The Undead Camel Drive-by: Jason Fischer

Jason Fischer is a Writers of the Future winner, author of the imfamous Undead Camels Ate Their Flesh (in Jack Dann’s Dreaming Again), the Apocalyptic novella Gravesend (its follow-up is on the way – huzzah!), and he has just made his thirtieth sale. Oh, he is also a Clarion South survivor of 2007. And he’s a wacky punster; loves a pun more than life itself. He could also apparently take 26 Justin Biebers in a fight. He discusses the merits of frog cakes and Batman -v- Dracula.

1.  The story I most regret is…
Like many folks, I have a hideous fistful of regrets.  I used to regret my novel Tusk, the infamous “Planet of the Apes, but with telepathic elephants”.  It consumed one arts grant and 18 months of my life, and I can’t even open the file now without gagging.  Yikes.  Still, it was a valuable lesson in what not to do, and how to plan my time better.  But mostly, I regret a novella I wrote a few years ago.  It was the winning entry in a three-day novel race, a competition held as part of a local writing festival.  In 72 hours I cranked out about 30,000 words of sexed-up thinly veiled autobiography, with the names changed and some events greatly dramatised.  Part of the prize was meant to be publication, but perhaps due to the scatalogical nature of this painful Mary-Sue, this obligation was fulfilled as a PDF, buried somewhere on the relevant council’s website.  It was quietly purged after an arbitrary period of time, and maybe that’s for the best.  Apart from that, I can’t really complain about things!

2.  How bad was it getting serenaded with “Undead Camels Ate Their Flesh” sung to the tune of “Camptown Races” all through Conflux in 2008?
Ha!  It was actually quite awesome.  This impromptu hoe-down was first performed by Gardner Dozois (my long-lost dirty uncle) in the Clarion South crit-pit, and it was nice to have him at the book-launch of “Dreaming Again” in spirit, if nothing else.  It was a somewhat surreal moment that still makes me laugh, and I shall never forget it!  If ever my tale of zombie camels gets optioned, I will insist that this be the movie’s theme song (and ongoing leit motif).

3.  What should you always delete from any story you write?
Without question any and all puns, particularly if in the story title.  Delete 90% of your adjectives, and 90% of your cuss-words.  “Delete all dialogue tags except for said!” Jason railed.  And kill off any really bad black-out line, particularly if it’s a punch-line.  Don’t do any of these things.  I have died many times for your writing sins, so that you don’t have to.

4.  Batman v Dracula: discuss.
As far as court cases go, it was probably the most convoluted piece of litigation ever seen in Gotham’s Supreme Court, and set some precedents, particularly in international law.  According to the plaintiff, the Wayne fortune was partly financed by Transylvanian interests, and following the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, a contentious lien was enacted on behalf of one Voivode Dracula.  His claim against the estate was considered spurious by many, based in part on a verbal “bail-out” agreement issued during the Depression.  The case was eventually dismissed, and the plaintiff was widely referred to as a “greedy bloodsucker” [citation needed].

5.  Donuts or danishes?
Donuts make me go nuts.  Mmm, donuts [drool].  But they’re no frog-cake.

 Jason blogeth here.

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