By Jason Damman (2005-11-21)
I had the opportunity to read Chad's book 'Past the Point of Delirium' and recently conducted an interview with this keen writer via e-mail. The transcript is as follows:
Jason Damman: When and why did you start writing?
Chad Descoteaux: Well, my mom actually taught me to write, as in make my letters (at the age of three), before I even started school and she also encouraged me to read. There weren't many kids in my neighbourhood to play with, so writing became a way for me to express myself when I was alone after school or during the summertime.
JD: What is the process you follow when planning and writing a novel?
CD: Since my book consists of mostly short stories and poems, I just write a whole bunch of stories and poems and try to collect ones that have a similar theme. As far as my stories are concerned I've always had a fascination with science fiction because of the nice combination of weird ideas and realistic themes and emotions. Weird ideas come to me naturally so I get a lot of ideas for the realistic themes just simply by living life.
JD: Was is hard for you to get published? If so, what was the process you took in order to get published?
CD: I used a publishing company that (before the recent policy change) deals only over the internet, partially because it was much easier to get published the traditional way (getting an agent, ect) and then I could use my own website (www.dahcstudios.com) to start my own business through them.
JD: 'Past the Point of Delirium' is a very different book, where did your ideas come from?
CD: I love the odd combination of ideas (robots, mutant insects, aliens) and realistic characters, so I combine life experiences with things that I want say with the kinds of things that I think about when my mind wanders. For example, I often use conflicts between alien characters to say something about the absurdity of racial prejudice. In "The Vegan Wars" I wanted to comment on the hypocrisy of 'pro-life' groups blowing up abortion clinics and killing people because they respect human life (I'm pro-life myself). But, that seemed like heavy subject matter for a science fiction story so I made up this group of 'Vegetarian Terrorists' who blow up fast food places to make the same point in a more fanciful way. The tern 'Vegetarian Terrorist' made me laugh.
JD: Have you ever based characters in your book on people you know in real life?
CD: Funny thing that, when my book first got published my mom started selling copies to people that she worked with, to show her enthusiasm of my first success as a writer. I used to work at the same place that she did and I based one of the characters in the book on my old workaholic psycho boss. After my mom had sold about five copies, I showed her the part in the book that describes the character and she started laughing. She showed that page to people at work who don't like this lady and they loved it! 'Oh, you nailed her' people would say and I sold another ten copies this way. So yes, I do base characters on people in real life.
JD: What authors were/are your influence to write?
CD: Bruce Coville and the 'My Teacher Is An Alien' series were probably my biggest influences.
JD: What backround work did you do before writing 'Past the Point of Delirium'?
CD: I didn't really do any background work. My science fiction isn't too scientifically based, so I didn't need to research much.
JD: How do you think the internet has changed reader/writer relationships?
CD: Since my book is only available online it has opened up a lot of opportunities for me. It (the internet) also makes it easier for writers to get feedback from other people about their work.
JD: What advice do you have for writers that want to get published?
CD: Get to know the industry and what your options are.
JD: What ideas and information can you give SFFWorld on future work that you currently have planned to write?
CD: I have a kids' book called 'Once Upon A Crime Syndicate,' which is a parody of classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Set in a 1940's mobster movie backdrop that has been accepted and that will be coming out some time next year. I am presently editing 'Venting Delirium' which is a slightly darker collection of science fiction short stories and poetry and is a sequel to my first book.
JD: Thank you for your time.
© 2005 Jason Damman