Dear persistent readers. I was lucky enough to participate in an email interview recently. I don’t want to reveal the name of the interviewer, since he hasn’t posted it to his own website yet, but he has given me permission to reprint a copy of the interview transcript here on my blog, themadhairman! We talked on several subjects pertinent to the story of Quin and Tannenbaum, including -but not limited to- character development, origin stories, the future of the blog, and the authenticity of my hair. Enjoy! -BW
INTERVIEWER: Hello, and welcome. There are so many blogs out there these days, some good, some bad, and some great. It can be so confusing to guess which blogs have the most informative or most entertaining content. Today I’m interviewing the author of the blog called themadhairman, a continuing cliffhanger blog following the exploits of an unusual young man named Quin, and the self proclaimed smartest man in the world, Dr. Tannenbaum. Here is the author of the blog, BW.
BW: Hi, I’m so glad to be here. This is a great opportunity for me.
INTERVIEWER: Before we get to business, I have to say you’ve got a good head of hair right there.
BW: Thanks. I’m pretty proud of it.
INTERVIEWER: Does the title themadhairman refer to you, or to Quin, the main character who also has quite the interesting head of hair?
BW: It can refer to either of us, I guess. I didn’t name the blog to really call out attention to either of us. The name more or less is just the place where you come to hear the story. Someday I might do stories that have nothing to do with Quin, and someday, I might get a haircut. Well, maybe not.
INTERVIEWER: Haha! Now, I want my first official question to be this: Is that your real hair?
BW: Who put you up to this? Everybody asks me that. Every single stinking time I have a question and answer feature on my blog, some wag asks me if my hair is real. Yes, my hair is real. This is my real hair. It’s not a wig.
INTERVIEWER: You seem a bit sensitive to that question.
BW: It’s not that I’m sensitive about it, it’s that I’m tired of that same dumb question. I’ve always been proud of my hair, and the fact that some people think it’s fake despite obvious evidence to the contrary kind of bugs me. I mean, if I was going to buy a wig, where could I find a wig that looks this crazy?
INTERVIEWER: Well, we’ll skim past that subject. Now, obviously the blog centers around Quin and the adventures he falls into through his travels. I find it surprising that you think the blog should have a different character as the main protagonist.
BW: I didn’t say that. When did you think I said that?
INTERVIEWER: When we were talking earlier.
BW: No, that’s not what I meant. What I meant was that Quin functions a little differently than your standard protagonist. He’s really more suited to be a secondary character.
INTERVIEWER: How so?
BW: Well, this is a bit difficult to explain. The main character in any recurring story tends to be one of a similar type. They tend to be well rounded people who are more or less a little boring and commonplace, whereas a secondary character -someone who fills out the background- has more freedom and can be anything. The best example of this might be the comic strip Peanuts. Charlie Brown is the main character, and he’s a very boring nondescript person, but his friends in the neighborhood are all kinds of wild and interesting people. Charlie Brown holds the story together, but he is nonetheless not very interesting.
INTERVIEWER: But he’s fantastic.
BW: I never said he wasn’t. Charlie Brown is an example of what is called an everyman: everyone who reads the comic can relate to him. While I absolutely adore Quin as a character, I think he functions best when he pretends to be a secondary character in his own story.
INTERVIEWER: That’s pretty cool. Where did you first get the idea for Quin and his companion, Tannenbaum?
BW: Ooh, that’s a pretty good story. Quin first developed as a sort of alter ego. Whenever I had a bad day, I would pretend to be a guy who traveled a lot and had extremely good luck. I had invented Quin as a character and had tried working out a few stories with him, but they never really worked out too well. What he really needed was a counterpart who had strengths opposite of him. Like I said, I think Quin works best when paired with a different person and not when the main character. Anyway, one day, my friend and I were talking, and we asked the question: who would you want to be if you could have an alter ego? Well, my friend said that he would be a super productive intelligent multitasking vigilante, brain surgeon, and race car driver. I told him about Quin, and we agreed that Quin and Tannenbaum would be unlikely friends. We had a good laugh about it, and when I decided to start the blog, I asked my friend for permission to include Tannenbaum as a main character in the ongoing story.
INTERVIEWER: So Quin and Tannenbaum are alter egos of you and your friend? Why not just write a blog about your friendship?
BW: As fun as that would be, we would be uncomfortable telling the stories of our day to day friendship, and also the blog gives me a chance to stretch my creative writing skills.
INTERVIEWER: I can’t believe that Tannenbaum is a racecar driver.
BW: Yeah, well, that hasn’t shown up in the stories yet, but it’s there.
INTERVIEWER: So, how often does your blog update?
BW: It updates twice a week, on every Tuesday and Saturday. I update a story fragment that connects to the previous update. I try to keep the update somewhere between 500 and 750 words, which is about a page and a half of reading.
INTERVIEWER: Isn’t that very small?
BW: In a way it is, but I don’t want to burn myself out too quickly. I’m afraid of writing too much, for fear that the blog posts will seem too intimidating. I want the pages to look friendly and accessible if you read it on your computer, tablet or phone. After all, 500 words to a post, twice a week tallies to about a thousand words. If you look at it that way, it’s close to 52,000 words a year, which is a fair sized book.
INTERVIEWER: A book? That’s a good consideration. Have you thought of writing these stories into a book?
BW: I have actually. That’s something that has been on my mind for a long time. I would like to take the posts that I have written and compile them into a book of some sort. I have thought about trying to make a book about Quin and Tannenbaum by the end of this year, but I’m afraid that the story just isn’t long enough to justify a book yet, or have we wound ourselves up to a good stopping place for a book.
INTERVIEWER: So no books in the future, eh?
BW: Actually, I do have a book written.
INTERVIEWER: You do?
BW: Yes. It’s a story that I had written even before I had begun the blog. It’s about Quin, of course, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the present timeline between Quin and Tannenbaum. I hope to have it ready for publication by the end of this year, hopefully in December.
INTERVIEWER: Ready in time for Christmas, you mean?
BW: Well, yes. That was the idea.
INTERVIEWER: What’s the book about?
BW: It’s a sort of rollicking space opera starring Quin. It’s almost basically the same tone of the blog . . . . but in space. It’s pretty funny, and I had a grand time writing it.
INTERVIEWER: When it comes out, I’ll buy a copy. How’s that sound?
BW: That sounds great!
INTERVIEWER: Where can I find it? Will I have to go to Barnes and Noble or something?
BW: No, I plan to release it on Amazon Kindle.
INTERVIEWER: Really? You can do that?
BW: Yeah, Amazon offers a service called Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, or Amazon KDP. With it, anyone can write a book and have it immediately published.
INTERVIEWER: And what’s it called again?
BW: It’s called Has Anyone Seen Henderson?
INTERVIEWER: Well, I think that’s enough for today. Thanks for talking with me, BW. I hope we can do something like this again in the near future.
BW: Haha! Thanks, Doug. It was a real pleasure.
Thanks for reading, folks! Check in again! -BW