Pandragon Dan

Pandragon Dan

Author/Reviewer/Blogger

Interview With Reetwika Banerjee

Wow! These author interviews have just exploded on my blog recently! I recently had another email (this time from Goodreads) from author Reetwika Banerjee, we got talking and I agreed to let her stop by to tell us a little about herself and her story book Fantastic 40, which is a collection of "micro stories". Please welcome her to my blog and say hi.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?

 

Reetwika Banerjee, 28 years, is professionally a Data Security consultant currently associated with Accenture. She loves to present her ideas and have participated in more than 25 Corporate and International conferences and business contests across the globe, crowning Laurels from most of them. With roots in the city of joy Kolkata (India), she is now settled in the silicon city of Bangalore (India). She had previously worked with Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro serving across various Indian states.

 

Reetwika’s hobbies include creative thinking and international travels and she dreams to be the Indian “Agatha Christie”. “Fantastic 40” is her first published book and she is currently working on her second book on micro stories.  

 

 

What first inspired you to get into writing?

 

Due to my intolerant attitude towards treachery, I had been subject to immense stress many a times. However it was my faith on my thoughts and actions, I was able to come out of it. In fact the extreme pressure I had taken and mental strains I had gone through stand out to be the most powerful source of inspiration for me. It drives me to stretch myself, pen down my experiences, express those hard-earned realizations, human behavioural patterns and character sketches through my writing. Once you get into some trouble, you get to know the real character behind many people around you.

 

 

Who are your favourite authors?

 

I love reading short stories – be it any language. One of my favourites being Anton Chekhov.

 

 

Nice! Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?

 

Hobbies include creative thinking, international travels and digital photography.

 

 

Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?

 

I write what I love to read.

 

I liked to read novels in childhood. With time, I started feeling tired of waiting so much to know what finally happens at the end. So started reading short stories and soon became an avid reader of the genre. Be it in any language I kept reading them. I enjoy quickly getting into the climax. Soon short stories too seemed too long to hold my curiosity back and I was slowly growing impatient to read them as well. Started looking for even shorter stories in the racks.

 

Well, before starting with my micro story concept, one question frequently came to my mind, - In today’s speedy world, do we really have enough time to relax and enjoy a full length novel? Keeping the fast pace of our promising nations, is it not high time to make a paradigm shift of the contemporary literary styles? Such thoughts ran behind me for months till the time I came up with the concept of MICRO STORY.

 

 

 

Sounds interesting! Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people us a little bit about your new/upcoming book?

 

I am currently working on my second book of micro stories. I will not say it’s a sequel of “Fantastic 40” but ya of the same genre.

 

 

Where did you get the inspirations for this?

 

Every day we come across so many new things, happen to meet so many people, experience so many things around us – I believe every little thing adds up to motivating me towards writing.

 

 

Do you have any favourite characters in the story?

 

Personally I am very fond of one of my characters called “Mama”. He comes with a comical charisma.

 

 

If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters?

 

Ya will love to.

 

 

Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?

 

Storyline. Weak characters can build up fantastic stories if depicted well. But even with strongest of characters a poor storyline can destroy the entire effort.

 

 

What do you look for in a good story?

 

An unpredictable climax/turn in the end.

 

 

What’s the best advice you can give to authors?

 

Keep writing. Don't get disappointed even if you do not find a single reader. You never know your which creation will soar you to the zenith of acceptance.

 

 

Great advice. I can relate to the getting disappointed part.  Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. What DOES the Fox say?

 

 

He is mute – Too many people around us are foxing each other making the actual fox a mere silent spectator.

 

 

Makes sense to me. Now why did the chicken cross the road?

 

To get to the other side.

 

 

And finally, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?

 

A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and for stopping by. You guys can check out Reetwika and her story book Fantastic 40 at this Facebook pages.

 

Reetwika Banerjee

Fantastic 40

 

And as always, if there are any authors that wished to be interviewed on my blog, please send a message my way.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

PANDRAGON DAN

 

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Interview with Nancy Christie

Got another fun author interview for you guys! Please welcome to my blog another lovely author from Pixel Hall Press, Nancy Christie, who stopped by to tell you guys about her upcoming work Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories.

