Interview With A.C. Wise (Issue #17)

A.C. Wise
A.C. Wise

A.C. Wise hails from the land of poutine (Montreal) and currently resides in the land of cheesesteaks (Philadelphia). Her fiction has appeared in previous issues of Shimmer, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and the Best Horror of the Year Vol. 4, among other publications.In addition to her writing, she co-edits Unlikely Story, which publishes, among other things, The Journal of Unlikely Entomology. The author maintains a blog at www.acwise.net, and has been known to guest-blog for Apex and SFSignal. She can also be found on twitter as @ac_wise. Her story “How Bunny Came To Be”appears in Issue #17.

Tell us how “How Bunny Came to Be” came about.
“How Bunny Came to Be” is actually a prequel to “Doctor Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron”, which, conveniently enough, was just published in the June 2013 issue of Ideomancer. When I wrote “Doctor Blood”, I didn’t necessarily intend to write any other stories about the Glitter Squadron, even though the story plays with pulpy tropes and hints at the Squadron’s ongoing adventures. However the character of Bunny wouldn’t leave me alone. I started thinking about how someone goes about becoming a world-saving hero. I particularly wanted to explore a non-traditional notion of strength. We have several historical examples of women putting on men’s clothing and going to war (Mulan, Joan of Arc), but what about a man putting on women’s clothing? There’s still a stigma in our society surrounding “girly” things and “girly” behavior. More often than not, they are equated with weakness. But there are different ways to define strength, which Bunny proves to herself and the world over and over again.

What do you find inspiring/interesting/amazing about drag queens?
Their sheer over-the-top-ness. Their willingness to embrace audacity. The sense of fun and theatricality and fabulousness. The way they shout to the world, here I am, look at me. As I said above, there’s still a stigma against “girly” things, and particularly against men associating themselves with anything traditionally seen as feminine, but drag queens revel in glitter and sparkles and feathers, high heels and big hair and elaborate make-up, and they make those things joyful.

There’s more than a touch of Lovecraft in this piece—do you have a  favorite Lovecraft story?
My favorite Lovecraft story is “The Color Out of Space”. It’s a quieter kind of horror story than most of his works. The idea of a color as the story’s villain (for lack of a better term) is brilliant, and even without the tentacles and weird angles and mad dreamscapes, the story still manages to convey a sense of cosmic horror and quiet, creeping dread all at the same time.

What is currently in your cd player/iTunes/Spotify/8 Track?
I actually haven’t found an artist/group to binge on in a while. I’m open to suggestions!

Since we talked about your favorite Bradbury story last time, what’s your favorite dinosaur? Asking for a friend.
Despite the fact that I find modern birds inexplicably creepy and don’t tend to get along with them, I’d have to say that Microraptors and Pterosaur Nemicolopterus are my favorite dinosaurs. There’s just something pleasing about the idea of tiny and/or feathered dinosaurs, and they’re often over-looked in favor of their bigger, more famous cousins like T-Rex, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops.

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