Npr Interviews Graeme Rylee Part 1-adobe gamma

INTERVIEWER Without giving too much of the story away, can you tell the audience what The SpudGun Circus is about? GRAEME RYLEE It’s about an outlaw circus that invades America. Most of the players are British. They’re a gaggle of verbally abusive miscreants and circus freaks on their way to perform near Lollapalooza–not at Lollapalooza, like a rock band would–but nearby where they plan on siphoning off their crowds. So, their goal is to get the circus to the Coachella Valley, but they’re constantly thwarted by cops, angry fans, supernatural entities, and their own in.petence. INTERVIEWER I’ve read the book and I have to say it is the most unique novel I’ve ever read. GRAEME RYLEE Thank you…I think. INTERVIEWER No, I mean that in a good way. It’s like a jackhammer. Relentless. GRAEME RYLEE Yeah, one person described it as Mad Max on the written page. I guess it does sort of pound away. INTERVIEWER How did you .e up with such a story? GRAEME RYLEE The SpudGun Circus actually started out as a flame war on my blog between some Americans and Brits. I guess we just got bored with the usual back-and-forth, so The SpudGun Circus evolved as a short, 5-page story degrading the opposition. It was top-notch verbal abuse, pretty heinous in it’s original form, actually. In the novel, I basically kept the monikers the same as they were in the online forum–names like Farq, Marco, and Aussie Paul. But I toned down some of the sexual debauchery and violence that existed in the original. INTERVIEWER So these are real people? GRAEME RYLEE I don’t know the real names of these people, even though we’ve been heckling each other online for years. I wanted to keep the story as authentic as possible, so I kept the monikers the same as in the original SpudGun. But I had to change the story to make it fit for public consumption. Still, the original set the abusive tone and there was no escaping that. INTERVIEWER How are the original real-life characters taking it? GRAEME RYLEE Well, they probably wouldn’t like seeing their real names dragged through the mud in freakish circus acts, but I think they somewhat enjoy seeing their online monikers mocked in a novel. It’s all tongue-and-cheek and absurd anyways. Besides, Brits are way more thick-skinned than Americans. Whatever abuse was heaped on them in this novel, they’ve returned the favor their fair share of times, believe me. INTERVIEWER So you created a .plete story from mere fragments on a blog? GRAEME RYLEE I’ve never had trouble with creative prose. The story pretty much wrote itself. I did have loads of trouble with the ending, however. INTERVIEWER You obviously resolved it. GRAEME RYLEE Yes, but it wasn’t easy. I hated the ending, because originally I had everyone getting killed. It was too depressing. But I couldn’t think of any other way to deal with these despicable characters I had created. Thankfully, I went to the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago. I guess it was the culture shock and vast change of scenery that did it for me. Downtown Chicago is way different than L.A. Being there for a week shook me out of my daily routine and cast a new light on the story. I changed the characters from being downright despicable to being somewhat likeable and amusing. And then the ending came easily. I didn’t get to see as much of Chicago as I had wanted to because I was locked in my room furiously typing away. INTERVIEWER Sounds like you learned something about the importance of the writer’s environment. GRAEME RYLEE Absolutely. Change of scenery is one that I’ve filed away for future reference. Another is hotels. I now understand why so many writers live in hotel rooms. It’s brilliant. All the daily BS is taken care of and the writer can focus on writing. I also learned the value of waking up to larger-than-life paintings of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley each morning. INTERVIEWER You must have been staying on the KISS floor. GRAEME RYLEE Yes. INTERVIEWER So, what was the toughest part of the story for you besides the ending? GRAEME RYLEE Maintaining the balance between preserving authenticity and possibly losing the American audience. INTERVIEWER How so? GRAEME RYLEE Well, take one example of British rhyming slang for instance. Brits call Americans "Septics"–short for "Septic Tank"–which is rhyming slang for "Yank." The Aussies call Americans Seppos. I wasn’t sure if Americans would be able to catch that bit, so I left out Seppo, but included Septic, and added an explanation in the dialogue. There’s another part with Aussie Paul, when I call his hat a "cowboy hat." Now, Aussies would call it an "akubra." But if