I hope everyone has been enjoying the KINGDOM tour. Anderson is here today to talk a little about himself and to share about KINGDOM along with a fun fact about Cory Feldman
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
I was one stuck in an elevator with Cory Feldman.
Some favorite books and authors?
Favorite Authors: William Gibson, Bret Easton Ellis, Jack O’Connell, Stephen King, Charlie Huston, Richard K Morgan, Neal Stephenson, James Ellroy
Favorite Books: Neuromancer, American Psycho, The Resurrectionist, The Stand, The Dark Tower Series, Altered Carbon, Snow Crash, American Tabloid.
What are you reading now?
Shadows on the Wall by Pavarti K. Tyler. Not my usual fare, but damn its good. Finding new authors and expanding beyond your usual reading genres—those are two of my favorite aspects of being involved in the indie community.
What do you like to do when not writing?
I’ve got a day job, a beautiful wife, toddler, and an infant so…not much. I still try and get downtown as much as possible, though. That’s where I find the most inspiration—the clubs, the bars, the subways…the hustle and flow of hundreds of thousands of people…it just sparks something inside of me. I am not the “solidary walk for inspiration” type, that’s for sure.
What is your work-space and routine like?
I work in my basement, usually in the morning before work. This means waking up at a God-awful hour…usually 5 or 5:30. I turn on some loud, aggressive music, drink a Red Bull, and get as much down on the page as I can before my toddler wakes up. I have an overstuffed wing chair I usually sit in, and I prop my feet up on an old desk. Its not very glamorous (note the litter box in the far corner! The pile of unwashed laundry!) but, so far, its getting the job done. Oh, and the Internet is off. No question about that!
You recently had a new addition to the family congratulations. How do you manage to fit writing in with a growing family and other commitments?
Thank you! Its been a challenge, but honestly, its also one of the things that keeps me sane amidst all the chaos and change. I’m just trying to stay disciplined (bed early-ish, up early), and recognize that there will be some nights when the baby (or the todder…or both!) is up all night and I’m probably not going to get much done the next morning. I’m trying to be flexible without being undisciplined, which is a challenged, I think, for any writer. But when real-life intrudes, you can’t be a psycho about the writing; it’ll be too stressful, and you’ll miss out on both ends. My advice is always handle “real life” first, then write. If you are writing on a disciplined schedule, taking a few days off won’t kill you or the manuscript, and the things happening in “real life” will, in the long run, only strengthen your narrative.
Bio-punk noir why such an out of the box genre?
I think I picked the biopunk genre because it allowed me to work with all the different influences and interests that have helped shaped my writing and my thinking: genre fiction, cyberpunk fiction, philosophy, etc. And I don’t think modern readers are as wedded to traditional genres; readers are being exposed to so many different ideas via the Web that I believe our brains are getting not just accustomed to thinking in a more “out-of-the-box” fashion, but, on some level, we’re hungry for that wide-ranging story. I mean, we consume so much information every day…the foundation is there, I believe, for non-traditional genres to explode.
Do you prefer things to be out of the box or is that exclusive to your writing?
I get bored fairly easily, so I’ve always appreciated the unique/non-traditional, especially when it comes to art and music. Even if its not perfect, I love art or literature that takes a chance, or that sets out to build new worlds with dazzling amounts of detail.
When did you start writing? Was it recently?
I started when I was an undergraduate, so about 10 years ago. I mean, I’ve been “writing” since middle school—little stories here and there. But it was all crap until I met Jack O’Connell my sophomore year of college. He was teaching a fiction class and he was the first person who ever told me that if I wanted to ever be a writer, there were some things (some personal habits/work ethic issues) that needed to change. Jack taught be THE CRAFT, and that’s a gift I can never repay.
What was the inspiration behind KINGDOM?
Well, Tiber City is obviously a love-letter to the great dystopian cities of film and literature: Gibson’s Sprawl, Ridley Scott’s Los Angeles, and so forth. But the story was sparked by my need to try and understand what is going on with the world around us. I mean, even as America realizes unprecedented levels of prosperity, society is coming apart at the seams: why? There is a palpable sense of anxiety and alienation that can’t seem to be explained in any sort of psycho-scientific or socio-political manner…so it must be related to something else, to some sort of spiritual malaise…Or so I believe.
What kind of research did you do for the book?
I did a crash course in genetics and biotechnology. At first, I went a little nuts, found myself drowning in genetics textbooks, which was a disaster. Ultimately, I was able to learn enough to make sure I could keep the reader submerged in the narrative; lack of detail, or even too much detail, can pull the reader out of the story, and so my goal was to do just enough research so I’d be able to walk that fine line.
When can we expect your next book, the KINGDOM sequel?
EXILE, the second book in the Tiber City trilogy, should be out late next summer.
What do you have planned ( if you’ve planned that far ahead ) once you are done with this series?
Once the series is done, I’d like to do a graphic novel. I think that would be an awesome way to conclude the Tiber City series, and get my brain moving in a new direction before I plunge back into traditional novels.