interview by Vianne Venter
From Issue 18 (Feb 2012)
Where is home?
I live in Michigan with my husband and obligatory, yet very well loved, cats, but my heart will always belong to the rolling hills of Upstate New York.
Do you write full-time?
I’m a full-time writer, but I would be remiss if I didn’t disclose that this is in part due to how hard it is to find a job right now, especially when you don’t want to pursue the career you have work experience in.
What work do you do? Have you worked in a research lab?
I’ve worked in three different research labs with rats, mice, pigeons and monkeys. Since quitting that line of work, I’ve done the proverbial one-eighty and am now an animal rights advocate.
What inspired this story?
Long, sleepless nights in the white, florescent-lit halls of animal holding areas.
What other genres have you written in?
I write fantasy novels but when it comes to short stories I’ve written sci-fi, fantasy and mainstream.
Would you rather be a rat or pigeon?
That’s tough because I’ve always wanted to fly, but there are many ways in which rats are much smarter than pigeons. That isn’t to say pigeons don’t have their strengths, like a near-photographic visual memory and the ability to sense the earth’s magnetic pull. Even though I like rats better and would rather have a rat as a pet, I have to choose pigeon because I can’t pass up the chance to fly.
Are you working on anything right now?
I just finished the first draft of a fantasy novel about two siblings torn apart by the machinations of a charismatic usurper, so I’ll be editing that and writing something new. I’m always writing something new.
Where can we read more of your work?
My short story, ‘Super Killer’, will be in Aoife’s Kiss this summer. Updates on my progress as a professional writer will appear on my website, www.summerhanford.com.
Vianne Venter is a freelance writer and sub-editor for various South African publications. She served as story editor and sub for Something Wicked since its inception in 2005. She is also an artist and mother. She can communicate with inanimate objects, but only if they’re feeling chatty. In her spare time… oh, who are we kidding? What spare time?