A Q&A With Myself
I get a truly absurd amount of mail, and some of it isn't spam. Some of the questions I get asked, I get asked a lot. Frequently, you might say. And given the lack of an internet convention for dealing with questions which are asked frequently, I will provide you with this, a Q&A with myself, paraphrasing the questions which have been asked. Frequently.
What came first, books or TV?
Broadly? I think books. For me specifically, it's a bit murkier. I wrote The Pig and the Box when I was already deep into RollBots. But the Pig beat RollBots to market by 2 years, so the order seems reversed. If it makes you feel any better, I wrote Dustrunners (animated series) before anything else... so we can safely say "TV".
Why do you use Creative Commons? Isn't that stupid?
I don't see why. My license choice affords me all the protection of traditional copyright, but explicitly informs the end-user that they're allowed to make copies and trade non-commercially. Ultimately, the license is redundant, since those rights should be inherent under existing copyright laws, but for whatever reason, there's doubt in the marketplace. I just choose to re-confirm the status quo.
Are you really a college dropout?
Technically, I'm a university dropout. And I don't much care for the term "dropout", because it implies I couldn't handle advanced learnin'. I just had better things to do, and I decided to do them. That sounds cheeky, I know, but when you have a mission in mind, I find it's better if you just do it. I didn't need to "find myself". I'd found myself. I needed to do something about it. Less toe-dipping, more jumping right in.
What kind of a writer are you? Do you write for children or adults?
Both. I write kid-friendly books like The Pig and the Box and Percy's Perch, and I write adult fare like Poke of the Titans and Fission Chips. Also, although I gravitate towards science fiction, I also write non-techy stuff with a very "normal" foundation. Of course, I'm quite insane, so even my normal stories are nutty.
Why do you bother writing? Nobody likes you.
Wow, I'm abnormally cruel to myself. But okay: I bother writing because there are people out there that like what I do. Some only like one of my stories, some like a lot, but I do have people that appear to appreciate what I do. As long as they're around, I'll keep doing it. I mean, just because I hate Michael Bay's Transformers with an unholy passion, it doesn't mean he should give up directing forever. Not necessarily anyway. Actually, maybe I need to re-think this position...
Aren't you filthy rich off RollBots? Why did you joke about working at Starbucks?
In an interview I did recently, I joked that working in animation for TV isn't as luxurious a job as some think. You work for several years on a single project, but get paid a flat fee for that work. When you split the money across the time, you don't really earn that much... probably similar to working at Starbucks. I assume it's because simply working in animation is like a gift, so you can't expect to get paid well at the same time. Or something. So to put it bluntly: no, I'm not filthy rich. I'm astoundingly lucky, but not rich. So stop asking for money.
Are you just publishing online in the hopes of landing a publishing deal?
No. I have no interest in a publishing deal, actually. I'm doing this as an experiment to see what works best for creating and distributing written material online, and I won't be satisfied until I find the right formula. And then, once I've found it, it'd be pretty silly to abandon it just so I could sign with a major publisher. Then again, I'm not opposed to distribution deals with bigger players... but I run my own shop here, and that's not going to change.
If you had just one wish, what would it be?
More readers. Or even the same readers coming back for more. I've served close to 10 million people in the last 3 years, but I stupidly let them get away. I wish I could send them an email and say: "Hey! I've done more stuff! Come see!", but I can't. Grabbing eyeballs is the thing I have the most trouble with, and if I had myself a genie, that's what I'd wish for. That, and a lifetime supply of kimchi ramen. Mmm, ramen...
If you have any oddball questions of your own, you can add them to the comment below, or email them to me and add to the backlog.