Where did you get the ideas for your novel, FAILUR?
Some things that inspired me:
- Times in my twenties and early thirties, when I had no career, dated sporadically, and felt that there was something basically wrong with the world beyond my ability to do anything about it. Dissatisfaction was tempered by the camaraderie of friends who were in the same place. Together or independently we came up with impractical plans to make money, advance our political ideals, satisfy our sense of art, or sense of absurdity. Occasionally, these outlandish plans worked. Of course, we weren’t involved with anything as big as my protagonist and Amanda, but then we didn’t have a doomsday prophecy either.
- Once I was having a drink at the Dog and Duck with woman named Max. I asked if “Max” was short for “Maxine.” She said no. Max wasn’t short for anything. Max wasn’t her original name. She’s chosen it. She didn’t volunteer her original name. I asked anyway. She said, “It didn’t matter.” Max was not the model for Amanda, but I did use this scene.
- Around the time I graduated from college, 7-Eleven ran a “Freedom of Choice” campaign to emphasize the options available in their convenience stores. In particular, 7-Eleven was very proud that they could provide both Coke and Pepsi products at the same soda fountain. In FAILUR, the main character works for Titan-Brooks, owner of both the Good Neighbor and Fast Pick convenience stores, who is running a “Freedom of Multiple Choice” campaign (you may recall from school that “Multiple-Choice” tests were usually easier than other test, because someone else has already provided the options for you). Throughout the story, the protagonist is frequently offered multiple-choice options. While the choices, have the appearance of freedom, others try to restrict the possible options. Sometimes he is aware that others are trying to control him even as they give him choices, but he is blind to some of the other restriction imposed on him.
Ok, but where did the all of the werewolf and vampire Stuff Come From?
First of all werewolves and vampires are fun. But also, I read something about vampires and werewolves a long time ago. I think it was in reference to the film The Howling (1981). It said that while vampires are often imagined as aristocratic, werewolves are often portrayed a lower class – close to the earth – uncultured – rough.
I’d become a little bored of portrayals of vampires as “brooding edgy cool.” My vampires are the establishment. They are upper class, Skull and Bones, white collar criminals, frat boys, trend setters, and movie stars. My vampires aren’t necessarily bad, but they draw their power from others.
My werewolves are decidedly uncool. They are looked down upon. Most werewolves hide their condition as much as possible. They take Luparest and Morphastat to control their symptoms. They are embarrassed by their condition and go to support groups when they dare acknowledge it at all. When they do let loose, their power is explosive.
Werewolves are “funky” in many senses of the word,
“Possessing a strong, offensive, unwashed odor”
“A dejected mood”
“Outlandishly vulgar or eccentric in a humorous or tongue-in-cheek manner”
“Said of something that functions, but in a slightly strange, klugey way”
Have you considered self-publishing?
This option is increasing appealing, but I’m going to give it another run with literary agents.
So, tell me, did the main character do it? Is that the twist? Is he really the killer?
No, it’s not protagonist. The psycho-protagonist story has been done too many times. FAILUR focuses on normal (somewhat normal) people dealing with normal problems (career, relationships, etc) They just happen to be werewolves, and in the middle of a doomsday prophecy.
Actually, the killer’s name is learned fairly early on. But names in the novel are surprisingly unhelpful.