IAN THOMAS MALONE: YOGA HELPS ME GET INTO THE WRITING MINDSET
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Do you remember your college life? To get back some of the funniest moments the young American author and yogi Ian Thomas Malone published in August his book Five College Dialogues. Our next guest’s work was well appreciated by the readers, who gave him an average 4.9 stars from 15 Amazon reviews.
– Ian, what is your book Five College Dialogues about?
– Five College Dialogues is a comedic philosophical commentary on college life told through Socratic Dialogue. Each dialogue features George Tecce (known throughout the Dialogues as The Chief), a graduate student working as a teaching assistant, as he talks with students and professors about the trials and tribulations that many students face.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– I set out to write a resource for college students that covered topics that people employed by universities aren’t really supposed to say. When I was at Boston College, I had many conversations with TAs who emphasized that their opinions were “off the record” and not sanctioned by their bosses. I found this somewhat problematic as their jobs are to look out for students and yet they’re in many instances providing canned responses to cover the university’s back.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– I wanted FCD to have real world value in terms of the advice it offers, but I didn’t want it to be preachy. I’m not big into offering advice that doesn’t at least explore the counterargument and I wanted to convey messages in an entertaining fashion.
– Tell us something more about your main character? Is it 100% fiction or it’s close to someone from your real life?
– The Chief is meant to loosely resemble what a modern day Socrates would look like if he were in his early twenties. If you really dive into the work of Plato, especially in texts like The Symposium (which gets parodied in Five More College Dialogues), you see that he’s more colloquial than people nowadays tend to realize. He’s a countercultural figure telling the people what they need to hear rather than what the establishment wants them to think.
– How much time you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– The nature of FCD made it somewhat of a quick book to write. Publishing is a whole different story, but I was lucky to find a publisher who appreciated the idea. You don’t see many contemporary Socratic Dialogues out there.
– What are your writing habits?
– I try to write every day. I update my website pretty frequently and am always working on some sort of project. My yoga philosophy helps me get into the writing mindset no matter what the day has brought.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book?
– Is anyone ever satisfied with the sales? I’d like to see the book on every college campus, but I’ve been pleased with what I’ve been doing to promote it and the reception has been excellent.
– When we will see the sequel and your next novel A Trip Down Reality Lane? Give us some insight about the story?
– Both Five More College Dialogues (TouchPoint Press) and A Trip Down Reality Lane (Limitless Publishing) are coming out soon. A Trip Down Reality Lane is set for February 24th. We’re wrapping up editing on FMCD in the next few days.
A Trip Down Reality Lane is a psychedelic coming of age story that also takes place in a college setting. It shows a bit of a different side of college life than FCD. I tend to describe it to people as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
– What are you doing to promote your book in the best possible way?
– I’m very active on social media, especially Twitter. We’re also targeting college publications, something that I was very active with in college. You meet plenty of interesting people on the internet and I’ve been pleased with the way things are going on the promotional front.
– You are fan of Star Wars. What are your expectations for Episode Seven?
– That’s a tricky one. After the mess that was the prequel trilogy, I think going into Episode Seven with as little expectations as possible is the way to go. Disney is planning on making a new one every year and that’s bound to introduce some more stinkers into the canon. Regardless, I don’t plan to let the newer movies affect my love of the originals. I do have a soft spot for The Phantom Menace as well in spite of Jar Jar Binks.
– A Song of Ice and Fire became very popular, because of the TV Series. Do you think that the television version was developed in the best possible way?
– While the books were bestsellers before the show, Game of Thrones has certainly turned it into a worldwide phenomenon. I actually wrote an article on this subject. http://ianthomasmalone.com/2014/05/the-troubles-of-book-to-screen-in-game-of-thrones-2/
There are plenty of reasons why the show has done what it’s done. While I personally prefer to books for their immense depth, I am a fan of the show and try not to be too judgmental. There is a great deal of “this didn’t happen in the books,” said during the show, but that’s okay.
– Do you remember how you found the living philosophy of yoga and what changed in your life after you started practicing?
– I was drawn to yoga mostly because it’s the only form of exercise with a built in nap time at the end, though many of my fellow teachers hate when I call it that. I think it’s very beneficial for authors as we live in a chaotic world. When writer’s block strikes, it’s nice to just breathe and do a pose or two and find how much that helps.
– Do you think Five College Dialogues is appealing to foreign audiences?
– Absolutely! When I was studying abroad in Australia, I found that American film and television were in many cases more popular than their own offerings. With that said, FCD gives foreign audiences a look into American college life while covering many of the same issues that they’ll face at their own universities. I think the book has a ton of appeal for adults as well, given how big of a force nostalgia is in contemporary entertainment.
Take a look at his book