Friday, November 6, 2009

An Interview with Myself

Q. So why are you interviewing yourself?
A. Because I’m not famous enough to be interviewed by anyone else at the moment, although my dog would be happy to interview me, but she only speaks Chewbacca and most people don’t understand that language fully. Also, spending day after day at the computer writing is a lonely experience and I need someone to talk to. It seems less weird to do it on paper, rather than out loud.

Q. What’s Chewbacca?
A. Malamute speak-it consists of yelps, growls and a whole other assortment of weird noises. Apparently his own malamute what inspired George Lucas to create Chewie’s character on Star Wars. How is this relevant to anything?

Q. It’s not, but you brought it up. So how’s life in the land of trying to get published?
A. Frustrating, interesting, depressing, challenging, character building. Luckily for me, once I’ve set my mind to something, I’m not one to give up. This will happen. It’s just a question of when. I’ve just got to hit the right agent/publisher. Someone has to be willing to take a risk on a first time author and be open to reading the manuscript.

Q. You sound confident.
A. I waiver. I have bad days, but I believe in the foundation of what I’ve written. No One In Particular is a great story, it’s engaging, and it keeps you wondering what will happen next. The characters are appealing, and the ones that aren’t, well they’ll provoke some emotional responses as well. The book will provoke you emotionally. Mostly it will just make you laugh, but it will also make you uncomfortable, and it will make you think. Women from 25 onward will love this book. It’s not the kind of story you would read, put down and just say, “that was great.” You’ll have some sort of response to it. I love that about this book. It’s different. It’s not what you might initially expect, if you read any part of it, although I believe there are some very funny parts. It has to be taken in the whole.

Q. Can you expand more on the book being different?
A. Sure. It was written through stream of consciousness. I didn’t have the story planned out in my head at all. I just wrote. You can write a book and have everything planned out ahead of time, and a lot of us do this in our lives, we know where we’re going, where we want to be and we plan how to get there. Like me right now. I want to be published and I’m working and planning on how to get there. Sometimes in life, though, we are lost. We don’t know where we’re going; we’re not sure about our future, or something knocks us off track. Turns out the character in the book doesn’t know where she’s going and stream of consciousness writing worked perfectly, the story arose. I think that part of the writing will make some people uncomfortable-especially people who like to plan and feel in control. But they can’t know where the book is going, because the character doesn’t know-they’ll have a reaction to that though. Some will be bothered, some won’t. Some people are okay with an uncertain future, others, not so much.

Q. What else might someone who is going to read your book want to know?
A. It explores the whole concept of left field experiences. That’s never mentioned anywhere, and none of the manuscript readers were told that before they read it, but now, thinking about it, I wonder if knowing that ahead of time, people might be provided with a different depth of experience of the book.

Q. Explain. First, what is a left field experience?
A. Left field experience: a phenomenon in which a happening or event arises from an unexpected, bizarre or uncommon source or direction. The happening may range from being minor, such that one’s reaction to it entails only a brief surge in adrenaline and a fleeting sense of shock, to catastrophic, resulting in an intense personal reaction which precedes a transformation of consciousness and a change in the very core of one’s being or life direction. Basically, something unexpected occurs out of the blue that shocks one, and it provides an awakening of sorts, sometimes temporary, sometimes longer lasting. An example of a minor left field experience would be crossing the street when not paying attention and nearly getting clipped by a car. You’re shocked into paying more attention to life. Major left field experiences can be much harder to deal with and I think the challenge there is to awaken more into life, even though a person’s initial reaction can be to want to turn away or avoid.

Q. And there are left field experiences in the book?
A. There are. The main character, Danny, has a lot of them. She is also very good at giving them to other people. She’s busy trying to wake other people up at times, but she also needs to wake up.

Q. It sounds like the book has a few levels to it.
A. It does. And they are levels that can be missed. There’s the obvious and the not so obvious. On the surface it’s a funny read with some great characters. If you look deeper, there’s a whole lot of other stuff there. Try getting all of this down in a one page query letter to a publisher or an agent. There’s an exercise in frustration.

Q. And if they only read a chapter or two?
A. They’ll get parts, but they won’t get the whole, and they may very well miss all that there is.

Q. As a new author, you’re considered a bit of a risk to publish aren’t you?
A. Yes, but every writer out there was new at this at some point in time. I believe in this book and I believe it has mass appeal. I’m only too happy to work my butt off getting the word out about it. In the meantime, because I’m totally out there about what I’m doing, I just get to hang with the public humiliation of everyone knowing about my rejections, and I hate public embarrassment and humiliation, hate it. But getting this published is worth all that to me. And hey, I can be an inspiration to others for taking risks. It’s kinda cool actually. I’m presently facing one of my worst fears. And I’m surviving.

Q. Any ideas for marketing?
A. Lots. I’m an idea person. Sometimes I have to calm myself down though. I can get over the top sometimes.

Q. Future plans for writing?
A. More books. I’ve got an idea percolating. If it keeps doing so and starts a roiling boil then I’ll know I’m good to go. That’s what happened with this book. My top was ready to blow by the time I sat down to write it. I couldn’t ignore it. It had to be written.

Q. In the meantime?
A. Submit, wait, work on pre-marketing, hope, submit, write the blog, and pay attention to life.

Q. Thanks for the interview.
A. Thank you. It’s always nice to have someone to talk to. Even if it is only me.