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Ian Welke

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, Ian Welke, courtesy of the author; 220x275

Ian Welke

Ian Welke is an American writer of a variety of genres.

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

My first novel, The Whisperer in Dissonance, just came out a couple months ago (March 2014). I have met a lot of nice people at conventions. One of the great things about cons, is I get to meet so many writers that I'm a fan of and listen to what they have to say whether on a panel, or if I'm lucky, at the bar later. I have learned a lot from listening to the people on these panels, and come away from every convention more knowledgable than before.

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

Embarrassingly, going into introvert choke mode and failing to say one word to Tim Powers when he came over to talk to the person I was talking with at LosCon (Los Angeles Science Fiction Convention), sort of leaps to mind. My favorite con moments have all happened at World Horror: in New Orleans two years ago. Joe McKinney gave one of the most incredible readings I've ever heard, or at Portland this year David Agranoff interviewing John Shirley was fantastic. Joe Lansdale signing Edge of Dark Water at World Horror in Salt Lake City was nice.

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

Originally this was Tolkien. When I was very young my father read the Lord of the Rings trilogy to me. I decided then to learn to read (more than just know what the sentences said, really read), so that I could read it myself without having to depend on him. I think I reread that series once a year through my youth.

Now it's more situational. If I need cheering up, it's Douglas Adams or P G Wodehouse. For inspiration ... Philip K Dick, John Brunner, watching Buffy or Twin Peaks or back to the books ... Lovecraft, the modern Lovecraftians, Or that Tim Powers series, the one that starts with Last Call. Last Call through Expiration Date might be the shorter answer.

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

Charles Stross. Not only is he a great writer, I think he has an engineering background, so there's a good chance he could figure out how to open the doors to the lift.

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

Charles Bukowski. I suspect you wouldn't want to be in a confined space with him.

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

I'd be the worst astronaut. I can barely leave the house without getting freaked out. Space? The calculations for the added mass of books, games, and everyone I'd want to take with me would be staggering. The calculations for the additional fuel that would be necessary to lift all that mass, would in turn be a problem. I guess the short answer is "my wife", and she'd be even worse than me in space. Her arms would be covered from wrist to shoulder in those pressure bracelets for air travel fear.

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

I'd like to impact the way people think. In my wildest dreams, maybe I'd write something that helps to improve the world. More down to earth, I want to affect the way the reader feels. I'd like to write something makes the reader think about things after they put it down, the way I'm still thinking about Caitlin Kiernan's The Drowning Girl like a year after I read it. Or I'd like to affect the reader's dreams like just about everything I've read by Laird Barron has to my subconscious (my favorite rule to break: no reading Laird Barron before bed.) Or I'd like to cause the glorious and manic laughter I had when reading Cody Goodfellow's All Monster Action. Mostly I'd settle for really offending someone. I have a bucket list item for getting a religious extremist's panties in enough of a bunch to publicly complain about me.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

I hate to say that work is it's own reward, but I do feel significantly less shitty if I get a lot done in a day than I do if I sit on the couch all day. I guess my favorite thing is when it comes together and it works: it's not just a good beginning, the end and middle all fit together as well. That's an amazing feeling.

submitted by Ian Welke

27 July 2014

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Just the facts:
Born: My parents were hippies. I was born in their kitchen on the kitchen table in Chicago. As a cook, this strikes me as disgusting and I can only hope that they thoroughly disinfected or even burned the place down afterward.
Resides: I live in southern California, where I complain constantly about the heat.
My first novel is The Whisperer in Dissonance.
My short stories have appeared in American Nightmare, Zombie Jesus and Other True Stories, Big Pulp, Arcane II, and KZine.

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