TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?
Wayne: Thank you. I don't know. I've always written. I've loved the sound of words and the challenge of crafting language to best express ideas.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Wayne: First I'd like to thank you for making me check Urban Dictionary for the definition of pantser. Second, PLOTTER. My books (Notes 2 and 3 are on the way) are really the novelizations of the movies in my head, and good stories are well-plotted. I like structure. I find it comforting, not controlling. Perfectly plotted stories can be as thrilling as beautiful prose. Now, sometimes you have to just write and go in a general direction to find that plot and I certainly do that. But at some point, you have to get down to brass tacks and see how the beats are working out.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing? Where do you write?
Wayne: The hardest part for me actually is plot generation even though I believe in it so much. Dialogue and character development come much easier to me. I also find describing rooms difficult, but that's mostly because I don't care. I've never read a book and been like "wow, I really know what that bed looks like and where the flowers are on the desk." I just don't care about window dressing as much as people or ideas. Its hard to do things well that bore you.
I write a lot on the train to and from the day job. I love it. The motion feels like writing even before you write. I successfully wrote in a bar last night for the first time. That was fun even if cliche.
TQ: Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?
Wayne: So many. Franz Kafka for his mixture of simultaneous compassion and contempt for his characters. Rod Serling for his intro/outro Twilight Zone eloquence. Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat of Doctor Who for their ability to dream big and be bold. I tend to be influenced by works more than writers. Bartleby the Scrivener, Notes from Underground, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Death of a Salesman, The Wall, Brazil, 'Night Mother, Diner, Avalon, Ziggy Stardust, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Corrections, Kavalier and Clay, Children of Men, so many things I've read, seen, and heard.
TQ: Describe Notes from the Internet Apocalypse in 140 characters or less.
Wayne: When the Internet shuts down, one man, joined by a gossip blogger and web cam girl, chases rumors that someone in NY is still online.
TQ: Tell us something about Notes from the Internet Apocalypse that is not in the book description.
Wayne: The satire is merely a backdrop. The story is about love.
TQ: What inspired you to write Notes from the Internet Apocalypse?
Wayne: My years of existing online as an internet comedy personality and in the real world as something approximating a man.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Notes from the Internet Apocalypse?
Wayne: None except existing as those two entities listed above. For Book 2 I did a lot of research about the physical and financial logistics of the Net, but that wasn't necessary for Book 1.
TQ: Why did you choose to write a satirical techno-apocalyptic novel? Do you want to write in any other genres or sub-genres?
Wayne: With Notes, I have. Notes is a satire, a faux noir mystery, sci fi, psychological character study, and a love story. It's more of a parody of an apocalypse story because, the world goes back only like 20 years tech wise. I removed just one element so we can examine what it's done to society in a controlled environment.
TQ: Give us one of your favorite lines from Notes from the Internet Apocalypse.
Wayne: Most of my favorite lines are part of passages that would really be spoilers. This one doesn't reveal too much though:
"A tree that falls alone in the forest still makes a sound. It just wishes it didn’t."
TQ: What's next?
Wayne: Books 2 and 3. I'm supposed to deliver a book this year and next to complete the trilogy.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Notes from the Internet Apocalypse
Notes from the Internet Apocalypse
Thomas Dunne Books, March 4, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 224 pages
When the Internet suddenly stops working, society reels from the loss of flowing data and streaming entertainment. Addicts wander the streets talking to themselves in 140 characters or forcing cats to perform tricks for their amusement, while the truly desperate pin their requests for casual encounters on public bulletin boards. The economy tumbles and the government passes the draconian NET Recovery Act.
For Gladstone, the Net’s disappearance comes particularly hard, following the loss of his wife, leaving his flask of Jamesons and grandfather’s fedora as the only comforts in his Brooklyn apartment. But there are rumors that someone in New York is still online. Someone set apart from this new world where Facebook flirters "poke" each other in real life and members of Anonymous trade memes at secret parties. Where a former librarian can sell information as a human search engine and the perverted fulfill their secret fetishes at the blossoming Rule 34 club. With the help of his friends---a blogger and a webcam girl, both now out of work---Gladstone sets off to find the Internet. But is he the right man to save humanity from this Apocalypse?
For those of you wondering if you have WiFi right now, Wayne Gladstone’s Notes from the Internet Apocalypse examines the question "What is life without the Web?"
WAYNE GLADSTONE is a longtime columnist for Cracked.com. He is the creator and star of the Hate by Numbers online video series. His writing has appeared on McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Comedy Central’s Indecision, and in the collections You Might Be A Zombie and Other Bad News and The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes. He lives in New York.