Interview with David Boop

Jen: Please help me welcome David Boop to Book Talk this week. Dave, will you please share a short bio with us?
Dave: Denver-based author David Boop is a single dad, returning college student and full-time employee. He’s done jobs as diverse as DJ, journalist and Beetlejuice impersonator. His first novel, the sci-fi noir She Murdered Me with Science, debuted in August ‘08, along with the first of three anthologies, Space Pirates. Born in CT, he keeps moving farther west as he gets older. Stops have included WI, TN, CO, and AZ. General interests include noir, Mayan history, and The Blues. He’s part of a cavalcade of authors on Second Life, as well. His current work, The Blood Vineyard, will be a supernatural thriller.

Jen: Tell us about She Murdered Me with Science and where it’s available.
Dave: It’s a sci-fi/noir set in 1953 about Noel R. Glass, a scientist, turned detective who has lived with the guilt of a failed experiment that killed several people including his fiancé. Now 14 years later, a rich recluse walks in and tells Glass the accident was a frame-job and launches Glass on a quest to clear his name. Only the way, Glass encounters an evil organization bent on global domination and must find the lost piece of his soul before he can save the world.

It’s pushed through small press Flying Pen Press and is available for order everywhere. I recommend their site, www.flyingpenpress.com, or Amazon for internet orders, and Barnes and Noble or Borders for store orders.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Dave: I was writing in high school, the only thing that brought my any joy during those days, but gave it up because I hated revision. I went into advertising instead, but never truly felt at home there, either. Finally I started up short stories again and placed in a contest that had me printed in a journal. My first professional publication was in “Tales of the Talisman” magazine about four years ago. I was published there three times, among other magazines. SMMS came out in August of 08.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Dave: I have tried both and find going with the flow more to my liking, though I’m called upon by my agent to plot occasionally. I’m a binge writing (meaning I write until I puke!) No seriously, I have a chaotic life as a single dad, full-time supervisor, and returning college student. I have to write in spurts when the mood hits me, usually during breaks at work or late at night.

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
Dave: Open eye-lids mostly. I like a comfy keyboard and something to drink next to me. Some days that’s tea, some days that’s wine, but I need liquids.

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Dave: Extensive research. Since it’s set in an era I wasn’t a part of, I had to immerse myself into the language, technology and lifestyles of people from The Fifties. I read old magazines, read biographies and books pertaining to specific areas, such as slang. “Straight from the Fridge, Dad” by Max Decharne was a great help for that. For my villains, The Technocrats, I read a lot of their literature and saw how their vision could be easily corrupted in the wrong hands, but their principals are sound.

Jen: How do you pick the character’s names?
Dave: Usually, there is meaning behind the names. Noel R Glass, for instance. Say it fast. Noel R. Noir. Others I pick because of the character traits, Merlot Sterling sounds like a singer’s stage name. She’s my femme fatale. Wan Lee’s name gets me into a lot of trouble, because it’s a Japanese man with a Chinese name. But it holds up. During Western expansion, many Japanese came over to work the rails the same time the Chinese did. Railroad bosses didn’t want to remember difficult names, so they’d call everyone Lee or Wang, regardless of their ethnic background. Wan Lee, who has many secrets, kept the name as a way to disguise himself.

Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Dave: I work in many different genres. I’ve written sci-fi, mystery, western, fantasy, children’s and horror. I’m working on a supernatural thriller right now. I love crossing genres. I want to write a Steampunk in the near future. I’ll probably never write a straight fiction. Every time I try, I end up putting a twist on it.

Jen: What five authors or people, from the past or present, have been important to you as an author? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?
Dave: Two authors who were an influence have passed; Robert Asprin and Jack L. Chalker. I mentored under Bob for a year and got to tell him I was published, but he died before he got to read the novel. Two of my other influences, Alan Dean Foster and Michael Connolly, just recently got copies of it, so I’m excited to hear what they think. Another mentor, or sorts, Michael Stackpole, blurbed the book, so I know what he thinks. LOL! I’ve told all the ones alive how important they were to me, and still are. There are many other influences, Rex Stout, H.G. Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to name a few, and I try to honor them by being true to their styles when I write.

Jen: What did you do to celebrate this first book?
Dave: Went on tour. LOL! I’ve just completed a year of promoting this book around the country. I didn’t make it east, but made it South, Southwest and Northwest. I have one more major con, World Fantasy in San Jose, this year, but meeting people and talking the book is how I wanted to celebrate.

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your book?
Dave: I lost an email from this guy before I had time to print it, but he wrote me a letter on MySpace about how my book took him back to the pulps we’d read as a child, and he was grateful for that. It was like he’d found a lost piece of his youth. I was very touched.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Dave: Free time? HA! Catch up on TV, movies and anime, mostly. I always feel guilty though, feeling like if I have time to watch something I could be writing. With my son though, we camp, go swimming, attend festivals, try new restaurants.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Dave: I have three things in the works; The first is the aforementioned supernatural thriller called “The Blood Vineyard.” I’m also working on a weird western short story collection called “The Drowned Horse Chronicles.” I’ve also started research on the follow-up to She Murdered Me with Science called, “Murdered in a Mechanical World (And I’m a Mechanical Girl).” In addition to all this, I write short stories and screenplays. I try to get out six to eight new shorts a year. I’ve already had two published this year in “The Full Throttle Space Tales” series, and one in “Wondrous Web Worlds.”

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Dave: I’m having a site built, as we speak. It’ll be at www.davidboop.com, but for now I’m on MySpace at www.myspace.com/shemurderedmewithscience and on Facebook under my name.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Dave: I’d ask them if they would write a review of my book on Amazon, if they chose to read it. Good or bad. Doesn’t matter. I like to get feedback. I guess I could ask if they like cross genre mysteries and what type they prefer? How’s that?

Thanks for having me here!