Featured Interview With SE Zbasnik
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
S. E. Zbasnik has a degree in genetics, which means there may or may not be a horde of monkeoctopi doing her bidding to take over the world. Bringing that scientific approach to the fantasy world is her game, trying to put some common sense into magic and magic into common sense.
She currently lives with her husband and beloved dog, who dress up like Sherlock Holmes and solve mysteries in their spare time. She spends nearly of all her time in Nebraska but that’s because it is impossible to leave without finding the lamppost. She lives in a house that has at least four walls and there are some other souls wandering forlornly calling to their lost lives within.
She loves and hates writing as she both loves and hates herself.
She’s a huge video game nerd especially for Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Bioshock as well as Doctor Who and makes fan art in her down time.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
It was an extremely nerdy start that got me into noveling (not a real word, but I’m sure it’ll catch on). I entered a fanfiction writing contest for a video game and won a sword from a weapons replica store. I like to call myself a sword winning author. That little bit of a boost was enough to encourage me (never a wise move) and with a little help from NaNoWriMo I wrote my first manuscript, then my second, my third, and it just kept coming. I think I’m at eight right now.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Out of all my favorites, I’d say the late Terry Pratchett’s is the one whose style I’d most love to share. He didn’t rely on simple reference or pop culture jokes. His books were full of heart and brought a scientific eye to a fantasy world.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
It’s called Dwarves in Space, a scifi fantasy series that blends together classic tolkien fantasy with your Firefly space opera to humorous results. It just dropped on April 8th and is garnering some good reviews and excitement. Luckily, for those begging for a sequel, it’s already written and going to be published in October 2015.
Thousands of years after the jewelry’s destroyed, the sword reforged, the dragon ridden, and the indecipherable prophecy translated into a recipe for sugared biscuits, the dwarves turned to that final frontier: space. And along came the elves, orcs, gnomes, trolls, ogres, and those vermin-like upstarts, humans.
Dwarves in Space is Tolkien merged with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in a horrific transporter accident.
I’ve always wondered why in all the fantasy stories written since Tolkien created Middle Earth, no one ever thought to zip all the elves, dwarves, orcs, and miscellaneous a few thousand years into the future and drop them into space. It seemed like a golden opportunity to satirize both sci-fi and fantasy at the same time.
So much has been written about dwarves and elves, but they fall back on the tropes of dwarves love to drink, elves are snooty. It’s so boring. By turning them into their own species on a different planet I had free range to develop their culture and evolve them to something new. Sci-Fi also lets me come up with the wackiest technology a bit easier than fantasy does.
There’s a bit in all of my characters. It’s hard not to inject pieces here and there of myself and people I know. I’ve always been an observational person, so I like to build characters from complicated layers. Like Orn – he’s obstinate and takes little seriously, but he’s also surprisingly loyal and feels a sting when discovering he’s been lied to by a friend. Due to missing a hand, he’s also a great person to come to when you’re in a major crisis. He won’t sugar coat his advice, or frame it in inspirational sound bites, just lay out the good and the bad and point you towards a way out.
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