Today I have Spencer Dryden with us to talk about writing and his new release, The Substitute. It’s available now from Breathless Press.
Can I get you a drink? What’s your favorite, alcoholic or otherwise?
Jack Daniels on the rocks.
What’s your favorite book character of all time, that you didn’t write. What made that character stick with you? It can be a hero or villain. I’m always curious as to what others think and why they relate to the characters they do.
I am reading “Catch 22” again, for I think the fifth time in my life. The character, (John) Yossarian is my favourite character of all time. (“What kind of name is Yosarrian? It’s Yosarrian’s name, Sir.”) Here is man whose simple desire is to survive. (“…to live forever or die trying.”) He lives among madmen who are trying to kill him—which, in his not so paranoid world view— turns out is pretty much everyone, either violently by the enemy or by total indifference of his commanding officers—who are all petty fools. His fear on bombing missions is palpable. In quiet moments he is Hamlet in mufti, almost an anti hero in his lack of esprit de corps of a typical war novel. And of course there is his great emotional trauma with the gunner, Snowden, who dies in Yossarian’s arms. (“Where are the Snowden’s of yesteryear?”) The novel makes me want to laugh, cry and scream at the absurdity of war. I first read the book when I was draft eligible for military service in Vietnam and enrolled in a monolithic University system with all its crazy rules, and fighting against my draft board. I think I encountered a real life equivalent for all the major characters in the book. I certainly shared Yossarian’s paranoia—there were people intent on killing me.
Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your-pants writer? Why?
I am a panster. I have a very short attention span. When I outline, my stories loose momentum. Hopefully I will grow into the ability to tell longer stories. For now, short is the new long.
What is your ideal or dream writing space like?
Almost any place where I can sip coffee and be uninterrupted for long periods of time. My mind has to be very quiet before the words start flowing. I have a comfortable writing spot at home but too many voices are screaming, ‘clean me, fix me’. I am too easily distracted by the demands of ordinary life.
How addicted to Pinterest are you? Do you have dozens of secret boards?
I don’t belong to Pinterest. I’ve got enough trouble with Facebook.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have been working intermittently on a three part Scify/Fantasy series about The Gueschtunkina Ray Gun. One blast from this weapon renders a woman into a state of extreme sexual arousal. Lots of fun and hijinks in this fractured fantasy tale that takes place in many different parts of the universe.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the characters from your book?
In my current book, “The Substitute” Ben Affleck or Matt Damon could play the male MC. The two female characters would be played by Eva Mendez and Nicole Kidman.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
When I get writers block it’s because I’m not giving myself enough time and space to have a quiet mind. Easier said than done.
What is your favorite quote? Can be book related or not.
In the “The Quest for the Gueschtunkina Ray Gun” the third instalment of my Scify/Fantasy series, my MC is arguing with a renegade computer/brain— part of a secret government weapons system for hunter killer droids—. temporarily lodged inside a ventriloquist’s dummy. In an exchange about National Security the dummy screeches “Open your eyes dummy. National Security isn’t about preserving the safety of the governed, it’s about guaranteeing the security of those WHO govern.” Very much a “Catch-22” type line.
Give an interesting or fun fact about your book/series.
This is the first of my stories that uses a tag line. “In this neighbourhood, the plumber comes on time.” I didn’t realize the double meaning until I saw it on the artist’s mock up. I’m really not that clever.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I often use names of friends who have passed away. It’s a way of giving them a bit of immortality. The characters don’t necessarily embody the personal traits of the departed, just the name.
Thanks for sharing with us today. Before you go, I’d like you to tell us about your new release, The Substitute. Pick it up here now.
A substitute plumber’s world turns upside down when he discovers his buddy’s business is providing more than plumbing services to an exclusive female clientele.
A journeyman plumber breaks union rules, risking the loss of his career, and assumes a false identity to substitute for an injured friend who owns a non-union plumbing shop. When “Gary” arrives on the job, he is stunned to discover that the client is expecting sex and not plumbing services. It’s the beginning of a day of surprises.
Motivated by his obligation to a friend and seduced by the allure of the client, “Gary” has some of the best sex of his life. He is at peace until he overhears the client making an immediate referral to a friend. Torn between conscience and friendship, he accepts the referral.
His day turns again as Britta initially spurns his services, much to “Gary’s” relief, then asks him to do some plumbing work. While he is working, Britta slowly drops her hostile manner, sharing more of her personal story. “Gary” finds himself longing for a deeper connection, but has to dispel Britta’s feelings of inadequacy and deal with his hidden identity.
One minute I was getting ready to install a new faucet for this really hot divorcee. The next thing I knew, she was naked, splayed out on the massive onyx granite kitchen island of her fabulous McMansion. Her legs over my shoulders, my work pants on the floor, I’m banging her furiously. She was screaming and panting, heavy breasts flopping like luscious melons, her pussy pouring out love juice over my cock while she clutched the backs of her thighs. Her head thrashed in the pile of her frosted, layered mane of silver and black hair. She was so strong I thought she was going to lift my two-hundred-pound frame from the floor as her back arched in the agony of a hard orgasm.
I was breaking all the rules that day, but the last one I ever expected to break was fucking a client on the clock. But technically, she wasn’t my client.
My strange odyssey began when my plumbing trade school buddy, Steve, called me in desperation from the ER where he was being treated for a severely turned ankle.
“Dude, you gotta take this job for me today.” His voice was full of mirth, making me suspect he was loaded with painkillers.
“Steve, you know I can’t do that. I’m a union journeyman, and you’re a non-union shop.”
I couldn’t work for one of my best friends, not within the rules the union had set for us. Rules that protected us from exploitation, but limited our choices.
“It’s just one job, goddamnit. I don’t have anyone else I can trust.”
“Yeah, but that one job could cost me my career.”
About the author:
Spencer Dryden is a new to writing fiction, but an old guy on the threshold of draining any reserves left in Medicare and Social Security. In real life he is a handyman, an at-home dad, inventor, and web videographer, living a quiet life in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, USA.
He earned an MBA from a prestigious Midwestern university but is so far behind on the career earnings scale of his peers that the university has offered to refund his tuition if he will return his diploma and disavow his affiliation, lest he continue to denigrate the school’s impeccable brand.
He has a beautiful trophy wife ready to spend his royalties. Like all good romance writers, he has a cat but prefers to pet his wife.
This is his fourth work published by Breathless Press.
He can be reached at multiple locations:
Check out his website: http://www.fictionbyspencer.com/
He’s on Google+ : https://plus.google.com/+SpencerDryden
Tweet Him at: @SpencerDryden
He is a regular contributor to the multiauthor blog, Oh Get A Grip: http://ohgetagrip.blogspot.com
And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008150288001
If you liked this book, please leave a review at Breathless Press or at Goodreads: