23 February 2010

Astro Girl

I don't think I've ever done an interview on this site but I just had to ask Realm Lovejoy some questions because she's got all sorts of interesting things going on. She's a writer, an illustrator, works in the video game industry, has great music taste, and I believe recently attended a Labyrinth masquerade ball. You heard that last part right, Labyrinth!

On Realm's blog, she does a series of interviews and illustrations with authors and she did one for Chloe-Grace a couple of months back, for which I'll be eternally grateful. Realm's current project is CLAN, an illustrated novel for young adults and here's the synopsis below:

"The person we will have to face every day is ourselves.
Fast-paced, edgy, humorous, and dark, Clan explores the concept that an exact clone is impossible. Clan begins on an abandoned planet, where a single survivor refuses to live alone. Fifty years later, the Clan has emerged: an all-male society of the survivor's clones, who live harmoniously with an ideal of no personal identity and label each other with numbers.

Three teenage clones meet.

Apart from having the same body, they have nothing in common."

(1) What is the CLAN universe and how did you come up with the idea?

CLAN is about a society consisting of one man that's been cloned many times over. Since I'm a 3D artist, I was thinking about what it'd be like to duplicate one character and make a whole film out of it. It'd be challenging, but the opportunities for unique scenarios and character development pulled me in. I immediately started writing CLAN and couldn't stop until the story was done.

(2) In CLAN, the entire society is male. What made you decide to create an all-male society versus a female one and did you ever think about creating an all-female world? And since you write across gender (like me!), do you think you have to change your mindset or perspective while writing?

Initially, I did consider an all-female cast. An all-male cast provided interesting scenarios for me to work with, such as the fact that they'd need incubation chambers to birth the clones. Plus, the idea of teen boys having to grow up with his clones seemed chaotic and hilarious to me. I find that I have an easy time thinking from a teen boy's perspective and tend to write their dialogue naturally. I believe it's because I grew up with two brothers and a lot of my friends were guys.

(3) I know you grew up in Japan, when did you move here and what was the hardest transition do you think? What do you miss about it most?

I've been to Japan and USA back-and-forth all throughout my childhood, but I moved for good to the US when I was eleven years-old. The hardest transition both ways for me was that I had to re-orient myself with the language and culture…and then move again and repeat the process. What I miss the most about Japan is the lively city of Tokyo and the delicious food.

(4) Could you share some of your favorite comics, movies, and video games? Maybe just a few "must see/read" influences. For someone who is as creative and talented across so many fields as you, I'd imagine it's quite a list, so even one of each would be amazing. But definitely I'd love to know which or who are your favorite comics!

My favorite comic is anything done by Tezuka Osamu. I've admired his work since I was a kid and still consider him my hero. My favorite movie is Spirited Away. It knocked my socks off when I first saw it. I also love Edward Scissorhands. And my favorite video game…hmm, this one is tough! I love Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII pretty equally! Another game I recently got into is the Phoenix Wright series.

(5) You must be incredibly busy with so many projects going on, an awesome job, and what seems like a wealth of hobbies -- like skateboarding! How do you manage your time and when do you find the time to write?

Since I was a kid, I've been balancing my time with schoolwork, drawing, and writing. I learned to form a habit and to focus when it's time to focus. I'll dedicate an hour to writing or drawing on weekdays and that adds up. I also spend several hours on the weekends to write, whether it's in a cafe or in my home office. In my spare moments, I'll work on my blog as well. It's also important to me to go have fun -- so I go out as much as possible!

(6) I visited Seattle last year and heard about this whole phenomenon known as the Seattle Freeze. I personally found everyone to be super nice and friendly but maybe I was just being frozen out! What's your take on what that's all about? Overblown or somewhat accurate?

I heard about this too! I've never experienced the Seattle freeze! For such a rainy place, everyone seems pretty friendly. Some people that just moved to Seattle say it's harder to make friends here...but I've personally never experienced any difficulty.

Thanks for the answers Realm, and everyone go to her site because she recently had a birthday and she should be celebrated. Go,go!