Friday, 1 April 2016

INTERVIEW: Brad Whittington

Flurries Unlimited (FU) caught up with writer Brad Whittington (BW) to chat about his self-professed "wacky" writings.  This is what we discussed:

FU:  Your books seem very unique.  With so many different genres to choose from, what inspired you to write "wacky novels" that seem to cross genres?

BW: The lure of the empty page is the call of the open road. If the story is the road and the genre is the destination, then who writes for those who believe that it’s about the journey, not the destination? Three guesses.

Who says you can’t write a mystery where a sheriff hears voices coming from a muffin? Who says that a present-day screwball comedy can’t combine the vibe of a 1920s London dandy with the 1870s Code of the West? Who says you can’t write a comedy about assisted suicide vacations?

It’s not paint-by-numbers, but it’s a hell of a ride.

FU:  According to your bio, you have a wide and varied array of professional experiences.  How did you end up writing novels?

BW: I started off with poetry, but it soon became apparent that this was not my strongest suit. For example:

One potato, two potato
Umpty squat
You’re my little sweet potato
I’m your tater tot

Need we say more?

I gravitated toward novels when I discovered that it takes me 5,000 words just to clear my throat. It’s not a small thing to weave a tapestry of motives and confusions and suspicions and incongruities, so for each novel I pull up my socks and set to. Then, just when the picture starts to emerge, I pluck a thread, and we discover that what we thought was a cable knit sweater tossed aside on the couch was really a sheepdog that snarfed up the sausages you put out for the party and is now sleeping it off in the den, using the cat as a pillow.

This sort of work naturally requires the wider scope of a novel. Plus, when you need to smack a rat scampering across the throw rug, a novel is much handier than a chap book of poetry.

FU:  You've written so many books.  Which is your favourite and why?

BW: Would you ask Solomon which is his favorite concubine? Actually, that might be entertaining. Regardless, I’m partial to Muffin Man because I intentionally wrote it with much more restraint than the others. But the Jake and Berf books are just so whack, as one would expect from a mashup of PG Wodehouse and Louis L’Amour, that I can’t leave them out in the cold. I could go on, but I sense the boom of a gong in the offing.

FU:  They say that every character has some of the author in him/her.  Which of your characters is most like you?  In what way?

BW: Since the Fred books are loosely autobiographical in the same way that a Volkswagon resembles The Beatles, it would seem that Mark Cloud is most like me. But mostly like a young me who lived in all the towns I did but somehow managed to have a much better time than I did.

FU: So what is on the horizon?  What are your new projects? When is your next new release?

BW: The Reluctant Saint releases on April 1, 2016. It stars my most controversial character, Hensley, who seemingly did his best in the prequel, Endless Vacation, to exasperate everyone within a nautical mile, and especially his brother, Dave. In this sequel, Hensley embarks on an absurd and unlikely quest for redemption. I would suggest that would-be readers buckle their socks before opening the cover.

After that, who knows? Muffin Man is crying out for a sequel. The fans are crying out for another Fred book. And I just can’t seem to get Jake and Berf off my mind. Perhaps I’ll let my newsletter subscribers pick my next project for me.

FU:  Thank you so much for chatting with us.

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