About the Book:
A hallucinatory and multifaceted novella, that uses rhyme and near rhyme, metaphor and surrealism to bring forth a story where each layer reveals an underlying tale of cognitive dissonance.
A melding of two juxtaposed stories, we first meet Jack Trade. Rejecting his late father’s desires for him to become a carpenter, Jack Trade becomes a thief instead. On more than one occasion, Trade is caught but always manages to escape. Although he is a thief, the townspeople grow to love him for his evasion of the law, even to his almost inevitable and inescapable end. In the second strand, John Teefer, a personification of Trade’s consciousness, wakes up on an island. Teefer is rescued by a reclusive old man and meets other characters; each one representing different personifications of Jack Trade. As the adventure proceeds, Teefer slowly discovers his true identity.
With deep subtext, Faces of Villain allows the reader to further understand the characters’ mindscape by solving puzzles between chapters.
1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?
I wasn’t always interested in writing. Early in life I daydreamed quite a bit. I could spend hours daydreaming with no people or objects to keep me occupied. This perspective would later be the foundation of my stream-of-consciousness approach to writing. Fast forward to my early adulthood: I discovered how to make people laugh by making assumptions about what people expect in given contexts. This method gave me confidence in my assumptions about how people think. It was during my master’s degree in which I started to write. I purchased a blank book and decided to note particular assumptions about people or about my own emotions towards people. I then extrapolated these assumptions to create archetypes, which accumulated into characters. By amalgamating phrases, assumptions and attitudes stories began to form. This was and still is my process of planning a story. My writing style had a different development altogether.
During my PhD I partnered up with a musician and created a music duo “dogplaydead”. It was during this time that I developed lyrical writing. Whether it was to explore, experiment or develop my lyrical abilities, I began a practice to free write while ending in rhyme. By discovering this fondness to rhyme, I combined creative writing with lyrical writing.
2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?
Not a particular place or time but usually when I am alone. At times I find that working away from home in my office helps me obtain motivation. A lot of thinking and planning happens before I write. This thinking/planning occurs in between events, such as travelling to/from work.
3: Where do your ideas come from?
The best ideas come naturally and passively; from the subconscious. Either in a dream, daydream, during an emotional outburst, in a meditative trance or an altered states of consciousness. Free writing is another way and can also lead you to strange places. Idea formation is not a problem for me. I would say that getting the motivation to start writing, the application of the ideas, is the most cumbersome part of writing.
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?
This question is similar to an analogy I recently heard to describe two forms of writing. The architect approach is a method that involves planning each and every step while the gardener approach allows the story to write itself. I prefer the former method in the beginning of planning a story, but as new ideas come I adopt to the latter. Sometimes initial ideas can impede with new ideas along the way, so it is important to be open minded and not hesitate to edit the content of the story. Many times, I’ve had to merge and split stories or remove characters simply because I thought of a better ending or decided that a character was no longer needed. This is something, I imagine, most writers avoid because the time and effort spent seems wasted when deciding to remove large sections of a manuscript. Although much slower, using this method allows you to be flexible and reduces writers block. Too much planning can lead to obstacles further down the road.
Another point is that I try to give depth to a story. My method is that I try to make connections between chapters, but not necessary in a linear order. This gives excerpts a sense of meaning when referred to in multiple chapters (or books). Familiarity as well as novelty are equally important for creating subtext. Otherwise, why on earth would anyone want to re-read a novel?
5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?
I would argue that Faces of Villain is literary fiction, as opposed to genre fiction, although some have labelled it as speculative or contemporary fiction, a combination of genres (i.e. satire, fantasy, and historical fiction, etc.). I am not partial to a particular genre. In addition to potential sequels to Faces of Villain, I am concurrently working on a fantasy and a horror novel.
6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?
For a film? Tom Hardy would be a good fit for John Teefer.
7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
I don’t read too much and I don’t have a particular favourite author. I find inspiration in lyrical writing. I think Ian Dury and Trent Raznor are very talented lyricists.
8: What book/s are you reading at present?
A Storm of Swords, by George RR Martin
9: What is your favourite book and why?
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Burgess spent a short time in Russia and created his own dialect by combining Russian vocabulary with Shakespearean syntax, structured in a London cockney manner. The idea itself as well as the sound of the language is cheeky and rebellious. I read the book while living in Moscow so it was the perfect book to read at that time. This book inspired Faces of Villain, and I’m very tempted to reproduce my own story using Nadsat, perhaps later down the road.
10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?
Explore the boundaries of humanity. Ask what those boundaries are. Use your imagination when those boundaries become illegal.
11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?
You can explore my music on soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/dogplaydead
About the Author:
Raised in the UK, Zachary Yaple’s writing style developed during his PhD within Cognitive Neuroscience. He has published multiple non-fiction manuscripts and now lives and works in Singapore.