I maintained .plete authenticity, I would risk losing most of the American audience, so I just called his hat, a "cowboy hat." Some things I left for the audience to figure out for themselves, other times I felt I had to help them along. I even used British-English spelling throughout the story, but changed it to American-English spelling when American characters were speaking. It was confusing as hell. INTERVIEWER But you left the punctuation style American. GRAEME RYLEE Yes, originally I had it punctuated British-English but it was just too weird looking for Americans, so I changed it. It was a pain in the ass. The whole thing is a hybrid. INTERVIEWER Is it fair to say that the best part for you in writing a novel is the creative process? GRAEME RYLEE Absolutely. I enjoy the creative process of bringing a story to life. But after I’m done with the creative part and start cutting and pasting the content into chapters, the fun part stops and the real work begins. The numerous revisions did my head in. In fact, it’s such a left-brained exercise, all the grammar and punctuation that has to be looked after. I’m not detail oriented so it was a real grind. INTERVIEWER Doesn’t your editor take care of all of that? GRAEME RYLEE No. I didn’t have an editor for SpudGun. I tried a few but couldn’t find the right match. Some if that’s my fault. I’m not easy to work with. So, like everything else with the book, I had to do all the editing myself. INTERVIEWER How do you mean like everything else, you did it yourself? GRAEME RYLEE I know enough talented people in L.A. who read a lot and know a good story. I had them read through the early manuscripts to tell me if any parts contained continuity errors. Sometimes when a story has been playing over and over in my head for too long, I develop blind spots and phony connections that make sense to me, but lose the reader. My friends were a big help in that. So I edited the book myself after listening to their input. INTERVIEWER But can’t a good editor help make a story better? GRAEME RYLEE Of course, but on the flipside, a shite editor can make a good story shite. I preferred to do it myself. INTERVIEWER What other aspects of the book did you take on? GRAEME RYLEE I’m also a designer, so I was heavily involved in the design of the book cover and I designed the website VerbalCage.. where I have The SpudGun Circus promo page. I also produced and edited the book’s video trailer, and I proofread the whole damned book as well. INTERVIEWER Shouldn’t those tasks be delegated? GRAEME RYLEE Of course they can be, but oftentimes there’s a fuzzy line between delegating and abdicating. I didn’t want to abdicate anything. I’m not detail oriented, so proofing the text was an absolute nightmare. I hated every minute of it, but you know what? It made me a better writer. I .bed over the manuscript loads of times looking for typos and I ended up writing tighter sentences and finding better replacement words in the process. But please understand–it sucked. INTERVIEWER You obviously survived. GRAEME RYLEE Yeah, but I can tell you, when I engage in left-brained activity like editing and proof-reading, my ideas shut off. For that 6 weeks of proofreading, I had not one new idea for a story. Not one creative thought so to speak…as if I’d been lobotomized. But I have a good proofreader lined up for the next book so that should be a big help. INTERVIEWER Have you had troubles with writer’s block? GRAEME RYLEE Here’s the weird thing. I have friends and acquaintances who are very ac.plished writers, yet they have yet to produce a novel. One writes for a major network sit.. Another for a big ad agency in New York and another gets published regularly in major magazines. I keep saying "big" and "major" purposely for effect. These people are not small timers. Way more ac.plished than I am in that sense. However, they can’t get past the first page when writing their novel. It’s as if that omnipresent English professor is peering over their shoulder scrutinizing their every word and they freeze up. They second guess themselves, worry about what the critics or literati will say, then they fall into self-loathing. It’s a weird cycle. INTERVIEWER And you don’t have that problem? GRAEME RYLEE I guess I’m lucky. But more likely I don’t have that problem because I recognize that I’m a freak. There’s no hiding that. There will always be a niche of people who enjoy what I do, and we basically have a laugh together with my bizarre stories. I can’t be concerned with critics and what not, nor can I blame them. For Cliff’s sake, I criticize people all the time, so it’s only fair I get my fair share of abuse right back. I kind of wel.e it in