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Meet The Writer: Madison Dusome

Detective Mad Madison and her partner Disco Dogson

Ah, Madison. Madi. Mad. Mad Madison. Shit, I just created you a serial killer name and it's pretty cool. If you ever do decide to murder a bunch of people, can I be your agent? Also, can I design the t-shirts? Also can you forget this conversation ever happened? 

Let's start over. Round two. MADISON DUSOME AKA MADISON AWESOME. 

Uh, Round three. Madison, lovely to have you on my blog. It's your first time so I'll show you around. Up there are some links to stuff I think people who like me would also like, such as music I listen to when writing, stuff I've posted online and embarrassing interviews I've done. There's also a unicorn/kitten type creature lurking somewhere. Bonus points if you find it! In all sincerity though, I've known you for a bit and I like you. You're funny and create amazing art and I was giggling in public when you sent your answers over, so I think it's safe to say I'm excited to share you with my audience. Let's get to it. 


What magical story are you working on at the moment and why should we be excited for it?

Open with the hard questions, dontcha? Right now I’m revising a fantasy novel tentatively titled Half a Man. It’s about a one-armed boy who braves war versus giants, the traps of mage-hunters and the perils of love – and utterly fails to become a hero. I’m excited because this is the second revision and I love making the story better; you should be excited because it’s got a wonderfully diverse cast, magic strings, potions, camels and a totally cheeky protagonist. Adrien is the boss of absolutely nothing but talking himself into trouble.

In other writing news, I’ve got a short story about treasure hunters on submission (though so far they are only hunting rejections) and a flash fiction piece called The Lions that was published online earlier this year; you can read it here!

I know that you really like creating stuff and when you’re not writing, you’re making art. Show me some of your favourite artwork you’ve made!

I shall now fill your blog with mediocre art-things.

But first, another thrilling factoid: I draw stuff and I’m a huge nerd, so a lot of my most recent art was inspired by my current D&D adventures (please throw only soft fruit). Here’s a mock magazine cover I made for Mahshid, a disgraced guard in an ancient Egypt-inspired setting. She’s quite good at smashing things but terrible at every form of Wisdom save:

This one is Dorian Endine, lady badass from my aforementioned novel. Dorian traded her eye for combat talents, which she uses to shut the protagonist up whenever necessary (which is pretty much always):

Aaannd sure, this one, which is not a favourite as far as quality, but sometimes we leap and don’t quite make it:

I’ve made a lot of changes (and improvements?) to my style this year, especially with colours. I’m not quite where I want to be yet (still relying on lines, boohoo!), but I’m getting there. I want to start painting more settings and scenery – especially since I’m planning to work on a visual novel in 2016 – but it’s harder to connect with a mountain than with a character, so I’ll need some practice :c

I’m going to give you a little challenge: Describe love without using the word love in 100 words. You get bonus points if you make me tear up.

A five-letter word for dog.

A bitca? (Sorry, Buffy reference.) If you could go on a road trip with any three people, living or dead, celebrity or not, who would you go with and why them?

Can these people also be fictional? Would we all roadtrip together? I’m going to assume yes and yes, because that would mean more hijinks.

Raistlin Majere, because Raistlin was my childhood hero, and even if Dragonlance is trite as hell now, I can’t change where I’m from ;) 

Geralt of Rivia, because damn, and I feel like he and Raist would get along and become the car’s grumpy twins. And maybe I could braid his hair from the backseat? Also let’s be clear that I’m talking game Geralt, though book Geralt would be okay if game Geralt was busy. I’d make a point to call him Gégé de Riv like they do en français, because that is fucking adorable.

Hermione Granger, because this can’t be a total sausage-fest and I feel like she’d be pretty chill when she’s not trying to keep that Potter kid in check. Plus I’ll need someone else to help explain all the muggle crap to Raist and Gégé.

More important than who’s coming with, where the hell are we going? I’ve been feeling a bit homesick for the Rockies recently, so maybe we’d drive from the west coast towards Alberta, and stop in Drumheller to see the dinosaurs. I think everyone would like that. Don’t think Gégé or Raistlin have ever seen a dinosaur before.

What is the best thing about being a writer and what is the hardest thing?

The best thing about being a writer is that I can make anything. You want a flying timeship shaped like an apple? Presto done-zo! – and you didn’t even know you wanted it! Also, the community is generally great (I love you guys) and it makes a great party trick.

