GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview: Michael Logan + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Interview: Michael Logan + giveaway

Last year we interviewed the author of Apocalypse Cow (yeah, you read that right) and we tricked him into coming back to talk about his new book Wannabes! You won't believe what the title of the Apocalypse Cow sequel is...and we talk about demons, tattoos, viable reasons for blowing up the U.K., good times people...good times.




Sharon: Hello, again! Some of the flock might remember we interviewed you last year about your book Apocalypse Cow. You have another book just released called Wannabes. To start things off let’s catch up! What have you been doing for the past year? You mentioned a baby of undetermined sex on the way.

Michael: I’ve been busy juggling my day job with finishing the Apocalypse Cow sequel and Wannabes, writing short stories, and dealing with two hectic kids (the baby of undetermined sex turned out to be an insane boy, who only stops breaking things when he decides it’s time to jam his hand down his nappy and fiddle with himself). I’ve also spent a lot of time flipping back-and-forth between the many novels I want to write, and completely failing to decide which one to run with. I’m also working on a kids’ book with my wife, who is an artist, and forming a band with a friend.
Sharon: I got tired just reading all that! How has it been collaborating with your wife?
Michael: You could keep your keys, mobile phone, hankies, notebook, cigarettes, tablet, wallet and whatever other crap you have lying around in the bags under my eyes. Collaborating on the book with my wife has been fine. Working on the cover of Wannabes, which she also designed, was a bit more fraught at first, but we’ve managed to figure out how get it professional. 



Sharon: Tell us about Wannabes.
MichaelWannabes is a big old genre mash-up: horror, fantasy and thriller held together with the stitching of satire. There are three interwoven stories: that of Jackie Thunder, a washed-up pop star who does something very stupid in an attempt to regain fame; Gareth Jones, a misguided and supremely untalented young man who is killing celebrities and taping their tattoos to his body because he thinks he can gain their power by doing so, and thus stop himself turning completely invisible; and Murmur, a demon who is directing Gareth behind the scenes for his own nefarious purposes. It satirizes modern society’s lust for fame and, in a grumpy old man, when-I-were-a-lad-things-were-much-better way, bemoans the rise of prefab music and what this means for our creativity. There are no zombies of any sort.


this is a Filofax
Sharon: What can you tell us about Murmur and where did that name come from?
MichaelMurmur is a low-born demon who, by virtue of accidentally being invited to a high-level meeting in Hell and impressing the anally retentive Satan with his use of a Filofax, is sent up to Earth in 1959 to bump off rock stars in an effort to stop music inspiring creativity in humanity. He is one of the wannabes of the title, and dreams of getting on the front cover of Fire & Brimstone, Hell’s top lifestyle mag, for egregious skullduggery. This is his chance, and he means to take it by any means necessary.


The name arose after an extensive search of the crackpot religious website that believe demons are real and give listing of who they are, what they get up to, and how you can spot them. Murmur was mentioned but once, and he wasn’t doing anything terribly exciting, the wee lamb. I liked the idea of a demon being pissed off that Lucifer, Mammon, Baal and the other big boys were getting all the glory and wanting to do something about it. I also liked the name, as it suggests seductive whisperings in the ears of suggestible humans, which Murmur does a lot of.


Sharon: That is a pretty clever premise for a story. And Murmur sounds like a fantastic character. Was he your favorite to write?
MichaelDefinitely. He is a complete bumhole in some ways, but I also wanted to make him sympathetic. He is just doing what demons do, and he does have a rehabilitation of sorts at the end. I particularly enjoyed rewriting history to have him bump off a lot of the musicians who died young down the years. Having said that, I also loved writing Gareth Jones, the killer. Most fictional serial killers these days are geniuses and revel in murder. Gareth is a bit dim, kind of sweet, and feels incredibly guilty about killing people. In many ways, he’s the most sympathetic character in the book.


Sharon: If you could gain superstar powers by stealing tattoos from celebrities, assuming you had a demon too, whose tattoos would you take?
MichaelI’d only need two celebs, I think. First I’d pay a visit to Johnny Depp, in the hope that I could gain some of the charisma and sex appeal that I have sorely lacked throughout my life. Then I’d go for Nick Cave, so I could actually write a decent song, turn my evil quotient up to eleven and become a better writer.
*I Smell Sheep does not condone the cutting of tattoos from people or cavorting with demons…unless they are really sexy*

Sharon: The sequel to Apocalypse Cow comes out next year. You weren’t forthcoming with any details during out last interview other than the mention of a zombie seal. Can you tell us anything else? Got a title yet?

MichaelYes, we have a title. It was initially called Cruel Britannia, but after some back-and-forth with my editor at St. Martin’s Press, who felt this title wouldn’t work in the US, I have gone even punnier. It is now called Apocalypse Cow: World War Moo. There is indeed a zombie seal, along with the return of cows and squirrels, but I’ve moved away from the animals to a certain extent. It is set seven months after the first, with Britons for the Rights of the InfecTed (BRIT) trying to bring order to the infected land and the US, Russia and China about to launch an offensive to sanitize the country and wipe out the threat of the infection spreading. With 20 days to the attack, Geldof leads a team of mercenaries into the country in a race against time to save somebody he thought was dead. Lesley is back, and we have two new main characters: Tony Campbell, the leader of BRIT, and Ruan Peat, a young girl on the run. It has a liberal smattering of combat yoga, cow bombs and other silliness.
Sharon: yes, World War Moo is an epic title. And the US has a valid reason to blow up Britton… ;) 
MichaelYes, British bad teeth are indeed an affront to America’s dental obsession, and as such the nation deserves to be destroyed utterly.


Sharon: If you could own any piece of art in the world which would it be?
MichaelWe already own a bunch of art. We have pieces by some little-known artists who deserve far wider attention: Clinton Kirkpatrick (Northern Ireland), Lado Pochkua (Georgia), Leah Kohlenberg (US) and John Silver (Kenya) among them. However, if I could cherry pick I would grab The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (the smaller painting kept in Rotterdam), David with the Head of Goliath by Carvaggio, and pretty much anything by Gustav Klimt.
Tower of Babel (Bruegel)
David with the Head of Goliath (Carvaggio) and  The Kiss (Klimt)

Sharon: What is the nerdiest thing you own
MichaelSevered zombie arm pillow cases, made by Liz Clements. Freaks the crap out the kids, but it’s nice to have a hand to cradle your head when you sleep at night.
Sharon: want!

Sharon: What was one of your favorite toys growing up?
MichaelI’ll always remember waking up once Christmas morning and walking into the living room, where I was hit by a strong smell of rubber. I turned on the light, and Santa had set up a Scalextric track. From the acrid tinge of electric motors, he’d obviously been playing with it. I adored that thing. Then there was my Subbuteo (the pre-game console version of the FIFA football games), and a tiny arcade game replica that I played obsessively until my brother broke it. Yes, I know that’s three, but I loved them all.

Rapid Fire:

Sharon: popcorn or cotton candy?

MichaelPopcorn. I pretend it’s gunfire when the bag is in the microwave and duck behind the sofa to fire at imaginary enemies with my tennis racquet.
Sharon: You will have to get the kids in on this action, but I would start them out with ping pong paddles. Going full tennis racket at a young age is asking for trouble.
MichaelMy son’s favourite thing is this Chinese mosquito zapper. It’s an electrified tennis racquet with a light that lets you spot the little critters in the dark. I hide it, he finds it and goes on the rampage zapping everything. So, he’s already deadly.

Sharon: spork or spoon and fork
MichaelSpork every time. One of humanity’s greatest inventions, after the left-handed corkscrew.
Sharon: zombie giraffe or zombie camel?
MichaelThey’re both large and rather fast, but I’d probably go with giraffe. They’re necks are so long you’d have more time to avoid a bite as they came snapping down at you.


Sharon: this or that?
MichaelThat. I always like the shiny new thing I don’t have.
Sharon: and with the right tennis racket you can take it!!!
MichaelYou have to zap a person about 50 times with the Chinese racquet, but it’s still doable.


Sharon: fairy tales or urban legends?
MichaelUrban legends. I’ve got young kids, so I’ve had my fill of fairy tales.

Sharon: Conan or Hercules
MichaelHercules, because sometimes you got Xena too.
Sharon: Do you have a favorite Hercules? I think I Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is my favorite :drool:
MichaelI liked Kevin Sorbo. His hair had a wonderful swish to it as he kicked ass.


Sharon: fry or bake?
MichaelWith my cholesterol? Bake.

Sharon: Thanks for stopping by to see us again. Not many people are willing to come back a second time…wonder why… Oh well, is there anything you would like to tell our readers before you go?

MichaelI can’t imagine why. It’s always fun to be asked slightly different questions. I would like to close this interview on a profound, yet amusing note. Unfortunately, I can’t think of one.

How awesome is Michael? He is giving away 5 ecopies of his newest release Wannabes! I can't wait to read about Murmur :)


Wannabes
by Michael Logan
From the winner of the inaugural Terry Pratchett First Novel Prize comes a new satire.

Celebrities are mobbing London's laser clinics as a deranged wannabe bumps off A-listers, believing he can absorb their powers and become famous by taping their tattoos to his body.

Washed-up pop star Jackie Thunder isn’t joining the stampede. Jackie figures that if he can get on the killer’s hit list, without the inconvenience of actually being murdered, he’ll gain the publicity needed to reignite his career.

But there’s more at stake than Jackie can possibly imagine. Guiding the killer is Murmur, a minor demon with his own agenda to make a name for himself, and Jackie becomes an unwitting pawn in a decades-old plot to destroy great music through murder, mayhem and manipulation.

With humanity’s collective soul at stake, how far will Jackie go to reach the top?



About the Author:
Michael Logan is a Scottish author and journalist, whose writing career has taken him across the globe. Apart from his homeland, which he left in 2003 at the age of 32, Michael has lived in Bosnia, Hungary, Switzerland and Kenya, and reported from many other countries. His experience of riots, refugee camps and other turbulent situations helps fuel his writing.

He wrote his first short story at the tender age of eight, but was distracted by his career as first an engineer, then a journalist for almost three decades before returning to fiction. Apocalypse Cow, which won Terry Pratchett’s Anwhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize, is his first novel. His short fiction has previously appeared in literary journals such as Chapman, and his piece We Will Go on Ahead and Wait for You won Fish Publishing’s 2008 international One-Page Fiction Prize.

He currently lives in Nairobi, Kenya, and is married with a young daughter and another child of indeterminate sex on the way. More information can be found on his website: www.freelancelogan.com

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9 comments:

  1. I would say Miley Cyrus. It sure would be nice to be young and dumb again.

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  2. LOVE the premise and already bought the book (couldn't waitI!). As for celebrity tatts, I would want Pink's dragon.

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    1. Couldn't spell either .... that would be "wait"

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  3. Actually I would not want any celebrity tatoo if I ever got one!

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  4. I've always wanted a small tattoo but never could decide what. I'm not really up on who has what tattoo and with the medications I'm on this would a very BIG no no.

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  5. Tattoo? Hmmm. I really can't think of any specific one. Michael, you are a hoot. Thanks to both of you for the great interview. I was cracking up the whole time.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  6. lol, he is fun. Was glad to have him back. I can't wait to read his book.

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