It’s awesome to share that I got to be a Beta Reader for Jason Donnelly’s “Gripped.” I must say it is funny as fuck. Seriously, this is a really great book and I even felt jealousy as Jason writes more poetically about masturbation than myself and my contemporaries on choking the chicken.
He is a cool dude and was happy to do Ten Questions with Christoph.
1) I first connected with you and learned about your book through social media; I’m digging your book yet I fucking hate social media, but I wouldn’t know about your book because of Social Media. Are all writers stuck in a mutually dependent relationship for better or worst with social media?
Unfortunately, I believe that we are, at least in the beginning. Without social media, I wouldn’t of had a lot of the premise for the book, or be able to connect with as easily with the publisher, Phil Jourdan, at Perfect Edge Books
2) When do you think having a Klout score over 70 will get you laid? Cause I’m getting close & would like to be laid for this achievement & not jerk off as much like your protagonist.
It’s funny you should mention this. I honestly think that this is something coming down the line. I mean, how many dating apps are there now? Tinder, BangWithFriends, Skout, HowAboutWe, OkCupid, ten or twenty others? People are using social media to get laid. We can make a joke about it, but it’s happening. And the more connections you have, the more ‘reach’ you have, the more likely that silly number is going to get you into some carnal satire of your own.
3) Skout? Like Skeet-Skeet Lil Jon style? I got to check that one out. Okay, back to literary stuff. How many drafts did you do of your novel before you sent it off? Also did your mom really read your book cause she refused to read mine which was showed in the mediocrity of her mother’s day gift?
How many drafts? Dude, I have no idea. This book has been driving me mad for a few years now. Even after it was turned in, it wasn’t ready to be published. I don’t think it’s ready now, but I’ve been told to stop thinking like that (fat chance).
And did my mom really read it? Yep. She read an earlier draft. And, helped me tone down some of the opening and beginning chapters. Even when I write stuff like this, she ‘gets’ me, and is supportive, no matter what the material. I’m forever thankful.
4) Your mom is cool and I mean that in a totally respectful way. In your novel, there is a very satirical tone, as a fellow satirists I must ask are you prepared for people to not get your satire? Why do you think some readers just ‘don get’ satire?
I don’t think that it’s an issue of ‘not getting it’ as much as not ‘wanting’ to get it. My book will offend a lot of people. The first line is not easy to…swallow. But, that’s another reason I put my mom’s quote on the cover. I want everyone to read it and understand that we live in a world where most, if not everything, in “Gripped” really happens. You can pretend it doesn’t, or be offended and put it down, or you can read it and take a look at the way you’re being marketed to.
5) Another Social Media Question. On a scale of lameness: 1 being the that old dude in those beer commercials who is ‘the most interesting man in the world’ to 10 being Birther Donald Trump how lame is LinkedIn?
I can’t knock LinkedIn. At the very base of everything that I do, I’m a networker. On LinkedIn, I have up over 2,000 connections, and landed my current position through the site. So, on the lame scale, I gotta say that they’re not on it in my world. It’s helped me meet people, connect with people, and stay connected with the folks that understand the importance of networking, but hate the drama/playful side of Facebook.
6) I feel ya, I’m LinkedIn now and the punk rocker in me feels so lame but the realists in me is like ‘this is a good tool to network’. Back to your book, it starts off with the protagonist masturbating and getting ‘fluid’ on the cat. I have no question that is just an awesome opening. Also on a personal note, it made me miss my cat Khadijia, she lives with my mom, oh, here is a question, do you own a cat?
It’s funny; in an earlier draft it didn’t have any of the dirty stuff. It was just a novel about how people are marketed to throughout life. The only problem was that it was boring as hell. I was at a friend’s house in Philly, trying to figure out how this stupid book about marketing could work and the cat walked in front of me.
As insane as it sounds, with that silly black cat, everything changed. And this book was born.
But, to answer your question, no, I don’t have a cat. Ha ha.
7) I like your book cause a lot of male authors write fantasy about fucking wizards & dragons and stuff I find really boring and lame, but you keep it real; do you think female readers and average dudes can enjoy this book?
I’d like to think that everyone could enjoy the book on some level. One female reader actually thanked me for describing some of the reasons that men do what they do.
Having a book like this lets me say whatever I want about the things we never discuss.
8) We both went to writing programs that you put as nameless on the back cover of “Gripped”. Do you suggest young writers seek a higher degree in writing?
Man, it’s hard to say. On one side, I don’t want anyone to have the crippling debt that I have from going to school for writing. On the other, I don’t know if I would have pushed myself to finish the first book I wrote, “Five Stitches”, without getting my MFA.
Let me put it this way, if you want to teach creative writing at the college level, get an MFA, if you want to write for a living, get a degree in something that you enjoy and pays well and write as much as you possibly can in your down time.
9) I hear ya, that is good advice. Alright, let’s have a serious question on writing. Who are some of your influences & favorite fiction writers?
I’m a Palahniuk fan-boy, up until Haunted. He’s the one who got me into writing in the first place and I’ll be eternally grateful. From there, Craig Clevenger, Will Christopher Baer, Joey Goebel, Paul Neilan, Ben Tanzer, S.G. Browne, Paul Tremblay, Jonny Gibbings, Amy Hempel, Max Barry, Chad Kultgen, Michael Kun, Vincent Louis Carrella, Stephen Elliott, Stephen Graham Jones, Nick Hornby, Tony O’Neil, man… I could go on forever. I love books. I’d love recommendations if any of your readers want to connect.
10) Right on about Chuck, I was too up until Haunted too. I met Tanzer at a reading at KGB he is cool fucking dude, Hempel is an amazing writer big influence too, respect on Joey Goebel that kid writes some interesting stuff, and last I love Hornby I’m writing a Hornbyesque YA Series right now, huge fan. Okay, enough about our writer crushes. Last question, we’ll end where we started. What is your favorite social media site & what is your least favorite and why?
Reason: It’s simple. Here’s a picture or 15 second video. Enjoy.
Least Favorite: Facebook
Reason: Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook… but, it also takes me away from life more than the rest of them. It’s a love/hate relationship.
Thanks so much for the interview, Christoph! If any of your crew wants to check out “Gripped”, the Facebook page is here Grippedbook.com
Thanks Jason this was a fun ass interview, and yes Facebook, it sucks but those author sites are nice. Go check his out.
Alright everybody, please be on the look out for Jason’s book it comes out Sept 27 this year from Perfect Edge Books.
One last thing, be nice to your cats. They are animals that deserve love, but not too much love though.
(Ways to connect, yes, through social media)
Last a picture of Khadijia The Cat at my mom’s house.