Sunday, February 18, 2007
bquertermous: Bryon Quertermous
g_so: Gerald So
harryhunsicker: Harry Hunsicker
macavityabc: Bill Crider
maclean7777777: Mike MacLean
mysdawg2003: Aldo Calcagno
victor_gischler: Victor Gischer
whiteskwirl: John Dishon
whiteskwirl: I just read Gun Monkeys the other day. It's my first book of yours and I enjoyed a lot (read it in one sitting), but there's one thing that bothered me. The story is driven by Charlie's need to find Stan, but then once he does, he kind of abandons him. How come?
macavityabc entered the room.
victor_gischler: When Charlie finds Stan, he discovers that not all is as it seems. Charlie questions his own blind loyalty (or maybe loyalty for its own sake) and he must re-evaluate what is important to him .... that's the short answer.
victor_gischler: i can give you a longer answer for three dollars or a six-pack of Hamm's beer. ...
macavityabc: From the land of sky blue waters
whiteskwirl: I've never even heard of that brand
maclean7777777: Ah, the beer refreshing. That was one alcoholic bear.
victor_gischler: whiteswirl, it's the one with the famous Hamm's bear.
whiteskwirl: Maybe it's not famous in Kentucky. I've seriously never heard of it
victor_gischler: well ... you're probably not missing much, to be honest.
mysdawg2003 entered the room.
mysdawg2003: Hey Dr. Vic, how in the hell did I earn an F in writing? lol.
g_so: Go ahead, Mike.
whiteskwirl: while someone else it asking a question, I just wanted to say Lou Morgan is one of the best characters ever.
maclean7777777: We were speaking about commercialism just a second ago. Your books aren't your typical thrillers. Were they a hard sell to publishers?
whiteskwirl: The argument between him and Charlie about what kind of car to rent was my favorite part.
victor_gischler: Thanks, whiteswirl. I really try to get the most out of my characters. I appreciate it.
victor_gischler: Gun Monkeys was turned down by a half-dozen agents. Funny enough, my current agent is one of the people who initially rejected it. I don't know if my stuff is a hard sell or not but I agree it's not typical stuff. I often wonder if the term "thriller" is very accurate for my work.
whiteskwirl: I thought Charlie was deeper than your average genre fiction character. Especially the relationship with his dad, which is subtle, but a nice touch.
g_so: Go ahead, Bill.
macavityabc: So what would be an accurate term for your work?
victor_gischler: who do i answer first ... ?
macavityabc: Whoever you feel is more important.
victor_gischler: My wife calls my work "vulgar nonsense". That's pretty accurate I guess.
macavityabc: Pretty hard for a publisher or agent to push, though, right?
victor_gischler: Or maybe "crime novel" is more accurate than thriller ... but it's hard with labels. Different folks have different expectations.
macavityabc: That's the problem with labels. I think they were created by booksellers.
g_so: crime novel seems a good compromise.
victor_gischler: Actually the novel I just finished seems like it'll be the hardest sell of all ... but my agent might be onto something and I think it's going to turn out okay.
g_so: Here's a question from Cleveland fan, John Stickney: Any sequels in the works?
victor_gischler: Actually, I'd like to bring back Charlie Swift for a "special project" but that's down the road a bit.
g_so: You're next, Aldo. Go ahead.
victor_gischler: he went to get a beer
macavityabc: A Hamm's.
whiteskwirl: Being a teacher, have you experienced any ill feelings from other teachers about the kind of stuff you write? A lot of my teachers put down commercial/genre fiction.
mysdawg2003: Wife called. OK, LA Festival of Books. Will we see you this year?
g_so: we're on John's q. You're next, Aldo.
victor_gischler: I have a love/hate realationship with academics. I think my job is to help the students write what THEY want to write. A good writing program isn't just a social club for professors.
mysdawg2003: who wants a beer?
victor_gischler: I'll be at LATFOB, ALdo. Looking forward to it.
