Hostile Questions: S.J. Kincaid

S.J. KincaidHostile logo knows a lot about genetic engineering, evil corporations, and technology used for nefarious means. And yet, as far as we can tell, she doesn’t work in politics. Lest you think we are delivering you fake news, her newest work, The Diabolic, is most definitely a book—if you attended any book conferences last year, you couldn’t escape the gargantuan advertising banners hanging all over creation. Then again. . .  why would an author try to hard to convince us she was an “author” if she didn’t have something more maniacal to hide? Let’s see what we can sweat out of her.

Kincaid attempting gravitas by stroking her beard.

Kincaid attempts the classic author photo pose: stroking one’s beard.

Just who do you think you are?

I’m an author of four books, hoping to be the author of many more, and a nurse for another few months more before my license mercifully lapses. I am also a reluctant Californian who is perpetually plotting to move somewhere geographically unlike my current location.

Where do you get off?

I object! I’m a very inoffensive sort. I know an inevitable day will come somewhere down the road when I accidentally step into some sort of scandal, or make some sort of statement that is unwittingly hurtful to someone for some reason, but in advance of that day, I just want to say: whatever I did, I totally did not mean to give offense. I prefer my aggression to remain the passive type that annoys and infuriates. That’s my thing.

What’s the big idea?

I actually do have a grand overarching scheme in my life. I want to go to outer space. It’s my goal. The problem is, 1) I had neither the math nor science skills necessary to be an astronaut, and 2) I do not have 10 million dollars to pay the Russians to take me up there, and 3) even if I got $10 million tomorrow, 3a) I’m not sure I’d trust a foreign government not to squander it, 3b) my identity has been stolen many times, so my 10 million would be in danger from the start, and 3c) I’d probably feel obliged to pay off mortgages of various people first before spending it all on a space endeavor.

THE_DIABOLICAlso, if I just blew $10 million on one thing, I’d feel foolish afterwards, explaining to people how I could have 10 million one day, and be broke the next. <– That’s the sort of thing that would turn me into a cautionary tale for my nieces. I really hate the idea of people saying, “You don’t want to end up like Aunt Shelley, do you?”

So my alternative is, I write sci-fi. I really hope that there will be at least a few teens I influence while they are young and impressionable. If I brainwash them into thinking space is awesome, they may grow up and become the ones who innovate easy, cheap ways to go to space. Then I will go to space using their cheap, easy inventions without paying $10 million (unless there’s been some terrible inflation by then and $10 million is closer to $1000 dollars today).

What is your problem, man?

Lots of free time + short attention span + flexibility of life circumstances/few binding commitments + indecision and inconstancy.

I also have a lingering ear infection.

Well, not so much an ear infection, but an ear dousing gone wrong that makes my ear feels like it has water in it. Because it probably does.

Haven’t you done enough?

Nope, I have barely even begun. The only problem is the paperwork.

Really, that’s the most annoying part of any plan, any move, any maneuver. Paperwork and electronic forms. You think you’re done, you think it’s over and then bam: more paperwork. It’s always the same information you have to give over and over in different permutations, and then you have to make copies, and send faxes, and get fingerprinted for a volunteer gig which will then lose your information leading to your identity being stolen again, thus more paperwork to prove you did not open those credit cards. After that, a new year comes leading to more paperwork, and then you have to update your address meaning more paperwork, but sometimes to get paperwork you must first fill out paperwork, and so on and so on, but if you don’t get your paperwork, you may miss something important from the government, which will then lead to even scarier paperwork, and sometimes the paperwork is so scary you have to hire someone with a law degree to sit there with you as you fill out said paperwork, which will entail more faxes and more copies and more paperwork, more, more, more. . .

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Posted in: Books and Authors

About the Author:

Dan Kraus is Booklist's Editor of Books for Youth. He is also the producer and director of numerous feature films, most notably the documentary Work Series, and the author of several YA novels, including Rotters and Scowler, both of which won the Odyssey Award. Follow him on Twitter at @DanielDKraus.

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