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The Metaworker Podcast | 013 Ink Runs in Our Veins: Editor Chat Part 3

Episode Description:

In this final episode of the editors chat, Matthew, Elena, Mel and Cerid get personal. They talk about their own writing projects and how they approach their craft, they share what they get up to outside of their fiction lives and finally wrap things up by providing a list of great books from the recent reads they loved.

Referenced in this episode: 

Mermaids Monthly
NPR Top 100 SFF book list and other NPR book lists
Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse 5
Dark Tower: Stephen King

Book Recommendations:

The Bread the Devil Knead by Lisa Allen-Agostini

A Dead Djinn in Cairo and Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

Stariel series by AJ Lancaster

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers

Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Beckoning of the Gate by Benjamin J. Ryan

Court of the Grandchildren by Michael Muntisov and Greg Finlayson

Borderlanders by Gillian Pollock

The Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee

Dark Star trilogy by Marlon James

Episode Transcript:

Matthew Maichen (00:01):
Welcome to the unexpected part three of our ‘editors only ‘podcast episode. We went on some long tangents in part two, so this episode picks up where we left off. Continuing with our roundtable discussion, our next question is a three-parter. So, actually, we’re starting with Cerid. Are you working on something? Are you writing? Have you been writing something? Or if you’re not, what is your general process?

Cerid Jones (00:31):
I’ll try not to waffle-on too much [laughs]. I’ve already said that I feel like a little bit of an imposter, but I’m also an ideas person, so I have this innate ability to…someone can say the most abstract thing, and I will come up with a whole story and whole universe real fast. I’ve also previously admitted that my major problem with my writing is dedication to completing. I have a file on my computer that’s filled with things that started out as what I hoped would be short stories and became novellas, or potential novels, and then potential series. I have finished absolutely none of them. I have this weird thing where a year will go by and then someone will say something which will re-inspire me about writing, which will make me think about one of these pieces and I’ll go back and maybe spend a month or two trying to flesh things out and write this part of the story and write that part of the story. It gives me more ideas and it gets bigger, and then it gets in the ‘oh, it’s too big’ pile. I don’t have the time for it. It’s going back in the drawer. I do have a number of short stories that I come back and forth to. The major piece that I’ve been working on this year, which is my newer piece, is a very esoteric wildwood retelling based on a lot of old wives’ tales and around ‘cunning woman’ instead of witchcraft. I really don’t like that witchcraft is such a big trend. I like the cunning woman idea. So, an exploration in and around that, and mixing in bits of gods. The other piece I’m working on is a collection of short stories in and around merfolk. I’m really interested in the vast background of different cultures and their different retellings of what merfolk or mermaids or sirens or all the wonderful other host of names that they’re given but, you know, fish mythic creatures and kind of weaving them together into something interesting. In terms of my process, I have no dedication. I’m a very…when the inspiration strikes, I will tap away at my keyboard frantically. I don’t often plan things out too well. I don’t have a plot play-by-play that I’m writing to. I’m writing based on what I feel or what’s churning in my head or something that I need to work my way out of. And I’ll use an imagined story to do that with.

Matthew Maichen (03:13):
Mm Hm. So, Cerid, have you ever heard of Mermaids Monthly?

Cerid Jones (03:15):

Elena L. Perez (03:18):
I was just gonna say that, Matthew. [laughs]

Matthew Maichen (03:22):
There is a literary magazine that is called Mermaids Monthly, that is just all mermaids all the time.

Elena L. Perez (03:30):

Cerid Jones (03:30):
[sings] Aaaaah!

Matthew Maichen (03:32):
Everything in it, the purpose of its existence, it has art, fiction and poetry. There’s a really humorous anecdote from the editors on the website because…I’m not quoting it word-for-word, but they say something like: ‘you know, we realized that we actually just want to publish a bunch of mermaid stories and we don’t want to stop publishing mermaid stories. We don’t want to publish other types of fantasy stories and wait for mermaid stories. We just want more mermaid stories. So, we’re gonna make a literary magazine that is just mermaid stories.’

Cerid Jones (04:11):
Oh, that’s so cool. I’m so excited. I’m actually one of those weird people who…sometimes it gets too much being a human, so I’ve got a bunch of fake mermaid tails, and I put a mermaid tail on, and I sit and sparkle with a mermaid tail. I’m done being human, I’m a mermaid.

Elena L. Perez (04:26):
Oh, I love that.

