JONATHAN MARTIN DIXIT: MY WIFE SUGGESTED THAT I WRITE SOMETHING
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Jonathan Martin Dixit’s Baby World is something very different from a typical sci-fi. This is his first published book. Check out more about him and his novel in the following interview.
– What is your book BabyWorld about?
– At its heart, BabyWorld explores the psychological dysfunction occurring in families suffering from suppressed trauma. Ideologically, it’s a sci-fi fairy tale satirizing the adulteration of children by modern society—the economic role they are now forced to play. Personally, I’m looking for readers to tell me what it’s about.
– How you decide to write the story?
– While working on a treatment for a screenplay about the 70’s Canadian snooker player Cliff Thorburn, I grew tired of representing other peoples’ work. My wife suggested that I write something I could call my own. She was in her internship at the Hinks-Delcrest Centre, doing psychodynamic therapy with children. So, inspired by her work, on the day after St. Patrick’s Day 2007, I hammered out the first four pages, using an old manual typewriter that an at-the-time old Scotsman, Willie Miller, now deceased, years before traded me for a $100 bar tab. BabyWorld was outlined in 24 hours, though it took a wee bit longer to write.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– Letting go of those lines so old, so precious—
Lines for so long I held dear…
After losing arguments with my tenacious editor Julie McArthur (http://www.juliemcarthur.com) in the final stages before uploading, cutting some of my favorite parts out was the hardest thing.
– Tell us something more about your main character? Is it close to someone from your real life?
– Well, Sinika Reichman is a nine-and-a-half year old lawyer, who is having problems understanding whether she is a child or an adult, living in Toronto fifty years from now. I thought that by disclosing to the world what I think about myself in my first novel, I would be entitled to tell the world what I think of it in my second. There are also three Jonathans, a Jack, a Jo, and a Nathan in my story.
– How much time you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– I completed the first draft in a little over a year. Over the next five years, I wrote four drafts of it, two to four sets of revisions within these versions. (At one point, Sinika’s cat talked—homage to Raul in Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg—and there were robots. I swear: there were robots!) After a negative but encouraging manuscript assessment by Jeniffer Glossip, a well-known Canadian editor, I revised it two more times. I thought it was then perfect. But then, after Julie McArthur was finished showing me it was not, I completely rewrote it. Seven years after its inception, it’s now a lot like the first draft.
– Because my wife has super powers, she and I self-published BabyWorld (cover, formatting, uploading, marketing) over this past summer through her publishing company, the Affentheater (http://affentheaterinc.com founded 2012).
– Who are you?
No one answers that question honestly; nor can they. However…
A must hear is Thomas King’s Massey lectures (2003 http://fw.to/CBC10dY) His conjecture: “The truth about stories is that that’s all we are.” It goes beyond the metaphor in BabyWorld that we are in charge of writing our own stories; stories are the essence and substance of who we are. They are the basis of our reality.
– What are your writing habits?
– Riding myself from the fear of confronting my unconscious (by any means necessary) followed by revisions after revisions until the music inherent within the writing emerges. It doesn’t always work; it doesn’t always sound pretty; but it’s got a good rhythm and I can dance to it.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book and do you plan another one?
– In the saturated-yet-growing and ever-changing market of self-publishing, if one is interested in sales meaning money, one should not be taking more than a couple of months to write and distribute their novels to their well cultivated audience. The Amazon/Kindle free promos are great ways to get new work out to a vast audience, and I certainly appreciate those people for the hundreds of free downloads and both e-books and print editions that have been purchased; however, there is a deep sadness above the mere devaluation of a downloaded book that will never be read… Maybe, someday, someone will find the old file and look at it, not delete it; maybe they’ll read BabyWorld. Maybe… I should write another book… and call it… Kannibalism In Kanata.
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your book?
– Twitter (https://twitter.com/DixitAuthor), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Jonathanmartindixitauthor), Goodreads, Website (http://jonathanmartindixitauthor.com), TO bookstores (She Said Boom and Bakka-Phoenix), courting book clubs, street/bar/coffee shop posters, billboards, book launch party, newspaper articles (http://www.woodstocksentinelreview.com/2014/08/29/futuristic-crime-mystery-explores-dysfunction-caused-by-suppressed-trauma), reviews, bloggers, word of mouth: all these and more.
– It was your first book. What kind of mistakes you made during the entire process from writing to publishing?
– Not engaging in peer review earlier. Not writing the manuscript in publishing-ready format—this would have saved a great deal of time.
– You were owner of the bar The Duke of Gloucester. Can you tell us some interesting story about your customers that worth to be part of a book?
– As Sinika’s bar-owning grandfather tells her in Chapter 15: “[That kind of information] would be—what do you people call it—privileged?” Read the book; it’s full of stories from my days at the Duke.
– As a movie producer, how do you value a script and what are you searching in the story?
– A concise presentation of multidimensional characters interacting in ways naturally born from the narrative, resulting in spectra of possible meanings and interpretations: a short story always works better for translation into film; most novels shouldn’t be adapted into films. Many early readers of BabyWorld told me they saw it as potentially being a great film—but we all know how such stories are received by the film industry. Just ask Terry Gilliam about his experience in producing his brilliant film Tideland (2005).
Check out more about Jonathan at his
Take a look at his book
Tags: author, Babyworld, interview, JONATHAN DIXIT