Author John Fitch V's Interview of Me:
Dec. 23rd, 2009 at 2:01 PM
Our latest installment of author interviews brings us to Christopher Nadeau. Chris is a top shelf southeastern Michigan author who interviewed me a few weeks back, and now it's time to repay the favor; that, and he said I could be one of the puppet dictators when he takes over the world. Chris has a great novel out, Dreamers at Infinity's Core.
JFV: Hi Chris. How about introducing yourself to my readers? (Tell them about your genre, books written/published and all that jazz)
CN: When I hear the word "genre," it shrivels up all my working parts. Genre to me is a method for maintaining literary segregation. I understand its necessity on the bookstore shelves but I don't believe writers should hem themselves in with it. If pinned down, however, I suppose I would call what I write "literary dark urban fantasy," meaning I tend to take the approach of a so-called "non-genre" writer to fantastical elements in a modern-day setting. "Dreamers at Infinity's Core" is my first published novel.
JFV: Let's talk about the book, which was published through COM Publishing. First, what inspired you to write this novel?
CN: "Dreamers" was inspired by the work of Kurt Vonnegut, the man whose writing changed my approach and intent when it came to writing. I realized when I read his work that I needed to find a voice and a point to what I was doing. In particular, "Breakfast of Champions," which features Vonnegut as narrator, was the direct inspiration since "Dreamers" is also narrated by the person writing the book. Vonnegut stops short of making himself able to interact with the characters until the very end; I took the concept further and speculated on what it would be like if the narrator wasn't able to interact with anybody but also wasn't able to escape his supposedly fictional world.
JFV: What is Dreamers about?
CN: "Dreamers" focuses on an unnamed narrator whose fictional world suddenly develops a life of its own. This at first fascinates him but soon grows rather frightening when he realizes he has no control over this much more real place than he thought and can't seem to stop whatever is happening from spilling over into his world.
JFV: Is there a specific process you go through with your novels? Are you a brainstorm-as-you-go type of writer or do you have everything mapped out beforehand?
CN: Generally, I know how my novels end before I start writing them. That doesn't mean the ending is written in stone, but that's how I start off. However, I find outlines to be too restrictive, usually opting to brainstorm as I go. I like to have general ideas but, like life, they need to have the flexibility to adapt and change.
JFV: How did you get your start as a writer?
CN: My start...well, according to a childhood friend I recently talked to, I was always writing while the other children were doing normal child things. Early on I knew I had a talent for telling stories. I used to come to school on Mondays and embellish movies I'd watched for the kids in my class and they ate it up. Despite the fact that I was always creating stories, I didn't really decide to write until I was in my late teens. From that point on I did everything "they" tell you to do if you are serious about the craft without even knowing what those things were. I read up on writing, attended classes and workshops, read the styles of writers I admired and even learned from those I didn't. I guess when I won an award for a commentary piece while in college I knew I might be able to get people to dabble in my own peculiarities.
JFV: Let's dig deep: What is an average day in the life of Christopher Nadeau?
CN: LOL An average day for me is pretty dull. I don't work in a field even remotely related to writing, although it sure as hell gives me lots of fodder for writing! I basically work, come home and either write, read or watch movies. In-between I observe people and listen to how they speak and what they do and do not say. I have been told I have an ear for dialogue.
JFV: Every writer has an author they look up to, the author they aspire to be. Who is it for you and why?
CN: I have a few authors I look up to. I mentioned Vonnegut because he changed the the way I do things. Stephen King's another one I think uses literary techniques in genre fiction. Clive Barker is a master. I've recently gained an appareciation for Neil Gaimain. Chuck Pahlaniuk is the best kind of twisted artist. David Mitchell's ability to weave disparate storylines into a coherent narrative is astounding. So, basically anybody Oprah recommends. LOL
JFV: What is next on your plate, book-wise?
CN: My plate is full of yummy side-dishes and edible garnish. As far as my publisher is concerned, "Echoes of Infinity's Core" is next on the slate. I look forward to its release because I think it is an improvement over the first one in every significant way. It also takes the concept into a much darker and more complex territory. I'm currently writing two books at the same time. One is called "The List" and the other is a novel that pays tribute to Japanese kaiju epics, i.e. man in rubber suits demolishing buildings. I don't have any giant monsters in the book but if you've seen the film "Unbreakable," you might have some idea how I'm using the exaggerated concept as a basis for something much darker.
JFV: And if you could spend one hour picking the brain of a famous writer, who would it be?
CN: I would choose Chuck Pahlaniuk, because I am in awe of his ability to take anecdotes from his travels and observances and turn them into some truly effed up fiction.