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Esther Friesner
conducted by Toni Weisskopf
October 2004

TW: How did you get started writing? Any specific influences?

EF: I started writing at age 3. I'd dictate stories to my Mom. My parents read to me and told me stories a lot. I got hooked and the rest is history. They were also extremely supportive when I started writing -seriously,- with an eye to professional publication, so now and always: Thanks, Mom and Dad.
TW: What are some of the best perks of being a science fiction writer?
EF: Hmm. List time:
  1. A. On at least three separate occasions I've been carried through science fiction conventions in sedan chairs by teams of good-looking scantily-clad young men.
  2. B. Loot and lots of it, Just Because. I've received some very nice gifts, including books, boxes of Godiva chocolates, handmade glass figurines, jewelry, t-shirts. Neat!
  3. C. You get a -much- better shot at the whole Six Degrees of Separation thing. Thanks to the CHICKS books I now stand in just -two- degrees of separation form Lucy Lawless of Xena: Warrior Princess fame. Now if only I could meet James Marsters. [g]
  4. D. It makes my kids' friends think I'm cool.
TW: Do you have any favorites among your characters?
EF: Never ask a Mom to choose among her children. Oh, all right: I really like Ethelberthina from some of my CHICKS stories and I've love to give the kid her own book some day. Everyone else in her little world seems to know exactly what she should be doing with her life and they are more than happy to tell her. Repeatedly. But no one has bothered to ask for any of -her- opinions on the subject. Believe me, she's got plenty, and she's not afraid to use them.
TW: What was the first sf story you ever read?
EF: I can't recall the first sf story, but the first sf novel I read was The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov.
TW: Who are some of your favorite non-sf authors?
EF: Jorge Amado (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands and -many- others), Oscar Wilde, Lord Byron, Lucy Maud Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series and others), Larry Gonick (The Cartoon History of the Universe), Walt Kelly (Pogo), F. Scott Fitzgerald, H.H. Munro ("Saki"), Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat) Laura Joh Rowland (Mystery series set in ancient Japan), Miguel de Cervantes, Dante, Ellis Peters, (the "Brother Cadafel" mysteries), Laurence Shames (Mysteries set in Key West).
TW: Are you a morning writer, an evening writer or a catch-as-catch-can writer?
EF: Catch-as-catch-can, but I get much more done in the mornings.
TW: Who would you like to see play your series hero (if app.) in a movie?
EF: I'm going to say Johnny Depp and/or Christopher Walken because they're both so versatile. This is a sneaky way for me to get around -which- character of mine either one could play. What I really -need- to do is write something that would be perfect for Jackie Chan. He's wonderful!
TW: What invention or scientific leap in understanding would you most like to see made in your lifetime?
EF: I'd just like to see people wise up. - Really- wise up. As a leap of scientific understanding I think this falls under the science of Human Behavior/Psychology, so it counts as a good answer. The amount of time, labor and material resources wasted worldwide on destructive activities is appalling, to say nothing of the time and labor lavished on coming up with noble-sounding excuses for continuing down the same path. Worldwide wising up would free these time/labor/material resources and we could make some -real- progress. You can use a hammer to squash bugs all day or you can use it to build homes, you know?
TW: If you could go back to one incident in all of history to watch as a spectator what would it be?
EF: The Battle of Salamis. I want one of the good seats, and I promise not to say "Neener, neener, neener!" to the Persians afterwards. Maybe.

For more information please go to: www.sff.net/people/e.friesner/