Whoosh! Issue 68 - May 2002

INSIDE THE HEAD OF ANNE AZEL
By Amy Murphy
Content © 2002 held by author
WHOOSH! edition © 2002 held by Whoosh!
3341 words


Introduction (1)
Anne's Head (2-163)
Anne's Stories
Acknowledgments
Articles
Biography



INSIDE THE HEAD OF ANNE AZEL



...And then the good Bard vanquished the evil Warrior Princess...
I hope she'll autograph this scroll for me!

Introduction

[01] Anne Azel is one of the most profound bards out there. She produces original, well-written works, although she is an extremely busy person. She also has remarkable knowledge on many aspects of writing. So let's get to know this special bard.


Anne's Head

INTERVIEWER:
[02] Why did you start writing?

ANNE AZEL:
[03] I had written to congratulate a bard for a story that took place in the Amazon basin. It was a good story but some of the factual data on rainforests was way off. I offered to lend that person my field notes if they ever wanted to write another story on that region. The reply basically told me where I could shove my notes. So I decided to write my own story and that was Amazon Encounter.

INTERVIEWER:
[04] If you had to do it all over, would you be a bard? Would you write?

AZEL:
[05] I enjoy writing and have always written in one form or another. I started posting stories as a form of relaxation. Escape writing has now turned into quite a time consuming activity. It has been fun but I am not sure how long I will continue to write.

INTERVIEWER:
[06] Give us a brief day in the life of Anne.

AZEL:
[07] Like most people, I work very hard for a living. My days vary greatly. I am up at five am and at work by 7:15 and I will work at one thing or another until late into the evening.

INTERVIEWER:
[08] How do you handle stress?

AZEL:
[09] Badly at times. I write and I travel for both work and pleasure. I have many other hobbies too. I have a need to be busy all the time.

INTERVIEWER:
[10] Years from now, how would you want to be remembered?

AZEL:
[11] I don't think I have that many years left, being a pretty old thing already! I would want people to remember me for being a caring, decent human being.

INTERVIEWER:
[12] What is your pet peeve?

AZEL:
[13] People who waste my time.

INTERVIEWER:
[14] Who is Anne?

AZEL:
[15] Like most people, I am a different person for each part of my life. Perhaps more so than most people because I departmentalize very well.

INTERVIEWER:
[16] What is the most sensitive part on your body?

AZEL:
[17] I sincerely hope it is my heart.

INTERVIEWER:
[18] What do you see yourself doing in the future? Any future projects?

AZEL:
[19] I plan to retire and play for the rest of my life.

INTERVIEWER:
[20] How do you handle depression?

AZEL:
[21] I get moody and then realize I need to suck it up and get on with it, and fortunately, I am usually able to do this.

INTERVIEWER:
[22] What advice can you give to future writers?

AZEL:
[23] Let me quote Gertrude Stein: "I write for myself...and for my readers...but my dear readers are an afterthought."

INTERVIEWER:
[24] How did it feel to be published?

AZEL:
[25] I signed a contract mainly because I thought it might help a new company to get going. It is important to support women in business. When the first box of books arrived my friend said, "So this is your first novel, nice cover. I don't think I'll read your books." Then I went back to weeding the garden.

INTERVIEWER:
[26] What has the show Xena meant to you?

AZEL:
[27] The show led me to fan fiction that led to writing and publishing and that has been a really fun experience. I have met some wonderful and talented people through the Xenaverse. I am very grateful for that opportunity.

INTERVIEWER:
[28] How do you feel about its end?

AZEL:
[29] I think it is a shame the authors didn't have one more year to take the storyline where they wanted to. On the other hand, the show had a good run and it was probably about time to call it quits.

INTERVIEWER:
[30] What are your dreams? Hopes? Wishes?

AZEL:
[31] Although I have worked hard for them, I have had many opportunities that have come my way. I dreamed big and met most of my dreams. As for hopes and wishes, I plan to meet all those that are left in the years ahead. I plan to leave this world with no regrets.

INTERVIEWER:
[32] Who do you trust?

AZEL:
[33] Very few people, sadly.

INTERVIEWER:
[34] What is the greatest wish you have for your child?

AZEL:
[35] That they would grow up to be tolerant, polite individuals who value learning.

INTERVIEWER:
[36] What would you say every writer needs?

AZEL:
[37] A writer needs a disciplined, creative mind. Many people are creative but that is not enough. You have to get the job done and done well.

INTERVIEWER:
[38] Do you believe in prayer?

AZEL:
[39] I was raised a Christian. I have a great respect for all faiths and often use religious themes in my stories but I have no god. Belief is an act of trust and trust is not an easy thing for me.