 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?

 

I’m a writer by profession and by preference. I make my living writing magazine articles and handling copywriting projects for companies and agencies—all to feed my need to write fiction!

 

 

That sounds like a cool job! So what first inspired you to get into writing?

 

I don’t actually remember when I started writing. I always made up stories as child, and wrote my first story in second grade. Writing wasn’t a choice but just something I did naturally—like talking or eating or breathing.

 

 

So who are your favourite authors?

 

There are so many, so this is a far from complete list and in no particular order but… Agatha Christie, Mark Helprin, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Enid Blyton, Jules Verne—there are undoubtedly more but I’d better stop there.

 

 

Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?

 

Not to quibble about words, but for me, writing is not a “hobby” but a requirement of living. Or my addiction. Or so much a part of me that I don’t know where writing starts and I stop. Now my hobbies are gardening. And biking. And running (although I walk more than I run). And reading.

 

 

Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?

 

Probably literary fiction, although the novels I am working on tend to be more mainstream. But when I write short stories, they end up falling into the “literary” category.

 

 

 

 

Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people us a little bit about your new/upcoming book?

 

Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories is a short fiction collection about characters who, whether by accident or design, find themselves traveling left of center. Some manage to get back on the correct side of the road, some don’t, and others weave back and forth, courting disaster.

 

 

Sounds interesting. Where did you get the inspirations for this?

 

Some of the stories were inspired by events I witnessed or conversations I overheard, while others started from experiences I had that I then took further down the path of imagination.

 

 

As this is a collection, I guess there isn't really a "main character" as such, but do you have any favourite characters from any of the stories?

 

Not so much favorites, but the protagonist in “Annabelle” breaks my heart every time I read her story.

 

 

Awww. Sounds like it's a tear jerker. If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this?

 

I’ve no idea. I am so clueless when it comes to the current crop of directors or actors. But since I’d like to pursue that possibility in the coming year, I guess I better get educated!

 

 

Just as heads up, if Michael Bay comes your way - say no straight away! He'd probably just replace your stories with loads of explosions! Speaking of which, what in your opinion is more important – story or characters?

 

I don’t think you can have one without the other. A good story is what happens to the characters, but if the characters are badly written, the story will fail.

 

 

And what do you look for in a good story?

 

Believability. Not that it means that it can’t be a fantasy or science fiction or magical, but I have to believe that somewhere that story is actually taking place—that there is an alternate reality where the characters are living. If the story is well written, then it takes me to that place.

 

 

Very true - and this is often the problem I find with some Fantasy or Sci-Fi. As long as the setting is believable and the characters lifelike, you can take a fictional setting and make the audience get lost in the world. So what is the best advice you can give to authors?

 

 

Understand that this is a business. Yes, it’s wonderful to have written a book but that’s just the beginning. Now take off your author hat and put on your biz owner hat because your book is a product and it’s up to you to get it out there in the marketplace where it will vie for attention with all the other books that are out there.

 

 

That's really good advice - and indeed something that any author needs to bare in mind when promoting their work.

 

Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. What DOES the Fox say?

 

Why am I always the bad guy in fairy tales?

 

Thinking about it, yeah. Foxes do get a bit of a bad rep. Especially in Naurto. But I have a more important question. Why did the chicken cross the road?

 

It was faster than tunnelling under it.

 

 

And finally... how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?

 

It depends entirely on how far he had to chuck it and how much each piece weighs. He’s not exactly a champion at tossing lumber, you know.

 

 

Well that was a fun little interview there! Thank you so much for taking the time to appear on my blog, Nancy. Hope you guys found the information she gave useful. You can follow her at any of the following links.

 

Facebook

Google+

LinkedIn

Twitter

Website

 

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for another author interview. Until then, enjoy your weekend guys :)

 

 

PANDRAGON DAN

 

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Pandragon Dan Interviews Sally Wiener Grotta

Hope you liked the last author interview - because I got ANOTHER one for you! Pixel Hall Press's own Sally Wiener Grotta very kindly stopped by to do a little interview and tell us about her new book The Winter Boy - and she even provided a little except of it! Let's not waste any more time and get down to the interview. Enjoy!

 

 

 
 

Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?

 

Thank you for inviting me, Dan.

 

I’ve made my living as a freelance writer and photographer for my decades-spanning career. (I’ve never been on staff anywhere, though I’ve been a Contributing Editor at a number of magazines.) What that means is that I’ve covered a wide range of topics for quite a diverse readership.

 

If you were to ask me what one word would most fully describe me, I would say “storyteller.” I use words and my camera to explore what I want to understand and what I need to communicate. It’s the conduit I use to connect with others and attempt to make that connection meaningful.

 

The specifics? I’ve been on assignment for many major publications to all seven continents. I’ve interviewed and photographed hundreds of fascinating or famous (or both) people. And, I’ve been honored that my work has received numerous awards, grants and accolades. But mostly, I’m happy that I’ve been able to make a living at what I love doing most. (For more traditional bios, please go to http://www.grotta.net/events.htm and http://www.amhands.com/AboutSally.)

 

 

What first inspired you to get into writing?

 

I’ve always been a writer… or at least lived for story.

 

I suppose I could say that my inspiration started with bedtime tales that my mother read to me. Or perhaps it was my grandmother’s stories about her childhood and the years before I came on the scene. What always fascinated me were the people in the stories. How they felt, what they did, why they did it.

 

As soon as I could string words together onto a page, I was creating stories. As I grew older the stories became more complex, and eventually more refined and meaningful. But only after I learned that writing is more than story and inspiration – that it requires craft, professional acumen and discipline – did I begin to earn a living at it.

 

 

Who are your favourite authors?

 

Jorge Luis Borges, Margaret Atwood, Daniel Grotta, Viktor Frankl, Shakespeare, Michael Swanwick, Mary Doria Stewart, so many others.

 

I love discovering new authors. Recently, I read a wonderful book by Delia Sherman that transported me to the days before the American Civil War, and allowed me to see the South through a very different perspective than I ever had. That sense of experiencing something/someone new is part of the adventure of reading.

 

 

Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?

 

I have no real hobbies. When I’m not doing assignment writing or managing my career, I’m working on my fiction, creating photographic portraits, mounting exhibits, etc. I’m not really a workaholic. I simply love my work and would rather create stories and pictures than do anything else.

 

My leisure activities include taking walks along the stream behind our house with my husband, the author Daniel Grotta, and Watson, our Golden Retriever, swimming occasionally, and of course, reading. While Daniel and I walk, we often discuss and brainstorm our stories.

 

 

Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?

 

I don’t consider genre when I’m writing. I simply create the story that needs to be told. That’s why my novels and short stories tend to not fit neatly into the zeroes and ones of digital marketing. In terms of character-driven plots, I have literary tendencies. But I also enjoy exploring otherliness and imagined worlds, which are tropes usually found in science fiction and fantasy. A number of reviewers and readers have called my most recent book “The Winter Boy” literary speculative fiction, though others see elements of a political thriller and coming of age story.

 

Not all my fiction has speculative elements. My last novel “Jo Joe” was set in a Pennsylvania mountain village and dealt with the very real world issues of prejudice, the ethnic/racial divide and family misunderstandings.

 

I like the designation “interstitial” – art that exists in the between spaces (http://www.interstitialarts.org). The image I have of interstitial is a hallway of doors that open up onto a number of categories, taking from each what is necessary to create the story as it should be rather than trying to fit it to a template of something that has already been done.

 

 

Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people us a little bit about your new/upcoming book?

