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Friday, November 25, 2011

Interview with Kirk Mustard

Kirk Mustard is author of The Future Perfect and co-author of The Dandelion Conspiracy

Holly: Hello, Kirk. Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Kirk Mustard: I grew up in Kansas. Well, at least I lived there until I was adult, I don't know if I've grown up yet. It was a tiny one horse town minus the horse. It was a great place to cultivate my imagination because the only way to feel like I was living in someplace wonderful was to imagine it. Perhaps that's why I am inclined towards writing a novel that imagines the future.

Holly: When and how did your interest in writing begin?

Kirk Mustard: Originally I wanted to be an actor, but changed my profession to writing when I realized that writers don't even have to leave the room to be rejected. They send the rejections right to your door. Also a writer is the most powerful person in the world. In a few paragraphs they can fill the ocean with purple paint, make marbles rain down on New York City, or describe in vivid detail people who never existed.

Holly: Can you tell us a little about your novel The Future Perfect?

Kirk Mustard: It's a satirical dystopian story about where I think man is probably headed. An effervescent oblivion. It seems to work not only as sci-fi, but many people who normally don't like sci-fi, also like it. The basic theme is computer technology greatly blurring the distinction between fiction and reality in people's lives. For example, when a person dies a computer generated image of them takes over and can be called on the video phone. Introduced to ease one's sense of loss, people soon find that they enjoy the computer generated replacements as much as more than they did the real person. Subsequently, the fear of death and the concept of death is basically eradicated. The plot involves the creation of a new animal called the Smelix. While still only theoretical, this creature ignites a battle over whether to replenish the decimated earth with a completely man-made ecosystem.

Holly: Which came first, the plot or the characters?

Kirk Mustard: The plot. It was built around the concepts I had of what the future might be like. Then I got a call from the Society for the Advancement of Fictional Characters. They said I had far too many ideas and way too few imaginary people. So I got rid of half of my ideas and fleshed out my fleshless characters.

Holly: Where do you come up with the idea for The Future Perfect?

Kirk Mustard: Simply looking around at society is all the inspiration I need. Within seconds of leaving my apartment, or looking at a newspaper, I become enraged over some crazy thing that people are caught up in. I want to slap somebody silly. But since I have a fear of going to jail, I instead turn my anger into new ideas for my novel. It's a literary version of anger management.

Holly: You novel The Future Perfect was formally titled The Smelix, why did you change from that to The Future Perfect?

Kirk Mustard: One reason I change the title was that I was getting complaints about it. One friend of a friend said she wouldn't even read a sample because she hated the title so much. Maybe you can't judge a book by it's cover, but apparently people judge a novel by its title. The other reason I changed the title was because the the novel works as a satire or literary fiction, as well as a science fiction and The Smelix didn't seem to convey that.

Holly: You have a novel with Leon Stern called The Dandelion Conspiracy. Can you tell us a little bit about this novel and its characters?

Kirk Mustard: My friend Leon had an terminal illness. I thought it would be nice to create a work together while he was still alive. We decided not to write a satire or comedy because we really didn't have the same sense of humor. So we chose the category of thriller. The novel addresses the question of whether a plant could be turned into a weapon of mass destruction. We tried to create a plot that was intriguing, was full of twist and turns, and couldn't be second-guessed. I think we succeeded. Leon is no longer among the flesh and blood, but hopefully his spirit lives on in The Dandelion Conspiracy.

Holly: Can we expect more works from you in the future?

Kirk Mustard: Yes, I'm working on a shorter futuristic novel called Baxter Lewis and the Alliance of Mad Science. It is geared more towards young adults, though I think adults will like it too. Baxter does for science what Harry Potter did for magic - shows that it is one of the most exciting, wonderful things in the world, as well as the most terrifying. Hopefully it will also be very funny.

Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Kirk Mustard: Yes. Reality is for people with no imagination. Physical reality is merely the canvas on to which our minds paint happiness and misery. If you are miserable, don't look to change your physical reality, change your fiction.

Purchase:
The Future Perfect: Amazon
The Dandelion Conspiracy: Amazon



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