Ielle Palmer …Writer and Professor

This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions

Naomi: What is your dream job and why?
Ielle: My dream job is honestly what Neil Gaiman is doing. I’d love to be able to write prose, comic books and the occasional film or tv script. I just want to write, it’s all I ever wanted for as long as I can remember. Of course that doesn’t pay the bills immediately (nor is it all that realistic, I mean honestly there is only one Neil Gaiman or Stephen King and many many other writers out there). So in the meantime I’m happy teaching composition to community college students.

Naomi: If you could take any of your hobbies and create a job out of them or integrate it into your job what would it be? And how?
Ielle: Honestly writing is my hobby, but I guess if I had to look at one of my other hobbies, it would be fun to work on cosplay creations. Building costumes for people who are going to various conventions would be a blast. Trying to breathe life into 2 dimensional characters is a very challenging – and entertaining – way to spend a weekend, that’s for sure.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Ielle: My favorite library continues to be my high school library. Sure my college library had more to offer, but it’s I.M. Pei 70s cement styling was cold and unforgiving. I RARELY spent much time in there (other than to film scenes for our on campus tv show about assassins. The place made and AWESOME La Femme Nikita like bunker lol). It offered wire bistro chairs/tables and hard cement benches, so most of the time I checked my books out and ran back to my dorm/apartment and camped out on real furniture. But my high school library, man where to start. The place was created in the 1930s so it had that old dark wood, high ceilings atmosphere going on. Adding giant windows with wooden thatched frames and you got a very Agatha Christie vibe. I remember spending hours in there pouring over our tight book shelves, or propping myself near a window, staring out at our track or the softball field, while looking over one book or another. Other times I’d be parked at a round table, working on a short story and simultaneously researching info for it. The librarians never knew what to make of me, they loved that I was always there and always working, but I think I scared them with my searches for vampires, the occult and Nazis (what can I say, I was your typical broody teen with a twist of history buff). It’s been over fifteen years since I’ve been in that place and yet I could grab a napkin and draw it from memory. This is the library I think of, when i picture libraries. This is the library I want to imitate, if I ever get a house large enough to accommodate it. I miss the hell out of that place.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Ielle: It’s so hard to say favorite book, as my tastes change every so many years. Had you asked me after high school, the answer would have been Farenheit 451. After getting my B.A in English: easily P.G. Wodehouse’s Life at Blandings collection. After moving to Los Angeles (and moving back): Bridget Jones’s Diary. After Grad School: Tie between Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and Austen’s Northanger Abbey…and now? Honestly I’m torn between my current read, Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” (which makes me skip to bed each night to read it) and Laurence Sterne’s “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy”. Who knows what my answer will be in another two years!

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Ielle: Libraries are blowing me away with their willingness to adapt. I think they’re waking up now to the fact that they were quickly becoming dinosaurs. It’s a sad fact that society does not embrace them the way they once did. We’ve got so many distractions out there, why read a book – which that concept hurts my head, but I understand where it’s coming from. Nevertheless, I have seen local libraries begin to work in DVD and game rentals. Again the writer in me cries a bit about this, but I have to remind myself that it’s much like any marketing tool. Get people in the door and you never know what else they’ll “purchase”. Sure the kid might be going home with two video games, but maybe he noticed a novel based on his favorite game and perhaps that novel was written by someone who has written other stuff. It’s sad, but I think that print media is going to have to behave like drug dealers, if it is going to survive. Get them interested and get them hooked. Even the recent embracing of e-material, has been a positive move, in my opinion. I love the idea that my local library is lending e-books for a period of time. This is an amazing idea, since man people – like my boyfriend – are incapable of remembering to return books on time. Now the file just shuts down at an appointed time. It’s brilliant for patrons, I can’t imagine the havoc it could do on a library’s bottom line. Then again, how often do libraries really get to collect late fees from their patrons and how large are those payments anyway, five dollars max? Finally, I’ve noticed that more and more libraries are renting out computer access.This is a wonderful idea. I live in an area that has a very large poor population. Access to free computers helps them look for jobs (which more and more demand online applications) and helps them connect to family across the the united states. I think a lot of us take for granted that we have a computer in our homes and forget that the internet is a luxury (albeit a necessary one, these days). It’s nice to see the local libraries stepping up and trying to help out those in the community who aren’t privy to such things.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Ielle: The only job hunting advice that I could ever dare to give anyone is, don’t stop looking. The only way you’re guaranteed to never find a job, is if you quit. So many people lose hope, and honestly in this economy, I don’t blame them. However, if you give up, how can you possibly win?
My Name is Ielle Palmer. I’m a writer/community college professor from Upstate New York. I live with my boyfriend and an extremely manipulative Puggle named Isabella. I’ve worked on a number of online webcomics, including Awesome Storm Justice 41 and Reynard City, both as a writer and an editor. Occasionally I do cover art for other webcomics and flats (which means i get paid to color within the lines). I’m currently in the process of starting my own webcomic while simultaneously working on a novel.   also find her at Wayward comic.

Reposted from 11/7/11 and formerly titled Ielle Palmer …In Six.  PS: I went to high school with her!