Q&A Thursday

So this Friday, I’ll be traveling.  Rather than leave you with all your unanswered questions for another week, I thought I’d move Q&A Friday up a day because I care.

As always, if you should have any questions, feel free to leave them here in the comments section, send them to me via Twitter (@ALeeMartinez) or Facebook (A. Lee Martinez), or at Hipstercthulhu@hotmail.com.  So send me those questions and / or comments because one day, I’ll be too famous to bother with the little people.  That’s the plan anyway.

This week’s questions are:


Ever thought about making any of your books animated movies?  Gil’s might be a good one.  Still adult-centric, though.

Great question, but I’m afraid it’s the wrong question.  If it were up to me, I’d already have adapted something into an animated film.  It is, however, not really up to me.  Movies are big, expensive productions, and even a lower budget film requires expertise in a field I don’t know very much about.  Novelology is my field of expertise.  I have done a little screenwriting and treatment stuff, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  But for now, novels are where I make my money.

I am too very much a novelologist.  I love movies, but I don’t write stories to become movies.  I write stories that are intended to be books, and if they should happen to become movies and / or TV shows, I wouldn’t mind one bit.  It’d be good for my career, which is always my primary concern, but also a cool experience.  Even if the adaptation wasn’t very good, it would still be a huge boost to getting my name out there.  And, who knows, it might even be good.

But, as I said, this isn’t really my call to make.  I’ve had movie folks interested in various stories, and so far, it’s been a rewarding experience, both creatively and financially, but it hasn’t panned out beyond that.  I’m always eager to explore a new frontier, and with some luck, it’ll happen one day.  So we’ll see.

But if you buy a lot more books, maybe it’ll convince some producer out there to take that big scary leap.  Just a suggestion from a shameless capitalist.


Here’s one for you!  How do you estimate the word count of a novel in progress?  I’m revising one right now, and I’m stumped.

I’m assuming you’re asking me how I figure out the potential word count to a story I’m not finished yet.  If you want an actual word count, most word processing programs can tell you how many words you have written down on a manuscript.  And, push comes to shove, you can always estimate every page averages about 250 words, so simple multiplication can do the trick.  You can even use a calculator.  Nobody is going to hold it against you.

If you’re asking how to predict the length of a finished story before you’ve actually finished it, I’m not sure how to get that.  If you’ve finished a story or two, you probably have a good idea of what word count you hit on a regular basis.  For me, it’s a pretty standard number, and every story I write tends to hit that range.

My question is how important is it to know the word count before you’ve finished the story?  If you’re trying to sell a story before you’ve finished it, good luck with that.  I prefer finishing a story before submitting, though I don’t always have that luxury.  In which case, just figure out a good word count you’re aiming for and do what you can to make the story hit that.  It’s not always easy, and depending on how you write, you might end up having to add stuff or remove with judicious editing.  (FYI: I always have to add.)

Hope this answers the question.  If not, let me know.


Who would win in a fight: Robo-Ghandi or a unicorn with rocket launcher legs?

Tough call.  I’m assuming Robo-Ghandi would have trouble violating his non-violence directive.  On the other hand, unicorns are pretty lame.  Even cyborg unicorns.  I mean, it’s just a horse with a horn on its head.  Oh, yeah, and goat hooves or something.  Which is kind of like a mythical whale with the head of an orca and the tale of a beluga.  Not exactly anything to get excited about.

So, assuming Robo-Ghandi is rocket-proof (which I feel is a pretty safe assumption) and given the lameness of unicorns, I’m going with Robo-Ghandi.  But we’ll just have to wait for science to give us the real answer one day.


If you had to write in another genre what would it be?

Tough question.  I write fantasy and science fiction mostly because I love making stuff up and if I decide Dracula can fly through space and shoot lasers out of his fangs, no one can really argue with me about it.

The real question is how do we define what my genre is to begin with?  I write about monsters, but it’s not exactly horror.  I write with humor, but it’s not exactly satire.  I write about planets blowing up, but it’s not strictly adventure.  So if I said Horror or Space Opera, would I still be writing in the same genre?

Let’s just remove all fantasy and science fiction elements from the equation to be safe.  In that case, I’d be writing Crime Noir.  One of the reasons I wrote The Automatic Detective was a chance to write all that snappy patter and tough guy scenes that classic Crime Noir offers, but with a robot fighting a slime monster at the climax, which, we can all agree, is freakin’ awesome.

But even without the robot and slime monster, I do enjoy Noir quite a bit.  So while I don’t know if I could write it as well, Crime Noir would be my alternate of choice.  Though I do enjoy it more with wise-cracking robots and talking apes.


Does this smell funny to you?

Alas, while I am an incredibly gifted individual, I do have one weakness.  My sense of smell is almost completely useless, and it’s even worse across the internet.

But I’d say throw it out, just to be on the safe side.


Keelah Se’lai

Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,


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