Wednesday, September 26, 2012

TCR Story of the Month for September: How to Adopt a Cat by Dave K.

Dave K. 
The Committee Room is pleased to present "How to Adopt a Cat" by Dave K. as TCR Story of the Month for September.

Set in a steampunk world, "How to Adopt a Cat" follows a friendless man on his release from an insane asylum. With superbly rendered detail, this intense, offbeat story delves into the mind of a desperate character on the margins of life.

Dave K. is a writer and artist who lives in Baltimore. His work has been published in Front Porch Journal, Battered Suitcase, LOOP, Artichoke Haircut, and Welter, and he self-publishes through Banners of Death Press. A collection of his stories is Stone a Pig (2012). When he’s not writing, Dave K. is a valley on the southern side of Windwhistle Peak, in the Allan Hills.

"How to Adopt a Cat" was published in the Summer 2012 issue of Cobalt, a new online journal based in the more vibrant than you perhaps may think city of Baltimore. It will also be included in the "Best of" offerings in Cobalt's first print issue scheduled to appear soon.

Read "How to Adopt a Cat"

TCR Story of the Month highlights an outstanding work of fiction published online within the preceding twelve months.

TCR Talks with Author Dave K.

Q: How long have you been writing?
A: Since I was a little kid, pretty much. At the risk of sounding mopey, it's the only thing I really know how to do. I was an early reader, and followed that little kid impulse to imitate what I was reading by trying to write it myself. Once I figured out the basics, I won some writing contests in elementary and middle school, wrote for school newspapers in high school and college, and rediscovered fiction when I applied to grad school in 2008.

Q: Where did you get the idea for "How to Adopt a Cat?"
A: That story came from two prompts. The first was a song by Pinhead Gunpowder called "On the Ave.," whose lyrics served as the outline for the first draft. It's a great song. The second was hearing Craig Ferguson pledge not to make any more Charlie Sheen jokes because they reminded him of the days when Bethlem Hospital would charge people a penny to look through peepholes at the lunatics and make fun of them. I started thinking about what would happen if someone who'd been in one of those hospitals was released back into society with no real support system (which isn't as unrealistic as some might think). I wondered how people in a generically Victorian steampunk setting (my favorite one to write in) would treat them, and how they would treat themselves.

Q: Who are some of your favorite classic authors?
A: Robert Louis Stevenson, for sure - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of my favorite stories. Mark Twain was great. So was Poe, even though a lot of his short stories were really campy. Alexandre Dumas never gets enough credit as a writer. I like him way more than Dickens; they both published serially, but Dumas wrote better characters with much better pacing.

Q: Who are some of your favorite contemporary authors?
A: Right off the bat, Chimamanda Adichie; Half of a Yellow Sun is the most gracefully-written book I've ever read. Michael Ondaatje has written some fantastic poetry/prose hybrids, Coming Through Slaughter being his best. Ander Monson's Other Electricities is wonderful. Philip K. Dick and Ekaterina Sedia are two people who've influenced how I read and write speculative fiction, and they're proof that it can be as challenging and reflective of the human condition as any piece of modern literary realism. And I can't leave out all the Terry Pratchett and Hunter S. Thompson books I devoured throughout high school and college, either.

Here's more information --

"Dave K. and Stone a Pig." Vouched Books, 17 May 2012.

"Interview with Dave K. & Micro-Review of How to Stone a Pig." Lavinia Ludlow. Plumb: A Cultural and Arts Blogazine, 19 September 2012.  


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