maclean7777777: It is the beer refreshing.
g_so: A question from Jim Winter: When is your next book coming out?
victor_gischler: so are you all impressed by my feeble typing skills? Man ... I suck
g_so: you're doing fine.
macavityabc: We're watching your spelling and punctuation with red pens in hand, though.
victor_gischler: That's a good question, Mr. Winter. It depends on what my agent does in the next week or so. I can't really say much except that "stuff" is "happening".
whiteskwirl: Is there a title yet?
victor_gischler: Go Go Girls of the Apocalypse
victor_gischler: no ... really
g_so: Great title.
victor_gischler: it's not a crime novel, but it's still very much in my style ... if I have any ...
g_so: Go ahead, Bill.
macavityabc: What about upcoming short stories? I liked the one in Out of the Gutter.
victor_gischler: You got your copy of out of the gutter already!? Where the heck is MY copy?
macavityabc: I PAID for mine.
victor_gischler: I've been asked for a couple of stories, so I'm working hard, but nothing new in the next week or anything.
mysdawg2003: Got mine this week, very cool little book/magazine.
victor_gischler: I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy. (I didn't pay for mine ... but I wrote the story for free.)
g_so: Go ahead, Mike.
maclean7777777: It seemed like you were about to tell us about your next book. And I agree, it sounds out there but very cool. Could you tell us a little about it? Maybe explain what inspired you to start on it.
victor_gischler: Go Go is a satirical post-apocalypse novel. It's very much a satire on our notions of civilization. Also bloodshed and nudity.
macavityabc: You can't go wrong with nudity.
victor_gischler: I'm not sure what inspired me. I just sat down with only a vague notion what was going to happen and the story spurted out of me.
victor_gischler: spurted? ewwwwww,
macavityabc: Too much information.
victor_gischler: well, we're all pals here, right?
macavityabc: Well, we were.
victor_gischler: ha. Good one.
g_so: another question from J. Stickney: What is your favorite book on writing?
victor_gischler: I have never read a book on writing. Janet Burroway's fiction writing book is a good tool for the classroom, but I've never purchased a writing guide for my own reading pleasure.
whiteskwirl: the one with Robert Olen Butler?
g_so: Go ahead, Bill.
macavityabc: What literary writers inspired you, if any, when you were in school?
victor_gischler: "Inspired" is a tricky word ... but writers I admired ranged from Kurt Vonnegut to William Faulkner. I suppose Vonnegut a little more. I like that his stuff *seems* simple but is really quit complex. Not complex to understand ... I just mean there's more going on than a reader might suspect at first glance.
macavityabc: Okay. Genre writers?
victor_gischler: Man ... a lot James Crumley, John D. Macdonald, Mike Resnick, Chandler ... I could go on for a while ...
g_so: Go ahead, Aldo.
mysdawg2003: Has a change in location influenced your writing in any particular way?
victor_gischler: Hmmmmm. Not sure Aldo. My Out of the Gutter story was set in Baton Rouge, but really it could have been set anywhere. I haven't even been here a full year yet, so I think it'll take time for the place to get into my bones.
macavityabc: Aldo's questions don't show up on my screen. Aldo's invisible.
maclean7777777: he's mysdawg
macavityabc: Right, but he's not here.
victor_gischler: That's a good trick, Aldo. Do you sneak into the girl's restroom when you're invisible?
g_so: it's a chatroom bug.
victor_gischler: we need chatroom Raid
g_so: Go ahead, Bill.
macavityabc: You've answered about writers. What movies do you like? Favorites?
victor_gischler: Movies: Blade Runner, The Royal Tanenbaums, Sideways, Jaws, The Sand Pebbles, Winchester '73, the first three Star Wars -- not that CGI crap, Man ... so many ... I recently enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine.
victor_gischler: Did we fix Aldo's problem?
g_so: I don't think so. I'm working around it.
macavityabc: Glad to see Sand Pebbles on there. Ever read the book?
