In this episode of Uncaring Universe, Danny talks to Molly Flatt about her debut novel, The Charmed Life of Alex Moore, which publishes in hardback, ebook and audiobook on 3rd May. Download the episode, and subscribe on iTunes here.
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In this episode, they discuss:
• The impact of digital media on storytelling
• Genre bending and the weird world we already live in
• The beauty of going back to analogue
• Much more
On Blending Genres
I wrote the story I wanted to write. About that indefinable genre thing [you mentioned] – you could probably read the first section of the book as an urban thriller, an urban mystery maybe. Then it does something else, and that reflects the way I read: across all genres.
The story I wanted to tell does have a fantasy element, or is it sci-fi, or speculative fiction? – no-one knows! I didn’t want swords and sandals, I wanted it to be like a slightly deeper element to the real world. I kind of wanted to entrap readers, lure them in to reading a book they didn’t think was necessarily that kind of book.
I’m most interested in how nuts the real world is. We’re living in sci-fi now. [I love] the idea that there are hidden wonders still to be discovered in our world. What [readers] want is a great adventure story and they won’t mind it being different to what they’re read before.
On Getting Away From Social Media
[Generation Y,] we fell in love with the digital sweetshop then realised it wasn’t the utopia we thought it was. Once I started and really committed to writing the novel seriously – this might sound bombastic – but it saved my life, it was part of me finding a new sense of meaning, in a long form creative project. I was working to uncover my personal truths, what I felt about the world, and not just racking off 100 word clickbait articles about snapchat.
On Going Back to Print Books
I’ve recently committed to only reading print. I don’t want to buy into the fetishisation of it all, because that doesn’t help the conversation about making books feel more accessible and compelling – but one of the joys of books is that they’re the ultimate anti-social media.
On Challenging Your Reading Habits
[Discussing having recently read Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life.] I started reading the book before I was aware of who he was. Then I looked him up, saw the controversies and thought, ‘should i be reading this?’ Then I took myself aback and said, this is the point – if people aren’t willing to engage with people who have different viewpoints, and different angles, then what’s the point of any of this? So I read it, and it was a good experience because I learned a lot. There was some incredible insight and also lines that made me want to vomit, but I’m glad I made myself persevere. It made me want to seek out more [things] outside of my filter bubble.
We have to be brave. Digital personas can take on a world of their own, you gotta keep on finding your truth and trying to say it, however close you get, however badly received it is.
Find Molly on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/380878…fe-of-alex-moore
Your host, Danny:
Follow Molly on twitter: @mollyflatt
And Danny: @madquills