Amanda: My name is Amanda Sun (@Amanda_Sun on Twitter)
TT: Welcome, Amanda. As you know our authors are all over Canada. Where are you currently located?
TT: Super, thank you. What is the name of your story in T15?
Amanda: "Fragile Things"
TT: What is it about (without spoilers of course)?
Amanda: "Fragile Things" is the story of a cynical farmboy who must come to terms with the unicorn born on his farm, and the public life he is thrust into because of it. It is also a love story between that troubled boy and a frail, chronically ill girl from the other side of the social gap that looms between them.
TT: What is the first sentence of your story?
Amanda: "There are only two news crews this morning, so after I turn out the workhorses and feed the unicorn, I might actually make it to the bus before it pulls away."
TT: What do you love the most about this (or being in this) anthology?
Amanda: The variety! It was wonderful to read each author's unique perspective on what speculative YA fiction could be, and the length of the pieces was perfect to imagine that world and cup it carefully in my hands for a few moments before it drifted away. Together, the stories really complement each other and fit together as a whole imagining.
TT: Who are your biggest inspirations?
Amanda: The writers that truly inspire me are Neil Gaiman, John Green, Terry Pratchett, and Patrick Ness. Each shares such a strong voice in his writing, and I have learned so much from poring over those carefully constructed pages. I had just finished Ness' Chaos Walking Trilogy when I wrote "Fragile Things", and I think his influence will be apparent for those familiar with the books. He is a writer who is not afraid to point to a threatening mountain and then walk beyond, to reveal a gun and fire it twice, to show the darker sides of people and not flinch at those findings.
Some of the best advice I ever learned from Pratchett was to not forget that "the cute dragon that sits on your shoulder also craps all down your back," because keeping speculative fiction real and reactions genuine will not take away from the writing but in fact make it resonate in a truer way.
TT: What story have you written that's your favorite and why?
Amanda: "Fragile Things" is dear to my heart because it takes an idea I long wanted to write about--an atypical, antlered unicorn born on a farm--and places it in my hometown of Deep River, Ontario. I was able to draw on my memories to recreate the paths I walked, and the paddocks I rode in, and stage in them the ideas of innocence, of breaking, and of the fragility inside each of us.
I am also excited about the new YA Urban Fantasy series I'm working on, Ink, which is set in Japan and draws on Shinto mythology. Having lived in Osaka, it's been a pleasure to revisit familiar places through my characters in a new speculative light. The first book comes out in late 2012, and I hope you'll like visiting paranormal Japan as much as I do!
TT: Thanks for joining us for the Fourth Day of Tesseracts.