Saturday, July 9, 2016

Author Interview: D.A Madigan

Today I interview D.A. MADIGAN, author of the upcoming novel EARTHGAME. 

NATASHA: Tell me about yourself. How long have you been writing? When you are not writing, how do you like to spend your spare time?

D.A MADIGAN: I've been writing pretty much since I knew how. I've always loved to read and I've always wanted to tell my own stories. When I was a little kid, I'd write my own (pretty short and, no doubt, godawful) stories about the heroes of various books I liked, on the inside front and back covers, and the blank front and back pages, of the books themselves. I'm sure I defaced several different copies of THE THREE INVESTIGATORS and TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET this way. As to what I like to do when I'm not writing, well, writing is generally what I do in any spare time left over from a full time job, a wife, and three daughters. However, occasionally I read, play boardgames and RPGs (I currently GM a homebrew sword and sorcery fantasy roleplaying campaign named WORLD OF EMPIRE that I've been running for 30 years). I'll also watch geek movies and TV shows when I get a chance. Netflix's adaptations of DAREDEVIL and JESSICA JONES have surprised me with how good they are.

NATASHA: Tell us a little about your current project. What was your favorite scene to write? What was your least favorite scene?

D.A MADIGAN:: My current project is called EARTHGAME. It's the final installment of a trilogy featuring a hero named Webster Madison, Hired Gun. In the first book, ENDGAME, Webster, a 40ish comic book fan and gaming geek, got kidnapped and transformed into his favorite superhero RPG character by a bunch of scheming aliens. In the second book, EARTHQUEST, Webster has to fight his way back to Earth through a hostile galaxy. In EARTHGAME, Webster finally gets back to Earth and has to settle up with some old enemies, including the scheming aliens. So far, my favorite scene in EARTHGAME is the opening, in which we reveal that one of the transformed female characters from ENDGAME was actually a trans girl, who had been treated horribly by pretty much everyone she knew... until she woke up in the super powered, biologically female body she'd always dreamed of having. In ENDGAME, Webster and a few other characters had made the presumption that this character was actually a guy in real life who liked to play female characters, so revealing the truth was very satisfying for me. My least favorite hasn't been written yet. I hope I don't have to write it, but I strongly suspect my hero isn't going to survive all the way to the end. 

NATASHA: Do you have any other exciting projects coming out?

D.A MADIGAN: My last project, THIS SLAUGHTERHOUSE EARTH, is about to go up on my Amazon page, as soon as my wife can Photoshop up a cover for it. My wife does nearly all my covers and she designs wonderful ones. THIS SLAUGHTERHOUSE EARTH is a 30,000 word novella in which human-eating aliens land on Earth and start, well, eating every human they can get their claws, pincers, tendrils, tentacles, and/or hideously articulated flippers on (it's not just one alien race, it's dozens or hundreds). Turns out, humans are an artificial race designed long long ago by some supergenius aliens, specifically to be not only a perfectly nutritious food for virtually all carbon based life forms, but utterly delicious, too. The patent on human meat is owned by one particular interstellar corporation and they rigidly enforce their rights, but every once in a while someone discovers a 'feral' human planet, and generally, before the patent owners can show up and take possession, every other race within light years that hears about the find will show up and poach. Anyway, one particular race of alien lizardmen invades an office building in downtown Louisville KY and starts eating everyone inside. Two of the people who work there, Lloyd and Megan, manage to escape from where they've been locked up in a conference room and fight their way down to the first floor... where they discover that apparently the entire Earth has been invaded by horrible hordes of many different types of man eating aliens. But they also discover that the lizardmen have parked a spaceship on the roof of their office building. They manage to steal the spaceship, and... well, I'm not going to say any more. But I think it's a fun, pulpy sf/horror action romp with a pretty good romantic arc. 

NATASHA: Do you have any advice for other authors trying to get published?

D.A MADIGAN: Not really. I certainly haven't been very successful at it. Most of my stuff is self published and the vast majority of that has sold very poorly. I have one horror novel, HARVEST NIGHT, which has sold about 3000 copies over three years... it still generally generates about forty bucks a month for me, which isn't much, but pays for my gas to and from work. In the last 12 months or so I have gotten some traction selling a few stories to anthologies and webzines. I think to date I've sold four stories this way, for about $200, all in. So I'm certainly not in a position to give up my day job. If I had any advice to give, I guess it would be, kiss a lot of ass. Eventually, if you kiss enough ass, you've got to get lucky and kiss the right one. But until you do that -- or, to put it in a less vulgar fashion, make the right contact -- you're simply never going to get published by a mainstream publisher. Never. Publishers have always had slush piles for unsolicited manuscripts, but in the past thirty years, since social media and email have shown up, it's become so difficult to get a publisher to look at anything they didn't specifically ask for that, well, it's just impossible. You can't even get an agent any more unless you know someone inside the business, much less get your work looked at. Of course, if somehow you get that big break, then publishers will be clamoring for your stuff. A lot of really really terrible writers have made a lot of money starting out, basically, writing fan fic. 50 SHADES OF GREY started out as TWILIGHT fan fic, and THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS began as fan fic, also. And TWILIGHT somehow got plucked out of a slush pile, so it can happen... but I have no idea how to make it happen. Certainly it hasn't happened to me yet. 

NATASHA: What is the best way for readers to reach you? 

D.A. MADIGAN has milked cows, washed dishes, checked student IDs Saturdays nights at Syracuse University's only all girls' dorm, ground lenses, blown shit up real good with an M203 grenade launcher, typed insurance forms and City Council minutes, and done a lot of other stuff, much of which was even less interesting than any of that nonsense.

While doing all this to pay the bills, he has also written a collection of short stories and 14 novels.

He currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky, with his gorgeous and brilliant wife and his three awesome and amazing daughters. He is working on his fourth or fifth childhood at this point.

He is fully committed to making fetch happen. 


Robin Renee Ray said...

Truly amazing interview and I look forward to learning more about Mr, Madigan's work! Thank you so much for sharing~ I too have milked cows. ; )

DA Madigan said...

Thanks for the kind words, Robin, and thanks, Natasha, for doing the interview. I hope this ends of being of benefit to all of us.

Anyone who would like to check out my books can find them at my Amazon page:

My best selling horror novel, HARVEST NIGHT, which concerns itself with an all American small town named Redhaven that is secretly owned and operated by a covert cult of incestuous, Satan worshipping, mind controlling, serial rapist/torture-killers, is also available at that page.

Meanwhile, I'm still hammering away on my newest.