Ginger Smith has worked as a record store employee, freelance writer, bookstore assistant manager and high school teacher of English. In the past, she has played in many tabletop RPG groups and even run several of her own. She collects vintage toys, sci-fi novels and comic books, as well as mid-century furniture. She currently lives in the southern USA with her husband and two cats, spending her free time writing and watching classic film noir and sci-fi movies.
Welcome to the Asylum, Ginger! Take a seat by the fire, have a glass of beverage of your choice and tell me something about yourself!
Hi! Thank you for having me. I’ll take a large cup of coffee with cream and sugar – I need the caffeine these days. My name’s Ginger Smith, and I’m the author of The Rush’s Edge. I’ve lived in the Southeastern US my entire life, and right now I work as a high school English teacher when I’m not working on my next sci-fi book.
What inspires your writing? Do you listen to music, stare into the fire, listen to the whispering of the wind, make deals with the Devil?
I love to listen to a wide variety of music when I’m brainstorming my next chapters. I’m a big fan of Rush, Pink Floyd, AC/DC and The Police. Lately I’ve even been listening to some tracks off of Cowboy Bebop, so I experiment with different genres, new and old. Music that’s either instrumental or songs that I know so well they’re not distracting are perfect when I’m trying to dream up a new adventure in space.
What was the most exotic place you’ve visited? Did it inspire any of your work? How that experience affected you personally?
I haven’t ever travelled outside of the US, but I did go to Chicago once. We took a boat tour of the Chicago River and it was an awe-inspiring way to experience the city. It was so huge; the buildings and architecture took on a life of their own. When I have to write about urban sprawl, it’s definitely a place I have in mind.
If you could switch lives with any character in a book, who would you choose? Would you like to have the author along as a fellow character?
This is a difficult one. My favorite book as a kid was Watership Down. I would probably want to switch places with Bigwig, one of the Sandleford rabbits that turns from a rash bully into a brave hero. Having the author, Richard Adams along would be great because I could ask him to tell me about his experiences in World War II that may or may not have inspired Hazel and Bigwig.
Describe an asylum set in the world of your book, The Rush’s Edge!
Hmm. That’s an interesting one! If you are an affluent natural born in my universe, you would be taken into a very nice place, with large plasglass windows to let in the sunshine. You would spend a lot of time in talk therapy as well as be given any types of medications to help you balance your brain chemicals. They would take great care of you. However, if you are a vat (a genetically-modified, technology enhanced solider), you would be given a cocktail of drugs and programming through your interface until you came into line. If you did not, you would be “shut down” permanently.
Talking about The Rush’s Edge, what was the main inspiration for the story? Which aspect of the book was the most challenging to write and why?
My main inspiration were all the space opera movies and vintage sci-fi that I loved as a kid; I wanted The Rush’s Edge to be as much fun as Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Heavy Metal and Battlestar Galactica were the first time I saw them. The most challenging thing was probably writing the space battles… there are a lot of moving parts with ship to ship combat in space, so it can be a challenge to visualize.
Which character of your book do you identify with the most and why?
Growing up as a bookworm/nerd, I was always the outsider; I was not one of the “cool” kids, so I think I identify with Hal because he has trouble fitting in sometimes. But then again, my teacher side is a lot like Ty. I’m a good observer of people and their motivations. Maybe that’s why the two characters worked so well together.
If you were a character in your book, how would you be described?
I would probably be a shorter frizzy-haired woman in an oversized black sweater, cargo pants and bi-horn leather jacket. I would probably own a salvage shop, selling antique pieces of technology and helping vats who have been released from service make their way to join the opposition forces on Al-Kimia.
What are your future plans? Are you working on something now?
Despite The Rush’s Edge being a standalone novel, I’m working on a sequel that will expand not only the characters from The Rush’s Edge but will add more layers to the universe. The Spiral and the Edge are big places, and there are so many more stories left to tell.
While you are locked in here for eternity, we will allow you one book – what would you choose?
Just one book, huh? If I’m locked into an asylum for eternity, I guess I will choose House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski because it’s the most insane book I’ve ever read. There are so many layers to that book it will take YEARS to understand it all, and it will probably drive me to fit in perfectly with the rest of the residents. I would also have to try and smuggle in my leatherbound Lord of the Rings omnibus in my luggage and try to pass it off as some red shoes. Don’t look. Nothing to see here.
Well then, we hope you’ll enjoy your stay in the Asylum! Any last words? *locks door*
Hey! Wait… what’s the internet password? Hey!
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