Interview with Fund Your Book Contest Winner Tami Pudina
Oct 07, 2014
What’s your biggest hope/wish for this book?
I am hoping that that the audience finds themselves questioning the possibility of a brighter future, one without fear of obliteration! Well, at the very least, I hope it is read—at the most, that it inspires. I suppose that’s the real underlying motive, a quest of persuasion through ideal sublimation.
What’s your biggest fear about publishing your book?
I don’t think I have any unrealistic expectations, really. Every now and then, I imagine the many ways my debut will be ripped apart. I accept that as a real-life consequence, and it’s amusing to think about. If it happens, I’m grateful! I’m really pleasantly surprised at the positive reception, and I’ve noticed that sharing this project opened up a cascade of interest from diverse groups. It shouldn’t be uncanny, because we’ve had the Internet for decades—but real harm can be done through our high levels of connectivity by anyone, anywhere now. I have a fear of misrepresentation, fear that my ideas in this book, having a profound basis in reality, should inspire others to both destroy as well as disseminate technology to the world. However, fear is counterproductive to progress, and so I hope to replace that fear with an inclination towards informed action. I will not advocate any particular flavor of activism here, but I will say this: I’m more afraid of doing nothing.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing and drawing picture books when I was three, does that count? I’ve made a few other attempts to take writing seriously. I started writing my first novel (a supernatural fantasy about a secret society) when I was fifteen, which I later self-pubbed. I’ll spare any further details, but in a word, it was lame. I mean, my vocabulary was decent, but everything I touched turned to self-absorbed dreck, totally brutal to read! Oh, I can’t say that. I don’t think it was a total waste, because it was an amazing learning experience. I might even reincarnate several characters or places from it. I’ve learned to have more fun since then. In high school, I wrote poetry and lyrics (I sang for a progressive rock band). I began to write screenplays and comedy a few years ago.
What inspires you?
I don’t think inspiration comes out of a book or from words alone, really. I’ve been reading a lot of scientific journalism. Reading about behaviors and physical adaptation to our world inspires the character relationships in my writing—nature versus nurture, the evolution of predator alongside prey, habitable exoplanets. I like to compose music watching life on mute. I’m taking a 2-D design class and a visual arts seminar. When I’m not writing, I’m sketching. Some people hate the idea of a creative person’s alternative pursuits, but I think that’s the best way to go—if you feel stuck, go dabbling. Rediscover your strengths, submerge yourself in another hobby, and you may find yourself a new craft. Open another well and sink to the bottom of it. Music and images are my mistress-muses. It’s the kinetic expression that allows me to connect with the words, and vice versa. Synchronicity is very powerful.
What’s your favorite place and time of day to write?
I live in Boston, so I wander around to Paul Revere Park, past the Garden, through North End at night, and find myself sometimes down at the Constitution Marina. That’s just in the neighborhood; the entire city is highly influential. I have a notebook, but I’m equally guilty of scribbling word salads on cocktail napkins. I’m definitely a night owl. Most of the evening I write, and sometimes early morning before I even get out of bed. I figure I can punch a hole in that crazy dream from last night before it dissipates into waking reality. I get more accomplished breaking up my writing schedule that way.