Interviews with Kage Alan
Another interview? Perhaps you can offer folks a kind gesture by not blah blah blahing so much this time?
I'm giving you a gesture right now.
I see that. It's been two years since your last book was released. Are you just slowing down in your old age or what?
It's good to know the online business world has lowered their standards for content writers in the current economy. It certainly explains how you got this gig.
The truth is that I had vague idea of "Gaylias" in mind to write, but couldn't figure out a plot or story that excited and inspired me enough to start. So, I began writing another book. Flash forward a few months later when I was visiting my guy in Philadelphia and I'd brought Doro's new "Warrior Soul" CD with me. I popped it into a player, started writing in the other book, and then something amazing happened; the song "Thunderspell" started playing. I completely stopped what I was doing and just sat there, mesmerized. It had melody and attitude and the entire plot of "Gaylias" flashed before me as if I was watching a film trailer in my head. That's when I put the other book on hold in order to begin work on this one.
Wow. That's almost fascinating. I understand you had several titles in mind for the book before settling on "Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell". Care to share?
The original, original, original title was going to be "Dancing Into Danger: The Chronicles of Inker & Hamilton," but it was too long and I didn't want to get sued by music group Inker & Hamilton. Their big hit was "Dancing Into Danger," which is a song my guy and I love, so the title was supposed to be a nod to them for that song. I thought I'd simply shorten it "Dancing Into Danger," only the two main characters don't actually dance together. It's more of a metaphor for the mental dance they do as a couple to annoy each other.
Anyway, I struggled for months on a title until a co-worker at the dayjob, Carl, was asking me to describe the book to him and I told him it was a gay version of "Alias". He looked at me, laughed, and exclaimed "Gaylias." I wanted to kill him for that! All that time thinking and sweating over a title and he nails it in 30 seconds. So the book then became "Gaylias: We Love You Long Time," a riff on sampled bit of dialogue in a 2 Live Crew song. I wasn't entirely sold on it, but it made the most sense. My publisher didn't like it either, so after another few weeks of going back and forth with her and exchanging suggestions, I decided to pay tribute to Doro for the song that inspired the book and the official title became "Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell."
How do you feel about the book now that it's on its way to the printing press?
I'm excited about it…now. I wasn't for a while because I threw so many ideas into the first draft that I had no idea what would work or not and, instead of taking a break after finishing the first draft, I dove directly into the editing. I tore it apart, rewrote sections, took entire sections out and gradually whittled the 368 pages down to 308. That's 60 pages gone. I was so burned out by the time I finished that I didn't have a clue if the story was worth the paper it was printed on. I just wanted to sleep!
It wasn't until I sent my draft to the publisher and they responded by calling it "I-Spy meets Monty Python" that I had an idea that something had gone right. Also, instead of sending me a contract for just this first book—I'd told them that I can see writing another two books with these characters—they sent me one for the entire series. That's a pretty big leap of faith for them and a good feeling for me to know that they want to work with me long-term.
(yawning) That almost put me to sleep. So, what's next?
Because the first two books in the Andy trilogy have continued to do well and find an audience, especially in e-book form, I feel somewhat obligated to go back to that character and write the next chapter in his life. Enough has finally happened to me in my own life that I have enough ideas to make a book out of them for him. And, God help me, but I might have an idea for a 4th book with him. I'm going back and forth on whether to make it a stand-alone book or gear it towards Andy & friends.
Have you ever thought about writing something serious?
Heaven forbid, but do you have anything you want to say to the folks who've read your work or who haven't fallen asleep reading this yet?
Yes. I never started out writing these stories to share with anybody, so when the publishers decided to take a chance on them and you decided to take a chance, too, that changed everything. It's been an honor and a privilege to meet those of you who could get past my Chief of Security or read the e-mails you've sent and I plan on keeping you laughing for a long time to come. So, a heartfelt thank you to you all.