Allow me to introduce you to Chad Descoteaux–author of Veganarchy, The Exoskeleton Chronicles, The Tattler, The Inter-Terrestrial, and Working-Class Superheroes.
1. Welcome! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from a small town in Rhode Island called Manville and I currently reside in a neighboring town. I work for UPS and write science fiction novels for my indie publishing firm, Turtle Rocket Books. I enjoy movies and comic books. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Aspergers, a form of autism.
2. When did you start writing?
I have enjoyed writing since I was in junior high school. I wasn’t the best student, but I got my first A-plus on any paper ever by writing a short story.
3. Why did you start writing?
Because I was a much more avid reader back then and I had ideas that I thought would make good stories.
4. Let’s talk about The Inter-Terrestrial. Interesting title. How did you arrive at it?
The title ‘The Inter-Terrestrial’ has to do with the fact that the focus of the story is an alien father’s quest to find his half-human son. He is an interracial extraterrestrial or “inter-terrestrial”. My wife actually came up with this title, thinking that ‘Alien Boy’ (the original title) sounded too much like a children’s book and this was young adult.
5. Do you recall the moment you first conceived the idea for The Inter-Terrestrial?
‘The Inter-Terrestrial’ came from a bunch of different ideas that had a similar theme and involved the same character. And some of those ideas I came up with back in junior high when I decided I wanted to write.
6. Does The Inter-Terrestrial have a moral?
The moral of the story is very anti-racism. And about how important it is for kids without fathers to have mature mentors. The main character, Bloxnor, whose father died when he was young, overcomes his prejudice against the race of aliens who killed his father because of wise mentors.
7. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
My favorite character is Jeremy Boon from ‘The Exoskeleton Chronicles’. When I wrote that story, I was very interested in writing a character who had Aspergers, because I had just been diagnosed myself. I loved the idea of a character who has all these external challenges, fighting giant insects, and also has panic attacks and needs medication for them. It reminded me of John McClaine from ‘Die Hard’, fighting terrorists, but he also lost his shoes and has to step on glass with his bare feet.
8. What does a typical writing session look like for you?
I usually write when I get home from working nights, which is about 9am. I listen to music sometimes and other times I find it distracting. I have an office filled with posters of movie and comic book characters that I love. Great place to write.
9. How do you feel about outlines? Are you for or against them?
I use outlines. They are very messy and only I can understand them, but I need them to write. I need to know where I am going before I drive, otherwise the story goes nowhere.
10. What is your favorite book genre?
My favorite book genre is sci-fi, both to write and read.
11. Any project in the works?
I am working on a sequel to ‘The Inter-Terrestrial’, the title of which will change when I come up with a better name for the space station it takes place on.
12. How long does it usually take you to write a book?
It greatly depends.
13. In your opinion, what makes a story ‘good’?
If you can relate to the characters and follow them on their journey, then all the twists are exciting. As opposed to reading about people you don’t care about and they’re all make-believe in the first place.
14. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing and find an outlet.
And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Being Spiderman for a day or being Batman for a day?
Spider-Man. He actually has super powers.
2. To find the love of your life (only to find out that you’re not the love of their life) or to have someone declare you the love of their life (note, however, that this someone is not a person whom you are romantically interested in)?
The first one
3. Being able to speak and understand every language known to humankind or being able to speak and understand every language known to animals?
Mankind. Like the translator chip in ‘The Inter-Terrestrial’, it could help to unite people.
4. Being drawn into a tornado or being drawn into a whirlpool?
Tornado. I would die quicker.
5. Going without internet access for a week or going without watching any movies/television shows for a week?
No TV/movies. People do more important things online, like banking.
6. Having your car break down on an extremely busy expressway or along an abandoned road in the middle of nowhere?
Middle of nowhere
7. To never speak again or to never eat solid food again?
Never to eat solid food again
8. Staying awake for forty-eight hours (continuous) or walking for twenty-four hours (also continuous)?
9. Losing your ability to speak or losing your ability to hear?
10. To never read another book or to never watch another film?
Never read another book
11. Spending half a day locked in a coffin (there would be a hole for air, of course) or spending two days trapped at the bottom of a well?
Bottom of a well (more room)
12. Finding yourself caught in the middle of a hurricane or finding yourself caught in the middle of a snowstorm? (Note: in both scenarios, you’d be outdoors and have no access to shelter.)
13. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?
Never eat chocolate.
14. Being two inches tall or being two stories tall?