About the Book:
Karen and Kevin have a happy home, with two loving kids and a cat. It’s an idyllic setting, full of laughter and hope, until one Christmas when Kevin gives fidget spinners to each member of the family. He has no idea what destructive consequences this will have.Getting kicked out of church is just the beginning. Within a year their daughter is in foster care, their son is in jail, and the cat is missing. An even more terrible fate is about to befall Kevin. Karen struggles just to keep it together as fidget spinners crumble the very foundations of her life.
Full of uncomfortable situations and sordid details, Fidget Spinners Destroyed My Family is a suspenseful dark comedy of paranoia, obsession, and this year’s hottest new toy.
1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into writing?
I typed stories on an Apple IIe as soon as I could reach the keyboard, and by high school I was putting out my own photocopied punk zine. Later I got into boring freelance work and ghostwriting; I’ve got science fiction, smut, and questionable fitness advice out there in the wild, attached to the names of strangers.
My newest book, Fidget Spinners Destroyed My Family, was written because it’s a story people need to hear. We’re now seeing the toys everywhere, and hearing a lot about their supposed health benefits. Nobody is asking about their potential dangers, even though there’s a growing body of evidence to suggest they’re not as harmless as we’ve been led to believe. I’d like to get the message out there before fidget spinners ruin more lives.
2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?
The words seem to flow most easily early in the day, before my head gets full of too many thoughts. Comfort and quiet are my friends when I write. I like to stretch out on the couch in my pajamas. Sometimes the cat sits with me, but she can get weird and bitey if the petting situation is not to her liking.
3: Where do your ideas come from?
Story ideas grow out of anything: the news, an overheard conversation, a picture, or another story that could have gone a totally different way. Fidget Spinners Destroyed My Family is actually based on shocking true events relayed to me by a reader of my previous book. As soon as she told me fidget spinners had gotten her family thrown out of church and her son thrown in jail, I needed to know more. There turned out to be more sordid details than I ever could have imagined, and so a book was born.
4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?
I like to write fast, and a thorough scene-by-scene outline keeps me from getting stuck along the way. As the story builds and the characters develop, new wrinkles seem to form themselves. I take it as a good sign when I’m surprised by something I didn’t plan ahead.
5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?
When I started Fidget Spinners Destroyed My Family, I wasn’t sure if I was writing a dysfunctional family drama or a thriller/suspense story. When it was done, I still didn’t know what I had on my hands. A couple early readers said it was a dark comedy, which I think is a fair categorization.
My last book, Tony the Liar, hovers in a nebulous genre as well. In both cases, I’m writing what I like to read in fiction: snarky narrators, cheap laughs, and people doing things they’re not supposed to be doing. A lot of that must come from my love for crime fiction.
6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?
Farrah Abraham from Teen Mom would be my first choice to play the lead. She’s younger than the character in the book, but otherwise perfect.
7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
Writers who don’t read much seem to be common in self-publishing, which helps explain why I give up on so many indies after a couple pages. You can’t tell a written story if you don’t know the basic rules of written stories.
That said, my favorite authors are the ones you have to dig around to find. I love Stephen King as much as the next guy, but it’s really satisfying to stumble upon some obscure but amazing writer. It does take a little effort and some amount of disappointment to find great books buried in the ever-growing mountain. As a fan of offbeat fiction, I’ll take that over the slim pickings available a few years ago. This is the golden age of fiction as far as I’m concerned.
8: What book/s are you reading at present?
I’m reading an unmanageable number of books right now. I’ll at least rate the ones I like on Goodreads. I need to write more reviews. So does everyone else who reads and wants to support indie books.
9: What is your favourite book and why?
I’ve read too many books to say for sure. The best I could do would be to name some of my favorites I’ve read within the last few years. Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan is hilarious and relatable to jerks like me who hate(d) working in an office. Hearers of the Constant Hum by William Pauley III is a masterpiece of weird fiction that has haunted me since I read it. I’ll never hear chirping insects the same way again. Prelude to the Massacre by Stan Miller just might be the most terrifying book I’ve ever read, especially at this particular moment in history.
10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?
Read all the time. It’s okay if you only read what you like. You don’t have to challenge yourself with the classics, you just have to read a lot of books. It will give you an idea of how stories work, so you won’t be fumbling in the dark when it’s time to write yours.
Write all the time. Blatantly copy your favorite authors and don’t feel bad about it. With practice, your influences will merge into your own unique style.
Treat everything you write, even pieces you end up publishing, as practice for the next story. Don’t get attached and trap yourself into polishing an unredeemable turd for months or years; get it done or abandon it, and then move on to the next thing.
11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?
I’m active on Goodreads. Hit me up. Let’s talk about books, or we can get serious and discuss what we’re going to do about the dangers of fidget spinners. https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16169031.George_Billions
About the Author:
George Billions is a writer whose work litters the Internet under various pseudonyms. He’s written everything from fake product reviews to unqualified fitness advice, steamy romance novels to straight-up keyword spam. Once he had a gig banging out thousands of short biographies of adult entertainers. These days he’s trying to put out the kind of stuff he enjoys reading and writing.