Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Interview with humorist author and illustrator Steven Novak

Today's guest author interview is with humorist Steven Novak. He's here talking about all sorts of things, but mostly his new book Goats Eat Cans Volume 1.

I need to slap a PG-13 on this interview due to some terms that G readers don't encounter.

Steven has two giveaways on the block to a lucky commentor or Twitter follower. Up for grabs is 1 signed paperback copy of Goats Eat Cans Volume 1 and 1 signed chapter art illustration. So comment below and/or follow him @stvfoolery for a chance to win.

Born in Chicago Illinois, Steven Novak has spent the whole of his life creating. After attending The Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus Ohio for four years he moved to California where he married his wife. The pair have been together for nearly a decade. His work can be found online at www.novakillustration.com

Welcome to Reviews and Interviews, Steven. Please tell us about your current release.
You know how people like to slow down and look at car accidents? That’s sort of what Goats Eat Cans Volume 1 is. It’s a car accident. It’s my life, and it’s my car accident, and it’s filled with nerd references and Real Housewives hatred.

Nothing is off limits.

You’ll learn about the day I lost my virginity and the day I cracked my skull open. You’ll find out why I was nicknamed “The Mad Bomber” in college, and you’ll read about how I made a fool of myself the day I was married. Heck, I even tell you about the time my anus erupted in a geyser of blood.

That chapter is extra long – because I wanted to be as detailed as possible.

In a weird way the book is actually a public service. Laughing at me will make you feel better about yourself. It’s an ego boost.

What inspired you to write this book?
I can’t honestly say that there was any sort of “inspiration” involved. Years ago I posted a few similar stories online. People liked them a hell of a lot more than I expected them to and, ultimately, putting together a book just made sense. 

Plus I was bored.

When I get bored I do things I probably shouldn’t do - like assembling a three hundred page novel that makes me look like the world’s biggest idiot.

I’m not the world’s biggest idiot.

I’m the world’s second biggest idiot.

What exciting story are you working on next?
At the moment I’m compiling and editing the stories for Goats Eat Cans Volume 2 and writing some stuff for Volume 3. Both editions should be out before the end of the year if all goes according to plan. I also have a children’s picture book I illustrated last year for Featherweight Press that should be hitting stores in a few months, and I’m also working on another humor book titled Fictional Jerks for release in early 2013.

I know that makes it sound like I’m really busy, but I’m actually not.

Most of my time is spent alternating between Angry Birds and Parks and Recreation reruns.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I can’t honestly say that I've ever considered myself a writer. Don’t think I ever will. Don’t get me wrong, I like to think that I’m sort of a funny guy – sometimes – but that’s about it. Writers wear jackets with patches on the elbows. Writers smoke pipes, and are filled with an overwhelming desire to muck around in the deepest recesses of the human soul. I make jokes about Justin Bieber and tell stories about the time my childhood friend poured a jug of urine onto this little brother’s head.

To the best of my knowledge Hemmingway never told a pee jug story.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do not, no. I actually make my living as a graphic designer and illustrator. I've done everything from product design to children’s illustration, and web graphics, and I even produce a mostly weekly webcomic. I’ve also recently started creating e-book covers for self-published authors. Which has been a lot of fun. Luckily I work out of my home (jealous?) and I’m always at my computer, so finding the time to get a little writing in isn’t all that difficult.

The fact that I’m an emotionally distant husband helps a lot too.

Okay, that emotionally distant thing isn’t actually true.

It was funny though.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Oh, lord. How long do you have? Does the fact that I can only write while dressed as the Artful Dodger count?

It’s really more of a comfort thing.

Seriously though, I don’t know. Maybe I don’t have one. I have more “quirks” than J-Lo has booty stank but I’m not entirely sure that I have any writing “quirks”.

That's okay, I had to ask, though. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An artist. Long before I could formulate words my useless baby-hands were trying to scribble stuff. In fact, to this very day my mother loves to tell the story about the time I pulled off my diaper, grabbed a handful of my poop, and proceeded to use it to draw on the walls.

Art was the only thing I wanted to do and it was the only thing I was ever any good at. I didn’t really have any other options.

Seriously, I suck at everything else.

I've never even changed a tire.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Only that if you buy my book I’ll be your best friend. That’s a pretty good deal, right? A good book and a good pal? Come on, that’s totally worth the $1.99 price on the Kindle. Granted, I’m not exactly the greatest friend in the world, but one friend is better than no friends.

You’re lonely.

I know you are.

It’s okay.

Your lonely days can be a thing of the past with a single purchase.

We’ll hang out together. We’ll go the mall and do some shopping. We’ll try on clothes and screw with the security guards. Then we’ll head back to your place, order a pizza, and chuckle at your favorite sitcom. We’ll even stay up late talking about what bastards men are (if you have lady parts) or how women just don’t make any sense (if you have a penis).

It’ll be awesome.

We’ll be the best for at least three days – maybe four.

After that, I’m going to start screening your calls and I’ll be too busy “doing my laundry” to get together on the weekend. When you text me I won’t text back. When you ask where I’ve been I’ll tell you I lost my cell phone. I might also say nasty things about you behind your back.

What do you expect for $1.99?

Fun stuff, Steven. Ever consider stand up? Not that you have time for it now or anything...


BK said...

Thank you for hosting Steven today. I just love reading his interviews :).

Tomara Armstrong said...

I'm so glad I forked over the 1.99. Novak is the cheapest friend I officially own :-P
Great interview. I love that stinkin' book.

Steve Novak said...

Tomara, I'm the cheapest friend you know for a few more days, anyway.

Until you fork over another $1.99 for the sequel.

Then we're pals again.

Lisa Haselton said...

I'm certainly enjoying the humor that seems to surround Steve...or does Steve surround the humor, I can't quite tell! :)

Mary Ann Bernal said...

Delightfully entertaining