Author of Luna for the Lunies!
here with us today!
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Do you work another job when you are not writing?
For five years, I taught part-time at RyersonUniversity. I currently work part-time in data entry.
What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing?
Umm…other writing? No? Okay…umm…spending time with friends and family. Especially when I am making them laugh. Sappy, but true.
Purple, the royal colour. It hasn’t worn out its welcome like those primary colours.
What is your favorite season? Why?
I grew up when Canadian winters were a test of human survival. Perversely, this resulted in me not caring for warm weather. So, I will go with winter.
If you could live anyplace on earth, where would it be? Why?
I’m happy living in Toronto, the city I grew up in and know the best. I have lived in other places (when I was a kid, my family moved to Israel for six months; when I was doing my PhD, I lived in Montreal for three years), but I always come back to Toronto. I have always wanted to visit London, though…
If you could have any car, what would it be?
The kind you can fly.
Tell us about your writing:
How long have your been writing? Was it a dream, a goal or is it just a hobby?
When I was eight years old, I had a conversion experience (you’ve probably heard a story similar to mine: a kid was given a camera when he was 10, and all he ever wanted to do with his life was make movies): in the parking lot of my grade school, I decided that I wanted to devote my life to writing comedy.
I’ve been doing it on and off for over 40 years (on since 1984), now, so I guess I’m pretty serious about it.
How many hours a day do you devote to writing?
That’s a tough one to answer. I may spend only an hour or two a day working on words (on good days, I may get five or six hours of wordworking in). However, that is only part of the writing process.
Because a large part of what I write is political satire, I have to read voraciously (two newspapers a day, plus weekly papers, newsmagazines and online sources). This can take up two to three hours a day (mostly during meals).
It’s also true that the subconscious mind is always working on creative problems, and can spit out answers at any time. I have paper and a writing utensil on me at all times so that when my mind throws out a creative idea, I can capture it. If you include this process, all of my day (including when I am asleep, because that is when the subconscious is most active) is devoted to writing.
Do you have a set routine or do you write when the mood strikes?
Since I was a kid, I’ve had problems sleeping; when I haven’t slept properly or enough, I am usually too physically drained to be able to concentrate on wordworking. For me, a routine is a luxury I can rarely indulge in. For this reason, I write whenever I can, any time of the day or night and anywhere.I have been known to write in hotel rooms when I traveled. I have also written on public transit, in dentists’ and doctors’ offices and friends homes. (When I get home, I type what I have written in longhand into my computer.) When the writing is flowing, I try not to allow such trivial matters as where I am to stop it.
ALSO: when I am not able to write, I do the background administrative things that a writer needs to do. You know: sending out review queries, working on promoting my writing through social networks, doing interviews. That sort of thing.
Is there some place special you like to be when you write?
I like to be behind the computer in my bedroom. However, as I wrote above, I am not always able to write there.
I always have music on in the background when I am writing. (Indeed, when I am doing almost anything.) Aside from the fact that I love music, I find that alternately listening to it and tuning it out actually helps me concentrate on the task at hand.
FYI: I am currently listening to “I’m Your Captain” on Q107’s Psychedelic Sunday show with Andy Frost.
Tell us about your book:
What is the name of it and is it part of a series or a stand alone novel?
My book is called Luna for the Lunies! It is the third collection of Alternate Reality News Service stories. Although they have the same basic format and concepts, the books do not need to be read in any order.
What is it about?
The Alternate Reality News Service is an organization that, using patented Dimensional PortalTM technology, sends reporters into other dimensions, and has them write about what they find there. The books unfold as a series of news articles (one reader described my writing as “a science fiction version of The Onion”). Each of the books also contains a chapter of obituaries (because people in other universes die, too, right?)
Luna for the Lunies! also contains a chapter of advice columns: Ask Amritsar (about love, romance and technology) and Ask the Tech Answer Guy (about technology and anything other than love and romance). I encourage readers to submit questions to the advice columns; if I use your questions, your name will be forever immortalized in my writing. How many authors offer that?
In Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine, Charles de Lint called the first ARNS book, Alternate Reality Ain’t What It Used To Be, “One of my favourite books of 2008.” Really. Look it up. On the Science Fiction and Fantasy Web site, Antony Jones wrote: “Anyone with even a shred of a sense of humour should pick up” What Were Once Miracles Are Now Children’s Toys, the second book in the series. In an early review, Eric Swett (My Writer’s Cramp Web site) wrote that Luna for the Lunies! “is a laughter inducing indictment of our society and I loved it.” I mention this to show you that somebody other than my mother likes my writing.
Where did the idea come from? How long did it take to write?
The Alternate Reality News Service developed out of my Web site, Les Pages aux Folles, which focuses on political and social satire. I had written the occasional fake news article for it in the past, and thought I could do more with the form. The idea of science fictional news appealed to me because it gave me new material to work with, as well as a useful set of metaphors that I could exploit to comic advantage.
The Alternate Reality News Service started as the source for short bursts of humour in a feature of my Web site called “The Daily Me.” About six years ago, I decided to spin it off into its own feature. The rest, as they say, is alternate history.
For the first three books, I averaged one Alternate Reality News Service article a week. Since there are 80 stories per book, each book took about a year and a half to write. I am currently working on two new Alternate Reality News Service books (the fourth will be another general collection; the fifth will be a book of advice columns, the working title of which is: The Alternate Reality News Service’s Guide to Love, Sex and Robots). I currently publish five new ARNS articles in three week cycles. Since the two books will require about 160 articles, that means it will take…umm…divide by…no, wait…uhh, well, you can do the math.
Your other work:
Do you have any upcoming projects in the works or other books that have been published?
Almost everything I do develops out of Les Pages aux Folles (which features three or four new pieces of writing every week, as well as two cartoons). It would be a good place for people unfamiliar with my work to start. (If they read it regularly, they can watch the new Alternate Reality News Service books take shape in the New section. They can also find all three previous books in the Archive section.)
The other two Alternate Reality News Service books are: Alternate Reality Ain’t What It Used to Be and What Were Once Miracles Are Now Children’s Toys.
I have also produced the pilot for a radio series based on stories out of the first two books called “The Weight of Information.” It can be found, in two parts, on YouTube. I am currently looking for a producer/broadcaster for the entire series.
I have written a series of stories that take place in a universe where matter at all levels of organization has become conscious. They feature a character named Antonio Van der Whall, who is an object psychologist. To date, four of these stories have been sold. “A Really Useful Engine” has been published in Even Birds Are Chained To The Sky and Other Tales: The Fine Line Short Story Collection and “Escalation is Academic” has appeared in the anthology UnCONventional. “If the Mountain Won’t Come to Mohammed” has been accepted by Here Be Monsters and “Thinking is the Worst Way to Travel” has been accepted into Explorers: Beyond the Horizon; both will be published in the next month or two. Several other stories in the series are currently awaiting editorial decisions at various publications.
I am also looking for a publisher for a novel called Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience). So, if anybody just happens to have a publisher in their back pocket…
Oh, and I won the 2010 Jonathan Swift Satire Writing Contest. My Web Goddess says I don’t promote that enough, so consider it promoted.
Where can readers connect with you?
I am on Facebook and Twitter, and my email is on the home page of my Web site.
Where can we buy your books?
Luna for the Lunies! is available in ebook format from Smahswords. All three books are available in print from Amazon (the first two can be found in a variety of other online booksellers).
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&sort=relevancerank&search-alias=books&ie=UTF8&field-author=Ira%20Nayman (print versions of all three books)
You can check out the Video Trailers Here:
“A Book Trailer Called ‘Book Trailer:’” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er2FshjzaWY
Radio Pilot: “The Weight of Information, Part One:” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GdLRV-S4mY
“The Weight of Information, Part Two:” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIXAi9gnpSk