Paranormal Wastelands is proud to present an author indie chat with Molly Rabbitt. She is the author of "Hounds" which is featured in the anthology "Love Magick", edited by Francesca Lia Block.
Let's all give a warm Wastelanders' welcome.
Let's all give a warm Wastelanders' welcome.
Hi Molly!! And Welcome to the Wastelands! I hope you found you way ok.
Molly: I-I did. Until I lost my Monkey Butler, Mr. Monkeyman. I hope he isn't lost and cold. He's a sock monkey, after all. He needs love more than anything else to keep warm.
Did the Zombie Butler take your coat? I hope he didn't take anything else. The poor thing hasn't eaten since Zompacolypse.
Molly: He ate my hat, too, but he was obviously SO HUNGRY, as he kept moaning, I just had to feed him. :(
I heard through the grapevine that your story "The Hounds" has been included in Francesca Lia Block's anthology "Love Magick". That is is most awesome! Tell me, how did you find out that Block was doing this project?
Molly: Actually, I found out through Francesca herself. She asked me to contribute because in the early stages there weren't too many submissions, and she really wanted to do this project. I wanted to work with her on it, so I wrote a separate story in the "Hounds" universe for two different characters that appear in the novel (the anthology piece is just the first entire chapter from the first book in what looks like is going to be at least a duology, so...yeah). My limit was 10 pages, no more than that, so it was pretty difficult with that original story to cram everything in.
How long did it take for her to get back to you?
Molly: About a week - I was taking one of her classes at UCLA Extension, so it was the next week's class that she asked me to submit the first chapter of my book instead. So I saved the original submission and put it up on my blog because it's still a pretty important piece of backstory for these two minor characters.
Did you squee like a little Weetzie Bat once you found out that you were accepted? Molly: Actually, I was speechless. Seriously struck dumb. I think I asked her "Seriously? Really?" about five times before it really sank in and my Monkey Butler told me to shut up. And I think I had a small bout of tachycardia, but...that was it. It was my Mom who shrieked when I told her. Even now, seeing the anthology out in the wild, it still doesn't entirely feel real. I mean, Francesca is one of my literary idols, so it's hard to believe that I'm working with her, and she's helping to mentor me through the writing process, and she helped publish some of my work. It's very surreal, it never gets old, and I'm forever grateful.
Francesca Lia Block edited all the stories in "Love Magick". How does your draft compared to hers differ? Did she make a lot of changes? Were you happy with them?
Molly: Since she helped me rework that first chapter of the book for the anthology, there are no differences. She made suggestions and I took them after we discussed them, and then she okayed all changes and things were dandy. It went along really smoothly, and I was glad for that - and now that I think about it, it was kind of miraculous. Francesca always has about approximately five million different projects going on at once, and I was having both health problems and work problems (I'm a translator by trade, mostly for Japanese and English text, as well as a verbal interpreter) and then I was trying to get all of this done at the same time.
What can you tell me about our story?
Molly: As you've probably figured out, we have the twins Morgana and Morgause (originally snatched from Arthurian legend), who are actually legendary Hounds (hellhounds) and are not from Earth. Avalon is not an island, but a parallel world, far more advanced than ours and has other species other than human walking about. Magic works with science easily in Avalon, and it's all of the choices that weren't made on Earth, or just didn't happen on Earth. The twins were originally one person/entity before they actually were physically born, and they've never really been able to reconcile that - they're one heart in two bodies, and they just want to stay together. Their birth mother, Morrigan (based on legends of the Celtic goddess), hates them, and fighting over their adopted younger sister, managed to seal them out of Avalon for the last 3,000 human years. They've been trying to go home all of this time and are unable to, and they're worried about said adopted younger sister. When word of their younger sister being in danger reaches them, they're thrown into action, trying to get to her to keep her safe as well as prevent a possible war in both worlds at the same time. There's a lot of issues with sexuality, identity, and morality, as well as exploring the idea of Schrodinger's Cat with all of these characters and their psyches - can someone be both alive and dead at the same time? Or do we have to make a firm decision or choice to find out whether the person is either?
If that makes any sense to you guys at all.
Did you write "The Hounds" solely for the anthology or was this already a work in progress?
Molly: Well, thanks to NaNoWriMo and Francesca, along with a lot of friends who helped workshop the manuscript while I was writing it, I finished the first draft of the entire first book in November. It was already a work in progress, and I think when I submitted it I had maybe somewhere around the first half of the actual manuscript done. Friend Aurora Gray, who also has a story in the anthology, really helped workshop parts of the book, and for that I'm thankful.
Is there more to come?
Molly: Yes! I'm done with the first book and have outlined the second. I'm trying to keep it to just two books for now, but I'd love to do a few spinoffs with characters that are minor in these main books, or maybe prequels. Hopefully Francesca will continue to be my mentor through this process, and hopefully my friends will continue to keep me honest throughout it.
Did you have to do a lot of research when writing "The Hounds"?
Molly: Oh, definitely. A lot into theoretical physics (since I do go into a little bit of it - sea of dirac and all that - and twist it to my own machinations), and quite a bit into more obscure world legends and myths of creatures, gods, faeries, and the like. For the second draft I'm going to be looking a little more deeply into the Arthurian legend, since parts of it feature so heavily in the book, even if twisted and rebooted by me and the muse. I think I'm going to have to reread "Morte D'Arthur" for the second draft, if possible. I definitely don't remember the parts of it I had to read while in college and that was only five years ago.
What do you want readers to take away from your story?
Molly: That it's okay to be you just as you are, and in order to move forward, you really need to let go of a lot of the baggage you may not even realize you're carrying around; past grudges, deep-seated anger, and the like. It's okay to be angry, too. Moving forward is terrifying as is change, but it has to happen if you're going to keep being a better you. Because if you don't evolve, you die. It's really that simple.
We here at Paranormal Wastelands wish you the best of luck on your writing endeavor. Is there anything you'd like to tell struggling writers out there?
Molly: As cheesy as this sounds, believe in yourself. It's really hard for me to do that, and Francesca and my friends, both writers and not, helped me continue doing so throughout the first draft. I can only hope that I also have their support for the second and if I'm lucky, publication. I'm not good at believing in myself, nor loving myself, but I think that I got better at both when writing this book. I hope others get better at it, too. Also, keep writing. Even if there's nothing coming, do writing exercises (I suggest those in "Writing Down the Bones" - they're some of the best!), as well as just getting outside and away from the computer/notebook/typewriter for awhile. If nothing comes for a month, just let the fields lie fallow for awhile. They'll bloom again. :)
Thanks for stopping by the Wastelands, Molly!
Molly: Thank you ever so much for having me. Oh, and your Zombie Butler found my Monkey Butler! Thanks, Zombro, for not eating him! He's not very tasty anyway.
Be sure to pick up a copy of Love Magick
And don't forget to show Molly some love. You can catch her on her blog at: