LSQ has a group of wonderful editors reading and preparing stories for every issue. They’ve graciously agreed to answer some questions so we can all get to know them a bit better. Today we get to learn more about Cathrin Hagey.
Hi Cathrin! First off, please tell us a bit about yourself. Have any super powers or secret talents?
I have two things I can do nearly better than anyone I know: I can keep a guinea pig happy and alive for way too many years, and I am so profoundly time-oriented that I can arrive anywhere exactly on time. I once was telling a woman about my time superpower and later on she asked me to tell her the time. Even though I didn’t have access to a clock, I guessed it was 3:16. It was.
What’s your favorite indulgence?
I love to watch favorite movies over and over again. It’s probably the result of having come of age in the era of network television. In those days, you could only hope that your favorite movie would show up in TV Guide, and if you were watching something special, you didn’t dare go to the bathroom. I’ve watched Joe Wright’s version of Pride and Prejudice more than 20 times, to the horror of my family members who are thoroughly sick of it.
What random objects do you use to bookmark your books?
Unused tissues, threads that I pull from my sweaters, and envelopes.
What are your thoughts on fan fiction?
I have never really read or written fan fiction, but I’m a fan of fandom and of people getting excited about storytelling, whatever form it takes.
What do you think about YA literature and its popularity with adults?
We enjoyed reading the stories that weren’t yet written when we were young adults. It’s good to nurture one’s inner teenager; it helps in managing mid-life crisis.
Do you think much about whether the stories in LSQ or your own stories are respected as literature?
No. I was once at a conference seminar where Canadian science fiction phenomenon Robert J. Sawyer was giving a talk. The people attending were either fans, speculative fiction writers, or the folks who couldn’t get into the master poetry class across the hall. One of the latter said to Mr. Sawyer, “Do you ever regret that you will never be nominated for a GG?” “GG” refers to the Governor General’s Award, the highest honor for a Canadian writer. Robert J. Sawyer, ever the gentleman, explained to the questioner why science fiction is important to him. Someone else pointed out the many awards Sawyer had won to that point, including the Hugo and the Nebula, but the questioner shrugged. Clearly it was GG or nothing for her, and her disappointment at not gaining entrance to the poetry class was palpable. I am not that woman.
Do you think things are getting better for women in speculative fiction? How about in other areas?
I do think things are getting better for women in speculative fiction and in general. However, the stronger we get, the more eager some people are to keep us down. And, frankly, now that we’ve begun to be more open about rape culture, domestic violence, and institutionalized racism and sexism, we’re having to face the demons our ancestors were bottling up for eons. It’s ugly, but it’s essential.
Most writers are lifelong readers and books tend to be important to them. What books or stories have most influenced your life (genre stories or otherwise)?
Jane Eyre and Anne of Green Gables were significant influences on me as a child of a woman unable to mother. Frankenstein blew me away for two reasons: 1) Mary Shelley was only 18 and female (if she could write like that, there was hope for me), and 2) The creature was Victor Frankenstein’s shadow self (that realization changed the way I read). To the Lighthouse is a book to which I return again and again. I can’t fully explain it, but Woolf’s novel seems more real to me than my own life at times. I can’t imagine a life without stories. If I don’t have at least one book and my Kindle on my nightstand, I’m probably dead.
I’m always fascinated by where and how people work. What is your writing setup like? Any tools you enjoy using?
I have a room of my own now, an actual study. That being said, I can often be found writing in bed with my two dogs curled up beside me.
What got you excited about being an editor for LSQ?
I’ve been aware of LSQ since it’s second year. I had already contributed stories and blog posts before Jennifer put out the call for new assistant editors. I had just left a job to care for one of my children during a serious health crisis. Reading the LSQ job description made my heart pound in that heart-poundy way, and I had to apply. I’ve never regretted it.
What gets you excited about an LSQ submission?
I’m always excited to read a new submission. This might sound strange, but the cover letter is very important to me. If a writer takes the time in the cover letter to showcase her ability, the story is almost always a good one. When I read a well-composed cover letter with good energy, I’m extra excited to begin reading the story.
What have you been up to lately? Do you have any books out right now? Are you working on anything new?
I have a flash fiction piece out right now and a new story coming out at Bewildering Stories called “Leonora.” It will be published on July 18th. There are several stories almost ready to go out, a science fiction novel in the planning stage, and I’ve just begun to write a memoir. The latter is a real surprise to me, but I recently finished a six-week online course in flash writing that has me inspired to try something completely new.
Where can we learn more about you and your writing?
My website (http://www.cathrinhagey.com) and Twitter (@cathrinhagey) are the best places.