Spotlight: Christopher Baldwin
Catch all his webcomics Spacetrawler, on Mondays and Wednesdays; Little Dee M-Sat; and Bruno M-Sat; his joint foodie blog, Cookrookery; and his online store for regular doses of the funny.
GK: He is WAY FAMOUS, gang, so be good and pretend we behave ourselves on a regular basis, at least until it's your turn to ask questions. Then? Go for it. So, Christopher, it's great to have you here with us today. Let's roll right in. What prompted you to become a writer? Was it voices in your head, a burning desire to tell a story, or just too creative for your own bad self?
CB: The spark came from a love of reading and of humor. My mother read to my siblings and I, and we were often at the library getting books or audiobooks. Being a solitary child, I had lots of daydreaming hours to make up stories, and since I was bored in school, it gave me lots of free time to write and doodle them down.
GK: You know, a part of me really wants to believe that tofu factory story... So! What was the first book or piece that you wrote and why? Is it published, being shopped, on the shelf waiting for you to get back to it, or in a heap of ashes at the bottom of the fireplace?
CB: I started writing stories and comics in elementary school, but what I consider to be my first serious work was a full-length play in iambic-pentameter I wrote my senior year in high school. I knew then that my writing was sorely undeveloped, but that I could capture the emotion of being a teen -- then edit it when I was older, more skilled, and out of touch.
I may decide to invent a time machine and go back and strangle my younger self instead of doing this. Have you ever tried to line-edit iambic pentameter? Stupid teenagers.
GK: I can honestly say that I never tried to get overly fancy with my early efforts and I would pass on that particular form of line editing. But I applaud your younger self for being slightly insane. Speaking of insane, give us a funny story about writing your latest release. It’s okay if your funny story involves a nervous breakdown as the deadline loomed, btw. I like to relate to my guests.
CB: My latest release was the book #2 of Spacetrawler. My online-store-order-fulfillment people didn't want to handle advance sales, but I chose to do it anyway. For about a week, my girlfriend would come home from work every day and sigh at me, hiding behind my carefully stacked skyscrapers of books, frantically stuffing padded envelopes.
GK: I know what massive amounts of swag I'm bringing with us to Tucson Festival of Books -- I can't make any comment about your Fulfillment Center. So, other than that, what’s your most and least favorite things about being an author?
CB: My most favorite is that I get to sit around and make things up, my other favorite thing is knowing I've brought some laughter and delight into people lives, my other favorite thing is meeting other writers and talking to them about writing, my other favorite thing is putting my characters through the ringer, and... um. Right. Least Favorite things. Hm. Figuring out my taxes maybe? Really, I can barely express how much I love my job. Want to know MORE favorite things?
GK: Let's not talk about taxes, let's talk about one of my favorite things -- you. What’s one fact about you that someone who didn’t know you well or hasn’t read this blog wouldn’t know? Make it juicy -- my readers expect.
CB: Do you want the name of the ailment or the ointment?
GK: Both, and suggested applications and treatment methods.
CB: Kidding. Okay, um, I'm always curious about experiences from people's lives that are different than my own. One was to wonder what SOME women go through regarding body hair, and so I shaved myself bald, both my pits and down there, when I was in college. I've had the deepest sympathy ever since, and also feel I can confidently describe the experience of stubble growing back -- that isn't on one's face.
GK: You're the man. Crazy, but the man. So, can we get an excerpt, then?
CB: Sure, This is from Spacetrawler Book 2.
Labels: Bruno, Christopher Baldwin, Cookrookery, gini koch, IO9, Little Dee, Mad Magazine, NPR, Salon Magazine Newsbytes, Spacetrawler, Spotlight, Tucson Festival of Books, Washington Post, Wired Magazine