Title: Meet Me in the Strange
Author: Leander Watts
Publication date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
From the author of Beautiful City of the Dead and Stonecutter comes a dreamy, atmospheric coming of age story that will appeal to readers of all ages.
Davi tries to help a new friend, Anna Z, escape a cruel and controlling brother, and the teens end up running away to follow the tour of their rock idol, the otherworldly Django Conn. The story is set in a weird and wonderful retro-futuristic city of glam-girls and glister-boys and a strange phenomenon that Anna Z calls the “Alien Drift.”
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
I see the early drafting of a novel as cutting through a wild jungle of possibilities. The main characters could go this way or that, or just sit down and do nothing. I'm never sure where they'll head, so I have to follow their lead.
2. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
I read - a lot. I listen to music - a lot. Mostly though, I trust my intuition. I follow the paths my mind takes me to. I honor my obsessions and fascinations.
3. How long have you been writing?
My first novel - Big Gurl - was published in 1989. Since then, I've done 2 more horror suspense novels, 4 YAs, 3 works of nonfiction, a book of prose poetry, and a science fiction novel (Hydrogen, Sleep and Speed) in the form of 100 poems.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Write - every single day. When I was 18 I decided that I would write a thousand words a day, and I stuck with that for years. I threw out 99.99% of those words, like a musician practicing. No one wants to hear you play scales, but it built up my chops and now writing a novel doesn't seem the least bit daunting.
5. What are your favorite:
Fave books: Lately I've been reading the spy novels of Eric Ambler. He captures the shadowy world of central European espionage - normal people caught in bizarre and baffling situations. The novels are both well-plotted and rich with period detail.
Fave movies: Anything by Jim Jarmusch. Last year's "Paterson" was brilliant, funny, goodhearted and wonderfully strange.
Rock: Bowie, Roxy Music,Warren Zevon
Jazz: Miles, Coltrane, Bird
Classical: Bruckner, Buxtehude, Vivaldi
Country: Hank Williams, Louvin Brothers, Johnny Cash
Fave food: Pork. According to cannibals, it's the meat that tastes most like human flesh. They call us "long pig."
An avid musician, Leander Watts has played and sung for decades in a wide variety of bands. His interests range from garage rock to skronky jazz, from baroque organ to Appalachian gospel. The first rock concert he attended was David Bowie on the Diamond Dogs tour in 1974. He teaches writing and literature at the State University of New York at Geneseo (his alma mater). Leander Watts is the author of Stonecutter, Wild Ride to Heaven, Ten Thousand Charms, and Beautiful City of the Dead.