Cerid Jones (04:27):
Funnily enough, the first story I ever wrote when I was about twelve, like proper story, was called the “Mermaid Doth Die”. [laughs]

Elena L. Perez (04:36):

Cerid Jones (04:37):
[laughs] So, I returned to the theme after twenty-odd years.

Elena L. Perez (04:39):
I love that. [laughs]

Matthew Maichen (04:44):
So, I guess I’ll pick it up. I am also working on multiple things. I’ve gotten into the habit of writing for short story calls, and I’m also noticing that I have a lot of short stories that I’ve written that are about, I guess you could call it ‘really complicated supernatural relationships’. Maybe romantic, but my friend told me, ‘no, it isn’t romance because romance has a happy ending’. And I’m, like, ‘well, if romance has a happy ending, then no, it’s not necessarily romance’, but I have a lot of things like that. I realized that I have enough of them to almost make an anthology.

Elena L. Perez (05:37):

Matthew Maichen (05:37):
And then I came up with a title in my head, and the title that I came up with is “To Love and Other”.

Cerid Jones (05:44):
Ooh. That’s good.

Matthew Maichen (05:47):
Because I came up with that title on my own, that now has to be a thing. I don’t know how that’s gonna be published. I have to write three more stories and try to submit them somewhere. If I have to self-publish this collection of short stories, I will do it.

Cerid Jones (06:05):

Matthew Maichen (06:06):
There’s already a siren story. It has been written. Just so you know, Cerid.

Cerid Jones (06:10):
Wooh! [laughs]

Matthew Maichen (06:10):
I’m probably going to include some really old stuff in it. I wrote probably the most messed up story that I’ve ever written in my entire life, and that’s going in it. So, yeah. In addition to that, I’m working on a novel. The working title was “Changeling”, but then I realized if you give your book the same title as another popular book, it does actually hurt you. The idea for “Changeling”, initially, was that in Europe, in the olden days as we know them, autistic or otherwise disabled people would often be branded as Changelings. They’d be…people would say that they would have had Fay children exchanged for a human child, and the disabled baby was the Fay child. It was, you know, an excuse for all kinds of horrific stuff. Child abandonment and stuff like that. The idea is that it, it is a book that at first follows this autistic young man who ends up—slight spoilers—exiled from his community, but Fay are real. He’s not one of them, obviously, but they exist in this world.

Cerid Jones (07:42):
Wow. That sounds so cool.

Matthew Maichen (07:44):
Thank you, Cerid. Elena, what are you writing? What is your process? Big combined question.

Elena L. Perez (07:55):
I, too, am working on multiple projects. [laughs] Mostly, though, right now my focus has been on my poetry. I’ve been writing a lot of poems lately and trying to get those published. No luck so far, but I’m trying. [laughs] I like to write about nature or play with words and format. I’m working on a few short stories that I’ve had floating around in my head forever. One story is about dragons. One story is about this girl who finds a plant growing in the middle of her room and tries to figure out where it came from and goes on adventures. Like Cerid, I struggle a little bit with finishing those kind of stories. The poetry I finish, but the short stories or the longer stories like that…I don’t know, lately I’ve been having trouble finishing them, so they’re just kind of percolating there in the back of my mind. If an idea pops into my head from something someone says, or something I read about that makes me think of my story, then I write it down. So, I have a list of characters and situations or little bits of world-building that I’ve kind of compiled for each of these stories. My goal now, after I get my poetry sent off, is to compile all those ideas into a cohesive story or, well, the different projects that I’m working on. As far as my writing process, I…yeah, I’m kind of like Cerid, too. I don’t really have a set time that I sit down and write. I just, I kind of make time. Like at the end of my day if I know I’m gonna have a chunk of time, I say, ‘okay, well, instead of reading or watching a TV show, I’m gonna sit down and write or submit my work somewhere or, you know, research journals to submit to’. It’s kind of haphazard in that way, which maybe I have to follow Mel’s example and kind of set up a routine for myself. [laughs]

Melissa Reynolds (10:19):
Well, I made it sound like I’m doing a ton of writing, but…I would say looks can be deceiving, but you can’t see me.

