An Interview with Writer and Artist (and New Mom) M.C.A. Hogarth

M.C.A. Hogarth is a renaissance woman: artist, writer, businesswoman, and more. I knew of her first for her art, which led me to her stories, which led me to an all around amazing person. I’m happy to be able to share her with you!

Aimee: What kind of things do you write about? (Genre, subject matter, themes, what have you.)

MCA: I like to write about encountering things that are strange and wondrous and out of your particular context. That could be meeting a unicorn in a forest… or meeting someone from a radically different country. I love learning languages, exploring new cultures and experiencing things that make you feel a sense of wonder and joy in the universe.

Typically I write fantasies. I like to create people and introduce you to them and invite you to live in their world for a while.

Aimee: What’s a day of writing like? Do you have a set schedule? Do you have a day job as well?

MCA: I recently gave up full-time work to be a stay-at-home mother… which means I have time when I have time, and I can never plan for it! It’s funny, I got into the habit of sneaking writing time at random moments at work–during a coffee break or on my lunch hour–and that habit has served me well. I’m used to making time where I can.

Aimee: Do animals appear in your work?

MCA: Often! Sometimes directly, as pets or as companions or helpmeets… and sometimes indirectly, as inspiration for strange new cultures and beautiful aliens! And yes, sometimes my animals talk…

Aimee: What kind of pets do you have? (Past and present if you like.)

MCA: We currently have one dog, Zoe, a sweet, mellow old mutt who was one of the strays rescued from the island of Montserrat. We think she might be a combination of greyhound and short-haired collie, with maybe some shepherd in there… but I’ve never had a gentler or more intelligent dog. She even sleeps next to the baby’s crib.

Zoe the crib guardian!  Photo courtesy of MCA Hogarth.

Aimee: Do your pets appear in your work?

MCA: Sometimes, but not frequently. A pet is a real character in a story, not something you can just casually insert because it would be nice to have a cat sleeping on the bed. Pets change people’s lives and their personalities. If you’re going to put them in a story, you need to think about what that really means.

Aimee: How do your pets help you work? (And I use the term “help” very loosely… mine mostly work as a distraction more than anything.)

MCA: Zoe is so mellow that just being around her reminds me not to get too worked up about things. And you can get worked up about a lot of things, really easily, particularly with a new baby! My computer is in the middle of the house near a grandfather clock, and the dog often lies down there and keeps me company. It’s enormously comforting to have such faithful companionship.

Zoe snoozing just around the corner.  Photo courtesy of MCA Hogarth.

Aimee: Where can people start to discover your writing and art?

MCA: Most of my short stories are available online; links to them can be found on my Writing page. I also have a new short story collection on Amazon entitled The Aphorisms of Kherishdar.