September 3, 2015 by Laird
A fun and irreverent interview with the mighty anthologist, Ellen Datlow.
| Tags: ellen datlow, interview, spooky bloggery
I hated the “interview,” which was too cute by half. The signal to noise ration sucked. I felt like telling the “interviewer” (and I use the term lightly) where he could insert the cat food and banana peels he cared so much about. Datlow is an outstanding editor and anthologist: she deserved better. My only takeaway: “The Monstrous” is available on pre-order from Amazon.
I’m going out on a limb and guessing you didn’t like the interview.
I apologize for my harsh tone. But I’m a consumer and Datlow often induces me to buy books she edits. You both represent, through your singular talents, a form of quality control. I’m not an insider. I would have loved to have learned the kinds of stories she considers anthology-worthy and why. I’m a consumer, not a stalker. I don’t care where she buys her pizza or her favorite cat food. Your interviews, in contrast, often allow your readers glimpses into the act of writing, the politics of publishing and the extent to which your life informs your writing. That is meaningful and interesting. Your favorite licorice, not so much.
Jonathan, I understand what you’re saying–no need to apologize. On the other hoof, Ellen has a million by the book interviews floating around, so I don’t see the harm in the million and first breaking the routine.
Here’s a recent piece she did regarding anthologies: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/08/27/ellen-datlow-five-things-learned-editing-best-horror-of-the-year/
What IS your take on canine gender self-identification?
Most pressingly, where do you stand on the cotton candy issue?
In a bizarre coincidence, I had some cotton candy today. I remain cc agnostic.
Glad you liked the interview Jonathan!
Strap in, there’s a ton more on the way.
Gonna bite have to bite my tongue a little because I don’t want to start a childish flamewar on my favorite author’s web page. It’s very difficult to do, but here goes…
People like Sean and I (and perhaps even yourself) are HUGE and SHAMELESS fans of people like Laird Barron and Ellen Datlow. We idolize them and try to devour everything they put out (much more difficult to do in Datlow’s case, but we do try). Yet we are also human, and we are also have a modicum of curiosity about what Laird the man or Ellen the woman is like, if these artists are willing to give us such a glimpse from time to time.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with engaging with an artist on a friendly/human level and seeing if they are down for a bit of silliness or absurdity instead of asking them the questions they’ve already been asked a thousand times.
Spooky Sean is a fixture in the Weird fiction community, and he actually does know many of the writers quasi-personally because he puts himself out there and talks to them like human beings. It’s not a huge loss if you don’t want to witness his antics, or don’t care for them, but it’s not as if he’s denying you the privilege of reading a serious or professional interview with Datlow. They exist. Go online and look for them.
In fact there are LOTS of many good and traditional interviews with Ellen that stick largely to her professional output. One recent interview is on the Lovecraft eZine video podcast where they talk to Datlow for SEVERAL HOURS. I watched every minute of it, and instead of bitching at Spooky Sean for having a playful moment with one of our favorite people, I suggest that you do the same.
Or go interview her yourself!
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