Wednesday 14 November 2012


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Colin Dodds. I was born in Massachusetts and I live in Brooklyn, New York.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I wanted to be a professional athlete when I was little. But even around the age of seven I figured I’d be a writer once I finished with sports. I just didn’t know I’d be done by the age of fourteen.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
When I was fourteen. That was when I started writing every day.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
It is called The Last Bad Job. And it’s a dark and comic journey through cults, suicide, sex, drugs, the apocalypse, and what comes after it.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
Royal Pulp is putting it out as one of their first offerings.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It takes between a year and 18 months. I try to do all 5-7 drafts in that period, before the idea and the characters have a chance to go stale on me.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m talking with Royal Pulp about possibly putting out one of two novels that I have in their final stages. The first is a gritty tale about a Fourth of July weekend that ends with a body count. The other is a political thriller about the second American civil war, oil shale exploration, and demonic possession. We will see.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
I’d say that The Last Bad Job may well be it. It has a lot of action in it. It pushes a lot of buttons and a lot of limits. And it’s pretty hilarious in places, if I do say so myself.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I always like the villains, maybe too much. I really liked writing the cult leader in The Last Bad Job, Dizzy.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been at it almost as long as I could. I remember getting a real charge out of writing when I was in second grade. It always felt good and made sense. It helped that I was pretty good at it. A lot of people encouraged and supported my work over the years.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
There’s no one place. The Last Bad Job started with a vivid dream, the kind that drags a whole small world with it. The book’s first movement unfolded as I listened to a particular Neil Young album for months on end and lived through a New York summer with no air conditioning. The ending came to me one evening on a stroll over the Williamsburg Bridge. I go with anything - it could be an idea, a sensation, an ill-defined feeling of dread or elation - anything that gets me excited.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I tend to skim them. Getting too excited about a glowing review or too angry about a damning one both seem to be bad for business.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No. Never. I know what I’m up to. I know what I’m about. And I know it’s not for everyone.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I’ll usually go through a number of working titles before I arrive at one that describes the book, that will look good on a book cover and that I won’t be tormented by repeating in conversation or at readings for months on end.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I use real places and I make up the names.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I try to let the characters show me what they’re about in the first draft or two, and then sand down the most grievous inconsistencies as I rewrite.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
I think what makes a good book and what makes a bestseller are different things. But I think luck plays a bigger role in each than anyone likes to admit.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
If I did, I wouldn’t be very quick to admit it.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I doubt it. People spend so much time in front of screens these days - for work, for entertainment, to communicate with one another. After a while, it just doesn’t feel good. I think that there’s already some reaction against it. And the quiet focus of reading, of being alone with just one storyteller, will retain its appeal as that reaction grows.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
The other author that Royal Pulp is publishing this fall, Thomas Katz is one to watch. I read his book, and it’s a lot of fun. So watch out for it.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
If we’re talking about anything, anything at all, then I would have made them sell better.

What do you think about book trailers?
I’m innately suspicious of the products of marketing. I think there’s a danger in simplifying a book into a pretty package. I think that mentality inevitably filters down to writers and readers, to bad effect. My polemic aside, I actually made a trailer when I started pitching my novel Another Broken Wizard. Here’s the link:  
I think the trailer came out pretty well, but I don’t know if it helped the book very much.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I doubt it.

Where can readers follow you?
Your web site ?

Your facebook page?

Your Goodreads author page?

And any other information you wish to supply?
The Last Bad Job came out November 13 on kindle, nook, in paperback and every other format except vellum scroll, so please go check it out, read an excerpt and buy a copy or two. It’s a sharp looking book and would make a great gift. Trust me, I wrote it.

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