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Questions and Answers, at Long Last!

July 14th, 2005 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Well, my children, it’s been some time since I’ve answered your questions. I may have missed some, and some are just too silly for me to mess with, but here’s the latest batch.


And as an update, I am seventeen days from having to turn the new book in to New York, and I have miles to go before I sleep. So, here we go…


Xanthia writes:


This question has been gnawing on my skull for a while and I was hoping you would answer it. Is the demon Catch an allegory for alcoholism and addiction in general?


For example: when he feeds he increases in size (and strength I suppose) just like booze, do it just once and it’s out of control. And the fact that it always stays with you except that nobody can see it.


ANS: No, I think if Catch is an allegory for anything it is rage. He has his roots in my frustration as a kid being pulled over all the time by cops and having my car searched for no reason. I started to wish I had a big monster that was hiding under the seat, so I could say, “Don’t look under the seat, there’s a big monster under there.”


Addiction is obviously a theme that I explore in my first and other books, but Catch is all about rage and power.


Lescaster writes:


If first novels are autobiographical who were you in your first book?


ANS: Robert, the alcoholic who gets dumped by his wife.


Also from Lescaster:


What kind of car do you drive? Motorcycle?


ANS: I drive a Nissan Pick-up. Not tricked out or anything, it just makes sense for the island. I’ve never had good luck with motorcycles, having laid down the first two or three I ever rode, so I’ve stayed away from them. Also, my father was a highway patrolman, and hearing stories nightly around the dinner table about the parts of motorcyclists he had to help scrape off of guardrails and other vehicles sort of soured me on the whole idea.


Kimcookie writes:


Hey author guy, I tried to use “lamb” for a term paper. it was for my “bible as literature” class, and I really wanted to use “lamb”–my teacher thought it was so cool, too–but comparing the “dumbfucks” sermon to the original is harder than you’d think. did do a book report on “island” in high school, though. so, Q: did you ever write any really weird or bogus school things that you actually pulled off?


ANS: Yes. When I was in my first semester at Brooks Institute of Photography, we were supposed to do a photo essay of “life on a city block”. They assigned us a block of Santa Barbara and gave us a week to shoot it. I ended up with a block that included a strip of highway 101 where a lot of hitchhikers congregated. Long story short, my photos were really weak, but I tied them all together with this essay that used all sorts of terms from cultural anthropology, and made it seem that I was illustrating anthro concepts instead of actually taking crap pictures. It saved my grade. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bluff my way past the next level of the course.


Also from Kimcookie:


hey author guy, My nosy friends can’t decide which brain-crush makes me the biggest nerd: Jeff corwin, the animal planet guy (not that crocodile douche); the author guy; or my Shakespeare professor. Of course, that’s not even counting Conan O’Brien or Jon Stewart, or Gabe Fenton. so secondary question: is nerd attraction an evolutionary step toward bigger brains, or lower sun and Mountain Dew tolerance?


ANS: Well, from a purely evolutionary standpoint, nerd attraction assures that your offspring will have the mental tools to excel in a modern society. Obviously, the strongest among us is no longer guaranteed success, but the smarter has an awfully good chance. I actually write about this in the new book, but you’ll have to wait for the full thesis. For now, I’d say that what makes you the biggest nerd is your use of the phrase, “not that crocodile douche”, but don’t let that bother you. Girl nerds have their own weapons of mass attraction.


KatarinaNavane axes:


Is The Goo the basis for the Atlantis myth?


ANS: Yes, Plato swiped it from me. That olive-oil smelling bastard!


Burning Stickman asks several questions:


1) I am new to the group, and I smoke while I write. This has proven a problem when I am faced with the fact that I can only post on this site while naked. Not to say that I won’t forbear the ashy crotch, but after the second stack of books caught on fire, and the subsequent trips to the emergency room, I have used a chair. Is this permissible? I will still observe the nudity rule of course.


ANS: Okay, that’s not a question. You have issues with fire control, not nudity. Try putting one of the books on your lap as a shield.


2) Would cats also refer to their owners as ‘food guy’?


ANS: They would if they acknowledged their existence at all. I think my cats view me as, “the guy who is keeping our food from us” any time I am actually not feeding them. I’m fairly convinced that they would murder me in my sleep if they could figure out a modus operandi.


3) Doesn’t Xander get the shit end of the stick most of the time?


ANS: Wrong web page.


Cathy asks:


So, how did the conference go?


ANS: Cathy refers to the Jackson Hole Writer’s Conference. It went well, I think. I wasn’t happy with the keynote I gave, simply because I felt that it was rough. I hadn’t given a speech at a writers conference in about ten years, and I didn’t really have any rhythm to the material. I did a reading at the Jackson Public Library which went very well, I thought – and I usually completely suck at readings. I shared the ticket with Sue Miller, whose books are very serious and explore some very uncomfortable subjects, but that was the most satisfying part of it all – because we were both able to coexist and the audience seemed to enjoy both our work.


I’m not sure how the conference went for the students. I didn’t spend a lot of time with them, and in my off time from speaking and such, I was actually trying to work on the new book.

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