Unexpected Questions with Misty Massey

Misty Massey is the author of the Mad Kestrel series of rollicking pirate fantasy adventures on the high seas, including the 2023 Palmetto Scribe Award winning novel, Kestrel’s Dance. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies from eSpec Books, Zombies Need Brains, and others. She is an editor for Falstaff Books and Mocha Memoirs Press, and she is the programming director for the SAGA writing conference. When she’s not writing or editing, Misty appears on the Authors&Dragons actual play D&D podcast as the cheerful, sundrenched cleric Malibu and as the sexy, slick rogue Anwir Crow. She’s a sucker for ginger snaps, African coffee, and anything sparkly. You can keep up with Misty at mistymassey.com and on Facebook, BlueSky and TikTok.  

If you had to choose between being a mermaid or a dragon, which would you pick and why?
Definitely mermaid. I’m a strong swimmer, and I’ve loved the ocean all my life. There’s just something romantic and comforting about the endless rhythm of the waves that settles my soul. Besides, according to my great-nephew, I’m already a mermaid. My legs turn into a tail in the water, and back into legs when I come ashore. I see no reason to disagree with his wisdom.

What off-beat location would you like to see host a convention, and why?

The Maldives. The Seychelles. Or maybe Bali. There’s just something fantastical about those islands, and I’ve always wanted to spend time swimming in the diamond-clear water and feeling the silken sand under my feet. So scheduling a con there would give me the excuse of “hey, it’s work” that might push me into going.
Of course, this likely means I’d end up missing all my panels because the sun and water were just too, too irresistible. Ooh, maybe we can do floatie panels! Everyone gathers on their flotation devices to listen to the professionals talk. And there’d be endless mai tais. This is really coming together for me. BeachCon 2024!!

If you could have any sci-fi gadget in real life, what would it be and what practical uses would you have for it?

I’ve said for years that I’d be first in line to purchase a matter transporter a la Star Trek. I love being in new and exciting places, but it’s the getting to and from those places that annoys me. Anything longer than 4 hours in a car and I turn into a whiny porcupine. Airplanes are even worse, because of the security theater, uncomfortable seating and endless delays. If I could instantly travel from one place to another, I’d see the world at my leisure. Japan in the blink of an eye? Portugal in the time it takes to nod my head? Heck, just being able to beam over to the library across town would be worth it.

And I wouldn’t need luggage, since the matter transporter can always create any outfit I desire. Speaking of that, I would be able to turn my walk-in closet into a tiny room for all my books, because I wouldn’t need to store clothes in there. Laundry would become a thing of the past, since I just toss the dirty clothes back into the recycler at the end of the day.

This is sounding better and better all the time.

If you had to choose one of your books to be turned into a cheesy made-for-TV movie, which one would it be and who would you want to play the lead roles?

It’d definitely have to be Mad Kestrel, book one in the series. I’ve often said I’d love to see Saniyaa Sidney or Quvenzhané Wallis play Kestrel on screen, but they’re both incredible actors and far above the level of “cheesy”. If Mad Kestrel were to be sold to the SyFy Channel for a movie treatment, and one of those talented women cast in the lead, it could end up being a wild success and maybe even improve SyFy’s reputation among fandom. *laughs* Seriously, though, if anyone has Patti Jenkins’ or Gina Prince-Blythwood’s contact info, I’d be delighted to send them a copy of the book, on the off chance they want to team up.

If you had to live on a spaceship with one fictional character for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?

Naomi Nagata (from The Expanse series). She’s smart and calm, and she can fix anything that goes wrong on the ship. Since my skills tend more toward cooking and talking to strangers who want to blame us for blowing up ice haulers (Remember the Cant!) or for stealing Martian gunships (I swear, we found it just sitting there!), we’d make a reasonably effective team.
Although if I were to choose solely on the basis of who makes my heart go pitty-pat, I’m taking the Mandalorian. I could listen to that voice forever.

How have you used the phrase “I’m a writer” to avoid an unpleasant situation?

The urban fantasy writer Faith Hunter is a dear friend of mine, and the reason I ever attempted to write a novel in the first place. She was a hospital lab technician for many years, so I often run medical questions by her. We meet up from time to time at a local coffee shop to chat about our works-in-progress. During one of these visits, I was working on a particularly gruesome scene in Kestrel’s Dance, so I decided to ask Faith about it. We ended up discussing how quickly someone would bleed out from a neck slash, what might be the most efficient way to cut the victim from behind, and if they’d be able to speak at all after having suffered such an injury. All of a sudden, I noticed a woman at the next table – her eyes were wide and frightened, and I realized she’d been listening the whole time. I smiled and said, “Don’t worry. We’re writers.”

I’ve often wondered if the poor thing believed me, or if there’s a story going around her friend group to this day about the time she overheard two serial killers making plans in the Starbucks.

If you could have any fictional pet as a companion, what would it be and why?

No question – I want Ein, the super-intelligent data dog from Cowboy Bebop. For one thing, he’s smart as hell, can communicate with other animals, can hack computers with his brain, and can drive a car. Add on to all that he’s a corgi, which is the cutest breed of dog there is. Who wouldn’t want a brilliant fuzzy potato for a friend?

If you had to choose between having the ability to speak with animals or plants, which would you choose and why?

This one’s easy, but so very petty. I’d choose to be able to talk to animals. I live in the country, so seeing deer and possums is common. But the squirrels… those irritating little jerks jump onto my roof from the trees, and drive me nuts scampering around during the day when I’m trying to work. Ga-dump, ga-dump, ga-dump in one direction, then ga-dump, ga-dump, ga-dump in the other, all day long. I’ve gone out and fussed at them many times about how I’m going to spray them with the hose if they don’t go away, but since they don’t speak English (and my hose is really short), it’s a pretty hollow threat. It would please me no end to be able to yell at them in their own chittery little tongue.

There’s also a dog down the street I’d like to have a few words with, but he can wait.

If you had to choose between fighting 100 duck-sized robots or one robot-sized duck, which would you pick and why?

I’m fighting the single robot-sized duck. I’ll take a canoe onto the lake, coax it out after me, and then I’ll throw extra-large marshmallows into the water behind me. It won’t be able to resist gobbling them up, and soon its throat will be clogged with gooey, sticky fluff. I win!

Thanks for letting me chatter about such fun topics! If you want to ask me more random questions, you can find me at Ret-Con (March 1-3, 2024, Cary NC) and Atomacon (May 4-5, 2024, Charleston SC). My books Mad Kestrel and Kestrel’s Dance are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and my weird western Dead Man series will be out later this year from Falstaff Books.

You can keep up with my appearances and releases by checking my website, https://www.mistymassey.com/, and you can visit my social media pages at Facebook, BlueSky and TikTok.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMistyMassey
Bluesky https://bsky.app/profile/mistymassey.bsky.social
TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@mistymassey9

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