I was interviewed on video earlier this week by Second Generation Press publisher Chris Trudeau for the upcoming epublication of my novel The New Sense . There I was, minding my own business, sitting in front of a bookshelf in my living room with an artfully placed plant behind my left ear, when BAM! there was a camera in my face and a microphone wire up my shirt. I suppose in this day and age we should be only too aware of how often these drive-by interviews can occur, but when you’re being peppered with questions like Bonnie and Clyde going down in a hail of bullets, you don’t have time to think.
Luckily, I’d done all my thinking in advance, so I was able to swat away the questions with ease. In fact, Chris’s main task was to get me to stop talking. The thing is, talking about yourself is boring (unless you live in New Jersey, from what I understand) but being asked to talk about something you spent countless hours writing is like asking a new parent to say a few words about their precious little one.
Here’s the thing I had the most difficulty being concise about: this fall will be an interesting time to have The New Sense published, as it is US election time. The novel takes place in 2002 as the Iraq war was brewing, and the main character Sara had to go through a similar process as the American and British public in trying to figure out what information she could trust. George W. Bush’s claim that Saddam Hussein had WMD’s (the key claim that justified sending in the troops) was, we soon learned, a manufactured story. Barack Obama is still suffering from a similarly manufactured story, that he was not really born in the US. We have been shown a birth certificate, like Sara, and must use our judgment to discern whether it is fake or real.
Notice that I use the term “manufactured story” rather than “lie”. This relates to The New Sense’s main theme: epistemology, the study of knowledge and its limitations. Talking about “truth” and “lies” is a blunt instrument when it comes to many aspects of life. With fiction and other forms of art, the subject takes on a whole other level of meaning. But this isn’t the place to get all philosophical, so I’ll just say that the reason The New Sense exists is so that Sara can try to figure out what she can depend on and whether the information she has can be trusted to help her find the father of her unborn child.
As for me, the question is, was I really interviewed this week? Maybe you’ll find out soon…