Consider the little swimmer in DEATH, THE DEVIL, AND THE GOLDFISH. Written by Andrew Buckley, my "discoverer!" and the Acquisitions Manager at Curiosity Quills. Andrew is such an upbeat, motivated, funny guy, I wanted you all to get to know him (and Curiosity Quills) better. So I interviewed him...
Andrew, you aren't exactly a fish out of water here in North America. Tell us about your big leap across the pond!
AB: I was born in the North West of England in 1980, just as movies started getting good and music started to get bad. (what? I loved the 80s!) Knowing we were immigrating to Canada, I never really committed myself to life in the UK (why get comfortable with something if it was all going to vanish one day?). English people are generally grumpy. There’s really no good reason for the extreme lack of happiness over there. Not that I didn’t enjoy growing up there, I did. One thing you can say about the English, they’re hilarious. A lot of my main writing influences come from English television, English writers, and good old fashioned English sarcasm.
YES! MONTY PYTHON!!!
AB: I was 17 when we moved to Canada. By this point I really wanted to be a screenwriter. I took some classes at the local college with a gentleman who became my writing mentor, and still is to this day, Timothy Perrin. Then I attended the Vancouver Film School, Writing for Film and Television program and graduated with Excellence. 7 years later my dog ate my diploma. I had moved away from screenwriting, as I was sick of writing so visually, and started writing what would become my first novel.
A long and winding road, eh? (ha ha) Sounds like your dog sensed your disenchantment. So how did you get started at CQ?
AB: Curiosity Quills found me in early 2011 and we had an instant kinship, mainly because we had a similar sense of humor. In early 2012, they published a few short stories of mine on their blog. I was shopping around a new MS I’d written called ‘Stiltskin’ and they had some interest in it but it was tied up elsewhere, so they asked to look at the book I’d written previous...and the rest is still history in the making. In late 2012 they offered me the position of Acquisitions Manager for CQ (mainly because of my rugged good looks and my love of talking cats...or something to that effect).
Indubitably! Thanks for this exclusive photo, btw.
CQ hasn't been around for long. How did it come about?
AB: I believe it was some sort of nuclear accident. The kind that creates superheroes and giant lizard monsters that eat Tokyo.
I knew it had to be a fantastic, spontaneous occurrence! You can't create stuff like that!
CQ is one of many smaller publishing companies popping up with the handy dandy internet as its office. How do you think publishing is evolving?
AB: Publishing took a weird turn in the mid 2000s when literary agents decided to become publishers and publishers decided to become literary agents. The problem was that is authors just kept being authors. The literary world is ruled by the Big 5 (or 6 depending on your point of view), and beneath them are the Indie Publishers and Small Press, and then somewhere under there are the self published authors. You can find amazing and dismal work in all areas. It’s never been easier to get your work out there into the world. The problem with that is it’s never been easier to get your work out into the world :) In an age where Justin Bieber gets discovered on You Tube and Twilight Fan Fiction becomes a bestseller, how do you stand out above the rest? The evolution continues...
Scary! Technology is powerful and dangerous in the wrong hands - we should respect it! Okay, final question. Do you have a goldfish? or other pets?
AB: I owned a goldfish once when I lived in Vancouver. His name was Sushi. An ill fitting name in hindsight as he ended up belly up when I left him in the care of my roommates one weekend. (they could have at least replaced it!) My wife and I currently own two cats. One is an asshole and the other is indifferent. (ha ha! typical cats!!) We also have a very loving but needy dog who we adopted last year. The inspiration for the cat in Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish came from a cat I owned when living in Vancouver. His name was Mr Bojangles and I’m fairly certain he was possessed by a malevolent spirit. He was later eaten by a cougar (the feline type, not the kind that hang around in bars hunting young men).
A cougar? How strange! I wonder if he was involved in a secret cat society.
Thanks for coming over to visit, Andrew. It was great getting to know you.
AB: Thanks for letting me do this. Cheers!
Here are links for Andrew. Curiosity Quills is always on the lookout for more speculative fiction!
Have a blarney good weekend!!