J.M. McDermott Interviewed on Amazon

Jeff VanderMeer • February 18th, 2008 @ 11:39 am • Book Reviews

Just posted an interview with McDermott, author of Last Dragon.

Fantasy is not a genre that traditionally values experimentation. Usually, fantasy–especially epic fantasy–is where readers want good to conquer evil and true love to be won and all that. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little mental comfort food now and then, but I hungered to read the kind of fantasies that take these particular tools and tropes and attempt to make an art form out of them. Not everyone is going to like this kind of fantasy. That’s okay. I hope that enough people are out there, like me, that want to sink their teeth into a fantasy novel that honestly – arrogantly–strives for high artistry.

21 Responses to “J.M. McDermott Interviewed on Amazon”

  1. Larry says:

    Good interview. I like how his comments you quote above dovetail with the recent discussion about “purple prose.”

  2. J M McDermott says:

    You should see what he edited out for the sake of – I assume – brevity.

    Not once did he include our lengthy exchange about how wearing different types of underpants inspire different types of characters.

    Also, what happened to Nauticles, my pet squid? From now on, I’ll simply have to include Nauticles in every sentence, lest my poor squid be edited from the discussion.

    Nauticles and I would like to thank Jeff for a great interview.

  3. Larry says:

    So…for soliloquies, you have to go commando, is that right? And squid are SO vastly overrated… well, at least compared to a maribou. For birds, they are teh sexay, no?

  4. J M McDermott says:

    Nauticles always goes commando when he’s eating a maribou.

    Actually, for soliloquies, one must wear the tightest, whitest of tighty-whiteys. One must feel one’s “self” really pushing inward for the best soliloquies.

    Still, you’re welcome to try the commando method. Different writers will naturally have different methods, and different underpants.

    Oh, and all hail Nauticles!

  5. Larry says:

    Hrmm…but what about those situations in which the would-be writer is confronted by a rabid, apparently vampiric squirrel? Would squid be an adequate defense and would tighty-whiteys be the best underwear for that potentially bowel-loosening event?

  6. J M McDermott says:

    Of course not!

    Fortunately, vampiric squirrels are no match for ten-day-old gymshorts. Heck, not even Nauticles is a match for the ten-day-old gymshorts.

    That’s the kind of underwear you need if you are going to write a good golem.

    ;)

    Nauticles and I will not be continuing this line of discussion. Believe it or not, we have to plan a book launch party and we’re really allowing ourselves to be easily distracted.

  7. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    *Predator enters blog comments area and kills everyone there.*

  8. Larry says:

    Ah, so that’s how you managed to create your golem in Last Dragon! If only I lived down there in Tejas, I’d bring that up at the signing. But now I have a potential weapon to use against those pesky squirrels that a ladyfriend has been threatening me with! I knew authors were good for something. (And if this continues, Jeff is probably going to think that we’re weirder than any of the winning tales ;))

  9. Larry says:

    Ha! I guess I spoke too late there!

  10. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Yep. LOL!

  11. Larry says:

    Dare I ask if J.M. or I will get a prize for our weirdness (besides having the Predator disembowel us)? I’m betting J.M. will insist on his beloved Nauticles getting a squid pedicure or something…

  12. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Your prize, for both of you, is to send me $50.
    JV

  13. J M McDermott says:

    I’m honored to be not only interviewed, but disembowelled by a Predator.

  14. Larry says:

    Well, you’ll have to wait your turn, Jeff. IRS comes first, alas. But do I at least get to keep the Pred’s weapon of disembowelment?

  15. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Sure, ’cause he’s just gonna shove your own hand out the back of your stomach.

  16. J M McDermott says:

    Nauticles’ tasty Acme-brand Squidyums have utterly bankrupted me, alas.

  17. Larry says:

    Hrmm…you aren’t giving us any “spoilers” about a character’s death by having it re-enacted on me, are you? Even the disemboweled are bound to wonder.

  18. Horia Ursu says:

    Romanian mobster enters blog comments and kills Predator in his usual manner. Jeff V. is left choking on a Romanian saying (“Your mouth kicks your ass”, for precision’s sake). Now Larry and JM owe Romanian mobster 100 $ each for saving their corpses killed earlier by the Predator. Romanian mobster veeeerrrry happy.

  19. Larry says:

    Damn! Even more money lost to unsavory types! Although I really would like to know said Romanian saying in the original. And speaking of non-English profanities, I have a saved conversation in which I learn something of Afrikaans profanity:

    And he goes “sit jou kop in die koei se kont en wag tot die bul jou kom holnaai ” That’s Afrikaan

    Roughly translated that means: “Put your head in a cow’s vagina and wait until a bull penetrates your anus” Is that not horrible or what??

    Yes, I have a filthy mind (and mouth)…

  20. Horia Ursu says:

    Larry: it’s “Gura bate curu’!” (I just wrote a post titled like that on my blog).

  21. Larry says:

    Ah, cool. I’ll have to read that later today, then. Curu in place of culo…funny how the sounds shift over time.

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