 

My newest novel is “The Winter Boy,” which was just published (November 6th) by Pixel Hall Press (check out an exerpt HERE)

 

Here’s the basic blurb: The Valley of the Alleshi is the center of all civilization, the core and foundation of centuries of peace. A cloistered society of widows, the Alleshi, has forged a peace by mentoring young men who will one day become the leaders of the land. Each boy is paired with a single Allesha for a season of intimacy and learning, using time-honored methods that include dialog, reason and sexual intimacy. However, unknown to all but a hidden few, the peace is fracturing from pressures within and beyond, hacking at the very essence of their civilization.

 

Amidst this gathering political maelstrom, Rishana, a young new idealistic Allesha, takes her First Boy, Ryl, for a winter season of training. But Ryl is a “problem boy” who fights Rishana every step of the way. At the same time, Rishana uncovers a web of conspiracies that could not only destroy Ryl, but threatens to tear their entire society apart. And a winter that should have been a gentle, quiet season becomes one of conflict, anger and danger.

 

 

Where did you get the inspirations for this?

 

My answer to this question could wander the compass, taking us in any direction you want. That’s because my influences come from just about everything and everyone I have encountered, read, or experienced.

 

I could say that it starts with people. Characters pop into my mind, fully formed, with histories, names, and a very specific problem. At the same time, I usually know the first sentence of their story and how that story will end. (All the rest is negotiation with the characters in my head, which can take years to fulfil.)

 

Where do these characters come from? I really don’t know. Or maybe I should say, I really don’t want to analyze too closely how they come to me. The process works for me, so I would rather not overthink it.

 

On the other hand, I can state quite clearly the source of the themes of my fiction and the context of the plot. It starts with questions I have about how the world functions and the way people treat each other. The questions can come from some of my more personal concerns, such as why a friend or stranger might suddenly lash out at a misspoken word. Or it might develop out of my befuddlement about war, terrorism, bigotry, and such.

 

I write to try to understand, to hope to tease out some solutions – or at least, instigate discussions about why? why not? what if? how? I put characters I learn to love into difficult, if not impossible situations, and sit back to see what I can discover from how they try to dig themselves out of their problems.

 

 

Do you have any favourite characters in the story?

 

That’s like asking which child is your favourite. I love them all.

 

ME: Good answer ;)

 

In “The Winter Boy,” Rishana/Tayar is perhaps the closest to me, with her heartbreak when she realizes that her faith in her world and the people she loves is too idealistic, that they are much less and much more than she once believed.

I deeply empathize with Ryl/Dov’s unfocused need to rebel against structure and rules that he doesn’t understand. I ache for his sense of not belonging anywhere and delight in his vitality and charisma.

Impish Kaith, with her ancient knowledge and child-like sense of wonder, flits through my mind, teasing and teaching me.

Dara, Savah, Hester, Kiv and the other women of The Valley fascinate me, with their political intrigues, passions and sharp intellects – as do the men of their circles.

No, I couldn’t choose a favourite; I enjoy the company of all of them, and I miss them now that “The Winter Boy” has left home to go out into the world.

 

 

If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this?

 

I think I’ll pass on this question, and hope that someday it may become an issue. (Not that I would have a say in casting any movie based on my fiction. Still, it’s a fun fantasy.)

 

 

Fair enough. Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?

 

Both

 

Without plot, without a story arc or a framework in which the reader is taken through problems or situations to a hoped-for resolution, a novel has no real reason to exist.

 

But it’s the characters who create and live the story and make it come alive for the reader (and the author).

 

 

What do you look for in a good story?

 

To be awed and transported by excellent writing, characters I can’t forget, and a plot line that resonates, giving it meaning.

 

 

What’s the best advice you can give to authors?

 

Write and then write some more. Rewrite more than you write. Read aloud what you’ve written to hear the sounds and rhythms of your prose and dialog. Then rewrite again... and again.

 

When your editor asks you to change something, listen to her/him. Maybe they are correct in what they want you to put in the place of what is there. Maybe it’s simply that what you have in that portion of your story isn’t strong enough to express your vision, so they’re trying to help you fill in the holes. Whichever it is, you need to look closely at that portion, and make sure it is the best you can write.

 

And read everything you can get your hands on, not just in your own genre, but a full spectrum of styles and textures.

 

 

Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. What DOES the Fox say?

