Tuesday, June 28, 2016

In Which I discuss the Origin Dime and Explain What JACKED is all About (sort of)

When you write a book, you get the inevitable question, “What is it about?” and you can never really answer this question to anyone’s satisfaction, because to you, the book is about one thing and for them it will be about something else. When it comes to fiction, most people really mean, what happens in your story? So, I thought I would try to answer a few questions I’ve had about JACKED. 

The Origin Dime Chronicles, what does that mean?

Well, if there are multiple dimensions. (I don’t know, are there? I think there might be) Which one came first? I suggest that the Origin Dime or “original dimension” is the one that all others spur off of. Yeah, heady stuff, right? So, Jack is born in that dimension and may be the only one that can save it. 

What would you compare it to?

To be honest, there’s not much I would compare it to. I like to think if Tim Dorsey suddenly decided to write Sci Fi, it might go something like JACKED, but I’m not set on that answer either. Others have compared it to Douglas Adams and one even said Ash Vs Evil Dead, which is a comparison I love,  although I don’t really feel like my work is that dark, although others keep telling me it is. My goal is that Jack can find a way to save the multiverse and maybe even redeem something from the Shadoe Librarians. 

Is it a comedy?

Er, sort of? It’s funny to me and a lot of readers have agreed, but it’s very slapstick, I guess in some ways. My style is pretty sarcastic and kind of hardboiled, in my view, at least. I tried to incorporate some humor and there are a lot of fantastical elements, but it’s got it’s darker moments too and I was not trying to write a comedy, per se. But, I guess when you have two characters named Thing One and Thing Two, people are going to make assumptions. 

It’s too icky for me, don’t you think it’s creepy?

Well, yeah, but I love campy zombie movies and farce. So, there are moments that are a bit over the top, like when two 6 foot tall Cockroach guards get exploded all over our hero and his companions. So, yeah, that’s kind of icky, I guess. I’ve lived enough places where we couldn’t get rid of the things that I am pretty much immune to their ick factor, I suppose. (old houses, not dirty houses, especially in neighborhoods where old homes are torn down and the damn things migrate)

The Shadoe Librarians feel a lot like  dementors or Wring Wraiths.

Yes, and both of those feel a lot like banshees and other elemental boogie men from past mythology, especially Welsh. But, I think you’re going to find that my Shadoes are waaaay more scary than either of those. They don’t just have evil intent,  but they are organized with motives of their own. So, there’s that. I don’t apologize for being inspired by great story tellers like Tolkien and Rowling. Why should I? They owe almost everything they wrote to someone, Tolkien didn’t invent dragons, trolls, goblins, dwarves or elves, he just developed the mythology to a new level.

Your first book was really short, why did you write it that way?

I didn’t, intentionally. I actually wrote all three parts of the first book as one novel, but when I  shared the first “novella” with a friend, just as a sample of the part I was happy with, she suggested breaking it up and publishing it as shorter reads. So, I did. I don’t know if I’ll do that again. It kind of depends on whether it catches hold. When all three pieces are published here in a couple of weeks, I plan on releasing them as a print novel in one cover. So, JACKED, JACKED up, Sky JACKED will be the three novellas and All JACKED Up, will be the full novel title.

I heard the third segment ends on a cliff hanger, so do you intend to continue this story?

YES! Definitely! I want Jack and Madison to fall in love, if they both manage to survive the Shadoes. I want to develop more anarchical/libertarian themes and I have so much to talk about and so much for them to do. I mean, I set up a universe that is a multiverse, so hell yeah, I intend to keep writing it until people stop reading it! BUT, spoiler alert, Madison will be the star of the second book and I think I will keep the serial novella format for at least that one. Tentatively I am calling it MAD, so there’s something to look forward to, hopefully by the end of the summer! YEAH!

Where do you get your ideas?

Well, obviously, I’ve acknowledged my influence from Lewis Carrol, whose work I loved as a kid and still do today. I’m also a huge fan of L Frank Baum and many other fantasy writers, including Tolkien, Rowling and Lewis (I’ve directed the Wizard of Oz twice on stage) and I think that’s coming into the next book. There’s a lot of spooky stuff about him, I think he understood multiple dimensions too. If you like Lewis Carrol, read JACKED, you’re gonna love it!

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