My book The Clubber: A Tale of the Eighties is available now on Amazon.com
Everyone is, to an extent, concerned with how they come across to others. It’s why we brush hair and mind our manners, (Or not,) and spend so much time, (or very little time,) deciding what to wear. But people are only willing to go so far to try and impress others. Well, that’s the case for the majority of humanity. The Clubber is the story of a man who is utterly obsessed with how he is perceived of by others. It is, at least in the beginning, his all and everything.
The Clubber is quite different from other stories and books I’ve written. In Crash Shadow I write the tale of two addicts: Skye and Yuri. In The Clubber I write about artist and wanna-be famous alt-sensation Andre, and the difference between Andre and the two aforementioned Crash Shadow characters is stark: I like Skye and Yuri. I can’t stand Andre.
Before The Clubber came to be, Andre was a bit character in a few stories I had written. He was the barely-sufferable, self-absorbed artist that managed to hang around a few people, some of whom reveled in his self-important glory, and others who just took pity on him. In any case, he was just a bit player in those tales.
Being that most of the people I know are artists, writers, and/or musicians, knowing quite a few pretentious people is hardly a surprise for someone of my genre’. Many creative types suffer from self-doubt, and a few weird quirks, (And sometimes outright insanity,) but you occasionally run into those people who are so helplessly full of themselves it’s nearly impossible to encourage any sympathy for them. Andre is based on those kinds of people.
So why would I delve into the tortured mind of someone whom I could barely stand to be in the same room with? It all started when I was watching a dating show. Before a matched pair went on their date, they asked them questions about dating. One woman was asked what she looks for in a potential mate. She answered that when she met a man the first thing she would do was look at his shoes, and if he wasn’t wearing good shoes then there was no way they would ever work out.
I had to think to myself, my God, what would it be like to actually be that person? To have that person’s brain and think the way they do? I was fascinated by the idea of actually trying to occupy such a mindset, because the idea of being that vapid, vain, shallow and just plain empty was simply alien to me.
So I started working on the an idea centering on the already established and hyper-pretentious character Andre’. I wrote out a few scenes, started few outlines, and then got swept up in the project. I had planned on working on my drug addiction book, (Which would eventually end up being Crash Shadow,) but I definitely got sidetracked. Trying to form and explore the mind of someone I had virtually nothing in common with as far as a mindset goes became an obsession.
Obviously I couldn’t just write an entire book about a pretentious twat that I could barely stand being in the same room with, so I had to put the poor bastard through an existential crisis and a journey of self-reflection and self-discovery. That’s where the story really takes off. Even so, much of the story involves his tortured quest to become hipper, cooler, and a well-known underground and alt success.
And I am not so alienated from Andre’s culture. The world of clubs, music, and art is one I’ve occupied for a long time. I could never deny that Andre’ is a member of my tribe. He’s just one of those people you wish weren’t part of the landscape that you usually revel in. (There always has to be a few of those!)