I think I met Kathryn Sullivan at the Broad Universe Really Fast Reading in Kansas City, but I heard her work for the first time in Spokane at the 2015 WorldCon. She’s one of my sisters in Broad Universe, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres.
Kathryn writes young adult science fiction and fantasy. Her newest release is short story collection Agents, Adepts & Apprentices. Her Doctor Who-related works include the essay “The Fanzine Factor” in the Hugo-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords and essays in Children of Time: Companions of Doctor Who and Outside In: 160 New Perspectives on 160 Doctor Who Stories by 160 Writers. She also has reviews in the Star Trek-related Outside In Boldly Goes and Outside In Makes It So. She is owned by a large cockatoo, who graciously allows her to write about other animals, as well as birdlike aliens. Kathryn lives in Winona, Minnesota, where the river bluffs along the Mississippi River double as cliffs on alien planets or the deep mysterious forests in a magical world.
From EPPIE Award-winner Kathryn Sullivan come stories of magic and off-world adventure sure to appeal to readers of all ages. Here are tales of wizards training apprentices and interstellar operatives protecting “primitive” worlds. How does one university cope with a student from very far away, and where do some wizards get their supplies? And what’s the deal with the cat whiskers?
Did something in the real world inspire Agents, Adepts & Apprentices?
Several of the short stories were inspired by things in the real world. “The Demons’ Storeroom” resulted after I was at a garage sale and wondered how a wizard might view the items there. “Transfer Student” was written while I was in college in the days before ADA and was my take on how an alien might try to maneuver around my campus. “Goodbye, Jennie!” was inspired by a newspaper article about a meteor shower.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
“Communication Difficulties” has my agent talking with an alien in a swamp while a flock of flamingoes parade back and forth. I’m a bird person and I always find that display walk by flamingoes — all the heads moving from side to side at the same time — funny. (In case you want to see one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW8GX2n4qbY )
What was your writing process like as you wrote Agents, Adepts & Apprentices?
The twenty-two short stories in the collection were written over several years. Some were written for themed anthologies. Others were written while I was looking for a publisher for my first book The Crystal Throne and thinking about how some of the characters in that book first met or where some of the magical artifacts came from. A lot of the stories were written when I could squeeze in time before work, during lunch hours, and late at night.
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?
The best thing was finding that short story collections seem to be popular again.
What do you have planned next?
I’m working on a middle grade/lower YA book set on a colony planet where my main character wants to be an explorer like her grandmother, who discovered the planet.
You can pick up a copy of Agents, Adepts & Apprentices at Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PD15LP.
Check out Kathryn’s other books at her Amazon author page: https://amzn.to/2PEkPPt.
Or visit her webpage: http://kathrynsullivan.com.