Today we welcome Erin Bassett, author of the urban fantasy online series, Clock Work (Abandoned Towers Magazine).
E.L. Bassett, informally Erin and familiarly Rin, has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Before that she was prone to telling you all about how her sister was an alien and her dog pulled carts for garden fairies and dragging you into to the backyard to show you were Flybys (insect like creatures with powers over the elements) were nesting. Her penchant for the fantastic carried through grade school, evolving into a fascination with Dragons. She was constantly in the library reading everything she could, which of course led to the discovery of J.R.R Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. She then knew she wanted to be a writer and her main genre would be fantasy.
In 4th grade she participated in the ECISD annual Oral Traditions Competition, her story being one complete with unicorns and ogres, taking home 6th place in the city. She can still recall the first 5 lines, which probably has a lot to do with the unicorn.
After joining the North Texas Speculative Fiction Writer’s Workshop while studying at TCU she was included in their chapter book with the science fiction story: Spirit of Hope. Since then she has been published in Indigo Rising, Raven Images and Abandoned Towers Magazine and has a chapbook published by Diminuendo Press.
The serial Clock Work came about when the Managing Editor at Abandoned Towers contacted Erin with the offer. After writing up a brief synopsis on two of the, many, works in progress, Clock Work was chosen. From there illustrator Juliet Doherty was found and the project came to life.
Erin enjoys off beat, out the ordinary writing of the urban fantasy persuasion, but also revels in classic fantasy stories with gripping battles, wizards, dragons or monsters, and epic fight scenes set in far off, mythical or fantastic places. Her book shelves are packed with everything from Holly Black, Martin Miller and Terry Pratchett to Christy Lijewski, Dean Koontz and Hal Duncan.
Thank you for this interview, Erin. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
It’s certainly my pleasure! Well, I am currently Senior Editor for CW Productions, I have a chapbook out from Diminuendo Press, several poems printed in magazines and a 4 year member of North Texas Speculative Fiction Writers group.
I usually tell people I’ve been writing since I learned how to; but I have been making up stories to entertain my sister and family since I could talk. I had an over active imagination as a kid and, honestly, that hasn’t calmed down any since becoming an adult.
Can you tell us briefly what your online series is about?
Clock Work is an Urban Fantasy story based around a young girl named Esther St. Claire. After being away from her private High School, WestinAcademy, for the semester following the death of her parents she returns to a very odd reception that cumulates in the Westin student body being attacked by creatures thought to only exists in myths and story books. Esther is faced with the choice of accepting her role within the chaos and helping to tame it, or ignoring it and continuing life as she has been.
When did your series start and how often does it get updated?
I had been working on Clock Work for a few months before the Managing Editor for AbandonedTowersapproached me with the idea for a serial. Clock Work officially went live Tuesday May 5th 2010. It updates every 5th of the month; with as little variant as I can manage. Some times I do fall behind as some health problems get in the way. But if I am going to be late I send out emails and do an update as to why and when the episode will post. I try to keep my readers as informed as possible!
Why did you choose your particular genre?
It kind of chose me, actually. One day I just realized I was writing “Urban Fantasy.” Adding mythical or fantasy elements to everyday environments in the way of Holly Black just made sense and was so much fun. It wasn’t until later I realized it had become an actual subgenre.
Do you ever experience self-doubts with your work? Are there any difficulties you experience that you feel are particular to writing an online series?
Oh yes. Writing is such a solitary experience. You are left alone in your head for long hours with plenty of time for all your insecurities, worries and lots and lots of doubts to start seeping through. And writing for an on line serial, tossing words into the void, doesn’t help those anxieties. You see your “watcher” list and wonder every time you post, “Are they actually reading? Is that just my mom/best friend/boy friend who made 20 different profiles so I won’t feel like a failure?” It’s kind of more in the forefront of your mind with an online serial. You can go back and re-read and start thinking you need to tweak that or this. It has a more, “This is never going to be done” feeling then if it were in a book on a shelf. You can’t get that second or third crack once it’s published there, but with online you are always tempted to adjust and edit forever.
Who is your favorite character and why?
I think it has to be Tobie Sinclair. Not that I don’t love the entire cast; but Tobie is just so much fun to write. Villains usually are. He’s so seductively snide and cleverly cruel. He knows just how to get to Esther and he has no fear of pushing boundaries and limits. His interactions with Holonare also great fun because there is a dichotomy to Tobie the reader only gets glimpses of when he is around Holon. As to why that is has to be kept a mystery for now, but it’s a layer I love exploring.
Where do you write? Do you have a favorite place?
Everywhere. I constantly have a journal on me and am forever jotting things down it in. Even when I should be doing other things my mind never takes a break. My go to place has to be a coffee house though. It’s getting increasingly difficult to find indi coffee houses, but curling around a Carmel Apple Spice in an overstuffed chair at the back of the shop with my journal in my lap always gets my muse going.
Would you tell us about your illustrator and how you came to be working together?
I found Juliet on Deviant Art. I had been watching her for a while, quietly adoring her work. When my last illustrator didn’t work out I sent Juliet a very shy note asking if she could possibly, maybe, hopefully even consider working with me. I had a back up in mind, but I couldn’t bring myself to even email them until I heard back from Juliet. I thought it was a long shot. Imagine my surprise when she noted me back so positively! I was ecstatic! Since then we have been working with each other’s very hectic schedules and it’s been marvelous. I tend to gush over her, but I really couldn’t ask for a more amazingly talented illustrator for Clock Work or for such a great new friend. Please go and support her work!
What’s next for you?
I have two more poetry books, one with photographer Tracy Davis for photo-illustrations. I am constantly sending off poems and short stories to magazines and I have the first book of a YA Fantasy under contract. I am also taking on clients for in house editing at CW Productions. Good thing I like to stay busy!
Thank you for this interview, Erin. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
Thank you for having me! I am working on my author’s website www.elbassett.com but can always be found around Clock Work’s FaceBook and Twitter.
If you would like to pick up your copy of Clockwork, you can visit Erin’s blog at http://ebclockwork.blogspot.com/ or order directly through any of your local Virginia Beach bookstores.