Alibi V.16 No.31 • Aug 2-8, 2007 


Jane Lindskold

Noms de Plume: None

Location: Albuquerque

Key Book Titles: Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls; Chronomaster; Smoke and Mirrors; Lord Demon (with Roger Zelazny); The Buried Pyramid, The Firekeeper Saga


Years in New Mexico: 13

What is it about New Mexico that keeps you here?

I like the variation. I like the fact that you have high-tech and primitive cultures living side by side. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m married to an archaeologist, and I also get to see and appreciate a guided tour of some of the history that’s around here. It’s made me deeply attached to the area.

Why are there so many SF writers in New Mexico?

I think it’s a combination of coincidence as well as a supportive mutual community. I moved out here because I was seeing a SF writer who lived in the area. After his death, I stayed because there was a writer’s community, people with whom I could talk shop. My best friend lives in South Carolina. For him, if he wants to talk shop, he’s got to make a long-distance phone call to me. But here in New Mexico, we’ve got an active and vital community, and I think that holds us.

How do you approach SF?

I approach it like any good writer would approach any topic. I research background, I think hard about the variations I’m going to make in what you might call the “consensus reality that we all share,” and then I carry it forward into my story--so that whether I am writing a SF story or a fantasy story, I’m creating a solidly grounded alternate reality, not one that’s just frivolous and colorful because it sounds like fun at the moment.

What is the state of publishing for SF writers?

I know I’m doing well. I hear a lot of people complaining they’re not. I’m making as good or better a living than when I was teaching , so I certainly have no complaints.

What are you working on?

I am working on the first volume in a series I’ve sold to Tor. The series title is “Breaking the Wall,” and the title of the first book is Thirteen Orphans. It’s a contemporary fantasy that’s going to slide over into an imaginary world fantasy. The basic background is materials I’ve found in Chinese history and mythology, combined with some odd thought I had when I was first taught how to play mahjong.

When will they be out?

First book out next fall.

Who inspired you to become a SF writer?

Nobody. I’ve always been a storyteller. I’m the oldest of four children, and I think I told my first stories when I would wake up in the morning and tell my little sister what I’d dreamed the night before. It’s always been something I’ve loved.

Do you have a favorite author?

No. I’ve always enjoyed mythology, history, folklore, biography. I love SF and fantasy too, and there are authors whose work I love; but none of them were what inspired me to become a writer.

What really happened in Roswell?

No idea. Absolutely none. I am so underwhelmed by that whole thing I have no opinions.

—Thomas Gilchrist