Today I've the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Polansky, author of the awesome fantasy noir books The Straight Razor Cure and Tomorrow the Killing. Anyone who's read my reviews of his books knows that I'm a bit of a fan-boy, so this is pretty awesome. Welcome, Daniel!
[DP]: Man, an existential question, and me only on my second cup of coffee. Right, well— my name is Daniel Polansky, I grew up in Baltimore, I travel aimlessly, I wrote a book called The Straight Razor Cure that came out last year, and I've got another coming our right now called Tomorrow, The Killing which you should buy and which also makes a great present for birthdays, Christmas, Diwali, funerals, etc.
[MW]: I really enjoyed how well Warden and the city of Rigus complement eachother in terms of their bitterness and their bleak outlook. Which came first to you when you were writing; the character or the world?
[DP]: Well the Warden is very much a reflection of the bleak and somewhat miserable place he was born in, but to answer your question concretely, the character. When I first started writing what became The Straight Razor Cure the only thing I had down with any certainty was the Warden's voice.
[MW]: Do you have any habits that get you in the mood to write in the noir world of Low Town?
[DP]: I drink a pint of vodka and start a fight with the biggest person at the bar. Not really.
[MW]: Have you thought about writing short stories or novellas set in Rigus that follow other characters? A prequel story about Adisu the Damned would be awesome.
[DP]: For me a lot of what makes a secondary world setting interesting is the mystery. If you start shading in all the blank areas, it loses some of what makes it fun. So I guess my answer is I've thought about it a little, but I'd rather have the Warden's adventures seem fresh and exciting, rather than delve deeper into all the nooks and crannies of Rigus.
[MW]: After the stunning reviews of The Straight Razor Cure and Tomorrow the Killing, do you see the story extending further than you first thought, or is there a definite cut off point in your mind?
[DP]: There is a pretty concrete ending. It's nice that people like the book, (though 'stunning reviews' seems a bit over the top (it sounds like something my publicist would say (I don't really have a publicist (I bet this is the first time you've seen an interview with four nested parentheticals, huh?)))) but it doesn't really change what to me is the underlying arc of the story.
[DP]: I have trouble with hints—I think I'm being subtle when in fact I'm giving everything away, and then I get an angry email from my agent. To keep it vague—the questions I haven't answered about the Warden get answered.
[MW]: I can see the Low Town series being picked up and made into an epic noir TV series. When that eventually happens, what cameo part would you want to play?
[MW]: Why stop at one part? In my mind, the Low Town movie is an avant-garde piece ofperformance art, in which I play every role. So for instance, Daniel Polansky, playing the Warden and wearing an overcoat, would punch Daniel Polansky, playing a thug and wearing a suit, and then kiss Daniel Polansky, playing a courtesan and wearing a wig. It would be a big hit, I'm sure.
[MW]: Thanks for stopping by, Daniel!
[DP]: A pleasure on my end