All (10:27):

Melissa Reynolds (10:27):
I don’t count journal writing as real writing, which maybe I should. But that’s my…I’m sorry, were you finished, Elena? I didn’t even…

Elena L. Perez (10:41):
Oh, yeah, yeah. No, I was finished. [Laughs]

Melissa Reynolds (10:43):
Okay. So, I’ve taken a notebook that I used in all my classes to take notes and I’m doing a half art project, half writing thing, where I go back and I outline the old notes, and then in the margins and all around it, I take a sparkly gel pen and I write really tiny or [laughs] I make a shape of mountains. Then I use a green pen to fill in the mountains and then a blue pen for the sky and write little tiny words to make a picture-slash-many journal entries over a course of one picture. I am working on a novel. It’s been my baby forever, and I actually used it in my grad school fiction writing class. The idea is a little bit unconventional. I’m taking a science fiction fantasy story that checks off all of the genre check marks, but I’m combining it with a nonfiction magical realism thing. I’m calling that character ‘the seeker’. I’m taking bits of poetry that I’ve written for a poetry class, or I’m taking experiences that I have, and fictionalizing it to a degree and putting it into this seeker narrative. I wasn’t sure if that was something I should do, combine those two very different genres together, but the grad school class, they liked the seeker part. The plan is to keep picking away at it. Eventually the character arc will be [that] she will remain unnamed until she has some great epiphany, and the ending will be the seeker claiming her true name. Whether that’s my name or a character name, I have no idea yet. But, it’s terrifying, that risk, because it feels like I am taking a chance at ruining the science fiction fantasy story that I’ve worked so hard on with this other element. But I guess sometimes the biggest risks pay off. Hopefully. Fingers crossed. [laughs]

Matthew Maichen (13:12):

Elena L. Perez (13:12):
That sounds amazing. I totally wanna read that. [laughs].

Matthew Maichen (13:17):
That is, by the way, what Vonnegut did. Kurt Vonnegut. He took real war experiences that he had had, and then he threw in aliens and sci-fi elements. There is a character in the book who at first has a fictional name, and then I think he quite literally, in Slaughterhouse Five, at one point says something along the lines of: ‘fuck it. this character was always me. I’m just gonna use my real name from now on’.

Melissa Reynolds (13:50):
Nice. I’m gonna have to read that.

Matthew Maichen (13:52):
It’s considered one of the best sci-fi books ever written for a very, very good reason. It’s pretty great.

Elena L. Perez (14:02):
You could use that as your comp title, Mel.

Matthew Maichen (14:04):

Melissa Reynolds (14:05):
Yeah, that’s not a bad idea. So, for my writing process, I am also very chaotic. It’s either free moment in the afternoon or late at night. But I’ve kind of struggled because this story feels like it demands a lot of me. I have to be very honest and vulnerable with it, and it’s not always a good feeling, so I’m finding that I almost have to force myself to sit down. Along those lines, I’m gamifying. I take a D&D dice, D20—twenty-sided dice—and I roll it, and then I add two zeros at the end and that’s my goal.

Matthew Maichen (14:47):

Melissa Reynolds (14:48):
If I roll in at 20, that’s 2000 words for the day, hopefully. Or editing. I’m counting editing towards that because I already have the base, the old story, I’m just adding to it.

Elena L. Perez (15:00):
Oh, I like that.

Matthew Maichen (15:01):
Well, what’s funny is professional writers do usually recommend 1000 to 2000 words a day. So, you are still hitting the average of what professional writers recommend, but a lot of randomness thrown in there.

Melissa Reynolds (15:19):
Yeah. That randomness helps. It does. Something about it makes it a little more fun.

Elena L. Perez (15:25):
Yeah. That sounds like a good method. Except I would probably use minutes instead of word count ’cause whenever I set a word count goal for myself, I end up just freezing. You know, psyching myself out and I’m, like, ‘oh, I have to write this amount of words’ and then I just end up staring at the page and not writing anything.

Matthew Maichen (15:47):
That’s a whole really good discussion to have. It’s a thing that every writer should learn for themselves, actually. What works better for you as a daily or weekly requirement? Is it words or is it time? I’ve seen both ways. I have not seen a lot of people who finish books, who don’t give themselves some kind of regimen.

Elena L. Perez (16:15):

Matthew Maichen (16:16):
[A] requirement. For some people it’s words, and for other people it’s time. And I think people really need to learn which one is the one that works for you.

Elena L. Perez (16:26):

Matthew Maichen (16:27):
Stephen King writes for a certain amount of time every day. Mel, I know you’ve read some of “The Dark Tower”.

Melissa Reynolds (16:35):
I have.

Matthew Maichen (16:36):
So, in “The Dark Tower”, the chapters are broken up into these numbers. There’s other numbers in addition to the chapters and the reason for those numbers is because that’s actually the daily writing he’s done. Every single one of those is broken up by…

Cerid Jones (16:54):

Matthew Maichen (16:54):
…that is his daily writing. That’s how he finished that series because it’s a massive seven book series that is extremely complicated and intricate and has a lot of characters. He got himself to finish it by just being willing to put his daily work on the page.

