Interview with Chad Descoteaux
Please welcome to the blog, SciFan Author Chad Descoteaux.
His is a fellow member of the SciFan Society movement on Facebook as well as a friend on Instagram.
I see a lot of your….more interesting posts, Chad. Especially the ones with the Alien reading the paper. Tell us something about your book, what was the inspiration behind this story?
CD- My disdain for “news” outlets that are slanted one way or the other politically and my love for both 1950’s sci-fi movies and Weekly World News.
AL- You can’t beat the ’50s for campy Scifi, those are some fun movies to watch. So, tell us about your main character.
CD- Barry Young is a photographer for ‘Vicarious’ magazine. He makes a living going around getting pictures of popular celebrities. But he is also dealing with a bad break-up that happened a few months prior. This is the reason he is working at a trashy tabloid instead of the reputable newspaper he worked at previously with his now-ex.
AL- Which is your favorite minor character and why?
CD- Harry Squatch, a seven-foot-tall, fur-covered husband and father of one, who is passionate about helping others where he can. He struggles to balance that determination with keeping his family safe.
AL- I know tabloids like to run Sasquatch stories, I didn’t know they wrote them too. Back to your main character, what is your favorite personality trait of Barry?
CD- How witty and clever he is, using humor and whatever is around him to get out of potentially awkward situations.
AL- Now, what is your favorite personality trait of your baddie?
CD- Agent Kromwell is very focused and no-nonsense. This is a quality that would benefit Barry sometimes, but Kromwell, of course, uses it for evil.
AL- A no-nonsense villain, you have to appreciate that sometimes. Less soliloquies, more focus. Your story sounds like it has quite a bit of humor. How about you tell us something funny about one of your characters.
CD- Eddie Schultz, the editor of Tattler magazine, wears very 70’s-looking polyester suits and hangs out with a cyborg made from the cloned body of Abraham Lincoln. Zombie Abe is his muscle.
AL- A cyborg, zombie clone of Abe Lincoln. You don’t hear about one of those every day. Let’s say one of your characters is going on a shopping spree. Where do they go and what do they buy?
CD- Jessica Hashbury, the secretary at The Tattler magazine, would go to Hot Topic, Torrid or even Spencer’s and go clothes shopping. Her personal sense of style is very alt-rock/Goth.
AL- Oh, cool. I am not goth but I do tend to visit at least two of those stores to peruse their clothing and jewelry/accessories. Now let’s go to another store, your character is at a bookstore. Which section is he shopping in? What book is in his hand right now?
CD- Barry would buy books about photography because that is something that he is passionate about. It’s how he sees the world and how he deals with disappointments as well.
AL- Barry must have a very artsy take on life. How about music? Your character has the music blasting. What’s playing, and what is he doing while listening?
CD- Barry would be listening to Elvis while cooking.
AL- Does he do ‘shake-n-bake’ to ‘I’m all shook up’? Speaking of cooking,I’m inviting your main character to dinner. What should I make?
CD- Fried chicken. His family is from the South on his dad’s side.
AL- Fried Chicken, coleslaw, beans and biscuits. I was raised in the South. Where most people go for vacations. If your main character is planning a vacation, where is he going?
CD- Barry would be going into the mountains to take pictures of all the beautiful scenery.
AL- Mountain views are gorgeous, especially with a light foggy haze. I think that is when you tend to run into more Sasquatch though. Here is a fun question for writers: Were you surprised by the behavior of any of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing?
CD- I must admit that Barry became more likeable through the course of the writing, despite the odd quirks that I gave him to make him funny.
AL- It is always good to have a likeable MC. Please share a few of your favorite lines or a paragraph from your book.
This endless parade of famous people would have been quite a pay day for Barry Young if he still had any desire to work for Vicarious magazine. But he had moved on with his life. He had gotten back the journalistic integrity that he once had when working for the Daily Chronicle. And the fact that few people believed what they read in The Tattler made no difference to him. He was working for a newspaper that told people things that needed to be said, things they needed to know…not which celebrity was having a wedding, baby, divorce, affair, tattoo, new haircut, body piercing, hot fling, mental breakdown, stint at rehab, sex change, boob job, nose job, rectal exam or coming out of the closet.
AL- How long did it take you to write this book?
CD- A few months.
AL- Wow, you are a fast writer. I bet my readers wish I was a fast writer, or even moderately paced. But they do say I write my books like a script and movies take a while to produce, right? If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead characters?
CD- Joseph-Gordon Levitt as Barry. Kerri Washington as Nikki. William H. Macy as Eddie Schultz. Tommy Lee Jones as Agent Kromwell.
AL- That is quite a line-up. Be honest, you already had all of those written down, didn’t you? How did you come up with the title of your story?
CD- The story centers around Barry finding purpose in his life when he works for the only magazine on the planet that reports on things that government officials want to cover up (aliens, Big Foot, Elvis is alive etc.) with no political slant. That magazine is called The Tattler. It’s kind of like Weekly World News, except all that crazy stuff is true.
AL- Sounds like one of the ‘rags’ the Men In Black would read as daily news. How about your cover art? How does it pertains to your story?
CD- I like doing cover art that says something about the story in a sort of abstract way, not necessary depicting a specific scene from the book. The alien reading a newspaper is perfect for a story about a journalist exposing an alien invasion.
AL- True, and it gives that campy 50’s feel. Ok. so the big question: Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one?
CD- I think readers will really relate to these two main characters (Barry and Nikki) working their relationship problems out during the course of this fun, sci-fi alien invasion plot.
AL- So besides the relationship mending, is there an underlying theme in your book? If so, tell us about it and why it’s important to you.
CD- I do kind of goof on how every news outlet has to have a political slant these days, to the point where even comedic news shows seem to be more insightful than the regular news.
AL- Don’t be dissin’ my Daily Show, Chad. That is real, insightful news right there…. and the only news program I will watch. They say fiction can often provide powerful life lessons. What message do you hope readers get from your book?
CD- Question everything. Until you find the truth. Don’t be one of those cynical people who asks questions just to argue, but don’t swallow everything you’re fed by mainstream media either.
AL- The Truth is out there, Mulder fans, and it is in the Tattler. Thank you so much for coming on the blog today. SciFi, SciFan and 50’s giant nuclear ant fans are clamoring to read your book now, I am sure.
The Tattler is now available for the Amazon Kindle.
…and will be price-dropped to 99 cents during the entire month of November. Check out www.turtlerocketbooks.com for more information.