Here they are, Answers to the August Ask Dreece Anything (on Twitter). Here are serious and silly questions, all of which I try to answer in an entertaining and informative way. Enjoy. Here’s the link to July’s Ask Dreece Anything, and the one that came later in October.
The questions are grouped (randomly) by Twitter handle.
Q: Is Steampunk bad for the environment?
Everything is relative, so for this, I turned to my imaginary uncle. Unfortunately, he was asleep and when I woke him, screamed at me for breaking into his house. So, I’m forced to answer this myself. Here I go!
In terms of genres, Steampunk does focus on steam but that’s often produced by burning coal or wood. It by its very nature has a better carbon footprint that Dystopian post-apocalyptic worlds, Dieselpunk, dragon-ages and political thrillers (lots of political hot air).
Q: What is the biggest inspiration for your stories?
In July, I had a question along these lines & I talked about my kids, but there’s another motivation that I have. Once, when I was about 17, I had a writing group and we shared a set of common characters. My writing grew leaps and bounds, I started writing more than the three others combined and making characters grow and change in ways that they never expected. They sat me down, told me off for, and I quote, “Characters cannot be allowed to do that. They have to do what we tell them. Undo what you’ve written.”
People like them have tried to tell me throughout my life I would not amount to anything or that I would NEVER be an artist like them. I sometimes reach into that old anger when I need to refuel myself. Whenever someone is asking for help or needs encouragement, I see a shadow of myself, and I help them. Maybe I won’t become the Next Big Thing, but maybe they will, and if I could help make that happen, that’s inspiring.
Q: I want to make banana bread but I’m out of bananas, can I substitute pickles or plastic-hangers?
Hang on… okay, I’ve changed the Wikipedia entry that now allows for Banana Bread to be made with pickles, and if someone looks up pickles it says “Also known as Gerkin Bananas.”
Note: For the receipt, add extra sugar. About a gallon.
Extra note: Not recommended for first dates.
Q: Where is my left flip-flop
Um, don’t eat that banana-bread. Just–just trust me on this one.
Q: Who knows?
The Oracle, but being a technologist, I should mention Microsoft SQL-Server. However, the Oracle doesn’t really know, and there was nothing before the “Sequel” which makes it false-advertising in my books.
Q: What was your favorite toy as a child, and why?
OR you could say, my Optimus Prime. He was a leader, and strong and cared for people. He wasn’t particularly well made as a toy and a leg broke off at one point, but I kept playing with him.
Q: What’s your guardian angel’s biggest challenge?
Explaining to her boss why I’m always saving her butt.
Q: Is the character of Tee inspired by someone in your life?
Some elements of Tee are inspired by my daughter, and whom I think she may end up being. I’ve also mixed in elements of my youngest kiddo, who has a “Jumping in, guns blazing!!” personality. I have NO IDEA where he gets this from (*looks around suspiciously*).
Q: If a Yellow Hood and a Red Hood got together, would they make an Orange Hood?
Did you read about those Red Hoods? I mean, I guess there’s that one who started to feel some regret, but even still, we don’t know what he’s like. I wouldn’t let him NEAR Tee, and Elly wouldn’t be interested, and as for Mounira, she’s got her eye on someone.
Oh, wait, I misread the question. Hang on, k. One yellow hood *put it on the floor*, and a red hood, right? *puts it on top*. HA! You get a yellow hood with a red hood on top. #NeedsSleep
Q: What Steampunk enhancement would you give yourself?
The first things to go through my mind was: Arm? No, my arms are good. Leg? No, legs good too. Lungs? Hmm… sometimes I would certainly like to have those babies replaced, those severe asthmatic air pumpers. But then, Steampunk technology is heavy, and I’d likely have to build a machine around those lungs to move me around. Pretty soon I think I’d find myself having built a giant Steampunk mech (aka robot, think Pacific Rim – the movie).
OH, wait, I could enhance without replacing. Wings! OH, that would be cool. Press a button, they fold out and then take off. Yeah!
Q: If you could travel in time (past or future) where/when would you go & why?
Ignoring that if I go back in time, I likely carry viruses that could wipe out humanity, and if I go forward in time, that my immune system won’t be strong enough to handle their common cold, I need to think for a moment.
I’ll need to ignore the fact that I’d have no money, and therefore shelter or food, or influence. Hmm…
OH! I’d go back to last Wednesday with the lotto numbers!
