Josephine Smiley: Writer
First off, could you introduce yourself for our readers?
Absolutely! I am Josephine Smiley, writer for 10kd, graduate student at the University of Missouri (Mizzou,) political and social justice activist, and all around geek. Actually, science fiction was my first love, so to speak: that love came in ’93 in the form of Star Trek: the Next Generation, and it has been a wild and awesome ride from there.
So you've been part of 10kd for a long time, how did you first get involved in this endeavor?
When I was a student at Hanover College, a bunch of us were part of a Tabletop RPG Group of Total Geekery. I was one of those roleplay nerds who writes up detailed backstories for her characters. While I was doing that, more story ideas just came popping into my head, and I created Alice MacLeod, and then… well, you guys can see what happened.
What's it been like developing the 10kd universe together?
Amazing. I love being able to collectively create something as diverse and wonderful as 10kd, and everyone else on this team is the best. The fact that it’s a team effort only makes it more diverse: other people have thought of ideas I never would have come up with, and everyone’s ideas just give me more ideas for my own 10kd stories as far as places, people, and events that I can work in and develop a little more.
Some of your ideas (and characters) have made it into 10,000 Dawns: Serial, especially your character Alice MacLeod, what was it like seeing her come to life under a different writer?
The thing about Alice MacLeod is that she’s supposed to be able to appeal to people from various different backgrounds. In the story, she leads a worldwide revolution, and in order to do that, you have to be someone that people can relate to at least a little bit. I relate to her a lot, and it has been a very interesting experience for me, watching how other people interpret her. I’m very eager to see how it plays out in the future as well. After all, Alice is for the people, I wouldn’t want to keep her to myself.
Now, you're a part of 10,000 Dawns: Anthology, which is set in the Prime Universe of 10,000 Dawns, featuring very different versions of some of these characters we've just met. Do you think readers will be surprised at what they'll see?
Maybe. It’s hard to tell, honestly. The Prime Universe is definitely different than the universe they’ve seen in 10,000 Dawns: Serial, and several aspects of it will probably be surprising. Some characters have changed a little, and some have changed a lot. Whether or not their differences will be surprising to people, I’m not sure.
Can you tell us a little about what you're creating for 10kd: Anthology?
Absolutely! I have a series of short stories that I am working on currently, most of them about the relationship between Earth and Mars. I find that fascinating, so it features a lot in my work.
Are there any prominent themes in your own writing?
As Alice MacLeod would say: Viva la Revolution! My work definitely has a theme, and it’s the same theme that dictates my life as an activist: it’s all about universal struggle, uprising, and rebellion. I guess you could say it’s an examination of what happens when human beings are pushed to their limit and survive.
What else do you do in your free time? Do you have any other hobbies or pursuits?
(What is free time? I do not know this term.) Okay, all joking aside, yes, I am active in several of my local social justice organizations which are constantly mobilizing, working toward a better future (if I may be so cliché about it.) That consumes most of my free time. I also run a blog, so there’s that as well.
You're also writing a Novel set in the 10,000 Dawns Universe, correct? Without giving away too much, who and what are we going to see in it?
Well, I don’t want to spoil my novel for everyone, but I can tell you that Alice MacLeod is in it, and it will explore a lot more of her personal story than the serial does. It also investigates the reality of Earth’s mega-corporation, Centro Systems, and goes along with that theme I was talking about earlier.
The Alice MacLeod parts of 10,000 Dawns Serial had a lot to do with Revolution. Is this a theme that will continue with your own writing about Alice?
You better believe it.
If you could punch any 10kd character, who would it be and why?
Oh…. You know what, I don’t know if I would. There are a lot of characters in the 10kd universe that I know I definitely wouldn’t get along with in real life, I can tell you that much, but would I punch them? Probably not. I take my rage out in other ways.
Is there anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
You’re important and you matter. I love you all. Keep being awesome!
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us Josephine!