Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Authors Live Forever!
GD: I have always been writing, or at least since I was old enough to read and understand that someone was at one time in charge of organizing the words I was reading into the order in which they appeared. I’ll never know if it was something I decided to do because I was good at it or if it was something I was good at and therefore decided I wanted to do.
LC: Well, whatever the reason, it's good you found a passion so early in life! What, would you say, has been your greatest triumph as an author?
GD: Oh my God what a horrifying question! I think I’m always surprised when I craft an idea of something in my head that I’m not sure I can actually accomplish, and then I do. So in that sense every novel I’ve ever finished and screenplay I’ve ever completed go on the list. I suppose given how unorthodox IMMORTAL is as a narrative construction—it is in first-person and front-loaded with exposition, which is a traditional no-no—it may be that making it into an effective novel with actual devoted readers who aren’t related to me might be my greatest triumph.
LC: Uht oh! You said "screenplay" which brings me to my movie questions. What is your favorite movie of all time, and why?
GD: Impossible question. I have the same problem with questions about music: my answer depends on how I’m feeling. And since I’m a screenwriter as well, for me the best movies are the ones where I can appreciate not just the writing (which has to be amazing) but the acting and directing. I’ve been known to rave extensively about specific camera angles.
But I don’t have a single favorite, all-time movie. The last movie to take my breath away was Black Swan. The last movie to make my list of all-time favorites was probably Children of Men.
LC: I know what you mean! My daughter is a film student so she has me noticing things now like camera angles, lighting, acting and directing. Okay...movie question number two.... If a big-shot Hollywood producer offered to turn IMMORTAL into a motion picture, who would you want to play the lead roles?
GD: Well first off, I don’t think IMMORTAL should be a movie; I think it would be much more effective as a cable series or miniseries. Telling the story right would almost definitely require a voice-over narration/commentary, and with a few exceptions (like Goodfellas) that doesn’t play well in film. But it works very well on television. (Dexter uses “thought balloons” to good effect, and Burn Notice presents exposition in voice-over nicely. Sex and the City had constant narration too, but it was largely unnecessary other than to continuously reinforce that the main character was writing about her friends. But there are lots of other examples.)
Someone playing Adam would have to look about 32 years old, and they would have to act intelligently. This is hard to describe, but certain actors just look like they’re smart. (This is why, incidentally, seeing Keanu Reeves play John Constantine made me want to kill myself.) The best examples I can think of are Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr, but I don’t think either of them can pull off 32 any more. I might go back to Burn Notice. The actor who plays Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) would do nicely.
LC: Aww, pity that neither JD or RD Jr. can pass as 32, because they're both so versatile, I'm sure they'd be awesome! Alright, speaking of characters, if you were stranded on a desert island with one of yours, who would you want it to be, and why?
GD: It would be easy to say Adam, my narrator, because he’s awesomely interesting. But I’ve written two books in his voice so far (the second book, HELLENIC IMMORTAL, will be coming out next year) so I feel like I already have been stuck on a desert island with him for a pretty long time. There is a certain succubus who makes an appearance in the second book that would be fun to share an island with. I don’t think I need to say why, do I?
LC: *Stammers* eh hem! Nope... I think we got it! :o) Just for fun, where is the most exotic or strange place you've ever traveled to?
GD: This is terrible to admit given I’ve written about a world traveler, but I don’t even have a passport. The most exotic and strange place I can think of having visited lately is the corner of 34th and 8th.
LC: Hey, sometimes city corners can be VERY exotic, if you know what I mean. So, do you have any strange habits or rituals when you write?
GD: Strange to other writers, yes. I don’t take notes, I don’t outline, and I write front-to-back. It has the advantage of ensuring I’m just as surprised as anyone else by the next plot twist, which is what keeps me entertained while I’m writing. (I’m the first reader, after all.) The disadvantage is I often write myself into the bottom of a well, so I often go back and rewrite before proceeding forward again. The end result is a first draft that reads more like a second draft.
Writing like this means I’m generally holding entire plots in my head, but it’s the only way I can work. As soon as I write something down it becomes “real” and harder for me to change.
LC: Sadly, I relate to writing oneself into the bottom of a well, *shudder*. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
GD: I work full time and have two kids I’m nearly finished raising along with a wife who also works full time. I don’t have room for a whole lot else. I did take up cycling not so long ago. It started out as a way to commute more efficiently, which made oodles of sense when my office was 4 miles from my front door. Then the office moved to 17.5 miles from my front door, and now the cycling—I’m still doing it—is officially something I have to plan and buy special clothes for. I guess that officially makes it a hobby, although it’s still basically just the best way I know to get to work. Plus, three hours of exercise a day!
LC: Hmmm! Suddenly I feel very lazy! Well, Gene, it's been a riot having you here today! I hope you'll come back to visit now and then. One last thing before you go. Here's your chance to SELL IT! Tell us why we would love IMMORTAL.
GD: You mean you’re not convinced yet?
Okay, I’m biased, obviously, but if you could read something that has been compared favorably to The Hitchhiker’s Guide, Odd Thomas, Men in Black, and the Epic of Gilgamesh, written in a style described as a combination of Chuck Palahniuk, Philip K Dick, Raymond Chandler, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Charlie Huston… wouldn’t you want to see what the hell was going on in that book?
I know people say about their own writing that it’s “not like anything else out there” and “you’ll like it regardless of what genre you usually read”, both of those things are entirely true when it comes to IMMORTAL. It’s funny, engaging, entirely unusual, and nearly impossible to put down.
LC: And there you have it folks! Now here's a bit more about IMMORTAL!
IMMORTAL is a first person confessional, penned by a man who is immortal but not invincible. In an artful blending of sci-fi, adventure, fantasy and humor, Immortal introduces us to a world with vampires, demons and other "magical" creatures, yet a world without actual magic. It is a contemporary fantasy for non-fantasy readers and enthusiasts alike.
You know you want to win it, so start those comments flowing! On or around September 8, Mr. Doucette will choose one lucky commenter to win a SIGNED copy of IMMORTAL! Comment in abundance, but remember that only one comment per person will be entered to win! Entries must be posted no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 7, & don't forget to leave an email address with your comment. (As notifying winners via telepathy can be a tad tricky).
For more information and purchase links, visit http://genedoucette.me/immortal/
In addition to ghost writing for an immortal man, Gene Doucette has been published as a humorist with BEATING UP DADDY: A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF AN AMATEUR FATHER and THE OTHER WORST CASE SCENARIO SURVIVAL HANDBOOK: A PARODY. He is also a screenwriter and a playwright. This is his first novel. Gene lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife and two children.
at 11:46 PM