Here’s the next installment of our series of author interviews. Today’s guest is Gabriel Fitzpatrick. Gabriel describes himself as a wanderer, dissident, refugee, hedonist, solipsist, and romantic. Also, indie as fuck.
Scott had the following questions for Gabriel and he was kind enough to supply the answers.
Tell me three truths about yourself and one lie.
Three truths sounds hard… I always thought three lies and a truth made more sense. Still, who am I to argue?
1. I was once wrangled into a mass bar brawl between the Ulster Scots and the Republicans in Belfast. Needless to say, my side won.
2. I spent 2 months without bathing on a bet to see if I could still maintain my string of European love affairs absent even the most basic of hygiene. Again, needless to say, I won.
3. I’ve been detained by the police over a dozen times, but never arrested and tried only once for one of those very fun, bliss-seeking crimes that writers are known for. You know the ones.
4. I once stole a horse to teach the owner a valuable lesson about the consequences of animal cruelty. There’s now a very happy farm boy with a very nice horse somewhere in Italy.
Sexiest text message you’ve ever sent or received?
I’m gonna have to go with “y do i keep liking stuf just cuz u do it to me?” It’s a fair question, and one that I enjoyed exploring the answer to quite a lot ^.^. I tried to work it into Rmnce somewhere, but the characters were having none of it. Very demanding, those two…
You enjoy pushing the boundaries when it comes to format. What the biggest lesson you’ve learned from that?
Firstly that there’s a lot that can be said simply through format, a lot of message that you can carry across even beyond the characters and plot. Secondly, at a more pragmatic level, that challenging people’s preconceptions is wildly entertaining, and that those who like it, love it. Of course, there’s a percentage of the population who hate it as well, but I’d rather see my work loved by kindred spirits than liked by everyone.
Oh, and the proper placement of commas is hugely overrated.
What’s the most fabulous thing you’ve read recently?
99 Brief Scenes from the End of the World by T.W. Grim. It’s an apocalypse book written in tiny snippets from around the world, another of those narrative experiments that went brilliantly right. I haven’t been that impressed in a very long time.
If my readers haven’t heard of you, why should they buy this book?
It’s unique and unapologetic with a message that everyone needs to hear: Namely, that the dialects of our age are anything but inexpressive It asserts itself not just as a story of love and the trials of new-found freedom, but also as a commentary on romance in the digital age. The text message format isn’t going to be for everyone, but it should be.
What one food could you live off of, if it satisfied all of your dietary needs?
Crepes. They’re a staple food for me if I can find a decent restaurant for them. If I ever get manna from heaven, it will taste like a sweet lemon crepe. Ideally it will also come with white sherry. Can you drink with manna? I don’t even know… Moving on.
Is writing a talent, a skill, or something of both?
Creating is a talent. Coming up with a concept, a story, and an approach to that story are talents; if you don’t have them, you’re just going to have to seek a new line of work. That is, unless you’re Tom Clancy. Or Clive Cussler. Or William Shakespeare… actually you know what I take that back. Maybe creativity isn’t the angle to shoot for.
Writing, the actual direct ‘putting words on a page to express something’ bit is a skill. Not a teachable skill, but one that you can and must learn through practice. I think that’s the biggest thing people don’t get, and the thing that kept me from writing for a very long time – you think of writing as something you either have or you don’t, but you really do need to sit down and write at very least 100 pages of unforgivably bad material before you can start to judge your abilities.
Finally, to crib a fascinating question from Chuck Wendig – What’s your favorite word?
Solipsistic. I will slot that into conversation at every opportunity, even if it doesn’t make sense.
It’s written entirely through the communications of the couple. Text messages, emails, and even a few old-fashioned letters make up the entirety of a story, what one early reader termed “A story not so much written as formed organically in the negative space.”
It is, in short, a commentary on love in the digital age, a tribute to the great love affairs of the digital generation, romance not lost in the sea of text-speak and instant gratification, but merely obscured from the prying eyes of those too far removed from its cultural roots.
“[A] playground for your imagination.” Grizwald Grim, Grim’s Issue