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Keith Minnion

answers the Usual Questions

photograph Keith Minnion, courtesy of the author; 220x241

Keith Minnion

Keith Minnion is an American author and illustrator.

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

I rarely attend conventions, and at those I do attend I try to remain anonymous for the most part - one of the crowd. I used to show illustration work in the art shows but I gave that up a few years ago. Most of my "fan" interaction is through the social media. I get a great kick out of critics and criticism of my work.

When I see it my ears prick up and I pay attention, because usually it involves a cogent point or a suggestion about something I didn't see, probably because I was too close to the work to notice. I try to take constructive criticism very seriously.

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

The most important letter I ever got was not from a fan, but an editor. In this case I was 16 years old, and I had sent an SF story to Analog, and John W. Campbell Jr. (yeah, that John W. Campbell Jr.!) took the time to dictate an actual rejection letter that started out, "his one is pretty good, but... and then went on to tell me what was wrong with the story. I still have that letter. I went on to sell my first story (to Asimov's) eight years later.

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

I find I re-read Ursula K. Le Guin over and over, mostly her Earthsea cycle of fantasies - I think her imagined Earthsea beats Middle Earth and the rest hands down. I also re-read Samuel R. Delany's early SF a lot - NOVA, Dahlgren, Triton, Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, etc. I study his story structuring, his sentence constructions, his wonderful use of language. Amazing stuff. I don't read horror much; I just have illustrated it a bit, and written it a bit. It just bores me.

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

book cover, Dark Work by Keith Minnion; x

My Dad, because he's gone, and we didn't talk enough when he was alive.

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

Sarah Palin, because I would probably murder her within five minutes or so.

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

Moonpies; chocolate malted milk shakes; The World of Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse ;The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a huge stack of spiral-bound notebooks and box full of ball-point pens so I could write.

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

I get it every time: creating something from nothing, a scribbled story in one of those spiral-bound notebooks, or a drawing from a blank piece of paper. Can't beat the feeling.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Very much like the previous answer: creating something that other people might see and react to - like it, love it, hate it, whatever. Leaving a little mark for work I can be proud of. That is why I re-booted my White Noise Press with its extremely limited edition hand-crafted chapbooks featuring stories by writers I admire. No money in it, God-knows, but I really enjoy putting these lovely little chaps in people's hands.

submitted by Keith Minnion

3 August 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: May 1954, in a town on Long Island, state of New York, USA.
Resides: A wonderful old town in the beautiful Shenandoah River Valley in central Virginia, USA.
I have never won anything (shrug). In the past few years I had: a short story collection come out called It's For You; a chapbook from Cemetery Dance Publications called Island Funeral; a short story in the Eulogies-II anthology series, and a long story in the SHIVERS IV anthology series. I also just had a hardcover, full color art book of my best illustration work come out from SST Publications called Dark Work which I am very proud of (go to Amazon or B&N and buy a dozen copies NOW!). Upcoming this year is a novel called The Boneyard from Bad Moon Books, and stories in SHIVERS VIII, Postscripts 33, and Cemetery Dance magazine (not sure which issue). Plus lots of illustrations in various places.

Click here for bibliography on Minnion's site

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