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Amy Sterling Casil

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, Amy Sterling Casil, courtesy of the author; 220x293

Amy Sterling Casil

Amy is a Californian science fiction and fantasy writer. Amy is the founder of Pacific Human Capital, a founding member and treasurer of Book View Café and former treasurer of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and teaches writing and composition at Saddleback College.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Yes, I have always interacted with fans, from the very beginning. I did not know there was any difference between people attending conventions.

I thought and still think everyone is there because of a shared love of science fiction and fantasy.

I have talked with numerous people about many different things and many of these conversations have influenced my work. Discussing the idea that love is felt by all people, I promised a kind gentleman I think of as "little Ben" that I would write a story about gay people that portrayed them as complete human beings.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

I was approached by a young man with Aspergers at the 2007 WorldCon and he commented that he and his wife, who also had Aspergers, didn't want to have a child that had it as well. This strongly informed my thoughts about those with Aspergers and those who are different in the opposite manner, such as myself. So now I have written about those on the Autism spectrum and empath stories. These are just two that stand out.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

There are too many to count. I write science fiction because on several occasions while I was growing up, I heard Ray Bradbury speak at the AK Smiley Public Library in my hometown of Redlands, California. He talked about a belief in magic and wonder and never losing the wonder of childhood. Then I read his work. Ray Bradbury is the strongest influence on my writing. When I was 22, I was privileged to attend the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop at MSU, and one of my instructors was Harlan Ellison. Harlan told me that I should continue writing. I was inspired by his courage, integrity and honesty and have told him that he was "my bright star, ever pointing upward." (David Copperfield). After a number of years, Harlan informed me that I had been a good writer, and had now become a great one. Any time I have gotten discouraged or disbelieved in my work, I recall Harlan's uncompromising honesty and courage and kick myself in the rear and get back to work.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

William Shakespeare

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Oh gosh. I hate to go negative. Probably Donald Trump. Honey Boo-Boo. I could go on. Simon Cowell.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

My Kindle, lip gloss and special jewelry.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I want to leave the world a better place than I found it.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

I've never published a word that was not honestly made and meant, and which I was not proud to put my name on.

submitted by Amy Sterling Casil

18 July 2014

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Just the facts:
Born: 1962, Los Angeles, CA, US
Resides: Aliso Viejo, CA, US
I am a 2002 Nebula Award nominee and have published over 100 short stories, primarily science fiction and fantasy, two short fiction and poetry collections, 3 novels, and 23 non-fiction books. I am founding a next-generation publishing company, Chameleon Publishing, which is "making books like Oreos and treating writers like Henry Ford."

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