INTERVIEWER:
[40] How do you feel about subtext?

AZEL:
[41] Certainly the show Xena: Warrior Princess, capitalized greatly on subtext. I don't have a problem with that. People should be free to see what they want in a show and feel comfortable in doing so.

INTERVIEWER:
[42] What makes your best friend your best friend?

AZEL:
[43] I have had the same best friend since I was young, and that's a very long time ago. We accept each other's different lifestyles and weaknesses and enjoy our common interests and worldview. Good friends are forgiving and accepting.

INTERVIEWER:
[44] What's the most romantic thing anyone has done for you?

AZEL:
[45] If I told, it would no longer be the most beautiful romantic gesture ever.

INTERVIEWER:
[46] What theme would you like to tackle in your next work?

AZEL:
[47] I have three stories underway. Themes: the shock of the new age and its impact, living with the guilt of murder, and rebuilding lost love.

INTERVIEWER:
[48] What was the last thing that made you smile recently?

AZEL:
[49] The crazy antics of my dog.

INTERVIEWER:
[50] What made you angry?

AZEL:
[51] Someone who didn't live up to their responsibilities.

INTERVIEWER:
[52] You now have absolute authority over the world. Omnipotent in all areas. What's your first move?

AZEL:
[53] I would govern, not control, so my first move would be to listen.

INTERVIEWER:
[54] How would you categorize your best writing?

AZEL:
[55] I have written three very different series and will soon launch a fourth. Each series appeals to a different group of people. I have noted that my readers tend to be professional or skilled individuals. They tend to be mature individuals who enjoy learning. I don't appeal to the forbidden thrills group.

INTERVIEWER:
[56] What stupid thing did you do as a teen?

AZEL:
[57] The list would go on forever! I was a VERY precocious child. Making pipe bombs in the basement, I guess. I am still sporting the scars.

INTERVIEWER:
[58] What, if anything, can stop you writing, if only for a while?

AZEL:
[59] Lack of time. I live a very busy life and writing takes up a lot of time.

INTERVIEWER:
[60] In your opinion, do you fit your astrological sign?

AZEL:
[61] I have no idea. Such things do not interest me much.

INTERVIEWER:
[62] What to you is the worst feeling in the world?

AZEL:
[63] Being victimized.

INTERVIEWER:
[64] The best feeling in the world?

AZEL:
[65] Caring.

INTERVIEWER:
[66] What is the first thing you think of in the morning?

AZEL:
[67] My partner.

INTERVIEWER:
[68] Is there one part of the writing process where you usually get stuck?

AZEL:
[69] I have never suffered from writer's block. I have the plots for at least a dozen or so stories in my head. If I have a problem, it is usually that I haven't had enough sleep and I'm too tired to write well.

INTERVIEWER:
[70] Does the best writing flow for you, or does it come from rewrites?

AZEL:
[71] I haven't really achieved my best writing yet. When I write, it flows easily but I always go back and edit and rewrite. I owe it to my readers to give them the best story I can. It takes me about three months to write a story and I work on it most nights.

INTERVIEWER:
[72] Which part of writing do you enjoy most and why?

AZEL:
[73] I work out the story in my head and then I sit down and write it from the beginning through to the end. That is relaxing. Editing and rewrites I hate although I have to admit that the burden falls mainly on my very reliable and kind beta readers.

INTERVIEWER:
[74] How often do you think about a piece when you are working on it? When do you think about it?

AZEL:
[75] I work most nights and I think about it then. I have a very full life and need to departmentalize.

INTERVIEWER:
[76] When someone walks into your bedroom, what are the first five things that they're likely to notice?

AZEL:
[77] Pictures, computer terminal, fireplace, disobedient dog on bed, annoyed bard who doesn't like people looking in her room.

INTERVIEWER:
[78] Do you feel in control of your writing, or are you carried away by your inspiration or characters?

AZEL:
[79] The characters have established personalities and so when you put them in a situation you know how they will react. Story writing is a controlled world.

INTERVIEWER:
[80] Tell the truth--are you your favorite writer, or in your own top five? Why or why not?

AZEL:
[81] I never read my own stories accept when I have to read through the proofs before publication. I have a number of fan fiction writers who I admire.

INTERVIEWER:
[82] Would the world be a better place if women ran it or would it be basically the same?

AZEL:
[83] It would be very different but probably no better or worse.

INTERVIEWER:
[84] What is your favorite spot where you live now?

AZEL:
[85] I don't have one. I do not like where I am living now.

