I had planned to post an interview with Todd Keisling today as part of his blog tour promoting The Liminal Man (the very excellent sequel to the page-turner A Life Transparent). He was supposed to call me earlier in the week to answer some questions I had. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was Dr. Albert Sparrow on the line instead. I’m a roll-with-it kind of gal so I, well, rolled with it. Fortunately Todd’s giveaway is still going on even in his absence. (I sure hope he’s okay…) Enter below for a chance to win:
- Signed hardcovers of A LIFE TRANSPARENT and THE LIMINAL MAN
- A t-shirt sporting The Limanal Man’s “Leaping Man” cover design
- An “I Am Donovan Candle” Coffee Mug
- An eBook package that includes books by R.J. Keller (hee!), Anthony J. Rapino, Moriah Jovan, and others
Click HERE to enter the contest at Todd’s Facebook page. You can like his page HERE (and you should).
RJ Keller: I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Just who is Albert Sparrow?
Albert Sparrow: Predictably a loaded question, but I suppose inquiring minds want to know. I’m Dr. Albert Sparrow. I earned my doctorate in Sociology, but my interests range from philosophy to human psychology—and perhaps a little metaphysics as well. I used to fashion myself as a self-help guru, but lately I’ve expanded my focus to other, more lucrative passions. In fact . . . you might say I’m an old man who wants to be a god. Metaphorically speaking, of course. [He chuckles.]
RJK: I’ve heard great things about your first book, and it was even a bestseller a few years ago. Tell us a little about A Life Ordinary: A Comprehensive Study in Human Mediocrity.
AS: My book—ALO, as I like to refer to it—is both a reflective study of our culture’s decline into mediocrity and a self-help guide meant to direct readers through a series of steps toward personal fulfillment. Throughout my studies, I’ve discovered a certain lack of desire in our culture to achieve our full potential. When we’re young, we have so many dreams and aspirations, goals which we want to achieve; as we age, we lose sight, settling for a paycheck, settling for . . . less. We find ourselves slowly fading into life’s many gray areas. These negative spaces are stagnant pools into which we will lose our dreams. My book offers a way out of those middling spaces—for only $29.95 in hardcover. I hear the paperback is due out next spring, but admittedly, I haven’t been “in the loop” for about a year now.
RJK: It’s funny you mention that, Dr. Sparrow. That was going to be my next question. A year ago you seemed to vanish from a book signing event at Harrison & Main Booksellers—
AS: Oh. Yes. I suppose I did—[Static.]
RJK: According to the news reports, you interrupted your reading, abandoned the lectern for a trip to the restroom, and just disappeared.
AS: Disappear isn’t the exact way I’d describe it—
RJK: Can you tell us what happened? Why have you decided to speak out about it now?
AS: What happened? [static] I’ll tell you what happened, Mrs. Keller. Donovan Candle is what happened. That arrogant son of a bitch thought he could disrupt everything I’d worked so hard to accomplish, and— [His rant is garbled by electronic interference.]
RJK: Dr. Sparrow? I’m losing you. Are you still there? Hello?
AS: —Of course I’m still here. I’m everywhere. In your phone, in your television, a paragon of mediocrity ready to consume the world—I am the Monochrome King!
RJK: Uh . . . right. Can we get back on topic?
AS: If you prefer. Don’t fucking ask me about that day at the bookstore. Strike that from the record. Understood?
RJK: Sure. Whatever you like. May we continue?
AS: Please, Mrs. Keller. Continue.
RJK: Right then. You mentioned being the “king” of the “Monochrome?” What is that?
AS: The Monochrome is a metaphor I use in ALO for the gray areas of reality. The place beneath the murk, where your dreams go to die. The place that will consume society one bite at a time. [He pauses for a moment.] Or, Mrs. Keller, perhaps it isn’t a metaphor at all. [His laughter dissolves into static.]
RJK: Hah, very funny, Dr. Sparrow. I just have one more question before we wrap up this interview: Who is Donovan Candle?
RJK: Dr. Sparrow? Hello?
AS: [Static.] Donovan Candle is a worthless man. He is a coward. He is the reason I’m stuck in this place, and I will have my retribution. There are only gods and insects, Mrs. Keller. I am not an insect. I am the King of the—
RJK: The Monochrome. Right. Got it. I think that’s about all for now. Thanks for your time, Dr. Sparrow.
AS: DO NOT MOCK ME— [His words fade into a garbled mess. The line goes dead.]