victor_gischler: No. I have a bad habit of not reading the book. I'm a huge David Lean fan, especially Dr. Zhivago, but I didn't read that book either. And I didn't read jaws. I'm a bad man.
g_so: Go ahead, Mike.
maclean7777777: Have you ever censored yourself in your writing? Have you ever said, "wait I can't do this?" If so, why? If not, would you ever?
whiteskwirl: jaws was a book? i had no idea.
maclean7777777: That makes me feel old skwirl and I'm only 34
whiteskwirl: i've seen the movie, but i didn't know it was a book.
victor_gischler: I generally go through my books for one last edit and remove a lot of "fucks" and "cunts" and bad words. Not all of them. Just when I feel I've overused them. I took out the "N-word" once just because it didn't feel right for that particular scene.
g_so: Go ahead, Bill.
macavityabc: I don't work for People magazine, but I gotta ask one more of those questions. Music?
victor_gischler: Warren Zevon, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Bare Naked Ladies, Jackson Browne, The Kinks, abba. Yeah, that's right. I said Abba.
macavityabc: I LOVE Abba. Zevon, too.
g_so: Skynyrd, anyone?
victor_gischler: Actually, I can dig a little skynyrd ... Steve Miller band too
victor_gischler: and ELO.
macavityabc: But not Boy George?
g_so: one more from J. Stickney: What is your method of writing novels? (outline, etc.)
victor_gischler: My method of writing novels: First, I put on some boy george ...
macavityabc: I'm not sure how to interpret that sentence.
g_so: great blog post on writing, Victor.
victor_gischler: seriously, I get 5-6 "key scenes" fairly clear in my head ... then I fly by the seat of my pants to connect those scenes.
macavityabc: Is the ending one of the scenes?
victor_gischler: It's an involved process ...
whiteskwirl: are those scenes close to each other, or can they be scattered?
victor_gischler: usually the ending is one of the scenes. I try to have an idea where all the characters will end up.
victor_gischler: Very scattered .. a couple up front ... a couple in the middle ... the end.
whiteskwirl: what do publishers think of your method?
victor_gischler: My method is none of their business. I turn in the books on time. End of story.
g_so: well said.
victor_gischler: Yeah ... now I'm talking tough!
g_so: Go ahead, Mike.
maclean7777777: Shotgun Opera made me think of a John Woo flick. Any talk of making one of your books into a movie? If I remember you were working on a screenplay with Smith, anything happen with that?
victor_gischler: oops ... hold on a sec ...
g_so: Jeopardy theme.
maclean7777777: So.....how are you guys doing?
victor_gischler: There's always talk. Hollywood loves talk. But we might have somebody working on a Gun Monkeys screenplay soon which is exciting. When I was with my old agent I took some iffy advice to turn down some offers. Now I'm sort of sorry about that. I got a nice check for a PISTOL POETS option but that's long run out. In summary, lots of talk ... no films yet.
victor_gischler: Neil and I are working on a MUCH better screenplay that the last one ...
bquertermous entered the room.
g_so: welcome, bryon.
macavityabc: Hey, Bryon.
victor_gischler: You're late, mister!
maclean7777777: I was wondering when you were going to show
bquertermous: stupid web based chat worked fine till I needed it
g_so: go ahead with a question if you have one.
bquertermous: have all of the embarrassing questions been asked?
g_so: surely not.
macavityabc: Only the one about Boy George.
victor_gischler: yes. (shhhhhhh, everyone. play along)
bquertermous: is your new blog an eventual setup for your new novel?
victor_gischler: Sort of. It also serves as a general Gischler web-home since porn monkeys took over my domain name.
victor_gischler: does anyone know if Phil Mickleson is still leading the golf tournament?
g_so: I'll check.
macavityabc: There's a golf tournament?
bquertermous: I didn't know Phil Mickelson played video golf
victor_gischler: He probaly does. And he's probably better than I am.
maclean7777777: yeah what was that about--the porn thing?