 

Whatever Fox says, it’s usually twisted. I try to listen, because I believe in hearing opposing views, and it might be grist for my stories. But I almost always end up turning the channel.

 

Oh wait, you were asking about the fox with the furry tail?

 

 

Er, yeah. It was a reference to the song What Does The Fox Say? Never mind. Why did the chicken cross the road?

 

That depends on what the road is, doesn’t it? Is it a path, a barrier, a portal? I suppose if I were a chicken, I would answer that I have to cross the road to see what adventure lay (yes, lay, it’s a chicken, right?) over the horizon. But given that I have yet to understand chickenish, I can’t say what’s in the bird’s brain.

 

 

Now that IS a deep thinking answer to an ancient proverb. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?

 

Are you talking metric or English measurements?

 

ME: Never mind... XD

 

 

Thanks to Sally for a very interesting and inspiring interview - especially in the last questions!

 

If you wish to follow Sally you can do so at the following links.

 

Blog

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YouTube: Sally Wiener Grotta

Twitter

 

Thanks again to Sally for joining me today. Authors, want to be interviewed or have a guest post? Please get in touch with me.

 

 

 

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PANDRAGON

 

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Pandragon Dan Interviews G.S. Luckett

Time for another author interview! Today on my blog I have a special treat for you fans of Dark Fantasy and Horror. Please welcome to my blog - Mr G.S. Luckett.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?

 

Thank you for having me. Well a little about myself; I went in the Army shortly after high school and after getting out of the Army, I worked public utilities and studied creative writing and screenwriting at U.C.L.A. and Pierce College. I have self-published two books so far, Gates and Alpha Hunter.  Now, I live outside of Portland, Oregon with my wife and two sons.

 

 

So what first inspired you to get into writing?

 

I have always loved writing and had an overactive imagination so it seemed like a natural progression.  It also helped to get ideas out to make room for new ones.  I like the idea that when I write a great story the reader will use it to direct their own film in their imagination and be compelled to live in the world I created for them.

 

 

I can relate to the having an overactive imagination part! Who are your favourite authors?

 

I like Steven King, Edgar Allan Poe, George R. R. Martin, and Bram Stoker, to name a few. These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head in no particular order.

 

 

Anyone who mentions Edgar Allan Poe is ok in my books! Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?

 

Sometimes it feels that my whole world is writing but when I have time, I love to spend time with my family. We enjoy the outdoors here in the Pacific Northwest.  I also participate in martial arts and kettlebells.  If not that, I am researching and brainstorming new ideas.

 

 

Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?

 

I currently write in the Dark Fantasy, Horror, and Action/Adventure genres. With my new book, To the Gallows, you can add action western to the mix.

 

 

Why don't you let the nice people know about your latest novel - without giving TOO many spoilers away of course.

 

My latest book, To the Gallows, is a Historical Fiction/ Action Western based on one of the first African-American U.S. Marshals.  Cole Winters finds out that his estranged Native American brother-in-law is wanted for murder and bank robbery in the territories.  In order, to protect him from being hunted down by hired guns, Marshal Winters does the only thing he can.  He hunts down his brother-in-law himself. I am also pre-writing Dystopian/Zombie book, Mortem.

 

 

Sounds interesting. Where did you get the inspirations for this?

 

I have always liked the action western and saw a show on the History Channel, while in the hospital as my son was treated for Jaundice. It was about the first African-American Marshals. I just ran with it and created Marshal Cole Winters.

 

 

Do you have any favourite characters in the story?

 

I like Cole Winters, his brother-in-law, Joseph Two Guns, and a Jessie Wainwright, a female long-gun shooter. I like the teaming of the three and the ending is an action packed last stand.

 

 

If your book were turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this?

 

Idris Elba for Cole Winters would be awesome.  John McTiernan as a director would be great. I hope he would want to do an action western.

 

 

Ah, yes - Idris Elba. Awesome choice! So this is a question that I like to ask that often gets mixed reaction - but it's also interesting to see what people think. Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?

