Interview with Zanzibar 7 Schwarzenneger, Author of Veneri Verbum

NB Question 6 is intentionally written as it is, taking inspiration from a chapter in the book.

Zanzibar, welcome to the Book Muse, and thank you for taking time to dive down into this quaint little rabbit hole of mine, riddled with plot holes of course, and zillions of plot bunnies that go nowhere. But before yet another bunny creates another plot, which brings about another hole in this interview, let’s have a chat.

Q: Your first novel, Veneri Verbum, is a novel about a novelist writing a novel during National Novel Writing Month. What inspired this?

I’m a novelist and wrote my first real life book during National Novel Writing Month. It seemed a good case of “write what you know”.

Q: Christopher Cullum experiences many common afflictions of the NaNoWriMo process – what are they and are they common for many participants?

You realize Christopher is just a character, even though he thinks he’s a writer, right? He falls for his main character, doesn’t want anyone to die, changes things on a whim, and runs on caffeine. Isn’t that more or less how all writers function?

Q: Plot bunnies. Just how dangerous are they?

Shhh! They can hear you! They have very big ears, you know. They also have claws that dig deep into your soul and teeth that bite down to your very essence. Occasionally they’ll do you a good deed on a whim, but they’re about as dangerous as The Conductor. They’re just much cuter.

Q: What do you like to read when you’re not writing about Figments and Christopher, and who are your influences?

I tend to experience books more than read them, but I do have favorites. If I suddenly turned into Jasper Fforde (The Eyre Affair) in the middle of a book, I’d probably die of joy. Pleasant way to go, but still dead, so I only hope to be as funny as he is. I think the late Lewis Carroll had the best grasp of how the Figment World works, even though he was writing about chess, cards, and tea parties. The late Terry Pratchett also influenced me, although he went and died, so I’d rather not emulate him yet. Still, mad respect that he could write as much as he did with Old Timer’s disease. Oh, and Monty Python is a definite influence. Those guys understood the power of “I’m not dead yet.”

Q: What does Christopher like to read?

Christopher doesn’t really read much. He has great friends who recommend books when he needs them for a plot, though.

Q: Eye heard a rumour that speeling lyke this macks you twich. Is this true?

I’m sorry. I just had a minor seizure. You were saying?

Q: I heard that many writers research extensively when on a project. I do, and it feels never ending. What kind of research do you do?

I, um, don’t research. (One of the many reasons I’m in the Character Witness Protection Program.) I pick up bits and pieces from things I see and put them all together. There are lots of things in Reeyal Lyfe that just beg to be put into a story. I hate to be a miser, so I use them all.

Q: Speaking of research, does Christopher Cullum do any?

Christopher likes to surf Soshal Meedya without a surfboard—or an ocean. I don’t think that counts as research, but he does.

Q: What are your favourite writing snacks and drinks?

I’m a Figment, so I don’t require food or drink. I’m rather fond of the occasional afternoon tea or morning mocha, though. And cake. You can’t go wrong with cake.

Q: How many plot bunnies does it take to make you twitch?

*twitch* Just one. Or the mention of one. Or thinking about mentioning one. Mere existence is generally enough for a good shiver.

Q: Let’s get down to business…how many times can Eric die?

So far, nine hundred and eleventy-leven. Not all of those are my fault! I can account for the eleventy-leven.

Q: What is your favourite time of day to write?

I still don’t have the hang of this Tyme stuff. I write when I sit down to write and I stop when I get up. Sometimes it’s light outside. Sometimes it’s dark. Sometimes there’s a major apocalyptic event occurring, but that’s a different interview.

Q: Finally, Zanzibar, I’m sure you have legions of fans out there that have read Veneri Verbum. Just when can we expect to have the second book available, and what will it be called?

I’m mentally writing my second book, Fire N Nice, already. I hear some call this procrastination, but I call it pre-writing. I expect to have it out when it’s finished and no later. Maybe one day later. Things happen slower in Reeyal Lyfe than the Figment World.

Odd that you mention Legions, since there are Legions of super heroes and super villains in the book. I tried to pitch it as non-fiction, but was told it will still be designated fantasy.

Thank you again for participating, Zanzibar, and feel free to reblog this on your own blog for advertising purposes.

Thank you for asking me questions and putting answers somewhere on the Interwebz. I appreciate your genius in being one of the first to recognize me in my quick rise to Book Domination and Fame.

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Veneri Verbum Book Review

Veneri Verbum by Zanzibar 7 Schwarzenegger

Writing a book may be the perfect solution to all of Christopher Cullum’s problems. He’s currently living at home (at age twenty-five), but his mom fears she’ll be doing his laundry forever. If he doesn’t accomplish something notable soon, she may invoke some tough love. He might even have to clean his room.

~*~

Opening this book is like opening Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Eyre Affair at the same time: an explosion of welcome insanity, and a healthy dose of crazy that we all need at some point in our lives. I entered the world of Christopher Michael Cullum, and followed him down the plot hole after his Figment, Elsa. Traversing the land of lost plots, faceless characters and court cases involving a jury of poopieheads, and a hot-dog judge, Christopher and Elsa discover Shiv, the one whom reincarnates several times, my favourite as the female impregnated dragon as one of his sex changes, and named Shivana, and Eric, the One Who Always Dies. And thus we have entered the world of NaNoWriMo, where we will meet NaNa Romo, and launch cat cannons across the realm, and bask in the eternal deaths of Eric. Confused? Welcome to NaNoWriMo. Enjoy the plot bunnies while you stay.
Christopher’s journey is complicated by multiple plot bunnies and tribbles, and the many plot holes he finds himself tumbling down like Alice down the rabbit hole, although, unlike Alice, he doesn’t play croquet with a long-necked bird, he has to fix his plot holes…and at every turn, Eric is dying, Margie the fairy appears but she is not his fairy godmother and he must defend himself against faceless jurors after blood, and a confused NaNa Romo who integrates her shopping list into prophecies he needs to follow to find his way back home, away from the insanity of his mind…but is a healthy dose of crazy all he really needs to finish his journey of NaNoWriMo? And will he clean his room when he is finished?
It took me about four or five days to complete this for review, and I was disappointed when it ended. It was one of those books that I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens, but then, once it came to it’s conclusion, I felt myself feeling sad that I had to leave Christopher and his Figments. But I hope that Zanzibar has more in store for me, and Christopher. Whilst this is quite niche and definitely, participants of the great NaNoWriMo will understand this more than those who do not, it is still a great read, a fun read. There is so much to explore and be found in between these covers that the journey is half the fun, and upon finishing, you will find yourself crazier than you once were, but in a good way.