Sixty Seconds III with: Betsy Streeter

Ten answers to ten questions in 20 words or fewer. That’s less time than it takes to burn a match*.

(*Depending on the length of the match and your tolerance for burned fingers, obviously)

Matchlight


We’re veering off in a slightly different direction today with latest and THREE-TIME Flash! Friday winner Betsy Streeter. (Read her winning story here, her first interview here, and her second interview here.) She’s got several exciting projects going on–including a current drive over at Kickstarter–and we wanted to spend a minute talking about all of that. Pull up a chair!

1) You’re a writer, but you’re also an artist and cartoonist. How do you determine what gets top priority? How do you manage these divergent forms? 

Some stories are visual, some are words, some are a combination. Some are one picture, some are a novel. I follow the lead of the characters to help decide which. A character can be anything from a person to a thing or a place.

2) Tell us something personal, e.g. how do you balance your creative life with working/being a mom?

I am president of a community theatre, so I get to mix around with actors and musicians and folks like that and see a lot of plays, which really helps with storytelling. Life balance (if that exists) comes from having a terrific family who support one another. My son even did the voiceover on my Kickstarter video!

3) Please introduce us to Neptune Road. 

Neptune Road is a science fiction comic about what happens when Earth scientists make Neptune habitable by humans, and every type of misfit and criminal, human or otherwise, finds their way there. Sam Bellotto, the editor at PerihelionSF.com, said, “You should do a sci fi comic for us.” So I did! Here’s the link to the latest episode: http://perihelionsf.com/comics.htm
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4) Neptune Road and… Kickstarter? Please explain!
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I’m raising a little bit to hire guest artists to draw the comic, which brings a new dimension of creativity to it. Kickstarter isn’t so much about money, though, for me. It’s about a community of people helping something to happen and then giving back to them. That’s what makes it amazing. {{Editor’s Note: Anyone interested in checking out the campaign can learn more here.}} 
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5) What has your experience with Kickstarter been like so far? What if it succeeds–and what if it doesn’t?
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I am thrilled at the people who have come forward so far – these things tend to be last-minute, so I’m just riding it out – either way, the comic will happen and I will reward the backers, no matter what!
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Anything you’d like to add? Feel free to wax eloquent!
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I love that there are so many ways to tell stories – a slideshow, a novel, a single-panel cartoon. But we often get too defined by the end product, like “I am a cartoonist” or “I am a novelist.” I have struggled with that, because that is how the business end of things is set up too – the network for publishing a novel is different from the one for illustrations, or comics, or what have you. That is a real challenge. I’ve worked hard to let go of that and let stories happen, and let people connect with them the way that they will. I learned as a cartoonist that work will go out in the world and relate to people without you even there, and that’s part of the magic. Just tell the stories.
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I have also written a novel; it’s a YA science fiction story entitled “Silverwood.” I’m looking for a publisher. Or I should say, it is looking for a publisher. That seems to be how these things go. The second book has taken shape; now I need to get that written.
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I love Flash! Friday because I can respond to something and put writing out there quickly, and regularly, and then see what everyone else did. It’s like vitamins: I feel healthier by participating. I love seeing all that variety in such a short time. There are some really, really good writers on here.
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