INTERVIEWER:
[86] What books are you reading now?

AZEL:
[87] I'm currently reading three books: Mythos by Joseph Campbell (origins, philosophy, and symbolism of eastern faiths), The Tarim Mummies by J.P. Mallory (mummified bodies found in Xinjiang, China), and The African Experience by Roland Oliver (an overview of African history). They hold my attention because I have a need to know. When I travel, I read mysteries: Cornwell, Hillerman, Evanovich, Elkins, etc.

INTERVIEWER:
[88] What would your friends say is your worst trait?

AZEL:
[89] I'm very focused.

INTERVIEWER:
[90] Do you type with your fingers on the right keys?

AZEL:
[91] Sadly no. I type fairly quickly, but with only four fingers.

INTERVIEWER:
[92] What is the longest any plant in your home has been with you?

AZEL:
[93] A dozen or so years.

INTERVIEWER:
[94] Do you have any particular bedtime rituals that you follow every night?

AZEL:
[95] No.

INTERVIEWER:
[96] If you find a spider in the bathtub, do you help it out or squish it?

AZEL:
[97] I try not to kill if I can help it but sometimes the little buggers just ask for it.

INTERVIEWER:
[98] What was the last thing you bought that you really didn't need?

AZEL:
[99] I hate shopping so if I bought it, I needed it.

INTERVIEWER:
[100] Who is your favorite Greek God?

AZEL:
[101] Athena.

INTERVIEWER:
[102] Why do fools fall in love?

AZEL:
[103] Fools fall in and out of love. Smart people work hard to try to make love last.

INTERVIEWER:
[104] Do you keep a diary and if so what do you call it? If so, what effect has it had on your writing?

AZEL:
[105] I keep field notes but no diary. I call them field notes. Yes, I use the data in them for my stories all the time.

INTERVIEWER:
[106] How has online writing affected your life and how you see yourself, your goals?

AZEL:
[107] It has been a fun avenue to explore. I have met many really fine people in the Xenaverse.

INTERVIEWER:
[108] What skill would you like to have that you don't have now?

AZEL:
[109] To be able to play a musical instrument.

INTERVIEWER:
[110] Who is your real life hero and why?

AZEL:
[111] Gandhi, because of his personal courage and philosophy on life.

INTERVIEWER:
[112] What fan fiction story touched you so much that you still remember it vividly?

AZEL:
[113] After the Volcano, Mary Morgan. It is a beautifully crafted story.

INTERVIEWER:
[114] If you could only choose a single climate with no variation, would you prefer it to be sweltering hot or freezing cold?

AZEL:
[115] Hot

INTERVIEWER:
[116] What is the first thing you notice about someone when you meet him or her?

AZEL:
[117] What they have to say.

INTERVIEWER:
[118] How is $25 well spent?

AZEL:
[119] On a book

INTERVIEWER:
[120] Would you rather live in a sociable suburb, or alone in the deep woods?

AZEL:
[121] The forest.

INTERVIEWER:
[122] What literary character did you most identify with as a child?

AZEL:
[123] Peter Pan

INTERVIEWER:
[124] What is the source of your inspiration?

AZEL:
[125] No idea.

INTERVIEWER:
[126] Where do your ideas come from?

AZEL:
[127] Almost anything may trigger a train of thought that will become a story.

INTERVIEWER:
[128] What do you find most satisfying about your job?

AZEL:
[129] Research.

INTERVIEWER:
[130] What are the three things you enjoy most about writing?

AZEL:
[131] Relaxation, humor, and my readers.

INTERVIEWER:
[132] What were your favorite book, TV show, and movie when you were a teenager?

AZEL:
[133] Civilization by Kenneth Clark, The Avengers, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

INTERVIEWER:
[134] What do you think of them now?

AZEL:
[135] Still like them

INTERVIEWER:
[136] What's your idea of a perfect world?

AZEL:
[137] A tranquil one.

INTERVIEWER:
[138] How real is your fiction to you?

AZEL:
[139] It's fiction, end of story.

INTERVIEWER:
[140] What Disney character do you most identify with and why?

AZEL:
[141] I enjoy many of them but don't identify with any of them.

INTERVIEWER:
[142] Who do you read for inspiration?

AZEL:
[143] Clark: Civilization, Sagan: Cosmos, Hawkings: A Brief History of Time.

INTERVIEWER:
[144] What's your favorite website?

AZEL:
[145] I don't have one although I think the one Jo made for me is really creative and beautiful. I use MaryD's usually.

INTERVIEWER:
[146] When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?

AZEL:
[147] An artist.

INTERVIEWER:
[148] What are the limits in sacrifices for true love?