bquertermous: and the site is now more entertaining than before
macavityabc: If that's possible.
victor_gischler: I didn't bother to renew my domain name. I had no idea it was in danger of being taken over. I mean, who the hell wants Victorgischler.com? What the hell?
bquertermous: --pointing guilty finger at MacLean--
g_so: the spambots scoop anything up.
maclean7777777: I guess they think gischler fans would also enjoy porn.
victor_gischler: Well ... if they'd just send me some of the profits ...
g_so: go ahead, Bryon.
bquertermous: So are you still enjoying your recess from the looney bin of academia or are you looking to get back in at some point?
g_so: Mickleson is still leading.
victor_gischler: Actually, I moved to Baton Rouge because my wife got a professor gig at LSU. I sort of fell into a teaching job at the local community college ... but MAN is it a lot of work. Too much grading. What I'd really like is to be part of one of those brief-residency MFA programs ... mentor student writers via e-mail and then meet for 2 weeks twice a year. That would be cool.
macavityabc: Robert B. Parker has a great story about that. He was down to teaching one class a week and then decided to pack it in. When his wife asked him why, he said, "Because it's every week."
victor_gischler: Ha. Well for me it's EVERY DAY. Even on the weekends I'm grading papers.
g_so: grading creative writing?
victor_gischler: Oh, man, it's not creative writing, Gerald. We're talking straight comp. Must ... drink ... to numb ... pain.
macavityabc: Hey, I taught in a community college for 19 years. I know that drill.
mysdawg2003: well no sympathy.. we're all teachers here.....
whiteskwirl: come up to Spalding University in Louisville, Ky then and you can be my teacher. i'm not a teacher, i'm still a student.
victor_gischler: Tell those guys at Spalding to hire me and I'm there, baby! 19 years at community college? You are MIGHTY!
bquertermous: so has anyone asked what the deal is with the new book? Does it have a publisher or still floating about?
g_so: that was asked, Bryon.
whiteskwirl: i don't think they would listen to me because i'm not even a student there yet
victor_gischler: That's okay ... they don't listen to me either.
victor_gischler: ha ha
bquertermous: you don't know pain until you've taught developmental writing.
mysdawg2003: No, you don't know the pain until you are the adminstrator listening to the teachers complain about the grading....lol
bquertermous: this is why Im happier in tech support.
macavityabc: I loved developmental writing. Taught it for 19 years or so.
victor_gischler: Where I teach, developmental ... honors ... it's all a challenge.
macavityabc: Hard to believe that teaching writing would be a challenge in Louisiana.
whiteskwirl: if it makes you feel any better, we students don't like writing those assignments either,
victor_gischler: It does not make me feel better. The students write one paper ... I grade 100. But hang in there. Damn, we need to move to a more cheerful topic.
macavityabc: Like death.
g_so: Favorite soft drink. I will say Tang.
bquertermous: so everyone here is participating in the Blog Short Story Project right???
victor_gischler: hahahah. I like you guys.
g_so: My story is done.
victor_gischler: My favorite soft drink? Well ... coors light is pretty soft.
macavityabc: I'm in the blog project. If I can come up with a story.
bquertermous: Rainy Willy 2: The Revenge
macavityabc: Good title, Bryon. Maybe I'll use it.
maclean7777777: Yeah, I think a couple of us at Murderati might give it a shot.
g_so: Neat. Do you have a blog, John?
whiteskwirl: not right now. i do them every now and then but i never keep up with it.
victor_gischler: Can the transcript of this chat be my entry into the blog project? It's mostly fiction.
g_so: the entries have to be under 1,000 words.
whiteskwirl: what is this project?
bquertermous: a way for many bloggers to blow off real work at the same time.
whiteskwirl: i'm all for not working
g_so: I blogged it: http://geraldso.blogspot.com. scroll down below the chinese new year post.
g_so: the hour is about up. any last questions? Go ahead, Mike.
