de Lint Aug09

 
Charles de Lint is the father of urban fantasy.  His Newford books have set the standard for that genre.  His catalog includes 65 books spanning several genres from his trademark urban fantasy, to children's books (A Circle of Cats), to noir detective fiction (The Road to Lisdoonvarna).  In addition to being an amazing author, Charles is a musician and an artist.  More information on all of his many talents can be found at his website.
 
His latest novel, The Mystery of Grace (Tor 2009) is set in the southwest.  The protagonist, Grace, is a strong, tattooed motorhead.  She works for Sanchez Motor works and turns hot rods into custom works of automotive art.  Grace moves in a very narrow orbit from work, to grocery store, to home.  But then her life collides with John Burns.  He would be perfect if only either one of them had their lives in order.  They must both put the past firmly behind them if they are to have any hope of going forward.
Charles is working with Novel-Tees, an orginization that raises money for the National Association to Protect Children by printing up tee-shirts for businesses in books.  You can get an awesome tee-shirt and help kids at the same time!
 

 

 

Sara

I know music is very important to you both during the writing process as well as in the rest of your life.  Would you tell us what you're listening to this week?

Charles

Because I'm forever playing with my vinyl, my iPod's got MP3s from downloads, CDs, and records on it, spanning the decades but focused mostly on the 50s, 60s and 2009.  So this week...hmm.  New albums by Pete Yorn, Regina Spektor, Thea Gilmore and The Aggrolites are getting multiple plays.  I've been working my way through discographies of Stephen Stills (find I still prefer the early stuff), Paul Butterfield Blues Band (ditto), and Johnny Cash's 50s/60s recordings on Sun and Columbia.  Oh, and I also gave the new Neil Young a once through--who knew he was once in a surf guitar band?  Today I was listening to Les Baxter's Wild Guitars.  Not too wild.  He should have been listening to some Link Wray if he was going to use that title on a record.


Sara

What is your favorite meal?

Charles
Chile rellenos, preferably at La Indita in
Tucson, AZ.  Pretty fond of the corn tamales at El Charro, too, also in Tucson
.  Here at home it would have to be MaryAnn's tortilla soup, or a nice plate of spaghetti at the House of Lasagna.
 


Sara
Do you have a favorite illustrator?

Charles

I'm going to have to go with Charles Vess, though I do love Mike Dringenberg's work as well.  But the projects I've done with Charles are real favourites because of all the prep that goes into them (going on trips to scout locations, hanging out to discuss characters and themes).  When I'm reading proofs, or even when I just see the cover of one of the books, it all comes back in a rush of pleasant memory.
 

Sara

Do you have pets and if so do they get up to any wacky hijinks?

Charles

We have a fluffy, mostly-white cat named Clare and a Maltese toy poodle pup named Johnny Cash.  Johnny came from the pound and Clare was tossed out of a car along with her brother about an hour south of Ottawa and was brought to us.  She was supposed to go on to a foster home, but she was too sweet to let her go.  Neither of them are particularly mischievous, though Johnny will occasionally protect the house from evil tissue boxes when we're not home.  I assume it's quite a battle considering the fact that there are bits of tissue all over the living room when we get back.  But mostly Clare's just sweet and good-natured and Johnny's our little clown dog, always making us smile.

But we used to have an orange cat named Billy (also a rescue from the same area as Clare) who was forever getting into trouble.  In our old neighbourhood I'd get calls to come and get him from under the neighbour's bed, or someone would tell me about a Japanese couple sitting on their front steps feeding him chicken with chopsticks.  He's hang out with the mechanics at the local garage and pretty much figured the whole neighbourhood was his to rule.  When we moved to where we live now, he decided he liked the neighbours three doors down better (they gave him cream and real salmon) and eventually he moved in with them.  When they moved away, he went with them.
 

Sara

What is your favorite season?

Charles

In this area, there's something to be said for each of them, especially with a dog (Johnny's a recent addition to the family) since you're out walking twice a day in every kind of weather.  So I like the crisp air of a cold winter's night, or walking through a snowfall.  But it gets old, so spring's always welcome, watching the snow disappear and the crocuses and tulips poking up their colourful heads.  Summer's humidity and bugs are probably my least favourite, but they're balanced by those gorgeous days when all you want to do is sit outside and bask in the sun.  Still, I probably like autumn the best.  There's a quality in the light and air that has the walks with the pup get longer and longer.  It has something to do with everything winding down, but the harvest coming in and the forests put on one last amazing show of colour before they go to sleep for the winter.


Sara

What is the oddest non-writing job you've ever had?

Charles

I didn't have any that I consider odd.  Playing in a band, working in a record shop.  I had a few that were boring (working in a huge room with fifty other drones, looking over peoples' tax returns), physically hard (construction), or annoying (caddying--ever notice that bad shots are never the golfer's fault, but the caddy's?).  Though I suppose writing's a pretty odd job, sitting in an office by yourself all day, typing words that one expects others to read.

 

Comments