The Eternal Curse Series Blog Presents an interview with author: Ira Nayman.
Hi there Ira! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ECS Blog. Don’t worry about the darkness, your eyes will adjust.
So tell me, who is Ira Nayman?
I’ve been writing humour since I was eight years old (almost 45 years now). My major project, Les Pages aux Folles, was started in 1984; the Web version began in 2002. Six collections of articles from the Web site have been self-published in print (the latest are: The Street Finds Its Own Uses for Mutant Technologies and The Alternate Reality News Service’s Guide to Love, Sex and Robots). I have had one novel published by Elsewhen Press, with a second currently in the editing stage. In 2010, I won the Boyne Writers Group: Jonathan Swift Satire Writing contest.
Well, Ira I’m so glad to meet you and your sense of humor. I’m impressed and amazed by your accomplishments and can’t wait to learn more about you.
So whacha got for me today?
Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience) follows the adventures of two investigators for the Transdimensional Authority, the organization that monitors and polices travel between dimensions. The discovery of a corpse next to equipment that has been tampered with leads Noomi Rapier and Crash Chumley on a chase across different realities, a chase in which Noomi will come face to face with four very different versions of herself. The novel explores the ways choice and chance intertwine to make us who we are. Much goofiness ensues. (See a review of this book by Risingshadow)
I love a good multidimensional storyline and with the added humor, this is definitely going on my TBR list. I really like the premise of this story and have often wondered about what would happen if there was another version of myself to run into. Great idea!
So who’s starring is this 2 dimensional script read of Welcome to the Multiverse?
The story is told from the point of view of Noomi Rapier, a woman who has just graduated from the AlternautAcademy and started working for the Transdimensional Authority (TA). She is green and makes some rookie mistakes, but she is smart and shows good investigative instincts. She is also strong, which she has to be to succeed in the male-dominated world of the TA.
Noomi’s partner is seasoned investigator Crash Chumley. While he helps guide her through the ins and outs of cross-universal investigations, Crash is torn between his loyalty to his new partner and the camaraderie of his fellow investigators, which sometimes confuses Noomi. He also harbours a secret, but you’ll have to read the novel to find out what that is…
Nice job building the suspense. Of course I want to know what his secret is now, but like you said, I’ll just have to read the book.
Past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?
One of the pieces I wrote in the first year of my Web site was called “The Man Who Makes Fun of Everything”. That pretty much sums up my ambitions. I update my Web site every week (with three or four pieces of writing and two cartoons); when time allows, I write short stories and novels. The main advantage of having so many things on the go is that it gives me venues to write about a wide variety of subjects, helping me to fulfill my main ambition. One other advantage to this that I have found is that when I am not inspired to work on one project, I can switch to another; I find that this allows me to be much more productive than if I was working on one project at a time.
Most of my writing is done at the computer in my bedroom with music on in the background. However, I can develop ideas anywhere and anytime (on the subway, in a dentist’s office, in a lineup to get into a movie – really, anywhere), so I always carry a notepad and writing utensil with me. If I have enough time, I will sometimes write a scene in my notebook in longhand (antonym shorthand) and type it up when I get home.
I’m just finishing a cycle of four books on Les Pages aux Folles, after which I will start three more. I am also working on a third novel.
I admire people who are so in tuned to humor and satire. I adore comedy, but can’t really write it. Like you, I like to work on multiple projects at one time, so I’m not too focused on just one thing. I can read anywhere, but can’t really write just anywhere. However when I’m out and about, I have been known to take notes.
What author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?
There have been so many influences on what I do, but if I had to choose the most important, they would be Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the Marx Brothers. At first, this may seem like an unlikely combination, but they both taught me two lessons that deeply affect my work to this day: 1) maintain a high volume of comic elements, and; 2) use all of the comic devices at your disposal. The first point is important because the reader soon learns that if he doesn’t get a specific bit of humour, another will be along soon; as long as the reader gets most of the jokes, he won’t begrudge me some of the more topical or obscure or flat out strange. The second point is important because writers who use only one or two comic devices can become predictable, and surprise is one of the main characteristics of humour.
I’m a fan of both of these comedic staples. It’s understanding that they would have an influence on your work and now that you mention it, rules 1 and 2 really do apply. That’s how I feel about comedy as a consumer of it and I didn’t even know it.
Whose brain are you just itching to scratch?
Thomas Pynchon. He has such a unique take on the world – I would love to explore his creative process.
This is one of the reasons I enjoy interviewing authors; I learn so much. I’ve heard of Pynchon before, but really had no idea who he was. Of course now I’m interested enough to get to more about him and his work, and it’s because of you, Ira. Thanks for that.
Who is so you and why?
I get compared to Douglas Adams a lot. We both write smart, humourous science fiction. On the one hand, it’s flattering (I’m a fan of his, too, after all, and I cannot deny that he has had some influence on what I do). On the other hand, our writing styles and philosophical concerns are very different, and I hope that someday I will be able to transcend the comparisons and be recognized as having my own unique voice.
That’s pretty cool to be compared to such a great writer as him, but I do understand your desire to outgrow the comparison. From what I can tell, you are well on your way to shining just as bright all on your own.
What’s your ideal reading spot for your next highly anticipated read?
I read two newspapers a day since much of what I write for my Web site is topical and I need to keep up. I usually read them when eating in my kitchen. Fictionally, I am currently reading I, Phone by David Wake. I picked it up when I was in England for the European launch of Welcome to the Multiverse. I, Phone is smart and funny and I am enjoying it quite a bit. I usually read fiction when I am stationary bicycling or on the subway (I live deep in the suburbs, so it’s a long commute to get to anything interesting in my city).
I,Phone sounds like a good read, thanks for the recommend (hehe). It’s cool that you read two newspapers a day, but I guess for you it’s all in a day’s work. I too like to read when I’m exercising, but I mostly stick to fiction unless it’s a biography. Real life is always a truly compelling story.
What was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?
Through the Looking Glass and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. Explains a lot, doesn’t it.
I adore these stories. They are so creative, and original, and satirical. People argue whether Carroll really meant to be so “deep” and speculative when writing this children’s story, but I think sometimes a deeper meaning slips into a person’s writing without them realizing it. In any case, I like it…
To see more of this interview, visit the Eternal Curse Series Blog. For more information about this author, Ira Nayman, please visit the links below.
Website & Blog: Les Pages aux Folles
GoodReads: Ira Nayman
Facebook: Profile: Ira Nayman
Fan Page: Ira Nayman’s Thrishty Friednishes
LinkedIn: Ira N.
Ira welcomes questions to his two advice columns; if anyone would like more information on them, or if you would like to submit a question, the email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords