Interview with author Casper Pearl - The Memory Eater anthology
Tell us about The Memory Eater and where readers can purchase a copy.
The Memory Eater anthology challenges authors to build stories around a device with the ability to locate and destroy any memory in the human mind. While the book is still being compiled, I am pitching the idea to one of my publishers. If that door closes, I’ll cry. If I make it through crying, I’ll self-publish it. By the way, submissions are still open, but will probably close in about a month.
How much of the marketing do you do?
Enough to need caffeine injected directly into my bloodstream through a turkey baster. I spend several hours each day spreading the word about the anthology. I’m active on Twitter, Facebook, the Columbus Creative Cooperative and 47 message boards and forums.
Anything you’ve found to be particularly helpful in marketing your book?
As far as getting submissions, Twitter has been the most efficient tool. I drew an intriguing cover (a pink bird eating a man’s brain), made it my avatar and used the profile space for this pitch:
The Memory Eater—a device with the ability to locate and destroy any memory in the human mind. Submissions for the anthology are currently open.http://anthologies2011.blogspot.com/
That turned my account into a flashy advertisement. From there, I set out to follow every person with some mention of writing in their profiles. I figured if the picture grabbed their attention, they’d read my profile. If they were intrigued by the idea, they’d go to my blog. And if my blog answered most of their questions and painted a clear picture of what I was trying to accomplish, they’d take the time to come up with a submission.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while putting together this book?
As far as the process goes, I’m surprised how far outside of my own little world this anthology has pulled me. Not only did I have to roll with the punches by wizards (wizards are nerds who attempt to tear down ideas that aren’t their own), but I had to let people into my life, just like I am now. With everything I do (blog posts, emails, public responses), people get a glimpse into the person I really am. And for those who don’t know me, I shy away from talking about my personal life. I’d rather let my work as an author speak for me. But sometimes that’s not always a great idea, especially since my latest story is about a rude, gay man who’s making an eight-year-old girl perform in a beauty pageant on a crashing plane.
Before I began collecting submissions, I wanted to make sure people knew exactly what they were getting into. That’s what I expect when I submit stories, so I hold myself to those same standards. I’m not trying to pull a Pizza Hut where they set up hidden cameras and serve a full dining room with pasta and meat and then come out after everyone’s done and shout, “Surprise! You just ate Pizza Hut, fools!” I’m not about money. I’m not about tricking anyone into thinking The Memory Eater is something it’s not. I’m about creating the best piece of art possible and attempting to share it with the world.
I put up a glass barrier and people have been able to watch my process unfold and track the progress, so I’m more exposed than I ever imagined. People see my successes along with my failures. It’s all happening in real time, but regardless of what pops up, I have to keep pushing forward.
Where can readers find you?
Twitter: @thememoryeaterFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Memory-Eater-Anthology#!/pages/The-Memory-Eater-Anthology/107422172673789
What inspired you to put this anthology together?
I’m inspired by the fact that the publishing industry shuns new ideas for the same old recycled plots we read back in 2010, 2009, 1940, et cetera. I know profit is a big factor, but damn, whatever happened to the love of the craft?
I’m also inspired the head of the Columbus Creative Cooperative which is a workshop I’m part of. Like me, he was fed up with the publishing industry and elected to start his own. Now the CCC is gearing up to release a second anthology. What he’s done so far has made what I’m trying to do seem like the only obstacle I have to tackle is hard work.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Brave New World but stuck about two-thirds the way through. I’m thinking about moving onto Catch 22, but I just started watching Dexter, and he’s whispering into my ear that books are boring.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I love my wife and son and soon-to-be second son. I love video games. I love action figures. Legos. The Dallas Mavericks. PSU football. Taco Bell. Fragmented sentences. Unpredictable twist-endings. Chess. Regular Coke. Diet Pepsi. Power-lifting. Medieval fairs. Christopher Nolan films. Chuck Palahniuk novels. Ending abruptly.
I’m cursed with idea demons and writing is the only way to tear them out. But most importantly, I’m not scared of failure.
Thanks, Casper for stopping by and best of luck with your anthology!