About the Author
A. A. Freeman is a robot shark who writes while the boss isn’t looking. When she’s not thinking about kissing robots she’s either knitting or saving her team in Overwatch. You can follow her adventures in publishing at:
First off, tell me about your book.
My latest book The Worth of Hair is a retelling/sequel to the classic Hans Christian Anderson version of The Little Mermaid, touching on the broken hearts and destroyed lives left in the wake of that story. All of it is centered around The Midwife, a snarky know-it-all of the world of fairy tales that’s trying to deliver the new royal babe while picking up the pieces The Little Mermaid herself left behind.
Sarah’s note: I edited this, and it was, hands down, one of the supreme delights of my year. It’s FANTASTIC.
What makes you and your books unique? Shine for me, you diamond.
I’m sure some people will consider these negatives, but with The Midwife Fable Series I’m aiming to create fairy tale retellings without all of the sex and violence that comes with other retellings. You know who I’m talking about. Instead I’m creating funny, yet dramatic stories with a strong female cast that’s appropiate for young and old alike.
What are you working on now/any future projects you want to talk about?
While I work on the Midwife Fables Series I’m also working on a sci-fi/romance novel called Echo of the Larkspur. It’s about a paranoid scientist learning how to love with the help of snarky robot with a memory problem. You can read the first chapter here.
Let’s celebrate. What’s one of the best things that’s happened to you as an author? Don’t be shy.
Every single review on my novels or comment on my fanfic is like a getting a kiss on the forehead from heaven. Even if it’s just a keyboard smash or “I read this book”, I love them all.
Let’s talk CRAFT
What is one thing that you’ve learned about yourself as a writer?
That self-indulgent scene that’s over the top and will probably make a few eyes roll when read? Write it. No matter how smultzy or tooth-rotting it is. The world’s on fire for Pete’s sake, put that fluff in!
Tell me about something odd you do when you write? Something about your particular process that is distinctly YOU.
Post-its. Color cordinated, size cordinated, all over the wall next to my computer desk. One of these days I’ll go full red string consipriacy with my book plotting but this will do for now.
What does your writing space look like.
Remember that part in Labrynth with the people who carry all of their most important items on their backs? Imagine that but there’s a card table with a cheap computer in the middle of it all.
How do you build your world/characters? What does your process of creation look like?
All my worlds come in slowly piece-by-piece. At first it’s just a bunch of faceless characters on a blank background saying words but as the edits go by more and more details trickle in until suddenly I have to figure out what a space colony on Ceres looks like.
Plotter or pantser, and why?
Gotta plot. Not a full step-by-step every word figured out plot, but a general guideline so I don’t get lost.
Tell me about some of your personal writing pitfalls and what you do to avoid them?
Maybe it’s a side effect of my ADHD but I use a shotgun approach of using commas, parathesis, colons, and my most beloved the em-dash. Oh em-dash! One day I’ll actually learn the shortcut for you instead of just putting two dashes together and annoying my editors.
Let’s talk about diversity. How do you incorporate realistic diversity into your books? And why is it important to you?
If I see another cast made up of only cis white straight characters I am going to chew my own leg off. I can’t stand it. The world is so wonderfully diverse in so many ways! To limit yourself to the most milquetoast of characters is baffling! Wait, am I allowed to curse? I don’t think I should curse. So let me cut myself off by saying oh man it is very, very important.
Do you listen to music when you write? What kind?
I’ve found that the best white noise for my writing is “nerds discussing overcomplex boardgame rules”. Thank God for Youtube.
Sarah’s note: I’m laughing so hard right now! Is this actually a thing?!
Let’s talk about RESEARCH
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched while writing a book?
Did you know that the ice on Europa is so cold that it’s not slippery?
What does your research process look like?
It’s a lot of heading over to the Space subreddit and asking a LOT of dumb questions. Mostly about how explosions would work on different planets. Turns out Titan isn’t as explode-y as one would think.
