And now, without further ado (and I don't mind if I do), Michael Crane. Mikey, welcome to the blog.
Sean Sweeney: The first question, of course, is important because I do care about you, Mikey: Your fingers. Giggles did a number on them the last time you were here. Have they healed properly, or have you come up with a Wolverine-type set-up that you're using pencils to type?
Michael Crane: Giggles is a mean little bastard, isn’t he? As for my fingers, yes. They’ve healed… although don’t tell Mr. Giggles that. I still keep them wrapped up in bandages to trick him.
SS: Well, you finally did it! You wrote the Giggles novella! Let's talk about it; it' a year or so old, but still--to someone just reading about you for the first time, it's brand new to them. What went into the making of this story? How did the process go of getting that homicidal sock monkey from a drabble into longer prose?
MC: I had the idea for a couple of years before I finally set out to write it. I had this vision in my head of Giggles terrorizing a couple of home invaders or robbers, and the idea tickled me. I thought it’d just be something funny, like a goof, but then the idea started to transform into something more. I did an outline and then kind of went away from it because I was stuck. I had a beginning, a middle, and an end scene—but no idea how to get to that final scene.
A year or so went by, and I wanted to take a break from slice-of-life writing. I’d had my fill of real life that year, and I wanted to do something over-the-top. I read Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, and it inspired me to re-visit Giggles. As soon as I had my endgame figured out, it was pretty quick to complete the first draft. Overall I’m proud of it. The book turned out to be a lot more cruel and vicious than I ever thought it could be.
SS: He's not here right now, is he?
MC: Not this time, thank gawd! Although I’m still looking over my shoulders every now and then…
SS: Many readers know you for your "slice of life" stories and the drabbles. And I understand you're working on a new set of stories after a little bit of a break. What has gone into those?
MC: I just released a short story collection, Pieces a few months ago. It marked my return to slice-of-life writing, which has always been my favorite kind of writing. The response to it so far has been overwhelming and I’m really happy about it. I’m still in the very, very rough stages of this new one. The concept is the stories take place in a fictional town in IL. It’s too early for me to say how it’ll go or if it really will turn into something solid, but I’m having fun with it so far. I’m just happy to have a new project. It’s always rough for me when I finish a book. I usually need time to recharge before I start something new, meaning I read a ton of books during that time—mostly short story collections.
SS: Getting back to Giggles for a second.... I've always pictured Giggles and Clown walking down a street together after committing one insane atrocity after another, having a simple conversation. What would that conversation be like, and could we see something of that magnitude occur sometime in the future?
MC: I don’t know why, but I’ve always had this vision in my head that the two were very competitive with each other. At least Giggles is. I envisioned this feud between the two of them. But that’s an interesting idea. I’ll have to save that for later. Clown wouldn’t talk. He’d just hand Giggles notes. I’m sure Giggles would give him crap for that.
SS: How is married life treating you? Vegas for the honeymoon! I'm still waiting for my Reese's shirt.
MC: Next time! I’m really happy with married life. I was miserable when I was single. Now when I hear friends talk about their dating experiences, I don’t envy them for a second. I just think, “I’m so glad I don’t have to do that anymore.” Some people are good at being single, and would prefer stay that way. I’m not one of those people. Being married and finally meeting my significant other has made me a better person, and my outlook of life is much more positive—even if it doesn’t seem that way through my fiction! (sorry, happy stories bore me to tears in the fiction world)
SS: I've noticed your love of audiobooks. Will Giggles come to audio any time soon?
MC: I would love for that to happen at some point. It’s something I have to look into. I’m loving audiobooks. They’re great for my daily commute. I think Giggles is long enough to make a decent audiobook. Again, it’s something I’ll have to look into, but it’s something I’ve definitely considered.
Check out Mike's work on Amazon, Nook, etc, and follow him on Facebook! Also, check out his blog here.