Can you spot Bekka in this picture ;)!
Today we continue our series of chats with authors and creatives who support our Bid for a Worldcon in Ireland for the first time. Bekka King is an author who lives in Seattle but is of Irish descent. Her work is features Irish mythology and is often set in Ireland itself. We caught up with Bekka to ask her some questions about her work!
What are you working on now? What excites or challenges you about this project?
I’m currently working on a series of varied “creative fiction” spun off from a brief memoir called “Tales of a Tone-Deaf Walrus.” Each novella is a semi-biographic reflection on topics of my choice, allowing me to flirt with an assortment of life fantasies. The first – and already published – spin off, titled “Uncharted Passage: Toward New Realms,” is about a North American college student who visits Ireland as an exchange student who is also tracing her family roots in Counties Wicklow and Sligo (i.e., a semi-biographical me). In the course of her family research, she is approached by an Irish mythological being who informs her that she’s on a life mission that will serve humanity in a significant way. Numerous Irish mythological and supernatural beings of old (and present) have already been working ‘behind the scenes’ to support her pending mission and they now come forward ‘in person’ to support her in moving forward. Her secret superpower includes a family with various physical disabilities counterbalanced with several extra-sensory abilities – including her own ability to ‘see’ friends and relatives ‘pass by’ when they depart from this life. She is also growing into an inter-connected ability as an academic to provide world leadership (semi-biographic wishful thinking). The sequel is currently underway.
QUESTION: (Please answer one of these questions.)
It is said that learning to write well is like experiencing a series of never ending writing related epiphanies. If you had to pick one, what is the most important lesson you have learned, so far?
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is that the most interesting part of a story for readers is in the sharing of the most deeply personal thoughts I have about whatever it is I’m writing about. In other words, I can most deeply engage readers by telling them those things that I least want to disclose on a personal level. This isn’t “sharing dirty laundry.” Rather, it’s about getting to – and writing about – the deepest parts of what make us human.
If I can add “the most interesting” lesson I’ve learned about writing, it’s that I actually learn a great deal about writing by listening deeply and carefully to music. For me at the moment, I’m learning a great deal about writing by listening to CDs by Hozier and Andrea Bocelli.
What would you like to see more of from the science fiction genre–either in print, film or television?
I’d like to see the writer’s community develop more consensus on the biological and behavioral characteristics of certain beings. Take vampires, for example. If you look for information about vampire characteristics in literature, conflicting descriptions emerge. There are conflicting literary references, for example, about whether vampires grow facial hair and whether vampires can see their reflection in mirrors. See this Wikipedia entry outlining the varied and conflicting characteristics of vampires in literature:
As an author or creator, why is attending conventions important, and what do you love most about them?
Connecting with readers! It’s easy for writers to get caught up in the world of writing – in the form of writing content, engaging with other writers, and learning to improve one’s writing style. Attending conventions, though, is a great opportunity to be reminded by readers what matters to YOU when you read a book. What is it you like about characters and stories? What turns you away from a story? You are the reason books get written, after all!
What special or unique experiences do you think the Dublin 2019 Worldcon bid has to offer?
Ireland has a rich literary and fantasy history dating back through many centuries. Where else in the world could convention attendees be on the lookout for a lycanthrope, nymphs, leprechauns, and descendants of Tuatha De Danann to magically appear together from the ether?
BIO: Bekka King writes memoir and memoir-supported content. Her current “creative fiction” novellas are a semi-biographic reflection on topics of her choice, allowing her to flirt publicly with an assortment of life fantasies. Some of this content grew out of extensive genealogical research involving her Irish roots (i.e., Irish fantasy).