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Interview: Tina Connolly on “miscellaneous notes from the time an alien came to band camp disguised as my alto sax”

What was the inspiration for “miscellaneous notes from the time an alien came to band camp disguised as my alto sax,” or what prompted you to write it?

I was participating in a writing challenge where you could choose a title somebody else had written, and then write your own story to fit. After I wrote the story, I found out that this title happened to be written by my good friend and frequent collaborator, Caroline M. Yoachim! It probably explains why I was drawn to it. Note: the original title actually said “tenor sax” but I changed it to “alto sax” due to band geekery reasons.


Tina ConnollyWhat aspect of “miscellaneous notes…” was the most fun to write?

I loved trying to get the voice just right. For all that it looks kind of stream-of-consciousness I spent awhile just happily tweaking phrases and taking the punctuation in and out. Totally my jam.


Why do you write?

I keep asking myself that, and it keeps changing. But lately I want to tell stories of hope, and people working toward positive change, whether that’s in little ways or big. (And also stories about aliens obsessed with Elvis and Kenny G.)


Who do you consider to be your influences?

I will answer instead “what are some of the influences on this particular story” because it is clearly influenced by my time at a super hardcore band camp when I was in junior high (we totally did play Rachmaninoff, and I was always in over my head because french horns were in high demand and I was kind of a casual band player who didn’t particularly like to practice and who was now trying to sightread things with like 32nd notes and 5 sharps.) I am maybe a little competitive though. Just a little.


What are you working on now?

I am in the first stages of a new YA novel project! I am having fun working on it and we’ll see what happens. I am also going to the Nebulas in May because my novelette “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” is on the ballot and I am SO. EXCITE.


“miscellaneous notes from the time an alien came to band camp disguised as my alto sax” appears in the March/April 2019 issue of F&SF.

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