Daniel has wanted to be a writer ever since he was in elementary school.He has published stories and articles in such magazines as Slipstream, Black Petals, Spindrift, Zygote in my Coffee, and Leading Edge Science Fiction. He has written four books: The Sage and the Scarecrow (a novel), the Lexical Funk (a short story collection), Reejecttion (short story/ essay collection), and The Ghosts of Nagasaki (a novel).
Hey everyone, this is part of a series I'm doing of micro-interviews with Indy authors on Goodreads. I feel it's a good opportunity to learn from other authors and share experiences.
Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of reading The Rebel's Sketchbook. I hope you'll check out the book or one of Rupert's other works.
"What does being an Indy author mean to you?"
It means realising that not having a literary agent breathing down my neck is a good opportunity to provide an alternative voice to the traditionally published spectrum of books. The literary marketplace has made dissent almost impossible, but now indie authors can shake things up if they want to and show that there's a readership for this sort of book. I'm trying to take full advantage of this by pissing off the powerful as much as I can; but there are millions of possibilities to shake things up through storytelling. The first step is realising that you have a greater degree of creative freedom than being some publishing house's latest gimp on a leash.
However, it also means building a lively community and helping other indie authors to get out there as far as possible. All we need is one decent representative of the indie scene to break on through to the other side with a remarkable book and it'll be a new day for us all. From the quality I've read over the last couple of years -the stuff that not many readers are bothering with right now- I'm confident this will eventually happen. It's slow burning but don't lose faith. Someone is going to break through.
"What’s your favorite sentence or paragraph from one of your books? What does it mean to you?"
Great question! It's probably the following from my debut novel Spark:
"This is what a life working for large corporations does to people. The workplace is a place not to be you; it’s a place to be the corporate you. The you that doesn’t really exist. We all see this corporate you and pretend that it’s a normal part of life. But we know that something isn’t quite right. We know that the real you is slowly fading away like old wallpaper. The corporate you is a myth; just like Icarus. And yet we are powerless against it. All of us are powerless against the wrath of the corporate world."
It's the essence of what I'm trying to say with pretty much all of my stories. The system we're wallowing under is often absurd and soul destroying. So I try to call it out.
"What advice would you give other indy authors starting out?"
Don't listen to me is the first line of advice I give to everyone. Like everyone; I just guess. However, if you trust my guesses then I'd say to abandon the standard storytelling template created by the industry and put out something as original and as brilliant and as beautiful and as devastating as you possibly can. Even if you're writing for a genre, do something new with it. Swim against the tide because those waves aren't as strong as they think they are.
"Have you ever had a pure "writerly moment"? If so, describe it."
Yes! Writing Spark was an enlightening process which allowed me to discover a style which suits me down to the ground. Like most people who get into this game, I'd been writing stories for years, experimenting with style and whatnot, and looking back I was writing stories the safe way. Then I found myself writing in the conversational first-person voice with an emphasis on dark humour as a weapon against the established order, and something just clicked. I can only describe it as a feeling of absolute liberation and as if I wasn't writing for my own ego; I was writing to reassure other people that they're not going completely nuts. I can now take on all the themes I care for. Shit boy bands? Done. Police brutality? Done. Your cunt of a boss? Done. Hacktivism? Done. Gnome fetishes? Done. Donald Trump's poetic hairdon't? Still to do. And on and on it goes...
"What question would you like to see in future interviews?"
What's children's cartoon best represents your personality? Only joshing. A good question might be: how do you see the indie scene in 50 years time? To which I'd reply: it's going to be the norm in publishing. Editors and artists will still be needed but the rest of them can take a swing. The indie revolution is taking writing back from the establishment and with so much talent out there they've got good reason to be worried.
That's it for this Indy interview. Thanks Rupert.