maclean7777777: Do you have a favorite scene from one of your books? Or a scene that sticks out, makes you say, "Yeah, I nailed that one"?
victor_gischler: My own favorite scene from my published novels in the party scene in PISTOL POETS and then the following morning when the professor throws the copy of Finnigan's Wake into the bicycle spokes of another professor's bike. I cracked myself up.
maclean7777777: I forgotten about that one. Anytime you can get joyce into the mix, you've got comedy gold.
victor_gischler: Thanks ... strangely it's not really a "crime" scene but rather something that highlights my satire.
mysdawg2003: hey guys, gotta jet. It's 85 out and sunny and we are heading for the pool. Vic see you in April at LATFOB. I'll spot you a beer. Maybe, even one for that Doolittle guy too
g_so: lucky you. have a good one, Aldo.
maclean7777777: see ya aldo
victor_gischler: see you, aldo
macavityabc: I still haven't seen Aldo.
g_so: he will be in the transcript. sorry about the bug.
macavityabc: No sweat.
victor_gischler: i blame Yahoo
macavityabc: I blame global warming.
whiteskwirl: do you have a particular writing routine?
victor_gischler: No real routine. I sort of make it up as I go. Different every time really. When you have a three year old son at home you're routine goes out the window.
g_so: hold on, we may have some late arrivals if Victor can stay a while longer.
victor_gischler: I can stall a bit more.
harryhunsicker entered the room.
g_so: Hi, Harry.
harryhunsicker: Hi, everybody.
maclean7777777: hey harry
macavityabc: Harry should be penalized 10 points for being late to class.
victor_gischler: Harry!!! What's up, man?
harryhunsicker: This and that.
g_so: go ahead with any questions, Harry.
harryhunsicker: Victor, what was the name of the band in GUN MONKEYS. Can't find my copy and it's been driving me nuts for some reason.
harryhunsicker: Ahh, yes. Loved that scene.
harryhunsicker: And the whole book too
whiteskwirl: the guy in the trash can was great
victor_gischler: There was another band called Smoke Up, Johnny which was an actual swing band in Hattiesburg, Mississippi where I went to grad school.
victor_gischler: Thanks for the kind words.
macavityabc: Gotta go guys. I'm scheduled to throw a copy of Finnegan's Wake into some guy's bike spokes.
victor_gischler: Later. Aim high.
g_so: Thanks for coming, Bill.
harryhunsicker: Bye, Bill.
macavityabc left the room.
g_so: any other questions?
victor_gischler: Hay preguntas?
whiteskwirl: do you have any say in your cover art?
victor_gischler: Not really. They ask me if I like it and I sort of weigh in. I made it clear I thought the hardcover of SUICIDE SQUEEZE wasn't the best, so they made it a bit better for the paperback.
victor_gischler: I guess I have *some* say ... but I'm not the final boss.
whiteskwirl: the art for gun monkeys was half the reason i bought it, initially
whiteskwirl: the paperback art, that is
victor_gischler: Did you buy the Uglytown or Bantam/Dell version?
whiteskwirl: Dell version
harryhunsicker: I thought UglyTown did a bang-up job on the whole package for GMONKEYS
g_so: agreed, Harry,
victor_gischler: Not bad. I agree with Harry. UglyTown used to do some nice work. I wish they were still publishing books.
victor_gischler: Kill Whitey was a great book with a nice cover.
g_so: I enjoyed Kill Whitey, went to a Harvill signing on Long Island.
victor_gischler: Final questions before I go check on my buffalo chili?
g_so: Mmm. chili.
whiteskwirl: that's all i have. thanks for the opportunity
g_so: Thanks very much, Victor.
harryhunsicker: That Homer Simpson. He thinks he's the Pope of Chilitown.
whiteskwirl: it was perfect timing because i just the day before read gun monkeys
victor_gischler: Guys, it's been fun. I really appreciate your showing up.
harryhunsicker: Thanks V.
maclean7777777: thanks victor
victor_gischler: Take care, everyone.