I recently interviewed a multi-punk-genre, short story writer who posts his punk pieces for readers on wattpad--a free online reading and writing site that a lot of us Punkettes use. He was nice enough to link us to an extensive list of free readings at the bottom. Here are my favorite questions and answers from that interview!
-Rebecca Sky, The Clockpunkette
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Gavin. I’m married with four children and live in south west England with my family, a dog called Arthur, and a cat who loathes me.
I am self-confessed Science Fiction geek, and I work for Wattpad running their team of 150 volunteers and looking after various sectors of content. This means I get to describe myself to puzzled border control officials in Toronto as a professional reader of odd fiction which is very satisfying.
Most days I can be found in the corner of my dining room hammering away at my keyboard, listening to music, drinking too much coffee, and meandering around the darkened corners of the Wattpadiverse (This is a little like Pratchett’s L-Space, but with fewer wild Thesaurus roaming the aisles.)
What inspired you to write in the 'punk genres?
There’s a wonderful place called The Pub on Wattpad, and some time ago a great lad called Dan (AngusEcrivain on Wattpad) decided that it’d be kinda fun to have a short story contest - or Smackdown as they’d termed in The Pub - with varying rounds comprising the wonderful sub-genres of Science Fiction. Through those I’ve written various ‘punks’ including Cyber, Steam, Diesel, and Deco, and the more I do, the more I enjoy them.
What 'punk genre is your favorite to read/write, why?
I love Cyberpunk. It’s got that great element of grittiness to it, where everything seems hardwired together, and it seems more potentially real in some ways, perhaps because it’s not far from where we are now. As technology continues to evolve, Cyberpunk and the worlds created around it are ever changing, and I find that rather exciting.
If you had to live in any 'punk world, which would it be and why?
I love the idea of Greenpunk. No dystopia or tweaked past, Greenpunk is the here and now, but with a technological conscience. A place where we should perhaps be, or wish to be.
I suspect I’m the king of wishful thinking on this one, but I think it’d be just cool to live in a place where we’re almost there, almost at the point where we’re surviving on technology that isn’t sucking the soul from the world, but rather trying to apologise to the ghosts of the past in a constructive way.
And now I shall burn my soapbox and fry some hotdogs on the ashes of my self-righteous punkness.
Would you rather be an airship captain or a cyborg?
Airship Captain, but not on Earth. And can I be both? Aye, I know, kinda greedy, but can you imagine being a cyborg version of Long John Silver on an airship? Now that would be kinda cool.
And no, I’m not choosing =P
Tell us about your punk stories. Where can we read them?
You can find them on Wattpad.
There’s Wired - https://www.wattpad.com/55896846-wired - which is a Cyberpunk story that won me one of the Smackdowns on Wattpad. I suspect this one’s my favourite, mainly ‘cos I really enjoyed writing it. It’s a universe I keep meaning to dip back into…
Steampunk – Meet Bernard - https://www.wattpad.com/22228359-read-my-shorts-meet-bernard - this one was kinda silly, but was written on a Wattpad off-site day. The entire staff of Wattpad had a day sat in a Café, writing. Except me, ‘cos I was only part-time back then and got a message at about 5pm telling me I had 2 hours to write a story to 3 prompts pulled out of a hat. Thankfully it was steampunk at least.
Steampunk – Under Pressure - https://www.wattpad.com/46273204-read-my-shorts-under-pressure - a daft story to another odd little prompt. There are numerous great little challenges happening all the time, all over Wattpad and the wider web. They’re a great source of inspiration, and a good challenge too.
All of the following were all written as part of various smackdowns, and I really enjoyed all of them, particularly Quoth the Raven which is set in a dystopian London abandoned by the rest of the world.
Steampunk – Quoth the Raven - https://www.wattpad.com/4518231-quoth-the-raven
Decopunk – Day 1 - https://www.wattpad.com/5578369-day-1
Surprisepunk – Click - https://www.wattpad.com/3603942-click
Steampunk – Skyfall - https://www.wattpad.com/2645543-skyfall
Surprisepunk – Skin Deep - https://www.wattpad.com/5047077-skin-deep
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Gavin. I look forward to checking out some of those smackdowns! -Rebecca
*steampunk art by www.bkartonline.com