92 Obsession with Ferrett Steinmetz

This week I’m talking with Ferrett Steinmetz, who’s debut novel, Flex is out now from Angry Robot. Flex has been described as “Breaking Bad meets meets Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files,” and it has a lot of themes to explore (such as body image and the limits on magic), but we’re talking about the basis of the book’s magical system: obsession.

Ferrett’s short fiction

The Clarion Writers’ Workshop

The Nebula-nominated novella Sauerkraut Station

Dr. Strange Syndrome

When you have a big flabby magical system, I never know if the character is in danger.


If Harry Potter took magic seriously

In the real world, you can also achieve great things if you’re obsessed

Dude, what if you, like, made Felix Felicis potion, and then under its influence tried to make more?!

Get him out of the house and making bad decisions

Carrie Patel, Ferrett’s book twinsy, and what I was talking about with her

Hermione and Ron are terrible for each other! My fanfic did it better.

The internet is a glorious magnification of obsession

The Lego GondorTransformer costumes, and Gamergate

Nobody cares if you’re a writer, but you

Screw you, brain!

Steven King and Anne Leckie

This bizarre combination of egotism and humility

Tobias Buckwell

FLEX is out now! Buy it!

Discussion questions for the comments:

How much obsession is too much and how much is too little for a writer?

How do you balance the egotism necessary to believe other people will pay for your work with the humility to improve your work when it’s bad?

How much of what we do is work at all, and how much play?

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