Interview with a Reluctant Celebrity

Hi everyone. Welcome back.

Today we’re going to have a little fun and interview the main character in my novel, The Terrible Strange.

This idea came from multiple “What do I write about in my blog when I write fiction, but I haven’t been published yet?” websites. At first I thought this was kind of dumb, but now I realize that it could be lots of fun. Plus, potential readers will get to know my characters better.

So here goes … Oh, and the interviewer is one of those “young and hip” entertainment journalists. Let’s call her Micki.

Micki: Today we’re talking with Jacob Grey, the protagonist of the bestselling novel, The Terrible Strange. Jake, how would you describe yourself? What do you look like?

Jake: What the fuck are you talking about? I’m standing right here, you tell me what I look like.

Micki: Uh, okay. Well, you’re good-looking, obviously, and wearing jeans, ripped jeans, and er, a nice, white tee shirt … and your hair is dark, and a little shaggy … and you’re carrying a green Jansport backpack.

 

 

 

 

 

Jake: Exactly.

Micki: So does the backpack mean you’re a student, Jake?

Jake: Why are you asking all these stupid, fucking questions? Of course I’m a student. I’m in grad school at UPenn. Is there a problem?

Micki:  Oh, no. No. Nothing like that. It’s just that … well, you don’t exactly strike me as the Ivy League type.

 

 

 

Jake: Wait, so, you ask me here to interview me for some stupid online magazine, but all you want to do is stereotype me? Are you trying to say I don’t look smart enough to go to Penn?

Micki: No! Of course not. I apologize. Really, Jake. I’m so sorry. Uh, can we please move on? I have to finish these questions. Please?

Jake: Fine. Go ahead. Ask your damn questions.

Micki: Can you name one thing you did as a kid that you’re most proud of today?

Jake: That’s easy. By the time I was five years old I knew how to pour a beer with the absolute minimum amount of foam on top. 

Micki: Er, okay. That’s wonderful. And how about the most embarrassing thing?

 

Jake: Are you kidding me? I’m not going to tell you that. I hardly fucking know you.

Micki: Uh, okay. How about this – Did you have a best friend when you were a child, and if so, what were they like?

Jake: My best friend is Maya Davenport. She’s fucking brilliant. She’s a grad student in physics, also at Penn. Her dad works for SEPTA, and her Nana is awesome. We’ve known each other, like, forever. 

Micki: That’s wonderful, Jake. It sounds like you two are still friends, is that correct?

Jake: Jesus. Yes, we’re still friends. I would have thought it was obvious from my use of the present tense when talking about her. How did you even get this fucking job? What are they paying you, because it’s obviously too much.

Micki: This is actually an internship, so I’m not getting paid.

Jake: Wow. It sucks to be you. How many more of these stupid questions are there?

Micki: There are 30 altogether.

Jake: Fuck.

 

Well, there you have it.

Jake is definitely one of those people who are fierce and prickly on the outside, but once you get to know him he’s all soft and squishy on the inside. 

 

 

 

Have you ever interviewed one of your characters? I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks for reading.

P.S. Let me know if you want Jake to answer any more questions.

Love. Resistance is futile. (Part 2)

Last week I talked a bit about my thoughts on the nature of love. I’d been thinking about it because I’d somehow found myself writing a novel with a love story in it.  (If you write, you already know — these things just happen.)

 

 

 

So… Love.

Ok, it’s like a force of nature — like gravity — that only affects living beings. 

Well, maybe.

Because what about quantum inseparability?  Is that just another form of love?  Like the raw, basic essence of it, the universal idea of love, sort of like Plato’s Ideal Forms? Is love intricately woven into the fabric of the universe? Of all universes?

And if so, what chance do we puny humans down here on Earth have? What chance do we have against such a powerful phenomenon? It’s like trying to fight against gravity. Sure, some people have done it (astronauts, astro- dogs, probably some astro-rats), but they’ve always  come back down  afterwards. Because … well, they can’t stay up there forever, right? Gravity is always tugging at them, dragging them back to Earth.