Or, I could go back to my younger self, right after we moved half way through grade 1 when I thought my world was being destroyed and ended up getting bullied and beaten up for the first time shortly after. I’d help that me understand what he was going to achieve, and the power inside of him. I’d help him get over his fear of physically harming someone else, so that he could defend himself and the principles he believes in. I’d also pull his dad aside and have a chat, telling him that his son was not “just acting up, and NORMAL” that he was a literal “genius” and should be sent to a special school, and that he was dyslexic but it’s a gift. And I’d tell him the upcoming lotto numbers to cover the costs.
Q: Who would you like to play you in a movie of your life?
Well, there’s Johnny Dep and Robert Downey Jr. but they’re too old. There’s Vin Diesel, I mean, he WAS Groot but… I think he lacks enough of the brainy look. I think I’ll have to go with Scarlet Johansson because she’s awesome… Not it is NOT an excuse to be close to her. Not at all. Nope. Nuh huh….ah, no.
Q: If you could snog a fictional character, who would you snog?
(goes to lookup what snog means, because he’s not a 100% sure)
BRITISH – informal
verb – kiss and caress amorously.
noun – an act or spell of amorous kissing and caressing.
Okay… Black Widow from the Avengers or Lucy. WHAT? WHAT?! Those were acted by Scarlet Johansson? That’s a TOTAL coincidence. Truth be told, I really am (and have always been) one of those guys attracted to really smart women. That and a cute face, I’m toast.
Q: If you could chose a book written by another author that you wished you had written, which book and why?
To be really honest, none. I understand where the question is coming from, but I find writing very much like some people find golf. It’s an activity where you are challenging yourself to do better, you aren’t against an opponent.
Now, what books do I wish I could one day have the same impact as? Harry Potter, 1984 and Brave New World. Rowling, Orwell and Huxley.
Q: You can invite one famous person, living or dead, and one fictional character for tea, who would you invite?
Wait, and I need to understand this properly, I can have TWO Scarlet Johansson’s at my house?? Um, that can’t be right, can it? Ah… this must be a trick question.
Actually, I’d like to have Robin Williams. The obvious stuff aside, when I was a kid I watched “Robin Williams at Carnegie Hall” and other recordings of his standup. Between him, Bill Cosby and George Carlin, they gave me a power to overcome, temporarily, my low self-esteem by being able to make people laugh. Whenever I had people try to make a fool of me, or try to cut me down, I’d have Robin, George and Bill.
I’d like to thank Robin for that.
As for fictional character? It wouldn’t really matter because GOOD FREAKING LUCK getting a word in edgewise with Robin and me there.
Q: Who would win in a fight between Q (from Star Trek) and the Beyonder (from Marvel Comics)
Thanks for providing clarification for the readers, as not everyone may be familiar with the Beyonder.
I think this goes to Q. Q would convince the Beyonder to re-enact the ending of Secret Wars two (yes, this is done from MEMORY) where he constructed a large device to pull out his powers and have him be born as a baby, hoping to experience humanity and learning to use his powers. Q would resolve the “flaw” which allowed the Beyonder not to die, end his existence, and then would say in a dismissive voice, “Idiot” or possibly, “Amateur.”
Q: Pink tee shirts or purple tee shirts?
Too many variables. If I’m assuming a giant cyclops who is going to a breakdance competition, I’m going with purple tee shirt. If we’re talking about Scarlet Johansson then… sorry, what was the question?
Q: What time of the day do you do your best writing?
I’m a morning person, but I really have found that after dinner and the early hours of the night are my best time. It’s probably because I think about the story throughout the day, and then finally when I sit down to write, I’m ready.
Q: What is the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything to which the answer is “42”?
At what age does Adam Dreece hit the best seller list and become a guest on Colbert’s new show or it could be, At what age should be come to understand where we have been, so that we may appreciate and better direct where we have yet to go. Either way’s good (Colbert! Colbert!)
Q: What board games and/or role-playing games do you still play?
Unfortunately other than kid games over the past couple of years. I long for the days of Heroclix and Empire-in-Arms, as well as D&D. Hopefully one day, in a couple of years, I can revisit those long lost loves.
Q: How much of the plot of a given book or story do you figure out before you start writing?
