[Interview_2] Christian A. Dumais

Christian A. Dumais is the author of Empty Rooms Lonely Countries (CreateSpace, 2009).

His work has been featured in magazines that include Shock Totem and GUD Magazine as well as in the anthology, Cover Stories (CreateSpace, 2010).

In this interview, Christian Dumais talks about his contribution to Cover Stories:

How would you describe Cover Stories?

In Cover Stories, 10 young writers from around the globe cut deep into the tracks of their favorite albums to produce something that's more than just a mix tape of divergent fictions; they are the scouts for a new literary invasion ...

It’s an anthology of short stories all inspired by some of your favorite songs: 100 stories. 10 Writers. 1 New Genre. We call the work euphiction, which is the marriage of musical inspiration with the written word: a story that's a three minute single.

The writers include Simon Neil, Derrek Carriveau, T. P. Whited, Erik Schmidt, Suzi M., A.C. Noia, Derek Handley, Matt Gamble, N. Pendleton and myself. Plus there’s an introduction by Freddie & Me’s Mike Dawson and an afterword by Sean P. Murray.

I’m in excellent company.

Have you written other books?

My previous book was Empty Rooms Lonely Countries, which you were kind enough to interview me about before. While I wish I could take credit for all of the amazing short stories in Cover Stories, only 10% of the book is mine.

My 10 stories in Cover Stories took me about six weeks from rough drafts to final rewrites. As far as editing and putting the book together, from the day I sent out emails to the other writers asking if they’d like to participate in the project to the day the book was finally published was exactly one year.

When was Cover Stories published?

The book was published on June 21, 2010, which was World Music Day. It’s available online and in bookstores.

Which were the most difficult aspects of the work you put into the book?

That’s an easy one. Getting through all of the legal stuff that comes with writing stories about music, especially if you’re using lyrics and song titles. It was a much longer process than we originally anticipated made worse by some mistakes made at the very beginning by me.

Every book you do creates a new set of challenges, and Cover Stories was no exception. That said, the delays and the hurdles jumped to get the book published actually made the book stronger in the end.

What did you enjoy most?

The best part about a project like this is getting the stories from the other writers and being able to sit down and enjoy them.

It was thrilling to see an idea I had slowly come to life with the help of some extraordinary writers. I really felt like the luckiest person in the world.

In what way is the material you wrote for Cover Stories similar to other things you've written?

I’m sure there might be similarities, but that’ll be for the reader to determine.

I made a sincere effort to distance myself from my usual bag of tricks and push myself to a different place with the writing. I’ll let you know when I hear what readers have to say.

What will your next book be about?

I’m staring at two vastly different projects at the moment and which one I choose depends on a lot of variables. With luck, I’ll be back here again next year and I’ll happily tell you all about it.

In the meantime, I ask everyone to give Cover Stories a shot. The official website is live and you’ll find lots of information about the anthology, as well as a free 10 story sampler of the book.

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