Fiction is the new history. “Security Through Absurdity” is the fiction tale that blows the whistle. A book that makes you wonder and makes you think. A book that can make your skin crawl with the horror of kept secrets and can make you shake your head in bewilderment. A book you can only understand if you open your eyes. Open your eyes and look for the truth between the lines….
Good morning, Rachael. I want to start by asking you what was the hardest part of writing your new book “Security Through Absurdity: Book One: Little Yellow Stickies“?
Getting my kids to go to sleep so that I could have some quality quiet time to write. I would get them to bed and just type like crazy. When I passed it in to the publisher, they told me that I had written 4.8 novels. That I should use a pen name and get life insurance because we were going to break it down into a trilogy. I didn’t bother with the pen name because my family and friends have already heard me talking about this stuff back when it happened in real life. And I figured what’s the point. It’s listed as FICTION anyway. I did get life insurance though.
Some people think that I’m trying to persuade them to change their minds about something. Honestly, I’m not.~
Are there misconceptions that people have about “Security Through Absurdity: Book One: Little Yellow Stickes?”
Some people think that I’m trying to persuade them to change their minds about something. Honestly, I’m not. In fact, I tried really hard not to be confrontational and just write a good story that people might get a kick out of. I’m simply reporting what I saw through the eyes of a clueless fictional character. The other fictional characters surrounding the main character offer opinions and commentary. It’s up to the reader to decide what to do with the information. They have to decide if its just good, clean fun – fiction – or if the book is some sort of clue to a larger world event. I have both floating around in my books. I guess I did it up this way because I honestly don’t know what to think about some of this stuff myself.
What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about this genre that they need to know?
Considering that I had no idea the genre of NEW JOURNALISM (that’s with a capital N and a capital J) even existed until two nights ago, I’ll just send you to the Wikipedia page. With that said, I’m not a real New Journalist. I’m some sort of modern day offshoot of this category because:
- I’m not dead or a million years old,
- I’m not addicted to drugs,
- I’m not a man, and
- Although my story really is based on a lot of things I witnessed and experienced at a US defense contractor, and with the politics I was involved with, I’m not ready to say I’m a ‘whistle blower’ or ‘journalist.’
I honestly don’t want to deal with what those two titles encompass. FICTION, as listed on the back cover of my books, is just fine as far as I’m concerned. I’ll leave it to the smart and inquisitive readers to sort the fact from the fiction.
I get FaceBook IM’s all the time asking me if such and such in my book really happened. And they are always surprised when I send them to Ixquick or Google. I have included a link on my webpage to Jocelynsworld.com, which will soon be populated with links to news stories and information related to chapters and verses of Security Through Absurdity.
How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
Damned if I know. I guess adversity and bad luck coupled with the will to carry on. Same as everyone else, I suppose.
What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?
Just sitting down and doing it. Type, type, type and type some more. Eventually, your fingers will start to tell the story for you. I image its like getting really good at playing an instrument. Eventually a song is gonna just pop out of you if you practice enough.
Then, after type – type – type – typing, working with the editors. Some people don’t like the editing phase. I like it. Sure, it’s a pain; but the editors, at least the ones I’m working with, help me a lot making me think more about the reader’s perspective. And they help make the story more universally understood, which is what I want. I want people to read the story and get it. Believe me, I want people to get it.
The least helpful in getting me to become a better writer was probably that one writing class I took. My one word take away from that experience = never again. Okay, that was two, but you get my point.
Seeing that the first book in my Security Through Absurdity series is about that experience, I’d say it impacted me.
What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
I was a Marketing Communications Specialist at one of America’s largest defense contractors for six years. I did a lot of work on government proposals and placing news stories and advertisments. Seeing that the first book in my Security Through Absurdity series is about that experience, I’d say it impacted me.
For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?
Anywhere BUT with the mainstream media news. At this point, I’m pretty convinced a decent percentage of the stuff on the news is make pretend. At least with my books, I proudly proclaim, “It’s all true, except for the parts that are fake!”
Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
Here’s the process: I put the kids to bed and just start typing and stay up until I can’t take it anymore. While waffling between consciousness and dream state, I get the best work done. I’ve always been that way. And I’m always thrilled when I go back the next day and get to read what I’ve written.
What are some ways in which you promote your work? Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?
I have been doing readings almost non-stop since this first book was released back in June. The ritual of reading at a bookstore is actually pretty disheartening. The worst was when I had to lure people into the bookstore by offering them free wine, but that only happened once. Then there was that time I thought I had a pretty decent crowd, and the lady throwing the event at the bookstore told me she felt bad for me. But whatever, I keep on trucking. The listings in the book calendar in the newspaper is good for the resume and keeps my name – now my brand – in front of people’s faces.
