I graduated from East Anglia’s Creative Writing MA with the Ink, Sweat and Tears Scholarship. Twice a Dan Veach Young Poet’s Prize finalist, I’ve been published by Richmond Times-Dispatch, Entropy, Salzburg Poetry Review, Mikrokosmos Journal, The Claremont Review, amongst others, and am the Assistant Editor of Virginia Living. www.neomodernkonstantin.weebly.com Twitter: @snarky_asider / Instagram: @knr.designs
What inspired you to write your story?
The book I reviewed, A Marvellous Light, focuses on an aspect of the Fantasy genre (queer relationships) that is just getting popular. Before, it was very heteronormative, heroes saving damsels from wizards and dragons. I wanted to bring the book to a larger audience as well as put into context with its peers (like Emily Tesh and V.E. Schwab).
Can you give us an insight into your writing process?
Though I’m an international published poet, I work at a cultural magazine to make ends meet. And because I have a job, I’ve turned into a night writer, whereas I used to write first thing in the morning. Most times my writing is inspired by a photo or nature or an idea, and I take off from there.
I think poetry and flash fiction make great use for these short bursts of enlightenment and can allow for a precise and quick response to the world changing around us.
Book reviews, too, can engage in this sphere of ideas and inspiration. A good review focuses on the aspects of a text that are either very apparent or subtle. By brining these themes or ideas in the text to light, a dialogue is created. That, I think, is the key to literature, exposing events and systems that control everyday life and allowing them to be dissected.
What do you consider to be the most enjoyable or important aspect of science fiction or fantasy, and why?
The escapism is what keeps me reading. Stories about dragons and magicians or undiscovered planets or clones used for organ-harvesting all interact with the imagination and gets it running—or falling down the rabbit hole. Authors like Naomi Novik match magic and nature very well, almost working in a sort of eco-criticism. She also highlights class and economic disparity but still keeps the story interesting without preaching. By having multiple layers to the narrative, the magical world seems more realistic yet still retains an “otherness” that is so enjoyable.