Interview: Anderson O’Donnell (Kingdom)
The time has come! I’m interviewing Anderson O’Donnell on my blog today as part of the blog tour he is on hosted by Hannah over at Once Upon A Time. If you’d like to know more about him or his book, don’t forget to check out his website.
Anderson: Hi! First, I want to thank Nyx for having me. I know a lot of time goes into your reviews, and I appreciate your granting Kingdom some space.
As for me, I live in the U.S. (the state of Connecticut, to be exact) with my wife and son. Kingdom is my debut novel, and the book in my Tiber City trilogy. Oh, and I love music—and punk in particular. The Clash, the Pistols, The Libertines…I could talk punk rock and dystopian fiction all day long…
Your book, Kingdom, is described as biopunk. That sounds creepy. What should we expect from it?
Biopunk has a lot in common with the more-familiar “cyberpunk” genre: the dystopian cities, the overreliance on technology, the anti-heroes struggling against a rigid world order enforced by mega corporations and faceless governments—all that sort of very uplifting stuff! But the key to biopunk is that, while cyberpunk focuses on the technological modification of the human body, biopunk considers the consequences of biological modification.
I gravitated to the biopunk genre because it allows for a discussion of what it means to be human. Cyberpunk modifications tweaked our humanity; I think the coming biotech revolution is going to re-define our humanity. And that, to me, is incredibly creepy.
What kind of research did you do before writing your book?
At first, not enough! But I quickly realized that, if I was going to tell this story right, I needed to know more about genetics. Granted, I didn’t need to be an expert—I just needed to know that I could talk about my ideas without making a total ass of myself. So I took a crash course in genetics. And by that I mean familiarizing myself with some concepts and terminology so I could the reader enough confidence to suspend disbelief—to lose themselves in my world.
Your book is self-published. Was this a conscious decision?
Yes. When I first started out, my goal was to publish via one of the traditional, mainstream houses. All my heroes were traditionally published authors, so it seemed the way to go. But as I learned more about where publishing was heading, and the opportunities available to indie writers, I began to consider self-publishing. Ultimately, I turned down a publishing contract. While I would never rule out traditional publishing, I’m determined to explore the different and exciting opportunities offered through self-publishing.
Is there a message that you would like people to get from your books?
Absolutely: There is more to this world than is readily apparent.
Do you still find time to read yourself? If so, what books have you read lately that you particularly recommend?
As Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.” And so, I’m borderline obsessed with reading—for pleasure, of course, but also as part of my writing. I find that reading is essential to honin my own craft…and it also inspires me: When I read a book that blows me away, I get pissed off that I didn’t write something as good—its almost like a challenge (granted, one I don’t feel I ever meet). Its inspiring, to see another author doing amazing things with the craft. It can push me to work harder, to go that extra mile, even if I’m tired and would rather still be in bed.
Thank you for answering my questions! (:
Thank you for hosting a stop on the Kingdom Blog Tour 2012! I’m a fan of your reviews, and I’m honored to have this opportunity!