Welcome to the second in our ongoing series of conversations with Lost Genre Guild Members! Catch them here on Mondays! Your name, please?
Cathi-Lyn Dyck, last time I checked.
When did you join the LGG? How did you make the connection?
Well, I joined ShoutLife (which I'm not on anymore), and lo and behold, this wild character with a do-rag and an account-hacking cat who has ties to rogue editors--anyway, this guy tracked me down and informed me that I must join LGG because the world is ending, and it's safer underground. No, wait. That's totally not it. But there really was a guy with a do-rag, a cat and a standing invitation to Christian S-F writers.
Tell us some good things that have transpired from belonging.
I love the wacky discussions this group gets into. They're knowledgeable and passionate about all kinds of things. The rabbit trails can be hilarious, weird and brilliant all at once. It's interesting to get to know people.
What's your genre and subgenre? Why do you think that is?
Sci-fi/fantasy crossover, often historical. I'm interested in exploring biblical history and worldviews, and also the mesh of God's presence with some of the wilder, weirder features of human existence, like brain dysfunction.
Do you like to read the same genre as you write? What other genres interest you? Favourite authors?
I'll read just about anything in limited doses. No particular genre affiliation that way. I've enjoyed Maeve Binchy, Angela Hunt, Beverly Lewis, Asimov, Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, the Marcher Lord Press authors, international fiction.
The list of what I'm not interested in is much shorter to describe, longer to avoid on a bookstore shelf: formula American worldview, in novels where the plot and characters are forced into a two-dimensional mold by any given genre's pulp formula requirements. That's too many formulas. I'm not into math.
Tell us about your published work, and where we can go to find out more.
I've done some hardcopy pub credits and freelance editing in homeschooling circles, but I'm incredibly lazy in fiction. I have one short story up at Mindflights from like two years ago. However, I blog about exploring the world and thinky things, including doing the occasional review of other people's spec-fic, at ScitaScienda.wordpress.com.
One of my goals there is to make a semi-regular tour of the Christian S-F online short story world, and provide reviews and links whenever something particularly interesting or unique pops up. Once a week would be nice; a couple of Mondays a month is how it's working out. I'd like to see the short fiction realm built up.
What are you working on right now? How's progress?
Right now...I'm working on a project about Norse myth come to life after the fall of Troy, stolen antediluvian "magic" passed down from the Age of Nimrod, and the struggle for control of this magic which is controlled by a God-fearing underdog. Thor's Kingdom is the reality; the biblical Creator is the disputed myth. Kinda like nowadays that way.
After 6 years of research, world-building and scene-sketching, I have a draft I'm happy with on multiple levels. Now: to tune it up.
How has the LGG helped you in your work?
LGG has helped me find resources to study up on the ancient military-secrets angle. I have a fair bit to wade through yet, actually, and some decision-making about what's realistic. I trust the forum to answer all kinds of weird questions that might be called stupid or laughable elsewhere, but not here. The people are great, and so diverse. I think I could ask just about anything and find an answer, and that's important as a relative newcomer to the genre.
What are your dreams for the future of Christian speculative fiction, and for yourself within that?
I hope the genre grows and gains even more strength in illuminating biblical thinking with truly magnificent storytelling. I remain pessimistic about the chances of that, but optimistic about community strength growing, even if community size is a slow slog.
For myself, I'd be happy with a book or two out, or even just to establish a regular habit of participating in the for-the-love and token Christian S-F short-story market.
Your best writing tip?
Don't quit NOW!
What else are you up to that our readers would find interesting?
I'm a Christian unschooler, and I like to do my writing research hands-on whenever possible. (It's a great excuse to play.) With our four kids, we've been to both ends of Canada looking at history and geography. We've toured down the West Coast to California and back through the midwestern States, looking at geology. We sail a good old boat and get into all kinds of other things. I keep an occasional journal of our activities at LifeLedLearning.blogspot.com.
Something you reckon not many people know about you?
In addition to writing, I'm a visual artist and musician. I'm also an associative synesthete--in my mind's eye, I "see" colours in musical patterns, and abstract forms and colours in the contextual patterns of written voice. I'm very at home in text-based interaction, but I sometimes feel blind trying to relate to people face-to-face.
Your website or social media profile?
I'm to be found at:
Jeff Gerke's Anomaly forum under the handle of CatOfNineTales
on Twitter under @LifeLedLearning
Other guild stuff: For those involved in ACFW, I'm on the Beyond the Borders (international) zone list. My current Canadian Christian guild involvement is with The Word Guild, which has an excellent and broad-ranging critique circle, by the way. And obviously, I pop up from time to time around LGG.