A couple of days ago, I posted a review for The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King. Luckily for us, my readers, she agreed to do an interview with me!
First of all -- YOU ROCK! I absolutely LOVED The Dust of 100 Dogs!
Now that I have that out, onward to the questions:
1.) How did you get the idea for The Dust of 100 Dogs, and what effect did living in Ireland have on your novel?
The book wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t lived in Ireland . I got the idea while walking my dogs during the time I was learning about Cromwell’s 1649/50 invasion. I realized there was a very good chance Cromwell’s troops used the very road I was walking on—which made the history lesson very powerful to me. The more I learned about Irish history, in general, the more I felt the urge to write about it. I hope to write more about Irish history in future books.
2.) What made you want to write books for publication?
I know I wanted to write books when I was in 8th grade—but the idea I had then was more of a non-fiction thing. I always wrote poetry and worked hard at my research papers and other writing assignments. Even in art school (I have a photography degree) I thought that my pictures would one day land in a book, with essays. But I didn’t have the time or opportunity (or guts) to write until I moved to Ireland when I was 24. I remember the book that pushed me to say, “Hey! I want to do this now!” It was Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. If I ever write a book as enjoyable and intelligent as that one, I will be really happy.
3.) What was your publication journey like -- was it smooth, or rocky?
Rocky and long. I wrote 7 novels over 12 years before I found an agent. But now that I’m on this side of it, I’m thrilled it took me that long. Sound crazy? Maybe it is—but what I learned was amazing. Patience, great writing habits, and most importantly, the ability to write books for myself, without caring about publishing. I write for me, and I do it because I love it. This is more important than I can say.
4.) What inspires you?
Music, great books, great art, and great people. I have met many people who have overcome ugly things. Those people inspire me greatly. I feel our culture gives attention to shallow stuff (the various weights and wardrobe accessories of TV stars, for example) while ignoring the depth of human experience. I am inspired by the reality of human experience, even if it isn’t easy to look at, because it’s real and people who navigate through difficult times are heroes.
5.) What is one of the craziest things that you’ve experienced at an event?
I have to say—having so many of my former classmates turn out for my first local event was wild! For an hour, it was like a mini-reunion, and it was inexplicably cool. Their support is incredible and just goes to show you—you never know what’s going to happen in the future. If you’d have asked me in high school if I’d even THINK about going to my 20th class reunion, I’d have laughed at you. Now, I see people from high school every month or two, and enjoy their company immensely. Also, since we’re on the subject of crazy things & events…I find it pretty crazy when haters come out to confront authors. Being a positive person, I find the motive a bit odd. Why not go to an event of an author you like and say nice things, rather than openly hate an author whose book you didn’t like? I mean—who doesn’t know that reading is a subjective thing?
6.) If there was a soundtrack for The Dust of 100 Dogs, what songs would be on it?
Yay! No one ever asked me this before! Here’s a playlist:
Crisis by Bob Marley & the Wailers
Burnin' and Lootin' by The Wailers
I Wanna Be Your Dog by Iggy Pop & The Stooges
Running Away by Bob Marley & The Wailers
War Pigs by Black Sabbath
Stepping Razor by Peter Tosh
Draw Your Brakes by Scotty
My Life by TLC
Night of the Living Baseheads by Public Enemy
You Can Get it if You Really Want by Jimmy Cliff
Pressure Drop by Toots and the Maytals
Adore by Prince
7.) And how about you -- what would your own theme song be?
Impossible to choose! Here are my top three, though: The Wailers’ Small Axe or Duppy Conqueror, and Jimi Hendrix’s If 6 Were 9.
8.) What kind of advice can you offer for aspiring authors out there?
Write every day. Read a lot. Then write some more. Then read some more. Learn to write because you love writing and forget about the publishing business at first. (And don’t forget that stories come from life experiences, so all that crappy stuff that happens to you will actually come in handy one day.)
Thanks so much for having me around to your blog, Angel! And thanks for reading D100D & shouting out about it!
There you have it! An amazing interview from an amazing author! Now, go out and buy The Dust of 100 Dogs IMMEDIATELY!