Monday, May 24, 2010
Ten Questions With Author U.L Harper
Authors On The Rise Is happy to bring you an interview from U.L Harper.
Harper is the author of, The Flesh Stature. His upcoming book, Once Human, Now Food is slated for release soon.
Dee Dee: Please give us a brief synopsis of your novel, The Flesh Statue.
U.L: Tired of watching his ailing grandfather wither away from Alzheimer's, 19 year old Langley Jackson moves from his middle class home and subsequently struggles to survive in downtown Long Beach. Here he finds himself part of a social movement bent on destruction and retribution. Through all of this, Langley must decide on trying to subsist in a complicated and unlawful new world of graffiti and poetry or endure in a disheartening old one outlined by the death of his mother and his sick grandfather.
Dee Dee: How did you come up with the title of your book?
U.L: The title of the book is based on a particular scene in the story. I know a lot of people don't like spoilers but here goes one for you anyway. A flesh statue is what the main character thinks his grandfather looks like when he finds him dead. It might sound sad because it kind of is. I focused on emotional content in this story, to a certain degree. I'm sure a lot of what I would say about this is a better answer for another question.
Dee Dee: Why was it imperative for you to write this novel? Did you have a message you wanted to convey?
U.L: There is a message in the story. However, I didn't write it to convey a message. I simply have my influences, inspirations. I wouldn't call the story imperative, though I would definitely say that when I wrote it no other story was going to be told by me at that time, not by me. There is person revolution going on in the novel that mirrored some things in my life. So I guess in a way I let go a bit, through The Flesh Statue. Imperative? I'll have to think about that one.
Dee Dee: With so many books/authors, what makes your book stand apart? How is your book different?
U.L: I could have a list for this one. Whereas I don't think there is anything so definitely unique about The Flesh Statue, I will say that there are some things that won't happen in any other book you read. For instance, the small town of San Pedro goes to the revolution for a week...and advertises for it on billboards. My good friend and main character Bert decides to stimulate his auto body repair business by destroying cars himself. Business gets so good that he hires someone to help him destroy vehicles. There are these type of things. That and the chapter titles. I loved coming up with the chapter titles.
Dee Dee: In one sentence, tell an avid reader why they should choose your book for their next selection.
U.L: This story is fun, absurd and an emotional and mental challenge. Don't miss out. Sorry. Two sentences.
Dee Dee: Describe how it felt to see your book in print for the first time.
U.L: At first when I first saw it I was amazed. I looked at all the words and the length and I smelled it... I was like, look at how all these words make sense together. Wow! I really couldn't believe it was done. Years of hard work. It came in the mail so I got to open that cool little box. Freakin wonderful. Can't actually articulate it properly. Not even really going to try.
Dee Dee: What has been the hardest obstacle you've faced regarding your book: writing the book, editing, promoting or other?
U.L: Editing was pretty tough and I still don't think I'm completely happy with it. Writing it was difficult and I do consider editing part of writing, so there's that. With that said, I think promoting has been the hardest because you can do a lot and do it the right way and still not be read. Too me it's not about making money. It's more about getting read and moving ideas along. But getting people to read your book is always a work in progress. Eventually you want someone to read it who hasn't seen you at a reading or read something from you at some point. You want it to snowball to a word of mouth thing. A challenge to say the least. Daunting is a word I might use to describe it. Does it matter how good your book is if nobody reads it? Just asking.
Dee Dee: Besides writing, what else does U.L like to do in his free time?
U.L: Of course I like reading. I watch plenty of movies. I don't do too much but I've been getting back in to sports. I'm a Dodgers fan.
Dee Dee: Where do you hope to be twenty years from now in your writing career?
U.L: I really just want to write books. To tell you honestly, it's all I really want to do. I simply don't care about a lot of other stuff.
Dee Dee: What upcoming projects are you working on?
U.L: Right now I'm working on a project called Once Human, Now Food. It's a character piece told through a few different character's perspectives and has an awkward twist at the end. It should be ready by Summer. We'll see what publishers think about it.
Dee Dee: How can readers contact you and order your book?
U.L: Just email me. email@example.com. The Flesh Statue is available wherever books are sold. It can be purchased off my website as well. Yes, stop by ulharper.com. Some of the poetry from the story is read aloud there. One is read by me, actually. Join the U.L. Harper fan club on facebook. Follow me on twitter, if you like that sort of thing.
U.L's Ten favorite things:
Ice Cream: It's all good
Cookie: Oatmeal Raisin
music genre: Jazz or noise rock Nothing on the radio
Place to relax: Home, in bed, on the couch
Sports: Baseball, Basketball
Time of day: About 2 a.m.