Christian Heidicker co-hosts storytelling evenings in Salt Lake City and has spent the last several years developing instructional comic books for a non-profit and teaching creative writing at Broadview University. His first book, Cure for the Common Universe, was published in June 2016. Learn more at www.cmheidicker.com.
Tell us a little about your book, Cure for the Common Universe.
It’s about a kid who’s committed to video game rehab ten minutes after he scores the first date of his life. Lucky for him, V-hab is “gamified” so he’s able to earn points by learning real-life skills like learning how to play the ukulele, doing some cross-stitching, or winning a Four Square tournament. I may as well be up front with you right now and tell you that this kid, Jaxon, is kind of a terrible person. I’m sorry. I am so sorry.
You’ve got a few new books coming out, right? Tell us about them, and when we can expect to read them.
My next book is coming out in the summer of 2018. It’s called Throw Your Arm Across Your Eyes And Scream, and I am as shocked as you are that Simon & Schuster kept the title. It’s about a girl named Phoebe who lives in 1958 in a world where all of the horror films of the fifties are actual events. A blob monster is devouring alcoholic teens . . . gigantic radioactive ants are roaming through the desert . . . The thing that makes Phoebe special is that she’s the only one who can see the large man filling the sky. He’s wearing a bathrobe and holding a remote control, and she notices that wherever his eyes land is where the next monster disaster is going to strike. The story starts when this man’s eyes fall on Phoebe.
Lots of people aspire to write a novel. Give us some advice. What are a few things we must do to write a novel? What mustn’t we do?
You must read. And you must write. Even if it’s just a little bit every day. 300 words a day will get you a Stephen King-sized novel a year. (That sounds like the novel is the size of the man Stephen King . . . I’m leaving it.) What mustn’t you do? Hmm. Don’t stab people. ‘A stabby person does not a good writer make,’ I always say.
Now let’s get silly. Which genre would you rather take to the junior prom: Mystery, Romance, Sci-fi or Fantasy?
Uuuhhhhmmmmmm . . . Mystery would probably be a little obvious (it was Mr. Gunderson poisoning the punch bowl). Romance would be too soppy (and that handsome Ted can afford a much fancier boutonniere than I). Sci-fi might be interesting, especially if we discovered we were the only humanoids in the room as all the dancers’ heads start slowly revolving around their shoulders, but . . . I’ll take Fantasy. Even if I’m not smitten with her or her with me, Puck can always sweeten our eyes with a little love potion and the fairies can dress us in finery.
Let’s imagine you find a magic pen that allows you to write your name on the title page of any book, and instantly the world thinks you wrote it. Which book would you claim as your own?
East of Eden. (Sorry, Steinbeck.)