a way. INTERVIEWER So you deal with criticism by wel.ing it? GRAEME RYLEE No, I deal with it by hurling it back, usually. No one likes to be criticized, but it’s part of the game. Especially when you put something up for public scrutiny. I don’t care what you do, there’s going to be some a-hole out there critiquing it. So, just get on with it. If, however, someone is brave enough to criticize in my online forum at Verbal Cage, there are some pretty nasty bastards who haunt that site. Should that happen, I probably won’t even have to lift a typing finger. The poor bugger would instantly be set upon by a menagerie of abusive thugs. INTERVIEWER But don’t you think some writers have trouble finishing a novel because it’s such a personal process? You’re in effect laying your heart out there on the page. GRAEME RYLEE I don’t really lay my heart on the page…it’s more like my shlong…(laughs). Just kidding. Of course it’s personal. Much more so than writing for a client at an ad agency, or for an actor speaking lines in a sit.. Your name is all over the novel, so you have to expose more of your soft underbelly for a public carving…so to speak. But I really think failed novelists start editing too early in the process. They just need to start by splashing the words all over the page. Some really talented people start analyzing what they’re writing, start censoring themselves, start worrying about which political pressure group they might offend. It’s ridiculous. INTERVIEWER So, you don’t censor yourself. GRAEME RYLEE A lot of people probably wish I would, but no. I edit myself, but only later down the road. Even though I often freak myself out by what I write, I don’t censor that inner voice early on. INTERVIEWER Explain what freaks you out. GRAEME RYLEE I almost abandoned The SpudGun Circus several times because I was scaring myself by what was .ing out on the page. I thought it was too depraved. I thought I might get arrested or something. INTERVIEWER I read it, and honestly, I’ve read worse language than this. GRAEME RYLEE Yeah, but you read the final version. The earlier versions were scary. I almost made myself physically ill, but I managed to forage ahead. I’m happy with the story now, but when I first started writing, some of the things that came out on the page were far from pleasing. I had to work through it because to self-censor that early in the process, would have meant killing some story line that could wind up being great later on were it allowed to flourish. It would be like the regret one would face if one had aborted Martin Luther King or Gandhi in the womb for fear they might be born with down syndrome or something. INTERVIEWER So, how do you handle Writer’s Block? GRAEME RYLEE I don’t have that problem. Like I said, I don’t self-censor when I write. I don’t have an imaginary English teacher snooping over my shoulder scrutinizing everything I write. And since I never wrote for a newspaper, I don’t fear an editor snooping over my shoulder either. I don’t freeze up or panic when the words go on the page. The pen or the keyboard just tries to keep up with the thoughts and imagery that are racing through my mind. But if I stopped to scrutinize myself and what I was writing, if I started self-censoring in the early process, then I suppose I could develop Writer’s Block. INTERVIEWER But surely you have days when words just don’t seem to .e to you. GRAEME RYLEE Sure. But I let my mood swings dictate the direction I go on for the day. Some days I just wake up feeling lousy and there’s no way I can be creative, so I don’t force myself to be. Some experts say you must write every day in order to be a writer. But that’s bollocks. If no ideas are forth.ing, I don’t force them. INTERVIEWER So what do you do on those kinds of days? GRAEME RYLEE I either take heroin or I smoke medical marijuana and listen to Madlib. Or I watch Guy Ritchie or Quentin Tarantino films all day. If I’m smoking medical marijuana, I’ll watch French New Wave films. INTERVIEWER (Long pause…) GRAEME RYLEE You don’t know if I’m serious or not do you? Heroin makes one terribly uncreative, so I don’t do any of that. There is a legal drug I take when I want to write but I’ll never tell what it is. It’s my secret weapon. But in actuality, most days I don’t need it because the ideas .e at me in successive waves. It’s maddening because I can’t write them down fast enough. But I know that when the ideas .e, I have to write them down, because they may be fleeting. It’s frustrating to not be quick enough to write everything down, and then lose them forever. I hate when that happens. INTERVIEWER How often would you say these kinds of creative moods hit you? GRAEME RYLEE