Tell me about an unexpected thing you’ve learned, and how you’ve worked it into your book.
That there was a sighting of the Jersey Devil in my hometown in the late 80s! This is not connected to the same stories that I’m doing my planet research for, sadly.
Weapons are cool. They often require research. Tell me about a cool weapon you’ve researched and used in your writing.
I had someone get stabbed by a very sharp seam ripper and had to figure out how badly that would mess someone up. Uh. Don’t get stabbed by a seam ripper.
How has technology, and research of technology, influenced your writing.
My God, the fact that I can now run questions past experts in the field has made my scifi writing slightly less stupid. I’m so very thankful.
All things BOOKISH
Tell me about the most recent book you’ve read.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. Oh man. This is the good stuff. The love, the yearning, the angst, so perfect.
What’s your favorite book as a child?
I forget the exact title but this HUGE book of Greek Myths my parents let me read (and probably shouldn’t have). I would read that sucker backwards and forwards all through my childhood.
What book(s) or authors have influenced you, and why?
When I was eleven years old I read The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy and to this day remember the line “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.” absolutely smacking me right between the eyes. My little self had only read very dry school books before hand and didn’t know that you could DO THAT with the written word.
What book would you like to see turned into a movie, and who should play the leading roles?
I’m still waiting for a Peter Jackson level epic movie for Dreamquest of the Unknown Kadath. The lead? Um. Let’s say Oscar Issac. And not just because I’m crushing on him.
What’s your bookish guilty pleasure?
FANFIC! Some people may damn me but my God I love fanfiction so much. I’ve probably read more fanfic than actual books by this point. Look, sometimes I just gotta go over to Ao3 and search for my favorite couples by “first kiss” and spend an evening drowing in fluff.
All Things Weird
When you aren’t writing, what can you typically be found doing?
I’ve currently become completely enraptured by cross stitch. But not any cross stitch, no. I’ve gotten into making as many Good Omens themed cross stitch projects as I can find. And there’s a shocking number of them out there! Here’s my current wall of finished projects:
I am a firm believer that we all have to be a little weird to do what we do. What makes you delightfully wacky?
My numerous mental illnesses combined with odd coping behaviors all mixed together in a vat containing way, way, WAY too much anime and video games.
What’s something you want to learn how to do? Why?
Sewing. I can barely sew. I would love to be able to make actual clothes and not my currest sewing skill level of “can kind of patch up holes in my clothing, sorta”.
How do your non-writerly hobbies influence your writing?
There’s a shockingly large number of knitted objects in my writings, and I’m making official patterns for each one!
Tell me about something in your life that brings you joy. What is it, and why?
The Internet. I know it’s a cesspool, but being able to reach out and talk to people I never would have ever met and learning about their lives really makes the day a little brighter.
Best comic book character ever. Why?
Marvel stop being a coward and bring The Amazing Slapstick to the MCU
What’s a hobby you had as a child that you no longer do?
Drawing! I used to draw all of the time! I was very bad at it. When I reached High School I realized that while I was bad at both writing and drawing, if I stuck with one I could probably stop sucking at it. I went with writing.
If you had to pick a superpower, what would you pick and why?
Invisibility. And yes I would use it to rob banks.
We all have family recipes. Share one of your favorite ones.
My Cousin Jennie’s Rock Cookies! Don’t worry, I shook her down for the recipe:
Give me an elevator pitch about YOU.
Do you want someone non-threatening who’s bad at social interactions? And cries a lot? Then buddy I got the human for you!
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Halloween Halloween HALLLOWEEN HALLOWEEN HALLOWEEN
What’s the soundtrack to your life?
I’m not going to lie it’s mostly They Might Be Giants and Ninja Sex Party, as if it wasn’t clear enough that I’m an utter nerd.
What’s your favorite swear word and why?
Wait, does this mean I could have cursed this whole time? Fuck!