Q&A for author dean Ammerman
QUESTIONS ABOUT "WAITING FOR THE VOO" AND "ESCAPE FROM DORKVILLE"
THE FOLLOWING WAS TAKEN FROM AN INDIE READER INTERVIEW ON JANUARY 22, 2016:
What inspired you to write (Escape from Dorkville)?
This is a follow-up to my novel Waiting for the Voo. After writing that, I wanted to explore the two main characters a little further, and see how they would deal with another problem—in this case, the fact that the universe is drying up. I didn’t have a master plan for the book—just a few characters and a big problem—so the joy for me was to find out what happens. It didn’t turn out at all like I thought it would.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
There are lots of deep and serious books in the world. This is not one of them. Escape from Dorkville will (I hope) make you laugh. The characters are fun, the plot twists and turns and keeps you guessing, and most everything is resolved in the end.
THE FOLLOWING WAS TAKEN FROM AN INTERVIEW BY LARISSA FROM THE HOWLING TURTLE BOOK BLOG OF SEPTEMBER 8, 2014:
How did you get the idea for your book?
There are a lot of sad, gloomy, disturbing books out there. Whole categories of them. In fact, if you think about it almost all fiction and non-fiction is depressing. (With the exception of “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” of course.) So I decided to write something that was only mildly not uplifting. That was my starting point. Then it took about a year to come up with the character who became Alice Jane Zelinski, one of the two narrators in “Waiting for the Voo.” She’s a 14-year-old tattooed tug-o-war champion from Missouri with serious anger issues. After that it was a matter of figuring out how to get Alice Jane into a challenging situation and find the best way to tell the story. I settled on using two alternating narrators: Alice Jane Zelinski and a 13-year-old boy named Wilkin Delgado. Once I had that, then the two of them joining up with an intergalactic plumber, fighting ch-ducks and Gutrogs, and saving the universe was pretty obvious.
What other works do you have out?
Just the one: “Anteater-Boy.” It’s a coming-of-age novel with a dachshund. There are no dachshunds in “Waiting for the Voo.” Only basset hounds. That’s the biggest difference.
“The idea that morphed into Waiting for the Voo (Book 1) began with the character Alice Jane Zelinski, one of the two narrators. Originally I envisioned her as a gritty young woman in a novel of greed, passion, murder and betrayal. That didn't happen. Instead, she ended up helping Wilkin Delgado battle ch-ducks and Gutrogs and try to save the universe. (Who'd have figured on that?)"
Are you currently working on any other projects?
Right now I’m working on a follow-up to “Waiting for the Voo,” which is tentatively titled “Escape from Dorkville.” It brings Wilkin, Alice Jane and Cardamon Webb back together. I also wrote a children’s book, but my illustrator got busy so right now it’s just a bunch of words in a drawer.
What are your favorite movies, TV shows, and bands? Do they influence your work?
My favorite movies are probably “Waking Ned Devine,” “Spider-Man 2” and “The Incredibles.” Oh, and I also like the Bourne Trilogy (“The Bourne Identity,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” and “The Bourne Ultimatum”). And “Ramen Girl” anyone? TV shows: “Dr. Who.” Of course, when my daughters are home I watch “New Girl,” “Housewives of Orange County” and “Housewives of New York.” I just end up yelling at the TV during the “Housewives” shows. It’s not pretty. Musicians: Julie Fowlis, Steve Earle, Jack White, Elvis Costello, The Kinks, Junior Wells, Willis. I suppose everything influences everything. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more of a minimalist. I can’t imagine writing a sprawling 500 page novel that covers five generations of the Darcy family, or whatever. “Anteater-Boy” was 263 pages. “Waiting for the Voo” is 156 pages. I suppose my next novel will be a couple of paragraphs.
In three sentences or less, why should people go out and read your book?
“Waiting for the Voo” is an antidepressant. You’ll meet some interesting people, have some laughs and learn that a ferret is a member of the weasel family. (Oops, that probably should have been a spoiler alert. Sorry.) That’s four sentences. Now five. Darn.