Gryph's Interview
1/ How would you describe yourself? 

Quiet and introspective for the most part…I don’t talk much unless I’m around people that I know relatively well.  Fairly observant, I notice a hell of a lot more than people give me credit for…on the other hand I also tend to have moments where I’m affected by the rare condition known as “Teflon-brain” -  conscious thought just tends to slide right off.  *grin*

2/ What is it about Star Wars that you love? 

Well, much like Star Trek, *ducks thrown tomatoes*  Star Wars has been called Space Opera…not in a musical sense, of course, but like the soap operas that captivate millions of people on daily television.  Tragedy, love, hate, angst, heroism…it’s all there, the possibilities are endless.

3/ What are your favourite characters from the old and new trilogies?

OT: Vader rocks!  Grrr, baby! Leia was a bit of alright in ESB once she got over her croissant hair from EP IV (I adamantly REFUSE to call it “A New Hope”).

NT: So far I’m less-than-impressed with the soon-to-be Vader. If I hear a “yippee” in Ep II, I’m walking out and never looking back.  

I’ve always loved R2D2 though, so he/she/it counts as a favourite in both the original and new.

4/ If you could change one thing out of the original Star Wars Episodes, what would it be? 

Ewoks, they should all be killed, sliced into tiny bits, and then STOMPED on.  The original screenplay called for Wookies on the forest moon…now that would have been cool.  I can’t even begin to imagine what sort of hazy, drug induced psychosis caused GL to come up with those insipid, crooning little fur-balls. 

5/ How did you start writing fan fiction?

I started way back in the early years of High School…this would be a long, unproductive description if I continued it.   Suffice to say…I started, and I continue, for better or worse.  *grin*

6/ What are your strong and weak points as a writer?

I would say that both the strong and weak are my attention to detail…I looooove detail!  Yeah baby!

Unfortunately, I have been known to concentrate so much on detail that the story itself becomes unrecognisable.
And (hah! You thought this was gonna be short!) I write to music…lots of different kinds of music…which also affects my mood…so some of my writing turns out okay, a lot of it turns out in quite a disappointing manner despite the storyline I’d originally intended…and sometimes it turns out surprisingly well! (Okay, not that often, but it HAS happened).  *shrugz*

7/ Have there been/are there any influences on your writing?

Of course…wow! Blab Warning (This is one of those questions that will lead to readers chanting over and over again, “shut up, just shut up!”) 

Just about everything I read, see on television, or listen to on the radio goes into this little mental shoebox I keep in my head.  *grin* 

Laura Ingalls Wilder was my first favourite writer, I think. 

Then there was Anne McCaffrey who just sort of awakened something in me when I was ten years old or so…sometimes when the blue of the sky is just right, and the sunlight just so - I still look up expecting to see a dragon winging its way off into the night sky…or hear Killashandra singing in the moonlit distance. 
Douglas Adams…his dry humour and amazing wit are…well, how does one describe Douglas Adams and his works.   Wish I could have met him whilst he was still with us…I can only imagine discussing “Hitchhiker” with him over a pint or twelve.  *grin*

And of course J.R.R. Tolkien, I mean, the man almost single-handedly created the groundwork for the fantasy genre as we know it today.  I read this about him in an article recently:

“J.R.R. Tolkien’s story has it’s beginning in the early 1930’s.  John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, was busy marking examination papers when suddenly some words popped into his head and onto a sheet of paper left blank by one of the examination candidates.  ‘In a hole in the ground,’ he scribbled, ‘there lived a hobbit…’”

Now how freaking cool is that?!?  *Boom*, out of the blue comes an idea that changes the history of literature!  That quote actually brought a tear to my eye when I read it...probably would have broken down in sobs if I hadn’t been in the back of Mouse’s automobile at the time…proof that if one has a good idea that they want to write - and the perseverance to write it, there’s no limit to what one can accomplish.  At the time I read that quote, I couldn’t help but remember that it took him 12 years…excuse me…TWELVE YEARS to complete the trilogy that we know today as “Lord of the Rings”.  Wow!!  That is just mind boggling…but obviously well worth it.
Okay this is getting windy, so I’ll just step right along here.  There’s been a lot of writers and subjects that have affected me, the way I write, and the way I view the world we live in.  Not to sound too materialistic, but when I first moved to Australia, while I assured everyone that I was having a wonderful time I kept thinking in the back of my mind that there was just something ‘not right’ I guess is the only way to describe it.  After several months, all my books (and I’ve got a LOT!  You’ve just got to see to believe) arrived, shipped to me by my Mom and Sis…I called to let my family know that the books had arrived and Mom made the comment, “and now your friends are there with you.”  And it’s true, that’s what was ‘not right’...all the characters and psyches that I had come to know and love over the years were back with me again.

