Monday, October 10, 2011

An Interim Interview - Charles M. Pulsipher

Shelly - A little change-up this week. DWD asked me to interview a friend, one Mr. Charles M. Pulsipher. Despite his name he's not in the British Parliament. Mr. Pulsipher's a cook and woodworker and zombie survivalist. Now he's expanded his skills to that of science fiction author. I have two requests as we begin, Mr. P. I want to call you Chuck, and will you please tell me the premise of Crystal Bridge includes no spaceships. DWD has burned me out on those.

Charles - You can call me Chuck. I mainly go by Charlie, but all my high school friends still insist on Chuck. I'm used to it. There are no space ships at all. My characters travel to another world, but they do it the old fashioned way, walking...I mean wormholes. These aren't the cheesy 80's wormholes either. I worked very hard to make them cool and slightly terrifying.

S - Mmmm. You had me at worms. I understand there is also a character who can read emotion without using words. Now I'm hungry and jealous. Not having to talk to people...

Chuck - Yep. Kaden opens the wormholes. Aren can see memories and read people's souls just by looking at them. Her gift becomes very important in keeping her alive as she gets lost on the other world. She's pretty tough to begin with, but she must learn to be more than that when she's captured by underground dwelling Dwaros.

S - I know you're talking about the Einstein field equation thing, but all I'm hearing is gooey slimy earthy goodness. Enough about me, though. I'm trying to limit my egocentricity. Speaking of tough, independent women with tough shells, requests from readers of the Eveleth Elle and my physics students in the southwest (see previous posts, everyone) were unanimous. "Read us the last page of Crystal Bridge!" So, how about it?

C - Can't do it. The last page gives away the biggest twist I wove into the novel, a secret that will blow minds. I can give you the last line. I like it, despite being a little passive. "He realized he was hungry." Great, huh?

S - Get out! That's not really the line, Chuck. You just made that up to keep me drooling over freshly-unearthed oligochetes. Okay, so we know one of my influences. What about yours? Who or what made you want to write? Kept you motivated when writing was inconvenient or hard? And if you say post-1989 George Lucas I will bite off your toe so help me the Dagobah swamp monster.

C - I can't say George Lucas pre or post-1989 had much to do with my writing. My writing style and voice have definitely been influenced by Orson Scott Card and Tad Williams. Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams have influenced me a bit. Fringe, Alias, Firefly, Angel, and Veronica Mars have become a part of me. Some older stuff too, E.T., The Dark Crystal, Labrynth, Stargate, even Sliders. I find inspiration anywhere I can get it.

S - HMMmmm. Skeksis help Gelfling! Loved that show! Except the end when the Skeksis are unwillingly forced to abandon their ideals, and their culture gets watered down by those hunchbacked hobos. Oh well. Here's the next thing I want to know. Any parts of The Crystal Bridge you wouldn't want read to kids? And by that I mean what page numbers should I memorize or mark with a sticky note?

C - If you managed to watch The Dark Crystal, then my novel will be no problem for you. That movie has some freaky things in it. My novel has a little scene where a man is mauled by a large cat-goat thing, Kaden almost gets swallowed by a dragon, and Rho, the dark god, has a few creepy moments, but the novel is pretty clean and tame. I wrote it for the 14 year-old in me and I think it appeals to anyone from 13 to 45.

S - Oooh! Mild sci-fi violence warning! That will boost the 14-to-whatever male mammal readership. I'm a bit embarrassed now, though. Now everyone knows I'm into bodice-ripping shell-scratching reptile romance novels. The interviewee is the one whose supposed to slip up with too much info. Speaking of awkward, what was the most embarrassing typo you came across while editing?

C - Unfortunately, that's an easy answer. I switched the names of two characters...twice. I have two scientists working on recreating extinct animals using genetic simulations. Here's a bit of spoiler, one of them dies. I managed to use the wrong character's name in the middle of the emotional scene. Then in another scene I confused two female Sidra who are nothing alike. Sidra are kind of like elves. One was the bad guy's minion and one was fighting against her. So, I had the good elf riding into battle against herself for a moment. I'm so glad I caught those before I finished. That would have been bad.

S - What do you think your therapist would say about that, Chuck?

C - I think most writers would be considered crazy once we start talking about our characters as real people. We're weird and conflicted. That's why we write. It's like you, Shelly. We all know you made up this DWD character. You're writing these books, aren't you, Shelly?

S - I've signed a strictly-worded harshly-penalizing contract which prevents further discussion. Your first comment, though? Crazy, weird, and conflicted applies to non-reptile vertebrates as a whole, so no disagreement here. Which brings up the last question, Chuck. The What If Game. Books sales are up, screenplay written, auditions underway. Who stars in the film Crystal Bridge?

C - Doesn't matter as long as J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon direct it together and it has a cameo from George Wendt. NORM! I love that guy. I also wouldn't mind if Natalie Portman is involved somehow.

S - I'd watch that! Well, Chuck, it has been a pleasure. Especially considering your species. I mean that as a compliment, by the way. So where do I get a copy of Crystal Bridge?

C - I wish I could bundle the print books. I thought about doing it with the ebooks, but they are so different. Maybe I'll think about it some more. Thank you, Shelly. This has been fun, even with your obsession over worms.

S - And hot male terrapins. Wait, what? There's more? I get a free copy of your survival guide, Zombies at the Door if I order in the next ten seconds? Okay - minimize, new tab, Amazon, title by author, spinning circle of boredom... spinning... spinning... And I'm too late. Stupid 1G dial up.

Crystal Bridge, by Charles M. Pulsipher:

  Kindle: Nook: Print:

1 comment:

  1. Great interview, Shelly and Charles. Or Chuck. You had me at elves riding into battle. Not so much with the worms. You're gross, Shelly.