Today, we're meeting David Seigler, author of "If You Can't Trust a Rhyming Demon, Can You Trust a Demon not to Rhyme?" It's an amusing (and occasionally rhyming) study of human nature. Plus, it has a very engaging demon.
Q. What inspired your notion of a four-foot tall demon who could compose quatrains and haiku on the fly?
The demon was inspired by my Cocker Spaniel, who is not only quite short, but also an evil poet at heart. She spends her time lying in the floor, composing verse and thinking up ways to cause bodily mischief upon anyone foolish enough to come near her. I think she’s already determined the best way to take over the world and she knows it involves the internet. Frankly, we’re all just lucky she keeps getting distracted by pictures of cats.
Q. Tell us about Ground Zero Comics.
Ground Zero Comics is the comic store I opened some twenty years ago at the urging of my therapist. He said I needed something to invest myself in but somehow I misinterpreted his advice to mean that I just wasn't losing enough money in the career that I was in at that time. So I looked around for the most demanding, least financially rewarding occupation I could find and a comic book store seemed to fit the bill. Twenty years later, I can safely say that I haven’t been the least bit disappointed.
Q. What is your current project? Tell us a little about it.
It’s a tender coming of age story about a boy who adopts a deadly snake believing it is the reincarnation of his dead mother. I really hate snakes, so I've been trying to avoid writing it. I can’t afford therapy anymore so I may have to just finish it and move on.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
My writing process is very structured. I form an extensive outline and meticulously plot out every move my characters make with a specific outcome in mind. Then when I start the final draft my characters take over and do what they damn well please, which invariably has absolutely nothing to do with what I intended to write. My characters are all like children and I don’t mean that in a good way. They’re petulant and defiant and generally determined to show me who’s in charge (hint: it’s not me). I've tried holding out and not finishing a story until they did what I wanted them to, but in the end they’re always stronger than I am.
Q. We know you're an author. What do you enjoy reading?
Many years ago I attended a lecture by Kurt Vonnegut. I had read a handful of his novels, but I left the lecture determined to read every one of his books. There is something incredibly audacious about his writing. I find that when I describe one of his stories it comes out sounding awful, but his genius is that he makes it work in a way that seems perfectly obvious. Of course right now my own writing has not even a hint of his audaciousness, but I think the reason I keep plugging away is because I hope that at some point it will force me to lose my own inhibitions.
Ultimately the biggest thing I got from Vonnegut was this basic tenet that runs through his work: If you can’t see the absurdity in life, you’re just not paying attention.
Thanks for talking to us today!
Learn more about David Seigler and his projects at http://davidseigler.wordpress.com/ . You might also be interested in learning more about his store, Ground Zero Comics.
And don't forget: Strangely Funny is now on sale in print, Kindle, and other email formats.