About Andy and the octopuses:
In a world of Elevated Intelligence, where Octopuses are bred as computer-coding slaves, there are three types of people: the ignorant, the complacent and the activists. Couch-bum Andy has received a promotion and a wriggling mass of tentacles as his new team. Suddenly, Andy is a bread-winner for six hungry mouths whose intelligence intimidates his own. He’d rather run from this new-found responsibility, than look into their watery pupils directly...
Q: What inspired your short story?
My partner is a software engineer and he started a new job in lockdown last year, without meeting anyone. He was using a software called, Octopus Deploy. I’m sure it is a very boring, functional system, but I made a joke about deploying the octopuses, and I started writing a silly flash fiction piece from that idea, which I went onto read for my writing group ‘Monday Night Group’. The octopuses started to take on a life of their own, as everyone talked about how they could all have individual quirks – a bit like the 7 dwarves in Snow White! It started to become a fully fledged short story, which I read in bits each week.
Q: There are science fictional themes in there. Is that something that interests you?
I don’t actually tend to read science fiction – but I appreciate some comedy! It’s been fun to write, and very different as I rarely write silly plots. Now I think I might be less serious more often in my writing, as it flowed much more easily!
Q: Can you tell us about Andy in a few sentences?
It sounds strange, but I wanted him to be a slightly spineless character – someone who gets hot dinners delivered by his mum and has introverted tendencies! He gets more spontaneous towards the end of the story, but I ultimately wanted the comedy to come from his own inadequacies. You could probably say he is a bit of a man-child.
Q: Do you find it easier to write short fiction or poetry?
Probably poetry – I tend to self edit as I write, so it gets written quicker! But fiction sometimes feels easier for me to experiment with from an editing perspective.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am working on my first novel, a thriller called Dark Energy. It is set in an Arizonan Mormon community, and faith and public opinion plays into a lot of the decision -making, and cover up of certain crimes. It’s about the powerplay between newly-weds, Amber and Chad. It’s relatively short at 51k for a novel but I’m looking at agents nonetheless, I don’t want to write filler if I can avoid it!
A fantastically absurd story examining the suspicions and dangers of both capitalism and technology. The main character is a bit of a nobody who ends up taking on an interesting new role that changes everything. I won't elaborate too much as I don't want to spoil it but I recommend this a lot for a shorter, fun and thought-provoking read.
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