Monday, June 8, 2015

Interview with dystopian novel writer Jonah Kruvant

The special feature today is an excerpt from dystopian fiction novel, The Last Book Ever Written by Jonah Kruvant.

During his virtual book tour, Jonah will be giving away a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to a randomly drawn winner, along with a digital copy of the book (US only). To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

A writer, teacher, and student of the world, Jonah Kruvant received his Bachelor's degree from Skidmore College, his Master's degree in Teaching from Fordham University, and his MFA degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College. After living abroad in four different countries, Jonah settled in New York City.

Welcome, Jonah. Please tell us about your current release, The Last Book Ever Written.
Imagine a futuristic America where people have chips in their brains, shoot needles into their veins to enter a virtual reality, and creativity is illegal and punishable by death. This is the setting of my novel, which follows a detective who goes undercover to expose a community of creators, but finds himself compelled to write.

What inspired you to write this book?
When the iPhone was released, my best friend, always the first to embrace technology, brought it to my house. My friends and I sat around my kitchen table playing cards and chatted about things we had always talked about since high school. Except something was different: my best friend didn’t seem to be listening. He hadn’t taken his eyes off his new toy the entire night. He was so detached from reality that it disturbed me. Most of our communication is nonverbal (one famous study by Dr. Mehrabian in the 1970s found it to be 93%), and this is lost in virtual interactions and text messages. To me, a future with less effective communication between our fellow human beings is very scary, and I felt the need to write about it. The story grew from there.

Excerpt from The Last Book Ever Written:
The Chief had a mustache that moved while he talked. He combed it regularly. It was sharp, pencil thin, and as expressive as a man’s eyebrows. He kept an electric razor in his front pocket, which he would use in front of the mirror before important meetings. His office shelves held an impressive collection of razors of all kinds: from the microscopic that could pluck away at the root of the smallest hairs, to the wide and exotic, which could give a man a perfect shave in a single stroke. Although he was sixty-five, he looked much younger. “Appearance is success,” he was known to say.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on a science fiction story where people turn into smartphones. It follows the first three people who “transform”: a middle-school student running a bootleg smartphone operation in the Bronx; an iPhone mechanic and businessman in Tokyo; and a PhD student who is writing her dissertation on the effects of technology on the human psyche in Tel Aviv.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always loved to write, but I didn’t consider myself a writer until college, where a professor, the author Steven Millhauser, inspired and encouraged me to write.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I work in real estate development. It’s very different from writing in that it is a business of numbers, but it also similar to writing in interesting ways. I write whenever I can: before and after work, on the weekends. I wrote much of The Last Book Ever Written on retreats, and in the evening. My best writing comes when I am isolated from all distractions, smartphone turned off.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
It is impossible for me to type any new writing. I have to handwrite it first, and then type it after. This may seem more laborious, but I find it essential. The subconscious leaks out onto the page when I write with a notebook and pen. I find that the act of typing engages the conscious mind and is more conducive to revision. When I print it, I write on the printed pages with a pen, and then type it up again. I repeat this process until the piece is ready.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
In high school, I wanted to be a filmmaker. I come from a screenwriting background, so plot, structure, and dialogue are engrained in my head. It prepared me for creating the book trailer for The Last Book Ever Written, which is on YouTube, and is a film in itself.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
It is my hope that The Last Book Ever Written can have a real positive impact - that others can discover something within themselves by reading my work, or try to improve something in society that needs fixing.


Thanks, Jonah!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

MomJane said...

Wow, what a concept. I can hardly wait to read this book.

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good read.

bn100 said...

nice excerpt

Cali W. said...

I like the excerpt; thanks for the giveaway.

Jonah Kruvant said...

Thank you, Lisa!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the chance!