Sunday Surprise


… and it’s a guest! Missed this, didn’t you? Well, I got this Rodent who made the first comment on the blog hop post and since he seems to be a nice person – behind the Rodent  (I hate rodents. Blame it on Lady and the Tramp. In case you’re still wondering why I hate Disney’s talking animals. It’s because of the darn rat at the beginning of Lady and the Tramp. Childhood traumas never go away. Rodents give me nightmares. End tangent) – I thought I’d invite him over to talk. He’s not a Disney talking animal, so why not!

So, here I am with Mr Rodent! Welcome!

Hello, Barbara. Thank you for this opportunity to address you and your readers. My name is Kajolium Broadwick. My first name rhymes with “linoleum”. I also write under various pseudonyms.

Glad I’m not the one! 😀 Where do you live and write from?

santa-bananaI live in the small town of Santa Banana, California. It’s a lovely place in the zone of perfection that experiences eternally spring-like weather.

My books are “published” (and I use the term loosely) on my own site, Smashed-Rat-on-Press. Publishing in this under-the-radar way is partly a matter of philosophy. I don’t like ISBNs and I won’t use them; and I like doing everything myself. (I try not to be a rabid control-freak, however.)

I hate ISBNs too, in fact I use only the free ones. I pay enough to editors and some cover artists to waste money on useless ISBNs! 🙂 And yeah, I’m another control freak, so you’re very welcome! When did you start writing?

Aside from childhood, I began writing fiction in earnest during the original dot-com rise in the early 1990s. That’s been a while. I wrote some short stories and so forth, for practice, and then a few novels. Obviously, I had written things before that, mainly for school. Around 1997, after writing some books, I took a ten-year hiatus, then returned to novel writing with a book called “Slave Girls of Noachis”. That was followed by some more things.

Cool. What genre(s) do you write?

Pinning books down to one genre can be difficult, unless one is talking about particular formulas that amorphously define some genre in the first place. I ended up coining my own genre word for much of my work, and I discuss a lot of that in a secret web page down in my dungeon. (If you are really super curious, you can ask and I’ll give you a key to the dungeon.)

I’m interested in culture, language, the arts, exotica; and intimate relationships between people, especially females. So I invented a fantasy place which I call “Mars” — sort of a joke you might say, which comes from a youth mis-spent with too many ERB novels. I’ve filled this fantasy world with green and blue people living in various low-tech civilizations. Many place-names of this world are derived from old maps of Mars. At this point, I have a small set of books I call the “Martian Women” series, because I tend to focus on female protagonists.

I’ve written elsewhere that I’m not interested in major “guy” topics — sports, war, big machines — nor in typical fantasy elements like vampires and magic. I do not write harrowing, macho adventure stories with lots of killing and mayhem, space ships, and weapons. The books are more intimate and quiet; in general, too cerebral for people who want a hot romance or pornography, but probably too sexually explicit and shocking for those who don’t. This is material definitely not suitable for children, and probably not suitable for most adults either. (In fact, I don’t recommend them for general consumption.)

It’s because you said elsewhere you weren’t interested in major “guy” topics that I “friended” you and asked you to come over! And I have difficulties labeling my own stories (all those categories and tags are so confusing!), so… I know exactly what you mean! Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

yvettesgiftInspiration most often comes, as I’ve written elsewhere, from dreams and visions. I started writing this whole “Martian Women” series originally because someone told me that another story I was writing at the time was not sexy enough. Well, I thought about that and looked at my bookshelf full of Sci-Fi and so forth. Then I said to myself, what could be sexier than a gorgeous green prostitute with four breasts? Not really, but that’s what I ended up with.

Now, I have written books and stories in which I appear. For example, “The Santa Banana Double Love Suicides” is a factual account of my years in Berkeley, when I shared an apartment with a rather eccentric Japanese detective. I’ve also written first-person narratives that are not necessarily “me” — such as “Yvette’s Gift”.

(I hate I-stories. Hush. You didn’t hear me say that! ). Do you have a specific writing routine?

Not really. It depends on what things are distracting me in my life at any given phase. Usually I write at night, in a darkened room, because I don’t like distractions when I’m working on a book. Some people listen to music or whatever while writing, but I tend to work best in total silence. I also like to maintain what I call “ritual purity” while writing a first draft, so I severely limit or curtail my extracurricular reading during the period of working on a major novel.

I might have some music on, but if I’m writing, I don’t hear it, so… I switch it on only when I draw! Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Oh, I always do an outline. Absolutely. I can’t write very well by the seat of my pants, especially a long work with any kind of complex plot. My outline, or synopsis, is usually about 5 to 10 thousand words, depending on the plot and its complexity. And then I generally write specific scenes in order, from the beginning to the end, often at a steady pace.

Sometimes I also keep notes for years and then they pop up and beg to be written. That happened with my so-called Nanowrimo novel of 2012, “An Uncommon Surfeit of Lipstick”, which is a nice story about a college girl in Berkeley. The original concept came from a dream, and I have notes on the exact date in 2007. The “Santa Banana” novel likewise had a long gestation period. Then I visited a beach in Santa Cruz a couple of years ago, where I snapped a picture of two bicycles tossed down on the edge of a cliff. I went home and started writing the title story of the collection.

Ah , NaNoWriMo. Heard of it, never done it. I don’t need that to get in the habit of writing, LOL! I mean, I write all year round, but I understand that some people need to focus for a month to manage to finish something. But I’m stealing time from you! Tell us about your latest book.

(Sorry, a quick aside: I don’t formally enter NaNoWriMo, but I’ve often ended up writing something longish during November.)

empressAnyway, if you followed the previous answer, you might wonder about the “Martian Women” series. The latest volume, number 10 in that series, can be found here: Empress of the Night.

Most of my books have a central theme or question they explore, or from which they originated. This particular volume explores freedom of the press and prostitution. Previous volumes touched on things like mythology, polygamy, search for unknown parents, slavery and freedom, exploration of the world, endless war, “primitive” society, the cultural relativity of physical beauty… and so forth.

*scuttles to check and eventually add to WantToRead list* Mmm, this conversation is too long-winded… I fear we might lose someone! How about we continue next week? Have a wonderful weekend, and don’t forget to come back – part 2 will be even more interesting, especially for indie authors! 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. Awesome interview! I feel like I know the ‘real’ you a teensy bit better. Frightening but true, lol! I’ll even accept having a plotter writer as a friend. (Whateves! Control-freak!)

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