For book 1, I had a vague idea, wrote about a third of it, then wrote some more, then stood back and looked at it, and then figure out where it was going. For book 2, I mentally did that, and then drew a fishbone diagram of the timeline. I really liked that approach.
For book 3, I’m going a step further into thinking what is its relationship with book 4 and 5 (as The Yellow Hoods
is a 5 part series).
An important point though, is as I write, I allow for things to change, even dramatically.
Q: Do you have any author crushes? If so, who and why?
Honestly, like I mentioned above, I really don’t. Now that probably has to do with I don’t read anywhere near as much as any of the other authors I know. Being dyslexic, and having an overly developed work-ethic, I have a hard time sitting down to enjoy a book When There Are Things To Do(tm).
Most of the books that I’ve read in recent years, I’ve really listened to (audible), and those are almost all non-fiction. I’m trying to fix that, and so I might really enjoy an author yet!
Q: Have you ever ugly cried over a book or movie? If so, which one(s)?
*turns and looks around, ‘What does ugly cry mean??’*
Okay, *breathes out*, this is getting uncomfortable. I’ve teared up, cried a little, at a number of things that have just hit me a certain way, at a certain time, but I have had no “emotional collapse” ever from reading or watching a movie.
I mentioned in my first Ask Dreece Anything
that one of my favorite movies is 50 First Dates, and that one gets me but we’re talking um, Manly Sniffles ™, A tear (tries to look tough, which is more funny than intimidating).
Q: Your spouse and children leave for three days. You have 72 hours alone. What do you do?
*runs and gets secret envelope under socks in dresser, carefully opens it and pulls out The Grand List of Wishes*
Okay let’s see
1. Wake up at 5am because MY body told me I’m not allowed to sleep in, instead of my kids deciding that
2. Make breakfast for myself FIRST and then run around the house pretending to try and clean jam-hands off uncooperative children. Flip a coin to decide whether or not mopping will be necessary.
3. Prepare coffee for my wife as standard bribe to let me go and write at coffee shop, forgetting wife is not there but remembering I do not like coffee.
4. Go to coffee shop to get some peace and quiet. Write while fending off Twitter, after an hour, feel a bit of guilt about having left the family to go write. Return home after 1.5 hours.
5. Realizing no one is home, WRITE!
6. At 9pm, watch an hour of a movie before being unable to focus on it, write some more.
7. Go to sleep an hour past when I should have.
8. Go back to step 1
Q: What did you mean when you said, “I was worried about Emery reviewing my book?”
Like a lot of writers, I am not convinced that what I wrote is amazing or that I necessarily have great skill, I feel that I have managed to fail find the Large Group of People or that Critical Critic who will tear the book apart.This will simply reconfirm that sense, since I was little, that I am not to be part of a group.
So knowing how analytical and principles-driven Emery was,, I knew he wouldn’t hold back. Friend or not, I knew he would put his thoughts to the page. Given we traveled in some of the same Twitter social circles, I was concerned how that could affect those around me (bad experiences in life with this).
Q: In a 4-man cage match between you, @Kingmatte, @DEmeryBunn & @DBWimmer, who is the last man standing?
It would come down to Emery and me. Matt would be first asking if we really needed to do this, Emery and I would end that quickly. DB would be stunned and wonder if this was really happening, that would be the end of him.
Emery would ultimately fall because he is highly analytical and has a linear clarity of thought. While this serves him very well in many fields, it means his actions ultimately have a pattern and are predictable. He would go down hard, after having noticed my set of subtle signals.
Those that would have caged us would then open the doors, and at the right moment, Emery would spring back in to action, and we’d throw them in the cage with the remains of Matt and DB.
Why didn’t I include Matt and DB in the plan? I wish I had, I didn’t think of it at the time. I wish I had, I really wish I had.
Q: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
4268 but most of that’s getting through the wrapper, it’s very waxy.
Q: How long would you last in a panic room?
*faints at the thought*
Q: What’s the difference between a dead ghost and a live ghost?
One is able to be on SNL, and the other can’t.
LIVE FROM NEW YORK… can’t really do that with a dead ghost.
Q: How do you kill a ghost deader than it already is?
There’s a RAID product, from the same division that had the slogan “Kill bugs dead!” Before that, I didn’t know there was another way to kill things.
Q: Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?
You didn’t write down the instructions last Ask Dreece Anything
, did you? Go talk to the Frog, CAREFUL he has a jar.
Thanks everyone, that was fun!