Thursday, July 10, 2008

Interview with John Miller of Liquid Imagination

Liquid: A substance in a condition in which it flows…

Imagination: The ability to form images and ideas in the mind, especially of things never seen or experienced directly.

Hmmm . . . with those definitions one could say that Liquid Imagination is the ability to form images and ideas in a manner in which it flows; fluent thoughts, lucid ideas.

Is it possible to fill the world with yet another e-zine?

Is it needed?

Who cares?

What if we made the world need it?

What if we made the world want it?

These are the questions that abound for the upcoming e-zine Liquid Imagination. Do we need another e-zine? Is it needed? Is it wanted? Well, that answer is really up to you, the reader. For me, the writer, I would like to introduce you to John Arthur Miller, founder of Liquid Imagination. Let's sit down with John for a brief moment and talk with him about his new endeavor.

Tell us a little about yourself, John, and then we'll dive on in.

I’m a single father with three beautiful children, all boys, ages 5-10—they are the source of much inspiration. I’ve had many jobs: police dispatcher (twice), salesman, manager of retail stores, telemarketer, worked in a refinery, and I work in a factory now. I thrive on change. The world is changing. Recession is causing a smaller market for novels and e-zines. We’re living in changing times.

Why another e-zine and what do you think will separate Liquid Imagination from the multitudes of e-zines out there?

Liquid Imagination isn’t just an e-zine devoted to fiction; it is devoted to fantasy in both art forms: the art of the written word (fiction and poetry) and the art of the painter’s brush. The goal is to meld the work of writers along with the work of artists so that, to those perusing Liquid Imagination, there is no distinction between the two. Each story must have at least two pieces of artwork. The artwork will enhance the story, and the story will enhance the artwork. There will be no separation between the artwork and the stories; a blurring of the two forms of art. Our goal is to unite followers of fantasy art and readers of fantasy fiction into one e-zine. Our target is AWE. If we miss our target, we hope to come close.

Liquid Imagination is a unique name. How did you come up with it?

I had two dreams in two nights. I don’t often remember my dreams, so this was unique to say the least. In the first dream I heard a song almost exactly like one by Finger Eleven. I don’t know the name of the song, but the lyrics go like this: "If your body matches what your eyes can do... you'll probably move right through... me on my way to you." It was the background music of the song, but the words were different. I woke with this type of song in my head, but the words were “Liquid Imagination is flowing. . . from me to you.”

The very next night I dreamed of an art exhibit. Beneath one of the paintings was the gold plaque with this title: Liquid Imagination.

What exactly are you looking for in submissions?

Kevin Wallis is the editor, and Lisa Peaslee is the art director. Together Kevin and I are looking for fantasy stories set in today’s world. Think of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Mythical creatures such as faeries and centaurs in the modern age. Other worlds coexisting alongside our own. Magical realism, surrealism, but fantasy. Not “high fantasy” like Medieval stories with knights and wizards.

We’re looking for three things:

2) AWE (we’re ALL shooting to awe the reader of fiction and the lover of art)
3) FORCE (we want it written forcefully, with as much clarity as possible)

Artwork is a huge component of Liquid Imagination. Tell us about it.

In the realm of fantasy, artwork has ALWAYS been important. Can you imagine a Conan the Barbarian novel without fantastic artwork on the cover?

We aim to do the same thing, only we hope to cement the two art forms. We want the artistic paintbrush to stroke the words of the writer. We want the writer’s words to build a foundation for the painter’s easel. We want both art forms to bleed into one: liquid imagination. From the reader to the editors; from the artists to the writers; all of us in one collective subconsciousness, something Carl Jung might call Liquid Imagination.

Help us tap into the flow.

Can you tell us anything about issue number one that may entice some folks into submitting to Liquid Imagination?

We’re looking for two interviews with powerful artists. One is, in fact, a traditional artist but we haven’t heard back from him. The other is our “mystery writer.” This person has won the Nebula and World Fantasy Award for fiction. It will be a very powerful interview, in-depth, from an author whose works have sold across America.

Briefly, can you give us some guidelines for submissions?

Fantasy set in the modern world. Surrealism. Magical realism. 12,000 word count. Microsoft word, standard format. No query letter needed or wanted; the stories will speak for themselves. 1st American Rites. We accept reprints as long as it’s fantasy. INTENSITY! AWE! Those willing to workshop at our Zoetrope Office will get additional consideration for their fiction/poetry.

Anything else you want us to know about Liquid Imagination?

The “Best of Liquid Imagination” will go into an anthology book every 1-3 years. We will also be getting into publishing novels, the best of fantasy. I’ve already been playing around with the first book, an experiment, to iron out all the kinks. I’m talking about Liquid Imagination as a publisher of novels and anthologies. Like the e-zine questions, with so many publishers out there, why another one? Because we will likewise meld art into the work of the writers’ novels.

We intend to fly without wings.

Thank you for your time, John and good luck with Liquid Imagination.

Feel free to check out their website here: Liquid Imagination

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