I walk around with about five stories playing over and over in my head at any given time. I used to think it was a curse or that I had ADHD or something. I mean, someone would start telling me about their day, and instantly my imagination would go off running with a story and I’d stop listening to them. It’s rude, I don’t like it, but oftentimes I’m off on a tangent running with a story idea while they’re still talking. Like I said, I used to think it was a curse, but now that Im a writer, I realize it’s a blessing. I just roll with it and try to write quickly. INTERVIEWER Do you think this is some form of genius? GRAEME RYLEE I wish you were right. And thank you for even suggesting that possibility. But I just think I’m a freak. There are others who might consider it a form of mental illness. If I’m stuck somewhere without a .puter, it can be very frustrating. I’ll try to excuse myself from a social setting or a restaurant, find a napkin or newspaper, anything to write the idea down before I lose it. And sadly, I lose ideas all the time because they’re all fleeting. If I’m lucky, they’ll recur at an unexpected moment when I’m thinking about something else, but sometimes they’re lost forever. It drives me crazy. INTERVIEWER But don’t you carry a recorder or at least a notepad with you? GRAEME RYLEE I often times forget my notepad. Besides, if I’m riding my bike or something I don’t like things in my pocket. Also, voice recorders don’t work for me. It must be some strange left-brain, right-brain thing. Because the minute I start to verbalize my ideas, POOF! they stop. The quickest way to make them stop is to start tape-recording them. INTERVIEWER Really? GRAEME RYLEE Absolutely. I bought a recorder to carry in my car and it’s a veritable idea crusher. If I speak it outloud, it stops the flow. I donated it to Out Of The Closet. INTERVIEWER So, you have to write to keep the ideas flowing? GRAEME RYLEE I have to write or type, but here’s the strange thing. I have to write them left-handed or I kill them. INTERVIEWER How’s that? GRAEME RYLEE I was born left-handed. My dad was a football coach in West Texas. No way in hell was he going to have a sissy poet or a left-hander in the family. He saw to it that I was going to play sports and that I would play right-handed. He made me a right-hander and I developed a stutter for a year. INTERVIEWER So you naturally write left-handed, but you do everything else right-handed. GRAEME RYLEE No. I’m a hybrid now. I shoot a rifle right-handed, but I shoot a pistol left-handed. If I shoot a handgun right-handed, I get the shakes. I mean really bad shakes after unloading just a few clips. In baseball, I bat left-handed, but I play golf and tennis as a right-hander. INTERVIEWER Interesting. In the film, The King’s Speech, the king developed a stutter having been changed from a left-hander. GRAEME RYLEE Yeah, but that poor bastard kept it for life. Luckily, I only stuttered for about a year. But I don’t blame the parents. Back in those days, left-handers were sinister. They were considered satanic, or natural-born .munists or something. I wish my father would have just left me alone, but I understand the societal biases against lefties back in those days, so he was doing what he thought was right. No pun intended. INTERVIEWER Now, I notice you didn’t treat the folks from Lancaster very kindly in The SpudGun Circus–nor Oakland Raider fans for that matter. GRAEME RYLEE I didn’t treat anybody kindly in The SpudGun Circus. Lancaster sucks and most people who live there would agree with me. Yet there is something I like about nearby Antelope Acres. I have a feeling I’ll live in a trailer out there one day near the "one righteous man" I write about in SpudGun. I even took photos of his house and put them on my website. INTERVIEWER (laughs) Now what would you do in Antelope Acres? GRAEME RYLEE I would lock myself in my trailer with a mountain of books and my legal drug of choice, and I would just write chaotic prose for days on end. Real insane stuff that can only .e with heinous amounts of sleep deprivation. I would also harvest medical marijuana out of a green house and develop a B-list of clientele who would gather from miles around to worship my harvest. Near the end of my worthless life, I would either be arrested for the things I wrote, or for growing cannabis beyond the "legal" limit as determined by our Almighty, All-Knowing, All-Seeing State. INTERVIEWER …Sounds like the beginning of a new novel. GRAEME RYLEE No. But back to your .ments on Oakland Raider fans. I went to high school in Northern California, so I’m well aware of the Raider – 49ers’ rivalry. My friends who are 49ers fans absol 相关的主题文章: