Joseph Mallozzi was kind enough to host a discussion of City of Saints & Madmen this week as part of an ongoing book club he oversees from his blog. I had agreed to answer any questions from readers, but when Joe sent them to me I had already turned off my computer. So I answered them from my cell phone. I think this improved my performance immeasurably, as typing on the tiny keyboard at one in the morning made me choose my words very carefully indeed. Please go check it out–including a cute photo of my grandson Riley.
A couple of excerpts (it gets pretty strange by the end, with references to banjo playing and county fairs):
I think I understand the squid, which seem to be inspired by Cthulhu, but what was your inspiration for the fungus and Gray Caps?
JV: The squid were inspired byâ€¦squid. The fungus was inspired byâ€¦fungus. The gray caps were inspired byâ€¦the little gray people who [I force to] live in my cellar.
What was the initial reaction to the book’s publication?
JV: Chaos. Riots in the streets. Extreme anger. Indifference. Cookies. Handshakes. Major book deal.
I was wondering what kind of jobs you held prior to your first published work.
JV: Infant. Toddler. Middle schooler. Junior high[er].