Some of you remember that Ira Nayman has been with us before in the Brenda versus Brenda character interview, and he’s returned to answer Ten Questions with Mia for his new release, Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience)! Thanks for joining us again!
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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.
About the Writer
1. What five words describe you?
Aerodynamic. Invertebrate. Inveterate. Slartibartfastian. Purple.
2. What was the first story you ever wrote? I mean the really bad one we all have that you’re trying to hide in the back of closet now that you’re published?
According to family legend, I decided I wanted to be a humour writer when I was eight years old. The first things I wrote were parodies of Sherlock Holmes stories (ever precocious, I was reading Conan Doyle at the time). They (my stories, not Conan Doyle’s) were written on the backs of my father’s green, legal-sized accounting sheets (because the fronts had distracting lines all over them). Each story was a page long. I remember thinking at the time, “How do people come up with enough ideas to fill whole stories?” Over the years, I must have learned…
My family moved around when I was young, and these stories were lost to time. I am, of course, curious about them; I’m sure they were awful, but they may have given an early indication of how I would develop as a writer. This assumes, of course, that I could even read them (my handwriting today is not quite good enough to be considered atrocious; back then, it must have been absolutely Hieroglyphic!).
3. What inspires you?
The sound of other people’s laughter. It is a joyous sound that I would like to create more of in the world.
4. What distracts you?
Apple pie and lobster. Not necessarily together. But, not necessarily separate, either.
5. What’s your favorite story? This can be specific, as in a particular book or even story-driven movie, or general, like “I’m a sucker for a hero looking for redemption story.”
I’m a fan of intelligent, anarchic, absurdist/surreal comedy. I grew up with the Marx brothers, the Firesign Theatre, Samuel Beckett, Thomas Pynchon and Monty Python’s Flying Circus, among others. My favourite story is: boy meets girl. Boy turns into a giant space squid. Girl gets a job stamping passports in an interdimensional customs office. It rains. THE END. Preferably, the story should be told in faux Italian. The fauxer, the better.
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About the Writing
1. Tell us about your currently available titles.
I have three Alternate Reality News Service books in print, Alternate Reality Ain’t What It Used To Be, What Were Once Miracles Are Now Children’s Toys and Luna for the Lunies! These are collections of short (mostly under 1,000 words) humourous science fiction stories in the form of news articles. I also have a novel, Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience) out. Published by Elsewhen Press, it is currently available as an ebook; it will be available in print early in 2013.
2. What’s your favorite part about writing these stories?
Making myself laugh. It’s best when I’m sitting at my computer and surprise myself so much that it just falls out of me. Unfortunately, that’s rare. What happens more often is a year or two will pass, and, rereading something that I have written, I will have forgotten a specific idea or turn of phrase, and I will burst out laughing.
3. What would your characters say about you? Be honest!
Are you kidding? They would love me! After all, they are made up of parts of me, so how could they not love me?
4. Who would play your favorite character if a movie of their story was made?
A young Whoopi Goldberg, but with a little less attitude.
5. Do you have any projects currently in the works you want to talk about?
Indeed, I have: two new Alternate Reality News Service books will be published in 2013. The Street Finds its own Uses for Mutant Technologies will be a collection of general news articles. The Alternate Reality News Service’s Guide to Love, Sex and Robots will be a collection of the advice columns Ask Amritsar and Ask the Tech Answer Guy. I would also like to finish my series of Antonio Van der Whall, object psychologist short stories and write a sequel to my novel. But, shhh, these projects are still gestating.
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Thanks for joining us, and good luck with your stories!