Today I’m hosting an interview with Spencer Phelps, the author of Perpetuating The Species, a humorous fiction novel.
1) When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve always thought I’ve got something more to offer the world than just manual labor. After I discovered I suck at pretty much every other form of entertainment, I figured out that writing wasn’t half bad. I believe it was a few years ago that I really made the decision that this is what I want to do.
2) What inspired you to write Perpetuating The Species?
It was born from my own personal feelings toward rearing a child, but I had to make it a bit more interesting if anyone was going to read about it. I’d never have the gall to do what the characters in this story would.
3) Which character did you find the easiest to write? Which one the hardest?
Easiest: The guy characters, because I’m a guy. I know how they think.
Hardest: The female characters, because I’m not a “chick.” I have no idea how they think. The only thing I could think to do was caricature their behavior from what I’ve observed. I’m told what I came up with is fairly accurate.
4) Where do you write – at your desk, on the couch, everywhere in your house?
I never could find one set place to write. I had a really comfy recliner I would write in towards the beginning, but I had to get rid of it because it was too comfy. It was so comfy that I didn’t want to get out of it and was building my home life around it. I miss that chair.
5) What do you do to get rid of writer’s block?
Cautiously plow through it. When I got to the mid-point of writing the story, I got bogged down by the “oh, I’ll never finish this” blues. It became work, in a sense. I forced myself to write after I thought about what direction the story should go in next. I don’t think my block cure is all that unique, but I can say that I really know what people are talking about now when they say they’ve got it!
6) If you could do it all over again, was there something you would do differently?
Yes. I wouldn’t have been so hasty in creating the cover for the paperback version. I made a glaring, ridiculous error that I didn’t see until I had purchased 20 copies for myself. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!
7) When and how do you find time in your daily life to write?
I have plenty of time in the evenings and at night after I’ve put the Mrs. to bed. It’s just convincing myself to actually use that time to write that’s the problem.
8) Are you currently working on something new? If so, can you tell us more about it?
I’m torn between two projects. One is an embellishing of my time as a crossing guard in 5th grade. The other is a fantasy novel that follows a magician who falls in love, is rejected, and becomes delusional as a result.
Book Cover and Synopsis
On one hand, Mike Lynch hates kids. He can’t stand how they scream all the time, poop themselves, everything. That probably comes from his father reminding Mike throughout his childhood that he was never wanted. On the other hand, that ice of indifference surrounding Mike’s biological clock starts to thaw after his girlfriend gives birth to someone else’s child.
Mike believes everything has a reason for existing, including our naughty bits. He now has a desperate urge to fulfill his basic human duty by using those bits to procreate. He just doesn’t want to deal with the aftermath. To get around this self-imposed dilemma, Mike takes a three-day weekend trip to Indiana, finds some women who are also looking to get laid, and tries to get them pregnant. He justifies his actions by assuming the people he encounters are going to get pregnant during one-night stands anyway. At least with his being the sperm donor, their child will be born to serve a greater purpose: Mike’s.
When he returns to Indiana a year later to see if the scheme was a success, confronting the results of his actions elicits more emotions than he knew he had. Now Mike has no idea how he’ll react when he discovers his child.
A native of Marion, Ohio, Spencer Phelps was a featured opinion columnist for The Marion Star newspaper from 2008-2010. He also wrote/hosted a local late-night TV talk show called Marion Tonight in 2009 and a radio version in 2010. On top of being a writer and show host, Spencer has been a singer, songwriter, practitioner of martial arts, husband, politician, geocacher, ghost hunter, and an international fugitive at one point or another.