I have been doing radio interviews and podcasts, too. I have pretty much been a PR machine making press packs and gently harassing my local newspapers. Naturally, I have blog tour interviews to attend to. As well as my own MailChimp newsletter and website, with the requisite blog entries to do. Oh! let me not forget FaceBook pages (fan and personal) and my Twitter account: @EntropyPress. Long story short: being an author seems to entail much more hard core marketing than I had imagined.
What do you like to read in your free time?
Wired Magazine (to stay up to date on tech and business)
ZeroHedge.com (specifically for the comments section, Bitchez! <—– If you read ZeroHedge.com comments you’ll know why that’s hilarious.)
Wall Street Journal and NYTimes (to see what the normal people are thinking about)
I stay away from television. In fact, I haven’t had one in my house for almost a decade. Therefore, I appreciate online news reporting from all over the interwebs, Some of the internet stuff is just wacky and some is really awesome and hard hitting, and I suck that up on a daily basis. I find the best way to handle the info is to bounce the stories off each other and then you can kind of piece together what probably happened or even what might happen.
As far as reading for fun, my favorites include Et Tu Babe by Mark Leyner. I have read that countless times now and still burst out laughing. And Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. I simply fell in love with Bobby Shaftoe, one of the main characters. Even though I’ve read that book more than once, I never really enjoy the story past him hurling himself to his death. Oh, and I really liked The Moon is Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein. I like how it started off just a mish-mash of words and then you get used to it and the story rocks.
What projects are you working on at the present?
At this very minute, I’m working on the edits to Book Three: THE BIG SHOW. I am also figuring out how to make the Security Through Absurdity books into a NETFLIX series because I know, since having had a fairly successful book club for almost four years, that people don’t really read. That’s why the book club became a Bookclub / Discussion Group. I would show films, we would talk about them, and then I’d suggest related books to read.
Anyhow, I have met with the Film and Television office at the State House – it’s kind of an economic development office that lures film makers into Rhode Island and deals with tax credits and stuff – the first response from them was to make my story into a feature film, but I think that it needs to be broken down into episodes. Episodes would showcase the fun facts interspersed throughout my books and not just have it turn into a sexy chick with cars flipping over, which is apt to happen in a feature film.
What do your plans for future projects include?
I will be continuing the Security Through Absurdity series. I have two more books in me with these characters making it a grand total of five books in the series. I also have two completely different sets of books that have been clawing to get out. Those will be much more fictional, more darkly hilarious, and more explicitly violent than the Security Through Absurdity books – but rest assured they will still be as smart and fact-filled.
BUT BEFORE I hit up the Dark Comedy novels, I want to finish a one man play that I have been toying around with. The play explores the impact of interpersonal relationships via the Internet. It focuses on how American GenX has adapted (or not) to the technology it has hungrily embraced and raised its franchise families on (meaning its third spouse and second set of children) I see it as kind of White Noise by Don DeLillo meets Death of a Salesman meets Waiting for Godot meets Skype.
I’ve never written a play. But then again, I had never written a book before I set out on this path. I am seriously excited to be doing what I’m doing. I mean, someone has to document this moment in time. Hopefully in such a way that future generations might appreciate the monumental shifts happening as I type.
Security Through Absurdity: Book One: Little Yellow Stickies
“Jocelyn McLaren is a beautiful, hard working, yet naive visual artist who, through a twist of fate, ends up working for a major US defense contractor during the lead up to the Iraq war. She unknowingly witnesses and unwittingly participates in crimes that haunt her and are ultimately interlinked with the most nefarious psychopaths on the planet.
Divided into three books, SECURITY THROUGH ABSURDITY is the story of corporate shenanigans, an unstable home life, and a quixotic presidential campaign. These situations propel Jocelyn through a believably bizarre journey and into dangerous psychological territory. In a matrix of life threatening situations, she is forced to question the very fabric of her GenX American upbringing.
Praise for “Security Through Absurdity: Book One: Little Yellow Stickies
Reading this book, I felt pretty much as Jocelyn must have felt when she first started working for her boss Adam – out of my depth. The environment is a corporate defense contractor and the people who work there have to lay aside any principles they may have had about war, and most of their ethics because they will be asked to lie, manipulate, commit fraud and any other essential actions to get the job done and enhance corporate stock levels.
I really like the subtitle of security through absurdity because it sums up the work defense contractor perfectly. There is so much absurdity in what Jocelyn is asked to do, it made my head reel. I have no experience of corporate government defense contractors in America, and, after reading this book, I’m happy to stay out of it!