Okay, last bit of ranting…the most recent pro-author to touch my soul has been J.K. Rowling with her Harry Potter series…and I can’t really SPECIFICALLY say why.  I love the stories, the characters, the plotlines, (the merchandise *grin*).  But while I used to wake up in the morning before work and say to myself, “today’s gonna be another bad one,”  I now wake up and say to myself, “today may suck, but I’m going to go to work and give it my best and then come home, sit on the patio for a while and see how Harry, Ron, and Hermione are doing today.”  I’ve read the books often, at least 30 times in English (though the American and British versions do vary) since I read the first one almost a year ago.

Now this may seem a bit psychotic, but you have to remember (or learn) that I also watch Titanic at least once a month…I mean, yeah, the ship’s GONNA SINK, I understand that on some sort of primal, instinctive level…but also understand that I notice something new EVERY TIME, whether it be whilst watching a movie about one of the greatest sea-faring tragedies of all time, or reading a book about a fictional kid wizard.

8/ What attracted you to the Jemmiah Chronicles and why write in it?

I haven’t really written for the Jemmiah Chronicles per se…excluding The Lion Sleeps Tonight (and I’ve been pretty dismal in offering contributions lately), but for the most part, there’s a sense of camaraderie between the writers.  And of course my Sister Mouse and I have made some wonderfully dear, heartfelt friends amongst some members the group.

I also feel the need to say that Jemmiah (in this case:  the author {instigator}, not the character) should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize due to her unending patience (or super-human ability to control and/or camouflage the lack thereof *grin*).

9/ Tell us a little about Kason.

Kason has been with me for a long, long time…although under several different names (which is pretty much irrelevant).

He’s fast, smart, and inherently loyal, and meaner than a trod-on snake when one of his friends is threatened.  Think “feline combined with Olympic-Class gymnast combined with teenager with a heart of gold but way too much angst…and the Force”.  LOL!!

Kinda young and doesn’t really think things through before taking a path of action.  (Been there done that…still do the latter part).

Most incarnations of Kason have the cat (feline) eyes and pointed ears.  Very few have the needle-like fangs of the Kason from the JC.

Feline eyes?  Because I think cats are groovy and are some of the most graceful creatures on earth. (And I’m not just talking “fluffy the house cat” here, although they’re nice…I’m talking all the cats…ghost leopards are my current favourites).

Green eyes?  I just like the colour green. 

Pointed ears?  Because I have always been sort of in awe concerning the Celtic mythologies of the Daione Sidhe. Not to put too fine a point on the subject, but cats also have relatively pointed ears.

10/ What do you have in common with Kason?

Well, I have little, itty-bitty points on my ears.  *grin*

The comment about being meaner than a trod-on snake when a friend is threatened applies to family as well (especially Mouse and Mini-Mouse).

I’m very, very quiet most of the time and tend to not talk much (obviously this rule does not apply to typing)…If, for example, I decide to spend a weekend hanging around my flat (which rarely happens) - there’s a pretty good chance that between leaving work on Friday afternoon and arriving at work on Monday morning, I won’t have uttered a single spoken word.

11/ You’ve written quite a few stories with Kason in them. Which one has given you the most satisfaction to write and why?

I really had the plot bunnies biting with “Birds of a Feather”, I just knew it was going to be awesome and had pages and pages of notes and ideas.  I was so excited about what was going to happen (once I had it figured out). 

Unfortunately, to this day it remains as a snapshot (which really isn’t bad), and as an unfinished story (which is bad).

12/ What hobbies/interests do you have?

Music - I listen to pretty much all kinds.  Hoping to start performing (classical French horn) again soon once I get my skill level back up to where it used to be.

Reading - as you may have already noticed.  *grin*

Writing - still working on it.

I’m a member of the Harry Potter [trading card game] League of Australia.

I’ve recently submitted my bio and pic to a casting agent who handles the supplying of extras for movies being filmed here in Sydney, so maybe I’ll get a millisecond of screen time one of these days.

I’m learning to surf - so far with rather disastrous results…but I’ve only had 2 very short lessons (and 1 lesion).

13/ What is important to you in your life and why?

I had this huge, long list written out, but then I realized that I’ve actually gotten to a point where I’m re-evaluating priorities on a day-to-day basis.  There are a few constants though:

1. My relationship with God…there are things that have happened to me (or not happened to me) that defy any sort of explanation other than spiritual.

2. My Family…pretty self-explanatory.

3. My Friends…self-explanatory again.

14/ What makes you smile?

I’m gonna copy & paste the answer to this from an entry I made in my journal just before Christmas…okay?

**Roses, perfume, pals, dogs and cats, champagne, poetry, The Sopranos, Mozart, Bach, my parents, the fact that I'm not dead and feeling great.
The full, gibbous moon in tonight's sky, which at dusk was the remembered and deep indigo of many Ken Duncan photographed skies.
JK Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne McCaffery, Mercedes Lackey, Anne Rice
My amazing abilities at burning the food involved in new recipes. New novels. Indian food (aka: spicy rice).
The friends that I have met through a common love of Harry Potter and Star Wars…writing ourselves and our twisted / normal / ”if only”  psyche’s into the fabulous universe of our choice.
A really great meal.
A goblet of Houghton’s White Burgundy.
Beautiful rich Italian women, laughing and speaking quickly on Pitt Street in downtown Sydney, emanating the deep fumes of Channel #5, and sparkling with life and early spring sunlight, crackling with shopping bags and laughter.
Children who are deeply beautiful without being cute.
The smile a stunning young Indian lady gave me in the supermarket this afternoon.
The smell of the previously frozen apple pie, which is now baking in my oven.
Sleep, beautiful, deep, healing, forgiving sleep.
Work, though it pisses me off from time to time…
The capacity for Joy.
Mom and Dad…Calam and Kit and Jemmiah and Leona and YSA and Mouse and Jane and Imzadi and Briana and Lilith and Kylenn, and Steven and J.P and Kerry…all the other people out there that I have yet to meet…
A ribeye steak smothered in garlic that I am just about to throw onto the stove since I don’t own a grill.  *shrugz*
(Okay, it took me a while to write this…the steak is long gone). 
"Oh lord, I fear - You've made the world TOO beautiful this year."
There is something to be thankful for almost every second of our lives.

15/ What is your idea of a perfect day?

#1 - Not at work (or at least not at work not of my choosing)

Sometimes I like it to be rainy and cold (especially if I’m in the mountains with a roaring fire and a good book).  Sometimes warm and sunny without a cloud in the sky spent wandering the city and seeing what kind of mischief I can get into.  Cold and sunny is good too, on the banks of a sparkling lake.  *grin* 

Warm and at the beach is quite a nice time as well.

I hate hot…hot weather just drives me over the edge of sanity…I usually end up sweating like some sort of farm animal.  I can’t concentrate in hot, I just spend the whole time wiping sweat off my glasses and pulling my shorts out of my butt.

6/ If you had to pick only one of the following to happen, which one would it be and why;

(a) Being an extra in a Star Wars/Harry Potter film
(b) A two week holiday for free anywhere in the world
(c) Playing in an orchestra conducted by John Williams?

After careful, and rather panicked consideration, I’ll have to choose (c).

Having an ‘extra’ part in a Star Wars Movie or Harry Potter movie would be cool, but let’s face it:  most of the time, being an extra in a movie does not mean you get to meet the big stars, you get to work in blistering heat or freezing cold in uncomfortable outfits and getting yelled at…but for a split second I would have that tiny bit of fame as people saw my un-named face (or at least, general outline) in a crowd.  Having a bit part in a movie would include not getting to meet stars, maybe a cap or t-shirt, and having my (probably not even real) face projected onscreen for about a nanosecond.

A two week free holiday would be cool too…but…

Performing with an orchestra conducted by Mr Williams…think about it…Like the movies listed above, his music will be remembered for a long, LONG time…especially accompanying the movies that his works tend to do.  As a performer in that orchestra, you can’t see me, and may not necessarily hear each individual note that I may play…but I’m there, a part of the entire group (and I’m there the WHOLE time)…and if recorded - I’m there forever.  You could be listening to me 300 years from now and not even realize it, but I’d still be there like a little angel (or devil, *snicker*) sitting on your shoulder.

Now, how’s that for immortality?

17/ What music are you currently listening to and what are your favourite all time songs/pieces?

Currently listening to Bomfunk MC’s.

Favourite (I’m assuming classical) Pieces:  Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto” ,  Holst’s “The Planets”, Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”,  Anything by John Williams (the Composer…*whew* learned that lesson)

Favourite Groups (I had to add this in):  Yikes…I love Gatecrasher, but that’s not really a group, so I don’t know if that counts (techno/trance/industrial/rave), The B-52’s - I can’t pick one single song since I think they’re all great, Enya is quite groovy for those moments of inner thought, The Irish Tenors - my Boss introduced me to their music, BSB - they actually DO have talent (but won’t be showing up in Ep II *grin*),  Jemmiah has recently turned me onto a group called Mediaeval Baebes…very groovy stuff.  And of course, all the old faves:  Depeche Mode, The Boston Philharmonic, Rob Zombie, Janet Jackson, Korn, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Kate Bush, Alanis Morissette.

Favourite Songs:  Yikes again!  I can’t really answer such a question without this turning into an essay of bible-sized proportions.  Suffice to say that as my mood changes, so does my taste in music.

18/ It’s the start of the New Year... what are you hoping it has in store for you and what are you looking forward to?

I have no idea…but something tells me that this is going to be a turning point in my life…and I think it’s going to be a good one.
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