Continuing this idea that love, like gravity, is a force of nature, I say that love acts on us whether we want it to or not. (Kinda like the aforementioned gravity.) But unlike gravity, which is a huge, but weak, force in the universe, love is simultaneously huge and intimate. And unbelievably strong.

Love draws people together. It draws animals together (theories of biological determinism be damned), and it draws people and animals  together. And it may be what draws subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, planets, and galaxies together!

 

Let’s just agree on this for now: Gravity doesn’t discriminate and neither does love. Both do what they do with no regard for who they do it to.

Love is patient. Love is kind. (Wtf?) Part 1

A lot of people know that quote from Corinthians in the Bible. It’s a popular, and comfortable, way of looking at love. As such, it’s often recited at weddings where everyone smiles and nods. Every time I hear this definition of love it makes me think of a soft, cozy shawl.

However …

I’ve been working on my protagonist’s character profile this week, and it’s gotten me to thinking about love; because even though my novel is a sci-fi horror adventure in an urban setting, it’s also a love story.

Believe me, I was just as surprised as you are. I’ve never been interested in love stories, or romance (because, Duh, I mostly write horror. See my short story “Mercy Street” elsewhere on this blog), but there you are. This story wants to be told, and for some unknown reason, it’s picked me to tell it.

Consequently, I had to do some hard thinking on the subject of love. Like, what is it, where does it come from, and is there a cream available to get rid of it?

So the first thing that popped into my head is the idea that we have absolutely no control over love. It chooses you. You are love’s bitch. You don’t get to decide who to love, or when you’re going to fall in love, or where you’re going to be when it happens, or even when it will happen.

Love is basically a cosmic clown car careening around the corner just as you step off the curb. Wham!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In that regard, love remind me a lot of death. Or life.

At the same time, though, love often seems like a weapon wielded by some divine, hilarious prankster god, right? Because once love sets its sights on you it’s just like having one of those hellish Covenant plasma grenades attached to your body — no amount of running around and screaming will fix it. You are fucked.

That’s it for today.

Meanwhile, I’d love to hear your thoughts on love — please tell me in the comments down below. Thanks!

How I’m Going to Make 2020 My Bitch

I realize that making a public declaration like this is one of the stupidest things you can do. Everyone knows that as soon as you make a grand pronouncement like this you are essentially cursing yourself in a very public manner.  (This is probably why nearly every great undertaking starts off with very little fanfare. In secret. If it fails, who cares? Nobody, because no one knew about it.)

Well, where’s the fun in that?

I believe in the Accountability Model of Achievement (aka The Public Shaming Model)– the more people whom I tell, the more likely I am to actually do what I said I was going to do. Because if I don’t then everyone and their mother will be guaranteed to ask me “Whatever happened to that thing you said you were going to do…?” for the next freaking year. Or two.

So, the more people who are invested in something, the less likely I am to let it die a quiet, unnoticed death.

That’s the plan anyway.

So, here goes.

In 2020 I plan on finishing my novel (… that I initially started about 4 years ago in grad school. Don’t ask. I did actually, technically finish it, it just sucked so bad I couldn’t bear it. Hence, third draft’s the charm, eh?) and  publishing it.

 

 

 

I am working on getting the movie  I made a few years ago — Gameheads — broken up into bite-sized videos and put on YouTube as a serial.

I am revamping my old student blog into a new author blog. (You’re looking at it right now, babe.)

I am starting a podcast, which will be about writing plus whatever-the- hell-I-feel-like-talking-about.

I’m going to do more book reviews — both fiction and non-fiction — along with some movie and TV reviews.

As God is my witness, I am going to learn how to play the guitar even if it KILLS me!

 

 

 

And finally, I want to start

attending some writing or sci-fi/fantasy  conventions as a guest again.

 

Whew! That’s enough for one year.

How about you? What are your plans for 2020? Don’t be afraid — just spit it out! Believe me, not only is it therapeutic, but the prospect of some good, old-fashioned public shaming might be just the kick in the ass you need to get things done.