Haha actually no not that last one.

[For the record it took way longer to sketch this crap than to write the words]

The hardest thing about being a writer has to do with the fact that no one really knows what a writer is or does. It’s hard for people to understand a writer’s work/struggle because most people don’t see the writing process; all they see is the product. This reflects in a lot of things, but most importantly:

If you don’t have a product (e.g. if you’re not done that novel), you’re obviously not a real writer.
Writing is ‘fun’ so you can’t really call it a job; your art has little value since you’d be doing it ‘for fun’ anyway.

Obviously this leads into a whole ‘nother rant, but I guess my main point here is that the hardest thing about being a writer is that many people don’t respect creative work, which makes it hard for creators to respect themselves – something that’s already difficult when you’re rearranging a sentence for the fifth time.

Respect creators! Respect yourselves!

What do you listen to when you write? Do you create writing playlists?

Ahaa, I knew the music question would come up and that I would have to babble incoherently. Look! A meteor!

I’m seriously daft when it comes to music, and rarely prepared (I have exactly one album on my phone). I usually listen to whatever everyone else is listening to, and/or ambient noise (traffic, coffee shop, television). If I have access to my own music, writing music is usually Massive Attack, Delerium, or some kinda movie/game soundtrack.

I thought about creating a writing playlist once. I think I made it to two songs. :/

Role-play time! Answer the following question as a character you’ve created: Is lying really even a big deal?

Is this a trick question? Why are you asking? If you’re wondering about your shoes I did borrow them but Dahl said I could and it wasn’t me who left them in the rain – I swear.

Where do you get your inspiration from and what do you do when you feel like doing nothing?

I am most often inspired by people or characters. If you have a unique or intriguing feature – a cool job, weird clothes, a limp, a mole, an unusual voice – I will steal it from you and use it to conjure a new character.

When I feel like doing nothing, I typically watch some tv and desperately refresh Twitter/Reddit.

If you could recommend one book to everyone on Earth and you knew we were all definitely going to read it, what book would you suggest and why does the world need this story?

Am I allowed to say my book? Is that cheating? Is this a sneaky way of asking why the world needs another fantasy novel? Assuming it is, my book shares similar themes to those I read in my youth: coming-of-age, proving yourself to yourself, family, friendship, failure, redemption... but it’s obviously more modern – it approaches these themes in different ways, through the perspectives of different characters – and I think that’s something that fantasy needs.

If I don’t pick my book because gahd that’s so narcissistic: I think I’d recommend a textbook. Maybe something about math/logic, the environment, gender/sexuality, birth control – some kind of Tolerance and Common Sense Handbook that would explain oft-misunderstood and/or generally unknown things. Heavy-ish topic, maybe, but access to education still sucks for a lot of people, and/or intelligent people often forget to question the things they hear (or read on Facebook). A vague understanding of statistics, for example, would cause people to question the fact that 100% of writers own at least one python, instead of freaking out about it.

Omg I read this thing that said all writers own a python! Gross!

Hint: totally true stat, but I only polled myself. Plus snakes are adorbs, let’s not joke.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you? Bonus points for an embarrassing story!

Seriously, this is like a hard-question sandwich!

So I have plenty of embarrassing stories about vehicles (my friends have pushed, pulled, watered, winched, broken into and fled my cars more time than I can count) and about injuries (there’s a medical drink called a Pink Lady, which sounds like a great fantasy drink but really isn’t), but without context and visuals, those stories are only okay.

So let’s do something with visuals.

And context.

I started practicing parkour about six months before this video was taken. This was my first parkour competition, during which I participated in three “speed runs” – basically trying to move through a path of markers as fast as possible, negotiating the barriers between them however possible. I was doing a great (?) job here, until my shoe fell off. Professional.

I have really tight shoes now, and in my last competition I didn’t even lose any clothes! I did fall on my head, but you win some, you lose some.

And now Sam can decide if this interview was a win or loss! Thanks so much for having me! Thanks so much for reading!


Aaaaand we’re done. Madison, 'twas a pleasure. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little jealous of your effortless wit! If you also want this wonderful person in your life, then look below for her contact details. I did ask for her bank details too but unfortunately she didn't send that info over. Sharing is caring, Madison. Sharing is caring!

Twitter: @madicienne

Website (writing, art, blog):

Flash fic (The Lions):

Parkour competition:

Destructo Girl OUT!