Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Kara's Frequently Asked Questions, September 2019

Every few months or so, I get an influx of new followers on one social media platform or another — generally either because I did something well-received or because I said something people want to fight about. Whatever works, I guess.

Long-time followers know the basics because they come up in posts, conversations, convention panels, random rants, etc. But I realize that, every few months or every year or so, there will be a lot of people who don't know the basics, and all the questions come around again.

So because of that, and because some things need updated answers... time for a basic FAQ. I will probably miss some. But I'll do my best.

Is ConScrew coming back?

Nope, it's done. It ran its course. It was fun. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I do another comic with my friend Rob Lantz, and you might enjoy it, too. Once that one's run its course, though, I will probably be out of webcomics. Unless I guest write for someone else.

I read an article you wrote on Crunchyroll. Will you cover my project for me?

So, up front, as a contracted news writer I can't write features/advertorials for people who come to me. That's just a thing it's overall not good to do, because it amounts to sliding you free advertising on the platform, and that's not really something I'm allowed to do in my day job.

If you are part of a project that has an imminent release that would be of genuine interest to an anime-viewing community, your best bet is to send it to the news tip line. That goes to our whole group, and we decide together that it's newsworthy it may get a standard short post as part of our daily news cycle. A good rule of thumb is: if we came across this casually as we're looking for content, would we be likely to cover it under our own steam? If yes, then sure, send away.

How did you get your job at Crunchyroll?

Majored in English. Spent ten years working at a mainstream news site. Spent about as much time working in fansubs and familiarizing myself with many different eras of anime. Went into pro-localization and familiarized myself with the industry. One day they asked if I wanted to do news and I said yes.

How can I get a job writing for Crunchyroll?

Write a lot. Study good journalistic form. Cultivate a good sense of humor about anime. Watch things outside your wheelhouse and learn to write about them. Get used to writing mainstream news. Be willing to accept gigs that aren't anime-related so you can get experience writing. Make sure your grammar and punctuation are solid. Then keep an eye on the jobs board.

How did you get into writing Doctor Who spinoffs?

I pitched an Iris Wildthyme story during an open call. They haven't sent me away yet.

How can I get started writing Doctor Who spinoffs?

Write a lot. Study good literary form. Read. A lot. Get used to writing non-Whoniverse stories. Be able to tell a solid story without using licensed characters. Pitch to non-Whoniverse publications (Submittable always has a few dozen open for submissions). Get used to being rejected. Get used to being accepted. Get used to being edited. Learn to work with editors on refining your stories and pitches. Take part in Doctor Who charity anthologies: license holders buy these to scan for new talent. Continue to write. Be patient. It took me 'til I was nearly 40 to crack this; you don't have to hit all your bucket list points at 22.

How can I get started writing actual Doctor Who?

Shit, I don't know. Tell me when you find out.

Are you ever going to do conventions again?

Probably. In fact, highly likely. I will not be staffing again, but I may guest/panel them. Watch this space.

Have you seen those guinea pig Halloween costumes from PetSmart?

I own two of them already. I promise I'll get some good photos made; just expect the pigs to be glaring angrily in all of them.

Can you explain to me why [company you work with] does/doesn't do [thing]?

No. Whatever it is, I can't. These are actually super awkward questions, because they amount to asking me to speak on behalf of the company. And unless you're talking, like, Altrix (which I co-run with Paul Driscoll) or Owl's Flower (which I co-create with Ginger), that's something I neither want nor am in a position to do.

Do you have any super secret work you can't talk about coming up?

Yes, and I can't talk about it.

I've also rather foolishly opened up a CuriousCat account, which you're welcome to hit up with questions at any time. I won't be answering any questions that would obligate revealing confidential information or speaking on behalf of an employer, but other than that, ask away. Doesn't even have to be serious.

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