What is the title of your book?
What is your book about?
Set in 1984, this illustrated story follows Mitch Softwick, a hopeless, teenage outcast who stumbles upon a larger world by accidentally summoning a very unlikely best friend. Together with his brother Andrew, his own parents, and a trio of burgeoning computer hackers known as the Pirate Square, they face forces of Heaven, Hell, and High School, all while worrying about a rather pesky apocalypse around the corner. This unlikely party of adventurers discovers the true nature of magic itself, while confronting the overbearing members of the Circle, who wish to channel the Earth's remaining magical life-force into the machinations of their own foul will.
About the Author:
David C. Lovelace is perhaps best known at large for creating and animating vanguard webtoons hosted at Newgrounds and Ebaumsworld since April 2003. Dave earned an RIAA certified Gold Record for single-handedly animating "Weird Al" Yankovic's music video "Virus Alert" from the 2006 release "Straight Outta Lynwood". The rest of his notable achievements are as random as they come, including the comic strip, “The Packrat” made for Keyboard Magazine, a 101-gesture version of "Rock Paper Scissors" that found its way into the official Big Bang Theory documentary book, a synthesizer-stuffed YouTube channel and a meme-tastic Facebook page "Cat Lazers". Beelzebuds is his very first novel, with more on the way!
What inspires you to write?
Beelzebuds began as a stream of consciousness, peppered with tons of childhood memories. I didn’t want these memories lost to time, so it felt important documenting them somehow. After a few chapters I became intrigued by the idea to somehow shoehorn in a supernatural element with content very similar to a film script I had been working on a decade earlier. I thought it might be interesting to set up Beelzebuds as some kind of a prequel for the film, although I have lately found myself inspired to dig into an even earlier, completely different story idea from two decades ago now!
How often do you write?
The writing process can take me anywhere from 0.1 to 500+ minutes on any given day. Right now, I am catching up on some freelance work, but when the time comes to begin my next novel, I anticipate an equally sporadic schedule.
How long have you been writing?
Cartooning and writing go hand-in-hand since it’s just another form of storytelling, and I’ve been creating comic strips since I was six. I caught the Dungeons & Dragons bug in the early ‘80s and I created some rather epic, 500-page adventures that no one ever played. Reading all those rulebooks and attempting to write in that style was an effort that led me where I am today, for better or worse.
What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?
The minutiae of grammatical rules. I found myself doing a lot of Googling, since I am just as guilty as anyone of the basic kinds of “less vs. fewer” slipups that constantly harangue conversationalists and writers alike.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how long does it usually last?
In the case of Beelzebuds, about six years! I had gotten a lot of really entertaining memories cobbled together at a snappy pace, but once that supernatural stuff started happening, I second guessed myself into withdrawal, and tabled the project. During the pandemic, I found myself with enough free time to go back and peruse old projects and decided the block for Beelzebuds needed to end!
Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
In one glorious day, I wrote out synopses for all the remaining chapters. Deciding which character would do what, all the events that would occur, which arcs to veer off course, etc. It was a wild day!
Describe your writing process. Do you have a routine?
I can’t encourage new writers enough to try and achieve a day as wild as mine was, writing the entirety of their story concept as a series of 30-odd explanatory paragraphs, versus 30-odd full chapters. No post-it notes; that’s too cluttered! Just a nice, 2,000-page summary in the style of a Wikipedia plot synopsis that you can go back and massage as you work on your first draft. You don’t have to lock yourself into anything of course, but it’s great knowing where you’ll end up
and every step you’ll be taking along the way! I was able to sit down and write every day,
sometimes getting a whole chapter done in one evening. It was empowering!
Do you read much, and if so, who are your favorite authors?
I find myself in a minute minority; I very rarely read full novels anymore. I am very easily warped by other voices, so in order to maintain my own, I have to isolate myself. But back when I was devouring a book a week, I loved classic Asimov and Clarke, Terry Pratchett, Robert Aspirin, Orson Scott Card, and Greg Egan. By the ‘90s I was really loving the graphic novels of Jim Woodring. There’s no dialog at all, and yet he is one of my favorite writers.
What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?
That’s a great question. It calls the medium itself into the spotlight, which is kind of like watching a documentary about radio or television. A book represents a level of permanence that electronic media doesn’t quite offer. This isn’t just an emotional conclusion; it is very much an equally physical issue! Recordings erode and platforms change. Even digital forms of media
involving lasers are hard to actually experience lately, as CD and DVD players are beginning to disappear in favor of cheap, “streaming” media that will certainly be lost to time as conglomerate catalogs expand and contract. Those 1,000-year-old disks might be as fresh and new in the future as they are today, but who will be able to actually play any of them? There is meanwhile no degradation of the content and ideas in a book, inasmuch as the paper content itself will eventually crumple and decay… Hopefully 48 Hour Books will still be around to continually offer reissues to simply open up and look at with whatever sorts of ocular input is available at the time!
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers or authors looking to self-publish?
I am right there with them, so I don’t feel justified in offering advice. I can at least say that it
is never too late. I’m 51 years old, and with the help of 48-Hour Books, I created an actual
novel that I can hold in my hands while marveling at its quality. What I’m going to do with
it now depends on the same challenge we will all ponder: getting an agent to help find a good distribution solution. We might be able to self-publish, but it’s a rare creature that can self-market, self-promote, self-distribute, self-pack/ship, and self-everything-else. It’s also a slim-to-none chance of “making it” after only one novel, so it should be written for its own sake, not yours.
What is the most rewarding thing about printing your book?
The actualization of a dream is never more visceral than when boxes full of YOUR BOOK arrive at your door. You can write a song, paint a picture, build a Lego set, and do anything creative, but there’s nothing quite like your first novel. And you’ll only have one first, so make it a good one! Live in every moment while you write, recognizing that you’re making history. No one ever regrets writing a book, even a bad book! Enjoy it!
You can order a signed, first edition of Beelzebuds today at http://umop.com/beelzebuds.htm
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