Me: What's your favorite YA novel or series, and why?
JP: Does Harry Potter count?
JP: It feels like HP preceded the YA label, and kind of doesn't slip super-neatly into the category... but I'll go with ole' Harry. I'm not a big fan of writing magic, but I can read it pretty happily. And many of the characters have very believable coming-of-age arcs.
Me: What do you consider was the most influential dystopian novel written to date, and why?
JP: I'm going to have to go with 1984. It's bloody iconic. Even people who don't give a second thought to the word 'dystopia', or even know what 1984 is, know that Big Brother is something to be wary of. Oooh... sudden flashfic idea... Charlie's Angels' “Charlie” goes on vacation, and it substituted with Big Brother. Huh? Shush, it makes sense to me.
Me: Yeah, I think it makes sense. And I love 1984. I used to enjoy Charlie's Angels too, back in the day. But why do you think dystopian novels are so popular with young adults, and why do you think they are becoming more popular with all ages? If you don't think they are, please say why you don't.
JP: To be honest, I'm not fond of the idea of categorizing anything as 'young adult'. We can all be young at heart, yada yada.. things that 'young adults' are into isn't that different from the... not-as-young adults. Or the young not-quite-as-adults. But I digress....
The dystopia surge is a sign of the times, I'm afraid. We're all more aware these days of the corporate powers that be, the political garbage that floats around us, authority abused, and it can feel pretty hopeless. Fictional dystopias throw the idea under the magnifying glass, and if we're lucky, we get a hero to bring us a little hope.
Me: I know I don't qualify as young - I'm working on the adult bit - but I do enjoy dystopian novels, and those heroes are well worth meeting. Still, what about your dystopian novel? What inspired Rubberman's Cage?
JP: A little bit the repetition of daily life. Wake, work, sleep. It can be especially tedious with a 40 hour a week job you don't care about. Then I looked at my daughter's hamster. He's trapped. He doesn't work, but he's contained to the same handful of insignificant activities for most of his life. He's also pretty ignorant of the world at large, much like Lenth from Rubberman's Cage.
The setting also took some inspiration from the Silent Hill series originally, when things go bad, and everything is rusty (or bloody). At first, I planned an environment caked in rust... but this was impractical, realistically... and for a short time, the title of the book was something 'Rust' related.
Me: But not now? Intriguing. But time's running out, so we'd better finish up. What else would you tell to tell my readers?
JP: Rubberman's Cage is a self-contained story, but it's also the beginning of a series. I have a lot of plans for that world. I can't wait... book 2 is already starting, and I see a lot more stories peeking at me, with different characters' experiences in that world. Lenth is the protagonist in Rubberman's Cage, but in a way, after a couple more books, I think people will see what the real main character is... EEEEEheeeheee, can't wait...!
Me: Cool! Now I wish my book list wasn't so long, but I'll look forward to finding out. And now I guess I should add for my readers... Rubberman's Cage can be purchased at:
and other books by the author can be found at http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Picard/e/B002LPT7VA
And thank you for visiting my blog, Joseph. I really enjoyed our interview.