And Then interviews: Michael Pryor

Clan Destine Press is bringing out a new anthology And Then, and you can read interviews with the authors here over the next few weeks. There is also an Indiegogo campaign, to which y’all can contribute here.

Pryor1cropped lo resIn today’s interview the delightful Michael Pryor chats about his And Then tale, “Cross Purposes”.

What inspired your story/novelette?

Sometimes my stories kick off with an idea for a character. Sometimes they grow out of a plot idea. But sometimes, it’s a location that gets me thinking. Early 2014, I visited Cooktown in Far North Queensland. The place appealed to me – its remoteness, its history, its sense of being an outpost …  When I got home I started researching, and so many gems popped up that I simply had to use. The railway to nowhere? Perfect!

What appealed to you about this project?

I loved the unabashed adventure story aspect of this project. Sadly, gripping, thrilling stories are seen as a bit passé, a bit naff, but I’ve always loved them. Derring-do, hair’s breadth escapes, noble sacrifices, this sort of thing is guaranteed to keep me reading, and so I couldn’t turn down an invitation to write in this mode.

What advantages does a long-short form offer?

I find that the long-short form is a great boon to pacing. No time to sag in the middle, gotta keep moving!

The future of short fiction is

Robust. Online publishing offers a variety of niche opportunities that traditional print publishing can’t. Whereas hard copy publishers are reluctant to go with a short story collection, online’ s cheaper costs can make it viable.

What’s next for you? figurehead

I’m working on a number of YA projects, with an urban fantasy due for release in 2017, from Allen and Unwin. And I’m still working on my first adult novel, one with plenty of derring-do, exotic locations, 1930s ambience and some crafty magic. Stay tuned.


Michael Pryor writes fantasy and science fiction, mostly for teenagers. He has published more than thirty novels and 50 something short stories. He is one of the co-publishers of Aurealis, Australia’s longest running Fantasy and SF magazine. He has been shortlisted for the Aurealis Award six times, and seven of his books have been CBCA Notable books. His website is

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