Everyone here at Fossil Lake is delighted to welcome the long-overdue publishing debut of the talented J.M. Northwood!
I was flattered, of course, but also somewhat wary: I was, for all intents and purposes, alone, and he was … intense. So very intense. – “My Beloved,” by J.M. Northwood
* What inspired your piece in The Refossiling?
JN: I wanted a classic love story: a handsome rogue, a world-wise woman, a chance meeting in an exotic locale, and a love that spans both years and continents. With spiders.
* Favorite / least favorite ___________ and why?
A. extinct or prehistoric lifeform
JN: Favorite – Microraptor gui
B. dinosaur-themed entertainment (book, movie, game, etc)
JN: Favorite – The Valley of Gwangi
C. aquatic-themed entertainment (book, movie, game, etc)
JN: Least Favorite – The Old Man and the Sea
D. undersea or freshwater critter
JN: Favorite – Mantis Shrimp. Or deep sea Angler fish. Or Kraken.
E. vacation destination
JN: Favorite – Amsterdam: the food, the museums, the architecture, and the people are all fantastic. Greece would be a close second.
F. time travel destination
JN: Least Favorite – when I was dealing with kidney stones
G. seafood dish or delicacy
JN: Least Favorite – poorly prepared seafood. I’ll try anything once, but I reserve the right to vomit if it’s horrible.
* Where can readers and fans find more of your work?
JN: At this point, nowhere; however, in the relatively near future, I’ll have a website set up with links to both published and new pieces.
* Share your best, or worst, body-of-water-related memory/experience!
JN: Years ago, I was out on the lake, fishing with some friends. We spent hours quietly talking, drinking, and listening to the water lap against the boat. It was a perfect day: not too hot, the breeze wasn’t too cold, the sun was shining around fluffy white clouds … it was the closest thing to unadulterated peace I can ever remember.
A close second is any time I spend on the Oregon coast, and a moderately close third is spending any amount of time up near Crater Lake or photographing the various waterfalls throughout the state.
* Who are your main creative influences, literary/artistic or otherwise?
JN: Honestly, there are too many to count. Initially it was Stephen King, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Isaac Asimov, and Mercedes Lackey, but as time has gone on, I’ve fallen in love with the writing styles of dozens of authors, and my taste in music is equally eclectic. If I had to distill it, though, I’d say that my main creative influences are those who do what they do for the love of the written word: if you’re hammering out copy for the money, then you may have a solid scaffolding, but you won’t have a playground in which I’d spend time unless you’ve poured some of your soul into the piece.
* Current ________ and why?
JN: GLBT / QUILTBAG equality. IMO, until sexual orientation has the same rights and protection under the law as religious preference, there’s not equality.
JN: Cleaning my apartment. Trust me, there are reasons …
JN: A cappella
JN: Black truffle / vanilla bean ice cream
* What’re you working on, what is your process/routine like?
JN: Right now I’m working on submissions for two anthologies. I have a day job with a noon – 8:30 schedule, so I come home, eat some supper, and then write from 9:30-ish to midnight. When I’m writing, I need my tea (or other beverage) close to hand, and I have to have either silence or music specific to the piece in question.
I create brief outlines of what I think will occur during the story, but it’s more of a tentative framework than a strict guideline.
If something is going to be a longer piece – novel length, for instance – I’ll perform all research necessary (or, at the least, that I can think of) to flesh it out.
* What’s the weirdest object you own? Backstory!
JN: I own absolutely nothing weird: I am totally vanilla and live a completely sedate lifestyle.
* Most useless advice you’ve ever seriously given or been given?
JN: “Just cheer up and start writing. It’s not that hard.”
* What kind of question do you always wish these questionnaires would ask, and how would you answer it?
Q. “May I give you a million dollars?”