Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Voight-Kampff Author Interview: Cary Caffrey

As part of the blog schedule for WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING, our crazy set of authors has agreed to post answers to a random selection of questions created by Deborah Rix.

Today is the first post, and the author is Cary Caffrey!  I decided to pick and choose some of the answers from Cary's post.  If you would like to read everything Cary shared, go visit his blog!  (Trust me, there are some entertaining answers over there.  Just do it.)

Now, onto the interview...

Cary Caffrey studied at Concordia University in Montreal as well as the University of British Columbia, earning a BA and MFA in Creative Writing. After witnessing the eBook revolution, Cary (a die-hard Indy artist), jumped into ePublishing head first. The Girls from Alcyone is Cary's first novel. It has gone on to become a best seller on both Amazon and iTunes Science-Fiction charts. 



* HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITER'S BLOCK?
When I figure it out I’ll let you know!
Seriously though, the key for me is to never let myself get bogged down, and to make sure I keep slogging along. I wage a daily war with my confidence (or lack thereof). I’m not sure if that’s writer’s block or anxiety. What came as a surprise to me is that this anxiety got worse, not better, after the success of my first novel. Perhaps that’s the pressure of added expectations (expectations I put on myself, not from readers). My readers have been great. Super-supportive. They’re my main source of inspiration to keep moving forward. Readers are my cure for writer’s block.


* WHAT BOOKS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING?
Anything by Harry Harrison! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Deathworld, Homeworld or the Stainless Steel Rat.


* DO YOU BUY A BOOK BY THE COVER?
Absolutely. I freely admit I’m attracted to shiny things. I’m a very visual person. I love visual arts. Painting, photography, graphic-design, I love it all. I’m constantly drawn to great cover art, and I have a particular weakness for bold covers featuring powerful, swashbuckling heroines.


* HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN ABOUT YOUR OWN BAD HABITS?
Always! I wouldn’t trust a writer who wasn’t willing to put the worst of themselves on the page. Someone asked me once (about writing): aren’t you worried that people will think it’s you? My answer was: if you’re not worried about that—if you’re trying to hide, or disguise yourself—you’re not doing your job.


* WHICH WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU TEND TO OVERUSE?
Apparently in the first edit of TGfA I used the word ‘managed’ nine-thousand, four-hundred and fifty-seven times.


* DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?
When I saw the Indy-eBook explosion I decided it was time to take the plunge and do this full time. I don’t know how people write and hold down a day-job. If I had a job I’d be a terrible employee. Or worse, a terrible writer!


* WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Risk everything (they can’t say “yes” if you don’t ask).


*WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LIE YOU’VE EVER TOLD?
That I’m really a woman. I can’t help it. I have clothes envy. Dresses, high heels… I would have made an awesome drag queen (if only I were taller!).


* HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE AUTHORITIES?
Let’s just say, spending a night in the “slammer” was a life-altering experience.  It definitely made me stop and take a hard look at myself—who I was, what I was doing and where I was going.

I almost think everyone should go to jail at least once. Nothing makes you appreciate freedom more than having it taken away.


* HAVE YOU SEEN MY SHOES?
No, but would love to! I should imagine they are quite lovely. I’m picturing a pair of shiny black pumps, perhaps with those fancy red soles you see everywhere these days.



ABOUT THE BOOK...

* WHERE DID YOUR TOMORROW SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?
That one’s easy too. I feel as though we’re already living in a crazy dystopian future. A study came out recently showing how Americans are actually already living in an oligarchy and not a democracy (https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/14). The study showed extremely specific examples of how public policy in the US is dictated, not by overwhelming public opinion, but by the whims of a very small minority of wealthy and elite corporatists. Take gun control, for instance. 88% of Americans want stricter gun laws, but even with that overwhelming support nothing’s been done. If anything, we keep moving toward more liberal gun-laws, as evidenced by what just happened in Georgia (guns in schools and bars! Yay! What could go wrong?). And how about what happened last week with the FCC? They actually killed net neutrality, paving the way for internet monopolies (say goodbye to freedom of the online press as we know it). These are just two examples of a globally unpopular policies that are turned into a laws to service a very small number of people in the upper-fringes of society.

Call it a corporatocracy, an oligarchy or plutocracy, this is not how democracy is supposed to work.

Oh, and before you label me a conspiracy theorist, remember what Noam Chomsky said (and I’m paraphrasing): It’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s just good observation.


* DID YOU DO ANY SPECIFIC OR UNUSUAL RESEARCH FOR THIS BOOK? 
I had to do a lot of research into martial arts. I spent a great deal of time reading about jujitsu and watching lots of videos. It was very important that the more physical acts of combat be real. I was fortunate that one of my early alpha-readers was experienced in Jujitsu, as well. She came to my rescue on a number of occasions.


* IS THERE ANY SUPER-COOL FUTURISTIC TECHNOLOGY/WEAPONRY IN YOUR TOMORROW?
What’s scifi without cool tech! TGfA features some seriously overpowered ballistic weapons. Who doesn’t want a hulking 18 mm recoilless sidearm strapped to their thigh! I mean, that is hot.


* WHO SHOULD NOT READ YOUR BOOK?
Bigoted, intolerant, ideological, hateful people. These people would best be served by avoiding my book at all costs. Judging from some of the angrier responses I’ve received since publication, there are still certain people in this world who do not like to think about 'non-traditional' relationships. Apparently, even 350 years into the future, such things are still 'ew, icky gross!


* WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR MAIN CHARACTER IN A MOVIE?
Easiest question on the planet! Elle Fanning (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1102577/?ref_=tt_cl_i4). She absolutely is (young) Sigrid Novak. If we start preproduction on the movie now, Elle will be the perfect age to start filming in two or three years.


* YOUR MAIN CHARACTER VS BATMAN, WHO WOULD WIN?
No contest. Sigrid Novak would kick Batman’s butt. It’s not Batman’s fault. After all, Sigrid Novak has all the genetic and bionic advantages, as well as the kind of years of training that would leave Bruce Wayne envious. I believe Batman would literally never see her coming.




Don't forget to snag your copy of WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING,
the YA Dystopian boxset, including Cary's novel The Girls from Alcyone!

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