Melissa Reynolds (17:18):
That’s awesome.

Matthew Maichen (17:19):
Yeah. So, next question I think is gonna be a quick question because I like talking about writing, and I do want to get to the last question without this being a ridiculously long pod…Oh, it already is. Without this being ludicrously long podcast episode. Let’s try to answer this one very quickly. What are you doing right now outside of writing and editing? I will go first. I am now an English teacher, and I’m in a weird place. I have to apply to other school districts this year, so that’s what I’m doing. Because it said ‘outside of writing and editing’, it did not include reading. I have this weird mission to read all of NPR’s top 100 science fiction fantasy books, and it started as 100, and then in the year that I was reading it, they added 50 more, so now it’s 150. That is an adventure, and it takes a shocking amount of my time because these books are—oh my God, they’re such big books. Anyway, that’s what I do over the summer. [laughs]

Elena L. Perez (18:41):
So, my day job is a video editor. I edit videos for online—YouTube, Instagram, Facebook. Fun fact: I am also the one who usually edits these episodes, but this time, for this special editors’ chat, Cerid is gonna be editing these, so…

Matthew Maichen (19:02):

Elena L. Perez (19:02):
Shout out to her. So, yeah, that’s my day job.

Melissa Reynolds (19:08):
I am doing an internship with JPI, which is Java Productions Incorporated, I think. Sorry. But I’m a proposal analyst there, so I’m doing more editing there. But, aside from work and all that, I am playing D&D a lot with my son and my friends. I have also…it’s the start of summer here, so I am working with my plants a lot. I have all kinds of potted plants, indoors and out. If I’m not playing D&D, writing, or editing, I am messing with a plant.

Elena L. Perez (19:44):
Nice. I have plants, too.

Matthew Maichen (19:45):
If they’re alive, then you’re doing better than me.

Elena L. Perez (19:49):
Oh, no. [laughs]

Melissa Reynolds (19:51):
I have one named Tony Stalk. I’m just sayin’.

Elena L. Perez (19:55):
[laughs] I love that.

Cerid Jones (19:56):
I love it!

Matthew Maichen (19:57):
Okay. I’m glad that Tony Stalk is alive. If I had him, Tony Stalk would not be alive, so I’m glad that he’s in your hands.

Cerid Jones (20:07):
This is why cactuses are great.

Elena L. Perez (20:09):
Nope. I’ve killed a cactus.

Matthew Maichen (20:11):
Uh, yeah. I kill succulents. I kill them, too.

Cerid Jones (20:14):

All (20:17):

Matthew Maichen (20:18):
Look, I’m not excusing it or saying that it’s acceptable or even reasonable. I’m just saying that it happens.

Elena L. Perez (20:26):
[laughs] It did happen.

Cerid Jones (20:27):
It’s a special and rare talent you’ve got there. [laughs]

Matthew Maichen (20:31):
[laughs] Okay. Cerid, what do you do outside of writing and editing?

Cerid Jones (20:37):
Well, that’s really hard to answer because most of my life consists of a lot of editing because in my other life, I work for an independent publishing company. I do a lot of social media stuff for them, organizing interviews with authors, so pretty much…and reading their back catalog of lists so I can ask appropriate questions to the authors who wrote these amazing books. So, a good percentage of my life is reading, writing, reviewing, and editing. But aside from that, I’ve just picked up a potential little fun external ‘jobby’, which is being what you call an ‘axepert’. I’m going to be helping with axe-throwing workshops…

Elena L. Perez (21:19):
That is awesome.

Cerid Jones (21:20):
And facilitating that, which will be a great laugh. Outside of that, we’re in the middle of winter here, so it’s a lot of rugging up and reading for fun as well as for work. [laughs]

Cerid Jones (21:34):
Cerid, every single time you talk, you have a new skill and this one just really caught me off guard.

All (21:45):

Matthew Maichen (21:45):
Um, you are an axe-throwing instructor.

Cerid Jones (21:50):
It’s a brand new thing. I went to Viking festivals that we have here recently, and I’ve thrown axes there and I went in for a job interview and the guy said, ‘can you be loud’? And I said, ‘uh, well, I struggle being quiet’. And then he said, ‘right, cool. You know, can you yell at people while they’re throwing things safely’? And I said, ‘yeah, I’m pretty sure I can do that’. I haven’t actually started yet, but it’s my new thing. [laughs]

All (22:16):

Cerid Jones (22:16):
I’m weird. What can I say? [laughs]

Matthew Maichen (22:19):

Elena L. Perez (22:21):
That’s amazing.

