Editor Interview – Charlotte Warren

Chrysopoeia is still open for submissions, and the final deadline has been extended to December 1st, 2018! Here’s the wrap-up of our editor interviews, with Charlotte Warren! Charlotte is a young author and editor with a personal interest in stories about developmental disorders and trauma.

To submit to Chrysopoeia, read the submission guidelines here, and about the anthology here. 


What draws you to a story – the first thing that catches your interest and makes you want to read it?

WARREN: I tend, recently, to stick to recommendations or spiral off into the whole spectrum of whatever inspired something that touched me. If something has a complex, well-written girl character or themes of opening up to others and trauma, it’s an easy sell! I like psychological stories and anything with people like me; I’m also a sucker for pretty covers and blurbs.


What’s your favourite piece of ‘classic’ media, and by contrast, something obscure or lesser-known that inspires you?

WARREN: It’s definitely a cliche to say Neon Genesis Evangelion, but it’s true. A lot of classics fall flat for me, or worse, the discussions around them ruined them for me. There’s only so much of sitting in a room with people tearing the characters like you to shreds because their downfall is narratively satisfactory you can take! Evangelion stands out to me both for being one of the first ‘classics’ I went into eyes open and old enough to fully understand, and for my engagement with it being entirely on my own terms.

(Which really, feels entirely appropriate for the themes of the series.)

Lesser known… in the spirit of Al-kimia, I’m gonna say Slice of Cherry and Bleeding Violet, a duology of urban fantasy / horror novels set close to home. They’re not well known, but everything about them rings true, from setting to the handling of mental illness and trauma!


What are your personal feelings on the limitations and possibilities of genre and medium?

WARREN: That’s what’s exciting – there aren’t many! The biggest limitation on genre and medium is people going into them in bad faith, trying to restructure and rewrite something they don’t actually care about the original for. That’s why so many ‘genre-breakers’ fall flat; you can’t write a masterpiece if you’re going into it with nothing but disdain for the supposed rules.


What interests you about urban fantasy as a setting?

WARREN: The trappings and accumulated debris of urban fantasy, where people chose it for their lived experiences, are more interesting to me than any of the in-practice pieces or tropes, I think. A lot of the stereotypical, teenage girl YA paranormal novels still mean a lot to me for being – if fumbling – the first things I could find with textual representation of people like me.


What are some stories or identities you’d like to see more of?

WARREN: My not-so-secret favorite trope and setting are magical girls and superheroes! I’d love to see more of these types of stories – with the clarification that I want an honest love letter to them, and darkness or trauma to be handled with all the emotional import than it needs to be – something where the consequences matter but there’s still hope and light, and the potential to heal. Also, no ableism IRT the villains, please.


What are some tropes in media that you feel are overdone, harmful or just hit personal gripes?

WARREN: If I never see another poorly written ‘MPD’ murder alter it’ll still be too soon. They exist – I won’t deny that – but it’s cruel to take a vulnerable subset of people, always formed for their own and their ‘family’s protection, and write them as nothing but monsters.


What fictional character would be your ideal roommate?

WARREN: …Can I just say all of the Kaworu Nagisa expies in existence? He’s a ray of sunshine, and I think he’d be legitimately fun to spend time with, as well as being polite even when he doesn’t get it. Me too, baby.


What element would you most want to be in the Alkimia setting?

WARREN: I’m pretty sure I’d be a Mercury – but as for wanting, probably water. To be able to hide or heal as necessary, to help others and myself.. it’d be comforting, in every way.


Chrysopoeia’s first round of acceptances go out on October 17th; the new deadline for pitches is on December 1st! Don’t self-reject – we want to hear from you!


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