The Next Big Thing. It’s a thing, I guess it’s getting big. Writers and artists tag each other to fill out interview questions. I got tagged by Matt Rowan. These are pre-prepared questions I’m answering. I don’t know, here we go.
WHAT IS THE WORKING TITLE OF THE BOOK?
Sad Robot Stories, a novella. (Will probably change that maybe I don’t know.)
WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM FOR THE BOOK?
Genre. I donno. Here comes a rant.
I’ve been thinking about robots since the womb. My friend Joe and I used to draw robots in crayon cause we thought it was funny. Eventually we started putting them up on the internet back in 2009. It was open to anyone to contribute, and lots of people did, though the majority of the updates were just me.
I’d lost steam (and happiness) with the robot comics so I stopped doing them. And then I started to miss them. Eventually I started writing little poems about robots, mostly haiku and stuff, during this boring poetry lit class. Just fun and stupid stuff. Out of that came longer poems and a story. I kept trying to make it “funny.” Like two-part jokes or 3 panel gags, but it kept not working. I let myself do what felt natural, and from that came more melancholy pieces that eventually got turned into Sad Robot Stories, my ebook that I made peterbd edit. It was this giant page that spread out in multiple directions. A lot of people seemed to hate that, or get bored by it. I wasn’t really surprised. I enjoyed writing it and making it.
Jason Pettus at CCLaP eventually asked me if I was interested in writing them a novella. I had some ideas, none of them involving robots, and after I told them to Jason he suggested I instead work on a robot novella. I thought about it for a week and felt that I wouldn’t be able to do that. I tried to imagine what I might do with the story and imagining this would break my head open and give me a headache. But then after a few weeks something started to click, I got a bunch of ideas, and started working on the book.
It was supposed to be out the end of February, but I’m slow, so it’ll be out this summer. It’s similar to the story in Sad Robot Stories the ebook, though entirely it’s own thing. One long narrative. No tom fuckery or weird layouts, just a novella about robots.
WHAT GENRE DOES YOUR BOOK FALL UNDER?
I don’t know. Apocalyptic sci-fi is the subject matter. It’s mostly about relationships though. It’s about friends, sex and gender identity. And it’s depressing. Not sure what genre you want to toss that in.
Also, there’s quite a bit of influence from detective noir. Kind of. So the depressing sex gender identity robot detective noir apocalypse genre.
Who wrote these questions? Are there writers that actually want to answer this question?
WHAT ACTORS WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY THE PART OF YOUR CHARACTERS IN A MOVIE RENDITION?
WHAT IS THE ONE SENTENCE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR BOOK?
I hate you.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE MANUSCRIPT?
I don’t know. It depends what you consider a first draft. I’d had a first draft written in some notebooks, that took about four or five months. While typing it up, I absolutely hated the second half, so I threw it away and started over. On this second-first draft, I’m just about done, and I guess that’ll mean it took me about eight months.
I work like 10-11 hour days for CBS and severely overestimated the writing energy I’d have after workdays, making me think I’d finish this novella a lot quicker. Things have been frustratingly slow. But I’m really happy with what I’ve got and the book I’ll eventually publish. Just wish it wasn’t taking so long.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK?
As I said, Jason suggested it, and it took awhile, but it eventually clicked with me. It’s hard to say what else inspired this. Being a nerd inspired it? I used to stay home sick when I was a kid so I could watch sci fi moves on cable. Stuff like Enemy Mine and The Last Star Fighter and Tron etc. That stuff probably had an effect.
And life. It’s hard to find an engaging way to approach the loss of friendship and sexual development. It’s not exactly stuff I set out to write about, there’s never really a plan, but it’s there in my subconscious I guess and it’s what comes out.
WHAT ELSE ABOUT YOUR BOOK MIGHT PIQUE THE READER’S INTEREST?
I don’t know. I’ll start really “selling it” when it’s closer to being released… I think it’s really cool? I kind of have a bias.
WILL YOUR BOOK BE SELF-PUBLISHED OR REPRESENTED BY AN AGENCY?
THANKS CCLAP I HOPE YOU DON’T REGRET THIS!
WHAT WRITERS YOU HAVE TAGGED FOR NEXT WEEK:
I don’t want to tag people. That seems cruel. Plus, I don’t know who has and hasn’t done this. Tagging people is how this works though, so here ya go. If you’re tagged, you must answer these damn questions…