Immersion Editor #2 Interview – JF Garrard3 min read

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Immersion: An Asian Anthology of Love, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction is a special anthology book project between Ricepaper and Dark Helix Press which is open to submission from February 15, 2018 – December 31, 2018 (extended).

The anthology editors are Allan Cho (Inside the World’s Major East Asian Collections), JF Garrard (Trump: Utopia or Dystopia, The Undead Sorceress) and William Tham (Kings of Petaling Street). Each editor was interviewed to introduce their roles and to give some insight into what they hope to see from submissions: February 15 post – Allan Cho, March 1 post – JF Garrard, March 17 post – William Tham.

This post shares the musings of JF Garrard, enjoy!

Ricepaper Magazine (RM):  Can you give a brief into to yourself and your role at Ricepaper Magazine/ACWW?

JF Garrard (JFG): My name is JF Garrard and I am the Marketing Strategist and editor/writer for Ricepaper Magazine. Of late I’ve been contributing interviews, film reviews and podcasts to Ricepaper. I also run my own publishing company, Dark Helix Press which has a mission of promoting diversity in literature.

RM: What attracted you to the Immersion project? What do you hope to accomplish?

JFG: The Immersion project is truly the brainchild of Allan Cho. He had approached me about collecting speculative fiction stories after the success of LiterASIAN 2015 and uprising of speculative fiction anthologies featuring Asian writers. As a first generation Canadian, I hope this project will stimulate the imaginations of the next generation of readers and writers; to make them realize that they can read great stories written by someone like them in the English language. There is a huge gap in role models for Asians growing up away from their “motherlands” and we all need to do our parts to help our community find a “voice.”

RM: Are there particular genres or types of stories you wish to see?

JFG: I would love to see stories featuring strong female characters, strong plot lines (clear beginning, middle, end) and a fusion of East meets West. Generally I’m pretty open-minded and up for anything! However, I’m also a terrible reader because as a writer I can generally predict what will happen in a story and I love it when a story surprises me.

RM: Is there anything you don’t want to see?

JFG: Please no erotica. Especially bad erotica or bestiality. If you want to make a million dollars with something similar to Fifty Shades of Grey, this is the wrong anthology to submit to.

RM: Any tips for writers in general?

JFG: If writing a science fiction story, please do your homework and research. As a person with a science background I loathe bad science in stories. For all speculative fiction stories, time must be spent thinking about world building and making sure there is some logic to the rules of the setting. There is a theory that all stories have already been told, but it’s your voice and style which makes things different. Please edit. While I’m ok with spelling mistakes here and there, make sure plot holes are closed!




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