Congratulations on your story "Illegal Mind" being part of the Collidor project, which is published by Reality Skimming Press. How does it feel to publish this short story?
I'm delighted to have this story in print. I wrote it specifically for the Collidor project, so having it as part of this series is awesome.
Tell us more about yourself. What else have you published?
I live in Flin Flon, MB which has a vibrant arts community including writing. I published my first novel about six years ago through Lighthouse 2002, a local co-op press. Since publishing The Unenchanted Princess with them, I've released seven other books as an Indie author ranging from a children's book to a collection of horror stories. I like to push boundaries with my writing, sometimes getting told I'm too dark. I had a publisher turn down a book because it had a very difficult scene. Many of my stories are inspired by my wife and muse, Alexandra. When I'm not writing or working as an editor, I can be found discussing philosophy on facebook or napping with my three dogs.
"Illegal Mind" deals with tolerance and religion, what motivated you to write this story?
When Ray made his first call for stories for Collidor, Quebec had made a fuss about being a secular society. I put that idea together with modern neurological science about religion and the brain to come up with a society in which excessive religion was seen as a mental illness, curable by the proper treatment. The play of tolerance versus bigotry came out of those themes. Intolerance is not limited to religion, but neither is religion free of it. In the end I wanted to explore the damage 'curing' someone of their faith might cause.
What are your favourite kinds of stories to read and write?
As a reviewer and content editor, I read everything from thrillers to romance to horror. While I've had to give up reviewing, I still read widely. I don’t look for genre as much as the story's ability to pull me into its reality. I like books especially which challenge convention and rewrite old understandings of tropes and cliches.
Reality Skimming Press brands itself as 'optimistic sci-fi.' Tell us what that phrase means to you.
To my mind all Sci-Fi is optimistic in that we continue to survive, but the most optimistic stories are those in which people learn things about themselves that may change the nature of their reality.
What projects are you currently working on?
I have a few irons in the fire at the moment; a YA dystopian story (like that hasn’t been done) in which one of the lead characters is two hundred years old, a reboot of the zombie trope in a short novel, a thriller which is the first of a trilogy, a second book in another trilogy about growing up not 'normal'. I'm sure you get the idea. I also have a few editing clients who expect me to get their books done.
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