 

I feel you have to have both to make a great book. I think if you have, a story that has an original hook people will be interested but when you have that together with a character you love so much that you want to see them in other adventures then people flock to that book.

 

 

What do you look for in a good story?

 

I look to be caught up in it and to have to know what is going to happen to the characters and feel like I am in their world. It also helps to have great twists that spin the story in a new direction.

 

 

This next one is a bit of cliche, but I still think it is important to know. What’s the best advice you can give to authors?

 

I would tell you to stay at it.  Keep at the craft of writing and always strive to better your work.  Learn to bear criticism and rejection, because they will give way to praise.  Also, do not be afraid to get your book reviewed.  While I value what my friends and family say about my work, there is nothing like having someone who only knows you for your writing and love it.

 

 

Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on these questions and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer.

 

What DOES the Fox say?

 

Frak-kaka-kaka-kow.  At least that is my favourite from the song. I have never personally spoke with a fox but it is on my bucket list.

 

 

Why DID the chicken cross the road?

 

To avoid the KFC down the street.

 

 

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?

 

Seven cords of wood, no more, no less… Nailed it, right?

 

 

Is the correct answer! Probably... thanks so much for being with me today and for the rest of you guys, please follow G.S at the following links.

 

G.S. Luckett Website

G.S. Luckett Facebook

G.S. Luckett Twitter 

 

Authors... want to be featured on my blog for an interview/guest post? Please get in touch with me - my links are below.

 

 

 

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PANDRAGON

 

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Interview with Andrez Bergen

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. Things have been a little tough at work recently and, what with the release of my new novel in a couple of weeks, I've been keeping myself busy.

 

Nevertheless, I intend to make up for that today, as I once again have the pleasure of my favourite author back with me. He took time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about his work and a little about his upcoming novel (which he briefly talked about on my blog a few weeks back). He was willing to impart his knowledge about writing to me and also a little about his forthcoming novel.

 

Whaddya say? Let's get down to it!

 

 

 

1. Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?

 

Thanks for having me, Dan. In a nutshell? I'm an Australian (born and reared in Melbourne) who's lived in Tokyo these past 13 years. I'm a journalist and I do electronic music under aliases like Little Nobody and Funk Gadget, but since 2011 have focused on writing fiction — with no particular genre holding precedence, though everyone knows I love my noir.

 

 

2. Wow! Sounds like you keep a busy lifestyle! So what first inspired you to get into writing?

 

I've been pushing a pen since I could hold one — and before I could spell, apparently, if you look at some of the old stories my mum kept from primary school. I love doing the thing. It's a form of escapism and adventure in which I have no idea of what direction we'll take. Later reading people like Graham Greene, Raymond Chandler and Philip K. Dick inspired me to bird-dog the passion into novels.

 

 

3. Thumbs up for the Philip K. Dick mention! Who are your favourite authors?

 

Definitely still Chandler, and I still pick up Greene and Dick occasionally. Dashiell Hammett, Nicholas Christopher and Angela Carter. More recent people like Michael Chabon and China Miéville.

 

 

4. Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?

 

No, no, I have way too many of the things. I really enjoy making music, as I mentioned, along with catching up with experimental electronic sounds. I love movies and anime — I was a film reviewer for several years — and I'm a comic book buff. That's where I'm right into other writers like Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction. I'm right into trying new, obscure foods. And I also make comics too.

 

 

5. Is there no end to your talents? Ok, that's not my real question. Haha. Do you have a favourite genre to write in?

 

Anything goes — seriously. I've brushed up against fantasy, surreal, slipstream, magical realism, farce, sci-fi, dystopia, coming-of-age. They're all fun. But hardboiled noir often undercuts the lot.

 

 

6. Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people (us) a little bit about your new book?

 

Yep, that's a toughie — a few reviewers have already commented that it's hard to talk about this story without giving away essential parts of the yarn. Basically, it's the story of a teenage high school girl growing up in Nede, pronounced 'Needy', which is a surrogate city for Melbourne in the 1980s. She comes from an abusive family, discovers herself through music and subculture, and then stumbles across a possible murder-mystery — or is it just plain madness?