Matthew Maichen (22:22):

Elena L. Perez (22:24):
What an adventurous life you lead, Cerid. [laughs]

Matthew Maichen (22:27):
So, despite all of our digressions, we are approaching the end. We have one more question and because I was first on the last one, Elena will be first on this one. And our final question is: what is one thing that you have read recently that you want to plug or recommend?

Elena L. Perez (22:57):
Oh, boy. There’s a lot. I’m sad that I have to pick just one. [laughs] Maybe I’ll squeeze in a few more. [laughs] There’s one book that I read recently that I just, I really enjoyed. It’s a heavy topic, but it was just really well-written, and it’s called “The Bread the Devil Knead” by Lisa Allen-Agostini. She’s a Caribbean author. This book is about a woman who is in an abusive relationship, but it’s a little more complicated than that. It’s very nuanced and it also delves into this woman’s relationship with her community. It is kind of heavy at times, but I liked the community aspect. I’ve been reading books by P. Djeli Clark. He has written “A Dead Djinn in Cairo”. His new book is “A Master of Djinn”. I love the world building in his books. Just really, really, really amazing. One last one. [laughs] Another series of books that I really love. The world building and the characters. This one is kind of very…romance kind of series. The first one is called “The Lord of Stariel” by AJ Lancaster. She’s an…

Cerid Jones (24:22):

Elena L. Perez (24:23):
Oh, do you know her? Oh my gosh. [laughs]

Cerid Jones (24:25):
She’s a New Zealand author.

Elena L. Perez (24:27):
Yes, yes.

Cerid Jones (24:27):
And she was actually on my list of someone to plug today ’cause I’m just reading…

Elena L. Perez (24:32):
Oh my gosh.

Cerid Jones (24:32):
New Zealand fantasy books. I cannot believe you said that. I just started reading it.

Elena L. Perez (24:37):
Oh my gosh. I love her writing and I love the story. Yeah. I found out about her because I went a couple years ago to the virtual CoNZealand event, the world con that happened virtually in New Zealand. I learned about a bunch of different New Zealand authors and I found her and—ugh—I love it. She has a new book coming out that I’m so excited for. That’s a few of the books that I’m reading or have read that I love.

Matthew Maichen (25:06):
Yeah, I was gonna say “A Master of Djinn” is on the list, actually. I haven’t read it yet because I’m trying to finish the old books, but getting distracted by the new books. But yeah, it is on the list. It’s one of the newest…

Elena L. Perez (25:24):
Yeah, it’s a Hugo nominated book, too, I believe. Or it’s some award nominated book. [Hugo 2022] I haven’t read it yet, either, ’cause it’s new, but I’m excited.

Matthew Maichen (25:34):
All right. Mel.

Melissa Reynolds (25:36):
So, I already mentioned that I’m reading “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. I’m restarting that, but that’s kind of like a workbook. For more fictional reading, I’m reading “The King in Yellow” by Robert Chambers. It’s…

Matthew Maichen (25:54):
Oh my gosh.

Melissa Reynolds (25:55):
Yeah, it’s an older book and it’s not very long, but it’s….oh, it’s so well-written and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’m only about halfway through.

Matthew Maichen (26:05):
Wow. I thought I was the only person who had ever read that, that I knew.

Melissa Reynolds (26:11):
Well, you can’t say that anymore. [laughs]

Matthew Maichen (26:14):
I can’t say it anymore. [laughs].

Melissa Reynolds (26:15):
Nope. [laughs].

Matthew Maichen (26:17):
I’m curious. I’m sorry. I’m curious what drew you to it in the first place.

Melissa Reynolds (26:22):
I was looking online at different things. I don’t remember what the search was, but this came up as being the start to the Lovecraftian Trends. It’s one of those types of books that it’s a type of horror that is different because it reaches into your own life and makes you feel like now you’re in trouble because, you know, you’ve read the book, is the way I understood. It’s that now you’re going to be affected by the king in yellow. I’m not certain…it’s been a while because I actually picked this up a semester before. My reading kind of goes on hiatus when school is in session, so that’s why I haven’t got through it very far yet. But what I’ve read so far, I love, and it’s what I’m working on during the summer.

Matthew Maichen (27:14):
Wow. Interesting. Okay, Cerid.

