Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and forty-third, is of second-place winner of the fiction Shirley You Jest! Book Award (of which I’m a sponsor) Anthony Miller.
Anthony Miller is a trial lawyer who spends most of his time helping corporations fight about widgets, self-cleaning kitty-litter boxes, and talking light switches. He has a personality disorder that makes him think it’s fun to stand up and talk in front of people, and realized early on that juries are among the best and most readily-available captive audiences in the world.
After years of getting paid by corporate benefactors to make up stories, Anthony decided he ought to branch out and try his hand at not getting paid for it, and so wrote a profane and offensive (his words ) book about Satan called ‘What Would Satan Do?’
He’s currently hard at work on a sequel called ‘Bjørn Again’, in which Scandinavians, having grown tired of making safe cars and flat-pack furniture, decide to return to their Viking roots of sacking and pillaging. When he’s not writing, Anthony says he “heads up the Pave the World Campaign, which is a for-profit organization created to fight vicious, man-eating polar bears by promoting the cause of global warming”.
And now from the author himself:
‘What Would Satan Do?’ is a silly book that might be appropriate for anyone who liked Christopher Moore’s ‘Lamb’, or anything by Douglas Adams (in particular, ‘The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul’). It’s the story of what would happen if Satan decided to skip the whole End Times thing to retire on Earth. I was in a Bible study class (don’t even ask), reading Revelations, which is basically this wild prophecy that tells what’s going to happen at the end of the world. As I understood it, Satan’s job would be to get the ball rolling, only to have God show up all triumphant at the end to case Satan into the Pit of Despair. It occurred to me that if God is omniscient, and He is the unmoved mover, and if He came up with the whole plan for Judgment Day, then Satan is little more than a pawn, and that just seems kind of unfair. I figured that if I were Satan, I’d blow off Judgment Day and take off for a holiday somewhere nice.
I then invited Anthony to provide an extract of his writing and this is the short, short story ‘Love With Connected Heads’…
James and I are in love. We’re also Siamese twins, and have been connected at the head since birth. I once heard a woman say, talking about our love, that we’re “connected at the hip”. I had to stop right there and correct her. No, lady, you’re wrong – our craniums are fused together.
But our connection runs deeper than our blend of bone, sinew, and flesh. In fact, I can actually taste what he eats. We love soup. And though we have two, separate hearts (along with all the other vital organs), they really do beat as one, because we share a circulatory system.
Lately, though, I’ve been worried. I think James is starting to look at other women. It’s hard to tell, because the way our heads are connected means his eyes actually point in the opposite direction from mine. We have to cooperate to turn around, which makes it pretty tricky to catch him looking. By the time I speak up and say, “Hey, let’s turn around so I can look at something,” and he goes, “What?” and I’m like, “Just something I want to see,” and he’s all, “What is it?” and I go, “Can we just turn around already?” it’s usually too late.
I don’t know what to do. I trust James like I trust myself, but I know there’s something going on.
You can find more about Anthony and his writing via…
WWSD? Blog: http://www.robotsandlava.com
Satanic Magic Eight Ball: http://www.robotsandlava.com/apm/index.php?page=8ball
WWSD? on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whatwouldsatando
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with novelist, philosopher and writer for children (and translator) Will Buckingham – the five hundred and seventy-sixth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do, and a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me posting it online in my new Red Pen Critique Sunday night posts, then do email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.