Saturday, February 27, 2021

I cheated on James again

I cheated on James again! I appeared on a podcast a few weeks ago, but they never told me it had posted. This is a company I’ve consulted with and they wanted to talk to me about my notes process and various other things. It’s a fun conversation! They just sent me the book in the mail I’d consulted on with a note saying that the podcast had good feedback: I checked and saw it had posted on February 15th! So if you want to see me on another podcast, check it out! (They get to me at 20:30 and I go to about 1:00:30)

And check out the book we’re discussing “Hunted” by Antony Dunford. It’s got my stamp of approval!


James Kennedy said...

I listened to it with gritted teeth. It's disrespectful that you don't mention me when you're a guest on other people's podcasts. I feel like you do it on purpose to enrage me. Where do you think you get all your ideas from??!

Matt Bird said...

I did and they cut it!

James Kennedy said...

Hell hath no fury like a podcast host scorned.

Friday said...

Please don't break up, guys! I'd be devastated, as I'm sure would so many others.

Hope you made it to the 3/1 deadline, Matt. Absolutely staggered by everything you've created in the last few months and excited for the new book.

Is that book you mentioned in the podcast by the first-time writer published yet? Or is that Hunted? I'll add anything you've edited to my TBR list.

Matt Bird said...

I actually turned in the book on the 1st in a very messy form, then regretted it the next morning and asked if I could work on it some more. They gave me an extra week, so I'm writing furiously.

The book I mentioned was a different book than Hunted. It has no publisher yet, nor even an agent, but I wouldn't be surprised if it got both soon. I didn't mean to say that it was the best thing I'd read EVER, I just meant best book I've read for my service, which is still very impressive.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Arriving late to the Witty Character suggestions:

The novel The Thought Gang by Tibor Fischer is a comedy about a philosophical bank-robbing duo in France. The novel begins thusly:

"The only advice I can offer, should you wake up vertiginously in a strange flat, with a thoroughly installed hangover, without any of your clothing, without any recollection of how you got there, with the police sledgehammering down the door to the accompaniment of excited dogs, while you are surrounded by [redacted because I am not posting an explanation of the contraband on the internet --Harvey J.], the only advice I can offer is to try to be good-humored and polite.

"Presumably having blacked out, I whited on to this tableau and assayed amiability as I tried to figure out what all the fuss had to do with me. My endeavour at goodwill was the result of my belief that it is what should be to-ed to all men and, as I subsequently discovered, even if you don't (a) feel goodwill or (b) feel like showing it, because of powerful sensations of ill will, it's all the more imperative to display friendliness and zing since it makes the police fret about having got something wrong."

The protagonist is a bad person, but he's a lot of fun to follow around.

Another opening of a novel a character being witty is Yossarian in Catch-22. He's not witty in a bantering way, but his point of view and actions show him exercising his wit in strange ways. A personal favorite: "To everyone he knew he wrote that he was going on a very dangerous mission. 'They asked for volunteers. It's very dangerous, but someone has to do it. I'll write you the instant I get back.' And he had not written anyone since." Yossarian's whole time in the hospital shows wit in the face of madness.

Matt Bird said...

That's so funny, it's just occurred to me this morning to check out "Catch-22" (I was going through a list of the bestselling books of all time) and I just re-read the beginning and identified that as a good bit for "have them be witty"! Mighty minds think alike. That "Thought Gang" excerpt is funny, too.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

A challenge in finding prose examples is that prose novels intending to be funny frequently center on mockable losers. We are not meant to laugh with them, but at them. A Confederacy of Dunces, Masters of Atlantis, The Dog of the South, The Ask, are all rooted in “lookit this loser, haw haw.” The characters may be witty, but it’s only by accident. (I don’t find the books funny either, but that’s just me.)

The pagan god of witty novels, P.G. Wodehouse, used that approach for the Jeeves and Wooster novels, which are pure gold but probably not what you are looking for. But his Psmith books might be worth a look.