Like the world itself, it all started with dinosaurs. At the age of 8, I wrote and illustrated The Disastrous Dino War. It was about a dino war that was disastrous. The next year, I wrote and illustrated K.E.E.T. and the Invasion of the Insectoids. It was about Kids with the Entomology Expertise of Tomorrow staving off an invasion of insectoids. From then on, I stopped illustrating my own work because as fun as it was to draw a boy with an insect leg, I was terrible at it.
I wrote stories about interdimensional portals, cannibalistic rats, and bovine poltergeists. I also dabbled in poetry, but let’s not talk about that. No one wants to talk about their high school poetry.
At Rice University, I took creative writing class after creative writing class—plus one dramatic writing class—learning the intricacies of character, plot, theme, dialogue, and everything else I had been doing without knowing what I was doing. The best story I wrote in four years won the George Williams Prize for Fiction, awarded by the English department and judged by professional writers. It only won second place in a contest judged by English graduate students.
In the decade that followed, I only wrote one short story, but after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, I fell in with the theater community, rediscovered my love of theater, and began to create some of my own. I wrote my first monologue, my first first act of a full-length, and my first short play. I tackled topics ranging from the struggle to be a non-drinker in a drinkeronormative society to our attachment to material objects. I wrote for, acted in, directed for, and produced a night of sci-fi/fantasy/horror theater.
Then in 2013, I attended LoneStarCon 3 and fell in with the SFF community, rediscovered my love of fiction, and began to create my own again. It all started with dinosaurs, but I don’t know where it will end. When I won the George Williams Prize for Fiction, the professor said that she expected to see my books in a bookstore one day. I intend to make that happen.
- “Asian Monsters special feature: Sunil Patel & Usman Malik,” December 20, 2016
- “Speculative Fiction Matinee & An Interview with Sunil Patel,” June 9, 2016
- “Girl in Blue Dress (1881): Behind the Scenes Q+A w/ Sunil Patel,” February 7, 2016
- “An Interview with Sunil Patel – Author of “Marcie’s Waffles Are the Best in Town”,” June 1, 2015
- “Interview with Sunil Patel [GENIUS LOCI],” March 30, 2015
- “Interview: Sunil Patel on His GENIUS LOCI Story “The Gramadevi’s Lament”,” March 17, 2015
- “Ghosts in the IM: Conversations with Writers,” September 17, 2014
- “The Producer from Another World,” May 6, 2013
- “Pint Sized Plays Interviews 4: Megan Cohen and Sunil Patel,” July 3, 2012
- “Get to Know Some of the Actors of the Pint-Sized Plays!” August 19, 2011
- Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, 2016: Instructors: Kelly Link, Ted Chiang, Andy Duncan, Victor LaValle, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman
- Writing the Other Weekend Intensive, 2015. Instructors: K. Tempest Bradford, Nisi Shawl
- Taos Toolbox, 2015. Instructors: Walter Jon Williams, Nancy Kress, Carrie Vaughn
- Writing Excuses Retreat and Workshop, 2014. Instructors: Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells
- Short Story Intensive, 2014. Instructor: Mary Robinette Kowal
- Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, 2014. Instructor: Cat Rambo
- Fiction Writing, 2003. Instructor: Kathleen Cambor
- Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction, 2002. Instructor: Kent Nelson
- Dramatic Writing, 2002. Instructor: Douglas Mitchell
- Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction, 2001. Instructor: Glenn Blake
- Introduction to Creative Writing: Fiction, 2000. Instructor: Marsha Recknagel
Since this is the About Me page, it seems the most appropriate place to stick a me-me-me button. Like what I do, be it writing or Tweeting or recommending all the awesome media you should be experiencing? Support my rejection milkshakes!