Cerid Jones (27:19):
I’m like Elena. It’s real hard to pick just one. [laughs] So, I’m gonna plug a few real quickly. I’m really excited that Elena has read AJ Lancaster. I’m nearly finished the first book.

Elena L. Perez (27:32):
We can fan girl later. [laughs].

Cerid Jones (27:33):
Absolutely. [laughs] I’ve also been slowly working my way through Angela Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber”. I’ve actually read a lot of those short stories more than once ’cause there’s just so much to digest there, which has been really interesting. Really enjoyed that. Most of my reading is actually for my other life with Odyssey books, so I’m gonna just plug some of them that I really, really love really quickly ’cause: Indie Publishing. “Beckoning of the Gate”, which is a dark Fay story is fricking awesome. That’s by Benjamin J. Ryan. I really, really love that. That’s a male writing a female’s perspective and the female has been through some stuff and he does a really, really good job at writing that. My hat goes off to him for that one. The other one is “Court of the Grandchildren”, which is looking at a future sort of dystopia. I mean, it’s climate change exploration. The idea is what are our grandchildren going to think of what we do about climate change now. It’s a futuristic novel set…I think it’s about thirty years in the future from now. It’s really interesting. It covers a lot of meaty topics, like euthanasia, who’s to blame for climate change. It’s got AI issues, which I find really fascinating. It’s a really, really interesting book. That’s by Greg Finlayson and Michael Muntisov. I hope I’m saying his name right. The other one I’m gonna plug real quick is “Borderlanders” by Gillian Polack, which is a story that is a very visionary kind of dreamlike-feel story about these three women, and their intersecting lives, and this mysterious house. I really can’t say much more about that, but it has got a real fantasy sort of feel to it, even though it’s kind of not obviously fantasy until towards the end, if that makes sense. But it’s a really, really interesting woman’s storybook. Um, yeah.

Matthew Maichen (29:36):
I’m going to plug things from the list because, you know, I’ve been talking about the list and I’m gonna plug some of the more modern things I’ve read. Two series. One is more accessible, and I think everyone who reads fantasy of any kind or alternate world fiction of any kind should read this. And that’s the Green Bone Saga starting with “Jade City”. It is absolutely fantastic. It is martial arts magic combined with godfather stuff combined with globalist politics. It asks the question: what if you had a substance that gave people magic in our current globalist world order? How would people respond to that? It really digs into that. It’s much more accessible. The writing is not difficult. The characters are really, really well done, and it’s very complex and intricate. It has some of the same kind intricacy and drama of something like Game of Thrones, but it’s a very different setting, obviously. But the one that is my favorite that is much less accessible, is The Dark Star trilogy, starting with “Black Leopard, Red Wolf” but alternatively starting with “Moon Witch, Spider King” because the two books are not sequels to each other. They are retellings of the same core story by two different characters. The third book has not come out yet, but these books are African-inspired. They are extremely violent, extremely sexual, and also—warning—extremely persistently sexually violent. They are incredibly hard to read, at times painfully hard to read. They are just so worth it. They are absolute masterpieces of characterization and mythology and just this beautiful poetic writing. This combination of fantasy and horror and drama in this very strange, unique setting. They are not very widely appreciated because they are just so inaccessible and even if you get into them, it’s just so grotesque. But it’s one of my favorite things that I’ve ever read in my entire life. So, yeah, that’s my plug.

Elena L. Perez (32:42):
That last one has been on my list for a while. I’ll have to check it out.

Matthew Maichen (32:46):
Yeah, it’s…you have to be ready. It’s quite a—oof. You know, you’re either gonna be turned off by how hard it is to understand it or, once you understand it, just how brutal it is.

Elena L. Perez (33:05):

Matthew Maichen (33:06):
Which really can’t be overstated.

Elena L. Perez (33:09):
Well, I appreciate the warning. I’ll go into it knowing that. [laughs]

Matthew Maichen (33:14):
[laughs] Yeah. It’s so good, though. Anyway, that is every single question that we have. I am so happy that you are here with me, with us. We are sitting at…if it’s not two hours, it’s close. I think that the people who have been so dedicated to listen to us for this long deserve a break from our voices, which I hope were very pleasant for them for that length of time. But thank you so much for being here and for being willing to listen to us.

Elena L. Perez (33:54):
I just wanna say I had a lot of fun chatting with all of you. This was a great conversation and thank you to all the listeners.

Melissa Reynolds (34:00):
Yes, thank you.

Matthew Maichen (34:01):
Thank you so much for your time.

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