in people who aren’t you on any given project. This comes from a place of love but, honestly?

  • Suck it up, Princesses.

    Keep doing what you do and when you absolutely cannot believe you still have to do what you do and the solid gold helicopter has yet to be delivered to your house atop the backs of platinum horses playing Beethoven’s 9th on noseflutes? You have, as the song says, only just begun.

    Which subjects and themes do you write about often, and why?

    I am a pop culture junkie. I love writing about film. I love writing about comics and I am sincerely blessed in that I get to do both. I also love writing about books and theatre, I write roleplaying games at what’s at the very least Pro-Am status now and I adore writing about food. Writing about food is my release valve, my excuse to be joyous and silly. I love it.

    Where can people find other published work of yours?

    I host Pseudopod at, one of the Escape Artists family of podcasts. We do horror fiction and it’s my favourite job. I write for a lot of places, but Pseudopod is my home.

    I co host Escape Pod at, the science fiction arm of EA. Again, really fun job.

    I blog at . That’s where the fun stuff is.

    I blog for on a regular basis and there’s usually something by me on the front page.

    I write for from time to time on comics and movies.

    I’ve also written a huge chunk of the Doctor Who RPG, not all of which is currently in print thanks to the pesky Time Lord’s habit of regenerating. However, I’ve written the 6th Doctor sourcebook, out later this year and have other work inbound.


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    1. Oh my gosh -- just reading this (thanks to last week's internet-free retreat). Loved it! Thanks for sharing. :-)

      1. Isn't he great? This guy has Personality Plus! :)