Welcome back, readers! Today I’m going to be introducing you to another up-and-coming author: Nora Tardiff. Nora is an independent comic artist and game developer. Currently, she’s working on Excalibur, a webcomic featuring wizards, magic, espionage, betrayal, and a butt-kicking protagonist. Excalibur is scheduled to launch later this month. When not busy with her many projects, Nora also enjoys discussing story conventions found in media. You can check out her work, her thoughts and her general awesomeness on Tumblr and Twitter, or over on her blog.
So, let’s jump right into this interview and find out more about Nora and what she’s been up to.
Delusions of Sanity: How about we kick this off with a fun question? Who’s your favorite literary villain and why?
Nora Tardiff: That’s a tough question. I don’t usually like villains that are outright villainy. I prefer my villains to think they’re the good guys or at least doing a bad thing for some nebulous “greater good”. Someone like Ozymandias from Watchmen, but I’m not sure that counts as literary.
Delusions of Sanity: I have to say I agree. Some of the best and most memorable villains are the ones with complex motives. They can also lead to some excellent scenes. Out of curiosity, in your own work, do you have a favorite scene or line you’ve written? It doesn’t have to involve a villain, by the way.
Nora Tardiff: I’ve got a story about a runaway princess. She and her twin brother developed a code using sheet music and musical phrases to communicate covertly.
“It says ‘You promised not to start an international incident. Father is very cross.’”
“You and your brother made a secret code for ‘international incident’ when you were children?”
“Actually, it says ‘many country problem’. The language is somewhat limited.”
Delusions of Sanity: I like it! That made me laugh. Speaking of childhood, where was your favorite reading spot as a child? Where is it now?
Nora Tardiff: Behind the couch. Nowadays I usually read on my lunch breaks at work, so in the back office by the microwave.
Delusions of Sanity: You know, one of the other things I’m curious about is what writers’ families think about a writer’s work. What does your family think of your writing?
Nora Tardiff: They’re very supportive, even if I don’t always let them read what I’m working on.
Delusions of Sanity: It’s always nice to have familial support; there’s so many ups and downs in this profession (well, in life in general) and it’s wonderful to know that family’s got your back. So, I’ve got time for one more question. Let’s see, since we do speculative fiction here, how about something speculative? If you could have dinner with three authors (living or dead), who would they be and why?
Nora Tardiff: Honestly? None of them.
Delusions of Sanity: Wait . . . really? How come?
Nora Tardiff: I would probably be so uncomfortable and nervous that it wouldn’t be any fun at all. I usually don’t enjoy eating around other people, and awkward small talk with strangers is my bane. But assuming I wasn’t weird and neurotic?
Probably Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Mary Corelli, and Virginia Woolf. They’re all authors whose works I studied in my literature classes. I would love to ask them about their stories. And complain to Mary Elizabeth Braddon about how disappointing and safe the ending of Lady Audley’s Secret was. I expected better of you, Mary.
Delusions of Sanity: I’m curious about the choice of ending, too. For a sensational novel, she definitely missed an opportunity for sensationalism. Well, that’s all the time we have, but I want to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. It’s been great having you here with us.
If you want to find out more about Nora or her work–especially the promising Excalibur webcomic–drop by her blog at Elegantal. Thanks again for spending time with Delusions of Sanity and with our gracious guest, Nora Tardiff.