Read Part One here.
Airship Ambassador: When people read East Wind, what would you like for them to take away from the story and the characters that they could apply to their own lives?
Holly Schofield: That a fresh start is always possible. That people can be mutually supportive even in the most difficult of circumstances. And that clockworks are cool!
AA: How long did it take to write, and rewrite, East Wind? What were the deadlines and publishing schedule like for you?
HS: I tossed around ideas for about a month while I worked on other things. Then I had the majority of it down on paper within two weeks. That’s fast for me.
AA: What kind of research and balance went into creating the East Wind world?
HS: Short answer: a lot! My electronic file on the story has about 60 articles, photos, and other research documents. Everything from friction welding to the Chinese zodiac to methods of salt-curing salmon.
AA: What kind of attention has East Wind generated?
HS: Quite a lot. The folks at Tor.com (http://www.tor.com/2016/04/29/book-reviews-anthology-clockwork-canada/ ) liked it and so did AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review (http://aescifi.ca/index.php/non-fiction/52-reviews/3478-clockwork-canada).
AA: How are new readers finding you – conventions, website, word of mouth, etc?
HS: My website, www.hollyschofield.wordpress.com , has announcements of all my publications and a complete bibliography of the several dozen short stories I’ve had published. I’ve been known to attend both American and Canadian conventions from time to time.
AA: What do you do to keep a balance between writing and the rest of your life?
HS: Wait, you mean there’s more to life than writing?
AA: Do you get to talk much with other writers and artists to compare notes, have constructive critique reviews, and brainstorm new ideas?
HS: It’s great to get together with other writers, both in person and online.
AA: How have you and your work grown and changed over time?
HS: I hope that I continue to add tools to my writerly toolbox. I try to challenge myself with each and every story.
AA: Writing can be a challenge some days. What are some of your methods to stay motivated and creative?
HS: Reading. Reading anything and everything, but especially science fiction, does it for me. Seeing the breadth and depth of the field and all the possibilities it contains helps me maintain the spark.
AA: Do people outside the regular reading, steampunk, and convention communities recognize you for your works? What kind of reactions have you received?
HS: I was thrilled when Lightspeed’s “Women Destroy Science Fiction” anthology, in which I have a story, made NPR’s list of “Best Books of 2014”. Prouder still when it won the British Fantasy Award. And even prouder when it became required reading in a university course.
AA: Looking beyond steampunk, writing and working, what other interests fill your time?
HS: I’ve always been intrigued by alternative energy sources and back-to-the-land lifestyles.
AA: How do those interests influence your work?
HS: One of the latest forms of steampunk is eco-punk (also called solarpunk) and is a nifty blend of the techno-optimism of steampunk combined with an awareness of the environment. I’m working on an eco-punk story now.
AA: Are there people you consider an inspiration, role model, or other motivating influence?
HS: I’ve been reading science fiction and fantasy since the ’60s so there are far too many authors to name. The stories they told, along with the underlying optimism of original Star Trek, have certainly helped formed my worldview.
AA: Three quick-fire random questions – what is your favorite type of cheese, summer past time, and type of destination for a road trip?
HS: Aged Red Leicester, hiking, and the wilds of Canada.
AA: Any final thoughts to share with our readers
HS: I sense there’s a new wave of written science fiction poised to happen, one filled with hope for the future. I encourage readers to continue to delve into all that science fiction has to offer and make sure to recommend their favorite pieces to their friends.
Thanks, Holly, for joining us for this interview and for sharing all of your thoughts. We look forward to hearing about your next projects!
Keep up to date with Holly’s latest news on her website.
You can support Holly and our community by getting your copy of Clockwork Canada here.