 

 

7. Ah, sounds interesting. I'm gonna add that to my to be read pile! Where did you get the inspirations for this?

 

Some of it is based on my own childhood with an abusive older brother, as well as the tales of friends who went through a similar experience, particularly in the goth/post-punk scene in the 1980s and '90s. The rest is pure fiction, directions that I didn't plan and came out of nowhere.

 

 

8. Do you have any favourite characters in the story?

 

Um... definitely Mina. Without giving away much, I've worked with her before and will do so again. I love the hidden strength of her character. She reminds me of a female Sam Spade — if he were a teenage girl with a passion for post-punk tunes and bubbly. So I guess Spade mixed a little with another Hammett creation, Nora Charles from The Thin Man. I also loved working with Animeid, and felt regret for Mina's friend Sarah.

 

 

9. If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this? Also, can I have a bit part in it?

 

XD  Ha Ha Ha — yep, of course you can! We can work together as the toilet cleaners at Flinders Street Station during the crowded mardi gras scene! This one's always a tough, and constantly changes depending on what I'm exposed to at the time, cinematically speaking, and their age. Obviously I think Chloë Grace Moretz would be awesome, and she's the right age (17) — but she's American. I'd prefer an Australian, British or New Zealand actor to play Mina. Mia Wasikowska? Perfect if she were 7 years younger. I'm not really up on current Aussie actresses having lived in Japan all these years. But ideally? Brigitte Bardot when she was a brunette in the early '50s, or Michelle Pfeiffer circa 1980. Don't get me started on the other characters — you'll stop paying attention before I'm half-way finished. Director? Five years ago I would've said Peter Jackson. Now I won't — The Hobbit scarred me a bit. He's still great, but needs to go back to his roots. I love what Christopher Nolan does, and I'm a Terry Gillian fan from way back — in fact he'd excel with the middle part of the book. I'm tempted to say Spike Jonze. But if John Schlesinger were still alive, I'd opt for him — Billy Liar, The Falcon and the Snowman and Cold Comfort Farm are still brilliant films.

 

 

10. Some good choices for directors there. And I did used to work as a cleaner as one of my old jobs. XD Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?

 

Can I say both? For me, definitely both, with characters (and their dialogue) only slightly edging the plot.

 

 

11. Of course you can say both. It's your interview after all. ;) What do you look for in a good story?

 

Something that keeps my attention from wandering. A good yarn that builds to something special, with characters I dig even if they're not the most likeable of people.

 

 

12. So I understand that one of your other books, Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat is being turned into a graphic novel. Do you have plans to turn any of your other works into graphic novels?

 

Yep, I just wrapped up that graphic novel in May, and it's being published in August. I did the artwork as well, and it was a mind-blowing experience. I realized partway into it that it was impossible to do the entire novel, and concentrated instead on the first 100 pages, plus added some new plot-twists that have occurred to me over the ensuing three years since TSMG was published. I'm also currently developing my novel from last year, Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?, as a continuing comic book series — which is appropriate since it's heavily influenced by golden and silver age comics. But another graphic novel? I haven't thought that far ahead... yet.

 

 

13. What’s the best advice you can give to authors?

 

Perseverence is the thing to hang onto. Don't give up just because you get knocked back a few times. And you need to have faith in what you do. I know that's hard. But if you don't believe in your work — who will?

 

 

14. I agree with you wholeheartedly on that one. And indeed that's something that I myself have come to blows with sometimes. Ok, now for the REAL question of the interview – and this is real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. What DOES the Fox say?

 

Yikes — this question. Was praying you wouldn't ask. So I'm going to dip back into my favourite Dr Suess tome, since this is the wisest fox in the world: “When beetles fight these battles in a bottle with their paddles and the bottle's on a poodle and the poodle's eating noodles... they call this a muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle.” Exactly.

 

 

Thank to Andrez for an amazing interview! Be sure to check out his novels here:

 

Amazon Page

 

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

-------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

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