Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Author Interview: Bradley Somer, author of Fishbowl

I recently read an amazing book that was sent to me by St. Martin's.  When the publicist offered me a chance to send the author questions, I jumped at the chance.  Devising the questions was easy because I was 2/3 of the way through the novel and it was so interesting, crazy and real that I was excited to ask questions.

The book is Fishbowl by Bradley Somer. I will have my review up of this wonderful, fun, zany and real novel tomorrow.  But for now to whet your appetite for his new book, enjoy what the author has to say.  Please welcome Bradley Somer to My Reading Room and feel free to comment about the interview, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Q:  I'm reading Fishbowl and loving it so far. I love how the interactions between characters and events are connected. It's so intricate and fun. I love seeing a connection before you explored it in the next chapter or reading it after I had read it from another point-of-view.  But it struck me that it had to be hard to keep up with where you wanted to go. So, how did you keep up with how the characters/events were connected?
Happy to hear you're enjoying it! There were a lot of moving parts to keep in line in Fishbowl. Part of the fun of writing it was all the little puzzle pieces, things that get a mention early on and become much more relevant to the story farther down the line. The answer to your question... a lot of notes and tons of re-reads, while it was being written and after the rough manuscript was complete. There were also a ton of little rewrites to make sure it all fit together when it was supposed to fit together.

Q: We have two goldfish that were won at our Seafood festival so I never expected them to last a day but the oldest is at least 4-years-old now.  That said, I loved the parts about Ian. Do you currently have a pet goldfish?
How hilarious, in a skewed sort of way... goldfish given out at a seafood festival? I don't have a goldfish at the moment but I did growing up. We also had a few guppies that later became lots of guppies. Lots and lots of guppies. Those things are their own renewable resource.
Crystal: I never thought of the irony of goldfish as a prize at the seafood festival - that is hilarious, now I'll never look at it the same.  Not to mention that I actually wonder if our goldfish are looking for a life of adventure . . . 

Q: Where were you when the idea for Fishbowl first came about?
I was actually in an vacant penthouse apartment with a downtown view. There was an empty fishbowl sitting on a worn-out folding table on the balcony. There were the quiet sounds of life coming through the apartment walls, people moving inside the building and traffic noises from outside. That was the seed for the story. Fishbowl's original incarnation was as a short story called “Sunburnt Cosmonaut.” There was still so much more to the story though, I had to work it into a novel.

Q: How did you feel as you were writing Fishbowl?
Fishbowl was a joy to write. It was about two years in the making, concept to completion, and the whole time was just playing with all the characters, the language and the stories.

Q: What's one word that would describe how you felt when you finished Fishbowl?
Energized. That's the one word, now here's some more words... as soon as the last word was written, I was charged up to get back in and start tweaking and editing it.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time (assuming you have some)?
Free time...I have a vague recollection of that. Reading is up there, of course. I also really enjoy just visiting with friends and family. Also, I try to get out hiking when I can. Snowshoeing in the winter.

Q: What three things do you need in order to write?
Coffee, tunes and some downtime to get in the right headspace.

Q: Sum up Fishbowl in 140 characters or less.
Fishbowl is a half hour of life in The Seville on Roxy. It's the story about how we don't live our own life, we live each other's together. 

Thank you Bradley for taking the time to answer my questions.  I loved Fishbowl, so come back tomorrow and see my review.  Already interested, buy links are below.  Trust me it's amazing.

Amazon        B&N          iBooks         Book Depository

About Fishbowl:

A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He's longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents.

There's the handsome grad student, his girlfriend, and the other woman; the construction worker who feels trapped by a secret; the building's super who feels invisible and alone; the pregnant woman on bed rest who craves a forbidden ice cream sandwich; the shut-in for whom dirty talk, and quiche, are a way of life; and home-schooled Herman, a boy who thinks he can travel through time. Though they share time and space, they have something even more important in common: each faces a decision that will affect the course of their lives. Within the walls of the Seville are stories of love, new life, and death, of facing the ugly truth of who one has been and the beautiful truth of who one can become.

Sometimes taking a risk is the only way to move forward with our lives. As Ian the goldfish knows, "An entire life devoted to a fishbowl will make one die an old fish with not one adventure had."

Author Biography

BRADLEY SOMER was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in Canada and holds degrees in Anthropology and Archaeology. His short fiction has appeared in literary journals, reviews and anthologies. His debut novel, Imperfections, published in Canada, won the 2013 CBC Bookie Award for debut of the year. Bradley currently lives in a little old house in the city of Calgary, Canada, where he works on his writing projects and tries to ignore the wild growth that his backyard has become.

***Links to Amazon an Book Depository are to my associate accounts, if you purchase through these, thank you!  I will make a small amount of money to it to improve the blog and facilitate future giveaways. ***