We’ve had the pleasure of Ira Nayman’s company here on From Mia’s Desk a couple of times now, and happily we welcome him back along with Noomi, from his newest release, Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience). Hello to you both!
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Mia: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?
Noomi Rapier: It’s called Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience). It’s not the title I would have chosen – it’s too long and it’s kind of silly. I would have gone for something like Both Barrels Blazing or Sky Bandits of the Frozen North…even though it doesn’t take place in the sky…and there aren’t really any bandits…and the only vestige of the frozen north I come close to is a popsicle I eat before Chapter Four starts. Still, Sky Bandits of the Frozen North – that’s the kind of title that screams out adventure, don’t you think? Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience), that screams out bureaucratic indifference, doesn’t it?
Not that I’m complaining. When I auditioned for the part, I was up against some pretty stiff competition. Sally from When Harry Met Sally was keen to do a genre other than romantic comedy, and I know that Ripley from all of those Alien movies would have killed for the part. Literally. I watched my back for several weeks after I got the news. To be honest, I would have been happy being an alien extra in the cantina scene. [EDITOR’S NOTE: the cantina scene was dropped from an early draft of the novel.] When my agent told me I was going to play the lead, I decided it would be churlish of me to complain about the title.
Umm, so, yeah, maybe I need to work on keeping my resolutions better.
Anyhow, Welcome to the Multiverse takes place in a conceptual space where travel between dimensions has been perfected. There is an organization called the Transdimensional Authority that monitors traffic between universes and investigates possible illegal cross-dimensional activity. The novel is about one such investigation.
Mia: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?
Noomi: At the start of Welcome to the Multiverse, I have just graduated top of my class at the Alternaut Academy and am about to start working at the Transdimensional Authority. This doesn’t go exactly as planned – the less said about that, the better! – but, eventually, I do become an investigator. When a body is found near some equipment somebody has been tampering with, my partner – “Crash” Chumley – and I are called in to investigate.
What should you know about me? I’ve wanted to work for the Transdimensional Authority all my life – there is nothing else I’ve ever wanted to do. Nothing. Ever. In the course of the novel, we travel to several different dimensions, some of which have other versions of me – very different versions – I would say radically different versions. They’re not me. I’m me. So, there!
Not that I’m competitive or anything.
Oh, and there are 238 ways to kill a man with chopsticks. Not only do I know them all, but, as you will see from Welcome to the Multiverse, I invented one of them!
Mia: What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Noomi: He’s a nice guy. You know…
Mia: I know… what?
Noomi: Okay, you dragged it out of me: he’s soft. He wouldn’t last a day in the Alternaut Academy! Not a minute! Not even an hour! He’s the sort of person who cuts himself when he’s thinking about shaving! Alpha male? Please! There isn’t a letter in the Greek alphabet that would describe him! But, uhh, I’m sure he’s nice…
Mia: How do you feel about the story you’re in?
Noomi: It’s kind of quirky, what with a Tension Bouillabaisse recipe, a Will They or Won’t They Have Sex? scoreboard and characters like the lurker in the shadows of the alleyways behind the eyes of inmates in asyli for the awkward. Not my cup of tea, really. Give me a good hardboiled detective novel – something by Dashiell Hammett, say, or Hansard.
Mia: Do you like being a character in the book?
Noomi: Transdimensional Authority investigators live for the work, not any publicity that the work might bring them.
Noomi: Naah! The organization’s press agent made me say that. I’m thrilled to be the central character in a work of fiction – Just like Kate Middleton!
Mia: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Noomi: I plan on being the main character in 17 novels which, unlike most series, only get stronger as the series grows, not lamer. Those 17 novels will have four spin-off novels featuring secondary characters, three comic book adaptations, two television series and a breakfast cereal. By the end of the run, I will have made an indelible impact on the culture for at least seven generations to come!
Not that I’m egotistical or anything.
Mia: What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Noomi: I know nothing about the author’s plans, but you can expect to see me in future stories. It’s not like I’m gonna give him any choice – did I mention how soft he is?
Mia: Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?
Noomi: Myrna Loy. Okay, she was taller than I am, skinnier, and not as…umm…melatonin rich. You know, skin-wise. Especially now that she’s dead. Still, she smoldered. You…you’re not buying that, are you? Okay, then: a young Whoopi Goldberg, but with more attitude.
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Author Bio: The odds are good that Ira Nayman has been writing humour longer than you have been alive. That thought scares him more than it does you, although he also finds it perversely comforting.