AZEL:
[149] None if the love is shared but a lot if it is not.

INTERVIEWER:
[150] If you could interview your favorite author, what questions would you ask?

AZEL:
[151] It would be boring stuff about methodology and style.

INTERVIEWER:
[152] What makes a great kisser?

AZEL:
[153] The right person, the right mood, the right time.

INTERVIEWER:
[154] What have you learned from your animals?

AZEL:
[155] That they evolved much better than I did. I work, they play.

INTERVIEWER:
[156] Does our society glorify violence to the point we have become desensitized to it and the consequences?

AZEL:
[157] Yes.

INTERVIEWER:
[158] What is your motto?

AZEL:
[159] "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield" Tennyson.

INTERVIEWER:
[160] What do you think we take too seriously as writers?

AZEL:
[161] Our egos.

INTERVIEWER:
[162] What questions should I have asked?

AZEL:
[163] No reply.


Anne's Stories

Anne's website
Anne's e-mail

Encounter Series

Amazon Encounter
Come explore the mysterious and wild world of the Amazon basin through the eyes of a young female doctor and her beautiful, dangerous guide.

Turkish Encounter
Travel in an ancient, exotic land and discover the roots of a mystery and an eternal love.

PNG Encounter
Explore Papua New Guinea, the last frontier, with two feisty women bound by love and divided by their past.

Egyptian Encounter
Journey to the temples of the pharaohs and the Valley of the Kings as two women find love is stronger than hate.

Peruvian Encounter
Hike to Machu Pichu and study the ways of the ancient Inca as two women learn to trust love again and end an ancient rift.

English Encounter The Final Chapter
Come travel back to Stonehenge, as six brave women fight a monster from the past and time comes full circle.
Xippy Winner


Seasons Series

Autumn Winds
Robbie Williams was rich, famous, and powerful. She thought she was in complete control until she ran into Janet and her daughter, Reb. Suddenly Robbie's world was way out of control!

Winter Snows
Janet and Robbie's Fall romance had sent sparks flying. Then Ryan arrived on the scene. Could they now face the strains and problems in their lives and stay together?

Spring Rain
Janet Williams thought that her marriage to Robbie was made in heaven until she discovered that Robbie had a hidden past. Can their marriage survive when it had been built on a foundation of secrets?

Summer Heat
Robbie and Janet had felt that they had come through a year of hell stronger and more in love. They didn't think anything else could go wrong. Then they found themselves facing their worst nightmare.

Murder Mystery Series

Dead Fall
Planes don't fall from the sky but this one did.
Xippy Winner

Dead Funny
There is nothing funny about the serial killer that is terrorizing the Toronto area. Dr. Aliki Alberta Pateas is under pressure to identify the Fire Clown before he strikes again.
Xippy Winner

Dead Aim
Dr. Aliki Alberta Pateas is invited to a family wedding but the uninvited guest turns out to be a skeleton!


Journey's Series

South Africa
Laurie Allen and Danielle Agia were teenage loves divided by time and the turbulent politics of South Africa's history. Now, years later, they meet again. Can they find common ground between Danielle's proud Boer past and Laurie's English heritage and antiapartheid views?

China
East meets west when engineer Quin Venizelos is asked to act as tour guide to the boss's heartbroken daughter, Petra Vossler. Travel with them as they discover love against the fascinating and complex background of modern China.


Short Stories

Christmas Story
Bad things happen, Charlie knew that, but Anna knew, that with faith, good could come from bad. Was it a Christmas miracle that brought these two together?

An Arctic Story
Nowdlak had lived in the south now it was Jane's turn to visit Nowlak's Inuit home in the Arctic. Could their love endure in a world of ice and snow?

Iron Rose Bleeding

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Kamouraskan for the beta.


Articles

L. J. Maas and Murphy Wilson [Amy Murphy]. One Step Beyond ... Uber, That Is. WHOOSH #49 (October 2000)

The "Inside the Head of…" series in Whoosh issues #58, 61-


Biography

a woman of mystery Amy Murphy
Thirty-one-year-old Amy Murphy resides in Indiana, and is an avid reader of Xena: Warrior Princess Fan Fiction. If it exists in the Xenaverse, chances are she's read it! Murphy has also tried her hand at writing fan fiction, turning out two very nice pieces that reside on a couple of web sites throughout the Xenaverse.


Favorite episode: IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE
Favorite line: "I have many skills" (various episodes)
First episode seen: THE TITANS (07/107)
Least favorite episode: LYRE, LYRE HEARTS ON FIRE (100/510)

 

 

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