Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Andrez Bergen - Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat - Author Interview

My thanks to Andrez Bergen for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for an author interview about his book, Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat.

1. How did you come up with the title?
The title was actually one of about four I had at various stages for the novel, and fortunately is the most recent. When I was a teenager I saw this great Bob Hope comedy called That Certain Feeling and - in amidst the chaos of a house party - a hairy dog galloped across the carpet. George Sanders' toffish character then said "Get that tobacco-stained mountain goat out of here." I adored that line. So, yes, I nicked it from George. But George figures quite heavily in Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I think there's a riot of messages squeezed in there. A basic one? I believe everyone should take time out to rediscover classic cinema from the 1930s-1950s, be it film noir, musical or sci-fi flick. Another deeper one? The direction the world is currently taking, and the possible outcome of same. I'd prefer not to get up on a soapbox here and poorly preach the innuendoes of a 200+ page book within two or three sentences, but I think this gives you a basic gist!

3. How much of the book is realistic?

Ahh, I intentionally kept that unclear in the text of the novel. It could be one hundred percent bona fide reality, or one hundred percent surreal sham. But it is a contemporary homage to old skool detective noir, thrown into a blender with low-brow sci-fi of the near future and current social trends that are pervading the Western world - with the last city in the world being Melbourne, Australia. So I guess if you're from Melbourne it's easier to pick up on the realism.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

I can answer this easily - I'm no George Lucas. I'm really satisfied with the final product. But if I were to be honest, I would confess that I'd already done a Lucas several times over - before it was published. It started out as a short story, then went through four major revisions and rewrites in which major characters were ditched or added and the story completely changed. George would be proud.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I think finishing it was tough - this has been part of my life, off-and-on, for half of it and I had a brilliant relationship with my editor Kristopher Young over about three years of ad hoc editing. I miss Floyd and Laurel. I don't miss their world. Funnily enough I've resurrected Wolram E. Deaps, shades of Lazarus, for the next novel.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Aside from some interesting grammar titbits, I learned a lot about balance and humour when it comes to dialogue, chiefly from my editor Kristopher. I also now understand what works best outside my own headspace, as opposed to some self-indulgen tendencies I had before. I hope I've ironed out most of those. Now that I'm published, too, I realized it is possible to play this game while pushing creative perimetres - and I want to publish again.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

It started early for me - when I first learned how to hold a pen and put sentences together. Straight off the bad I was writing stories, most of those science fiction or fantasy stuff. I think I adored escapism - it corresponded with my taste in movies and comics.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

This does tend to change, but right now it's Raymond Chandler, with a close second being Dashiell Hammett - mostly because of all the research and reading I did surrounding Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat. I love the self-deprecating characters, the smart observations of people and place, and the sense of humour at play within their novels. I also dug Haruki Murakami about a decade ago, and Edith Wharton and Joseph Heller before that - all (aside from Wharton) for their surrealist bent.

9. Tell us your latest news.

I'm currently working on the next novel which is titled One Hundred Years of Vicissitude. It's five percent prequel to Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, and ninety-five percent something else entirely. It's more focused on the past rather than the dystopian future TSMG trawled, from 1929 on, and a large part of it is based in Japan - where I've lived for the past 10 years. Hopefully it comes together the way it's cooking up in my over-worked noggin.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

If you're an aspiring artist - whether it's a writer, musician, painter, whatever - just bite the bullet and actively pursue your dream. It's always possible.

About the Book
Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat

Book Details:
Price: $12.75
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Another Sky Press
Published: April 2011
Genre: Science Fiction, Noir, Post-Apocalyptic
Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Cut to Melbourne, Australia--the most glamorous city in the world. It also happens to be the only one left standing, but nevermind that, we're there now and I'd like you to meet your narrator, a certain Floyd Maquina, a likable chap with one hell of a story to share. See, the powers that be are knuckling down on the Deviant menace that plagues the city, and our boy Floyd's unknowingly got himself in the thick of it. Cue guns, intrigue, kidnappings, conspiracy and all sorts of general mayhem that make for cracking good headlines. Does Floyd stop the bad guys? Does he get the girl? Does he make Humphrey Bogart proud? Grab some popcorn and read on.

About the Author
Andrez Bergen

Entrenched in Tokyo for the past 10 years, expat Aussie Andrez Bergen says that he quite likes to steal furtive glances in a pseudo-metaphysical rear-vision mirror, greedily brushing up on the ‘found art’ chapter of the Dadaists’ handbook—along the way hacking together electronic/techno tunes as Little Nobody, Funk Gadget, DJ Fodder, Nana Mouskouri's Spactacles, Conversational Dentures, Atomic Autocrac, and a member of the LN Elektronisch Ensemble. He's been remixed by people like James Ruskin, Shin Nishimura, Si Begg, DJ Wada, Dave Angel, Bas Mooy, AUX 88 and Patrick Pulsinger, and recently released his fourth album 'Hard Foiled'.

Originally from Melbourne, Bergen has also worked as a journalist over the past 17 years, for newspapers such as The Age in Australia and the Yomiuri Shimbun in Japan, and he's written for magazines as diverse as Mixmag, Geek Monthly, Impact and Anime Insider. In 2005 Andrez married artist Yoko Umehara, and in November that year they had the world's cutest daughter, Cocoa.

Connect with Andrez:
Web Site
Facebook (Author)
Facebook (Book)
Twitter (Author)
Twitter (Book)

1 comment:

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