Friends, Fans, and Colleagues, how in the world do I find the words to introduce someone who has certainly proven to be one of my favorite authors of this past year? I’m almost speechless because I am truly inspired by his words. To keep from making a spectacle with my adoration of his work, I will simply introduce him. So here he is, author, Gene Doucette.
“About the Author”
I was raised in the Boston area and live in Cambridge with my wife and my two children. Unless college is in session, and then skip the part about the children.
How long have you been writing?
As far as I know I have never not been writing. I decided I was going to be a writer once I was old enough to figure out that there were people whose job it was to assemble words in a comprehensible order. So, about when I learned how to read.
What was your life like before becoming an author?
It was rough! I had to get past crawling and into walking, and then there was toilet training, which I still can’t talk about without choking up.
Who or what inspired you to write?
I have absolutely no idea. Either it’s something I always wanted to do because I was good at it, or it’s something I’m good at because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve never been able to determine the correct way to parse that.
Do you have a specific writing style or genre?
I’m all over the map. And I mean within a single work. Project-wise, I have at one time or another been a playwright, a humor columnist, an essayist, a screenwriter, a novelist, and a few other things I’d rather not talk about, like “poet”. But we’re talking today, you and I, because of my novel writing, and if you look at said novels you’ll find they’re a blend of sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary fantasy, historical fiction, humor, suspense, and… well, they’re a mash-up.
Tell me about your latest book? What’s it about?
My latest book is Hellenic Immortal, which is a sequel to Immortal. Both books came out this past year, although in the case of Immortal what came out was a new edition of a book that was originally released in 2010 with a different publisher. The books are, as I said, a genre mash-up. They’re narrated by a very clever, very funny immortal man who is enough of a reluctant hero to be nearly an anti-hero. He’s also an alcoholic, and a not entirely reliable narrator.
What was your favorite part of the book to write?
My favorite parts of Hellenic to write were probably the parts of the book the fewest of my readers actually liked. Interspersed in the book are sections written by “Silenus” and his offspring. Since the lion’s share of the book discusses ancient Greece (including multiple sequences in which Adam the narrator describes his own experiences then) the Silenus passages are written “in the style of…” So there is one part written with the fabulist perspective of mythology, one written in the manner of a Socratic dialogue, and two sections from an imagined Greek play called The Tragedy of Silenus. I loved writing these parts, especially since my narrator, Adam, was in them. I had to write for him without writing AS him, while in three different styles.
What was the hardest part to write?
The beginning. I will beat a first chapter to death, because it sets the tone for the rest of the book and because I can never, ever get it right. I’m having the same problem right now with the third book.
What do you find most rewarding in writing a book?
This doesn’t happen often because most writing is about beating something bad until it becomes something good or at least something acceptably decent, but sometimes you sit down and something perfect comes out. You don’t know what you did to get that perfect thing and you don’t know the next time you’ll be able to produce it, but for that moment it’s fantastic.
Do you have any other books complete or in progress?
I actually just signed a contract with my current publisher (The Writer’s Coffee Shop) to publish Fixer, which is a standalone novel unrelated to the Immortal books. That should roll out in early 2013. Fixer is about a man named Corrigan Bain who can see about five seconds into the future, and who uses this gift to save people. Or he tries to, up until he discovers there is something in the future that doesn’t want to be seen. It’s a bit more serious than my previous books, and leans more heavily toward horror and sci-fi.
What are your future plans in regards to writing?
Finish the third Immortal book, for starters. I have no idea how long that will take. After that, I imagine I’ll just start writing something else.
Are you listed on the major social networks like facebook, twitter, goodreads, etc…
Yeah, I’m everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, I have a WordPress blog, and I have two Tumblr blogs (one as me, one as The Urban Cyclist). And everything cross-posts to everything else, so if you find me in one place you’re likely to find me everywhere else fairly quickly.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Gene-Doucette/e/B001K7S414/
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Would it be pithy to suggest you start by writing the very best book you possibly can? I mean, absent any “people are reading this kind of book right now so I should write this kind of book right now” sort of attitude.
Outside of writing, what is your most favorite thing to do and why?
Possibly cycling. I bike commute every day, which is a 35 mile round trip. I’m not sure what I’ll do in the event I reach a point where I no longer need to be employed by anyone but my publisher, because then I will wake up at my place of work every morning. Probably just go on morning rides when I can.
Anything else you would like to add for future fans and friends.
Enjoy Fixer when it comes out and be patient. Immortal 3 is coming along.
Gene, you are a fun and entertaining person as the character Adam in your “Immortal” series. It was an absolute pleasure to get to know you better. I am certain that all of your fans, myself included, will be extremely delighted with the release of your next book from the series as well as your other work. Again, thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of my author interviews series. Always, my best to you and yours.