Historian at large…
I’m a historian—technically—in Auckland, New Zealand, right down at the opposite end of the world to everywhere that matters. I live on the fringes of the city and use the time freed up by my relatively short commute to really focus on my studies.
Actually, that’s not true. I read, I write, I draw, I cook, I try to avoid arguments on the internet (with varying degrees of success) and I expend a great deal of effort honing the fine art of procrastination to absolute perfection. I don’t study a whole lot, but I have procrasti-read a vast quantity of literature about self discipline, self improvement, and time management. I’ve got the theory down pat.
Other than (rushed) essays and (too many) argumentative forum posts I write a variety of fiction, from dark sci fi to pseudo-literary introspection and everything in between. My default, though, is fantasy of an extremely low and unimaginative—all the imagination having been beaten out of my by some eighteen years of institutional education—nature. I’m beset (in writing) by insecurity and self-consciousness, but I’m trying to overcome that and learn to be crazy and creative again. For now, I’m laughably uninventive; when I want a sense of wonder my imagination gland just shrivels up. I’m working on it.
My fantasy consciously steers clear of have become “typical” fantastic concerns: politics and kings and wars to defeat dark lords, but surely what’s more fantastic is avoiding wars, doing without kings, and (if we’re very lucky) straightening out the problems of politics. I’m interested in the little people: who cleans up the dragon’s body after the hero shoots it out of the sky? What happens to the pitchfork manufacturer when the dark lord is defeated and angry mobs are no longer in vogue? The tides of history are turning, in my stories as in the rest of the genre, but I want to know about the little fishes left gasping on the mud.
Of course, writing fantasy isn’t a very adult way to spend my time. One day I’ll have to grow up, settle down, and become a real person… but not for a while yet!