Kit ‘N Kabookle is the third stop of my virtual book tour for Can Machines Bring Peace?.
Being interviewed by Mary DeSantis was a lot of fun:
What inspired you to become a writer?
Mary, thank you so much the interview. It’s really cool to meet a story whisperer that chats with manuscripts. It really shows your dedication to books. So, it’s really an honor to be hosted by you.
All people are storytellers at heart, I believe. And some actually take the step to write it all down in a full grown novel. 100 000 people a year publishing books. So, there is an enormous desire to tell a story.
My first stories were superhero comic ‘books’ (a folded page filled on all four side) when I was eleven or twelve. I think I wrote six or seven of them. When I was fifteen, I wrote my first movie script.
And my novel “Can Machines Bring Peace? Hope in a Post-Apocalyptic Age” is the first one I ever wrote. It’s part One in The Thinking Machine Trilogy.
For the moment, I wouldn’t consider myself a writer just yet. After finishing the Trilogy, I’ll start believing it myself.
If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
Kazimir, the protagonist in my novel, is inspired by The Marvelous Thinking Machine at the Tanabata fair, in Japan in the 25th century. There is a 1930s vibe in the story, because of the loss of modern technology after the Final War.
And while researching my novel, I found old pictures about the fair. So, If I could visit my book’s world, I would definitely go to the Tanabata fair. Then, I would go up to The Marvelous Thinking Machine and ask “what is 42 an answer to.”
Its one of my favorite parts in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, when they build a huge supercomputer to answer the question about Life, the Universe and Everything. The supercomputer takes millions of years to answer the question. And at a festive moment celebrating the moment the answer is due, the super computer says: “42”. So, they build a new supercomputer to ask what 42 is the answer to.
It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)
Protagonist Mizuki is the daughter of an admiral in a very traditionalistic household. She thinks her mother is too submissive to her father. Because of the situation with her father, Lady Saigō, the confidante of the Japanese Empress, asks Mizuki to meet regularly. The meetings are awkward at first. But then Mizuki discovers the wisdom of the Imperial advisor. What Mizuki hardly dares admit to herself is that she loves her ‘Great-aunt’ (There is a quick smile. “Please, call me Great-Aunt Oai.”) more that she loves her mother.
Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
Aisake Tūmatarau is the inventor of The Marvelous Thinking Machine. It works with steam and whistles, then ejects the answer to the question of the paying fairgoers. As a young man, he discovered an old book about the adventures of Baron Munchhausen. That and a talent for magic tricks help him survive his orphanage.
I love the stories of Baron Munchausen, so I’d really like to discover the flair in Aisake’s rendition of them.
You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
Accept the challenge, of course, under condition that I decide the contest. Then I would challenge him to an old and traditional Dutch folk game called ‘Koekhappen’.
It’s a version of the apple bobbing game.
But instead of apples there is ‘koek’, a sweet, spiced rye cake. And instead of the apples floating in a pail of water, the pieces cake dangle from a rope. And the rope is set at the height of an average adult.
Let’s see him sink his teeth into that!
Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Oh yes, definitely ‘horror’.
I’m a real scaredy cat when it comes to that genre. I can’t watch scary movies. I can’t connect to that kind of cruelty. And I can’t even imagine anyone wanting to read horror stories.
So, from a point of view of content, it frightens me. And from the point of view of knowing what my readers would like to read, I have ab-so-lu-te-ly no clue.