Thursday, May 28, 2015

DeepFreak & Q&A with author Mars Dumont

Q&A with author Mars Dumont

Who is Mars Dumont?

Mars: Actually, Mars Dumont is not a real person, it's two people.

Venus: Hi, I’m Venus Dumont. We think of ourselves as a band. Originally we tried to think of a band name like “Liquid Mars” but it sounded too goofy so we came up with a nome de plume using his first name and my last name.

So how does writing together work?

Mars: I'm color, Venus is form.

Venus: Basically I sketch out the story line and Mars writes. But we switch roles. When it gels we both know it. Until then it can be a real struggle.

Do you argue?

Venus: Fight? Us? You bet! There's the whole male-female swing of the book. I work out the romance and Mars focuses on the cyberpunk and the conspiratorial angles. When Mars starts gagging on my love scenes I get really mad. But the general rule is if one of us thinks it's bad, it is bad.
Mars: And then there's the editing. Venus is brutal: if it isn't absolutely necessary it's out. Weeks, sometimes months of effort on the cutting room floor. Without so much as an apology.

How do you keep on the same page, so to speak, how do you keep from working at cross purposes?
Venus: We have a routine, we write by day and at night we read out loud to one another. When you read out loud whatever isn't working is glaring. Once the characters are well defined they write themselves.

Mars: We also keep picture boards. We're both visual people. We try to collect inspiration for every character, outfit and setting. If we can see it we can convey it. If we aren’t seeing the same thing then we haven’t worked it out well enough. But when we get into a groove it’s like magic. We go to places where neither of us could get to on our own.

Do you both write all the characters or does Venus write certain characters and Mars write the others?
Venus: There’s a lot of back and forth but once the characters are well defined they write themselves. I never felt like we wrote this book. It’s almost like we were channeling the story. Sometimes I re-read and I just don’t know where it came from.

Mars: Really? Really??? I read it and I am reminded of three and a half years of some of the most demanding work I’ve ever done.

Venus: But it was fun!

Mars: Yeah, it was fun.

About the Author:

Mars:  Mars was born in Poona, India. His father was a biologist, and research grants took his family to Mexico City, Silicone Valley, Stockholm, and finally New York City. After graduating from the Bronx High School of Science, Mars traveled around Europe and spent time in London and Prague. He finished his undergraduate studies at Columbia College, with a major in art history and a minor in physics, and then got a Masters degree at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture. Mars then spent many years doing architecture as a day job and playing electric guitar (for The Shameless Sycophants, Dark Blue and Linoleum Blownapart) at night, in clubs ranging from CBGB’s to the Knitting factory. Mars holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and an Elder Brother rank in Tiger Claw Kung Fu. Mars Dumont speaks three languages: Czech, Spanish and English. Remaining creative is, as far as Mars is concerned, the most important thing in life.

Venus: Venus’ unique style took form in New York City with summers on Block Island under the supervision of her advertising mad man art director father and her gourmet cook mother. Their home was a gathering place for artists and intellectuals. As a child she wrote and illustrated her own books. Venus’ affinity for art and design eventually took her to Italy where she studied for a number of years. Although she has lived and worked as a designer in New York City for most of her adult life, she still retains close ties with friends in Florence and a love of everything Italian. Venus has a soft spot for Italian style anarchy and humanist centered dissidents. She also likes to dabble in the mysteries of Astrology and Tarot and draws on the archetypes to develop the characters in her books.

Title:  Deep Freak
Author:  Mars Dumont
Published:  January 6/15
Length:  434pgs
Genre:  SciFi
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

A magical mystery tour of virtual reality and beyond. Love, politics, conspiracy, and fluctuating space-time coordinates all come to a head when a huge solar flare disrupts the event horizon between parallel universes.

Living in simulated reality, SIM, is all the rage in the mid twenty-first century. But just when it seems that illusion has triumphed and Reality has become irrelevant, Reality throws a curve ball.

Audrey is a SIMdesigner and an artPrank hacktivist. When her friend Dano disappears, Audrey is forced into the gritty world of Real to find him. People disappear all the time in this dystopian near future. But then there are Type III disappearances, so when the young Milan also vanishes, but this time right before Audrey’s eyes, the quest for the disappeared takes a whole new turn and Audrey finds herself unwillingly thrust on a bizarre existential odyssey. Real? SIM? Or hallucination? Nothing is what it seems.
Meanwhile, Milan wakes floating in midair before the floor suddenly comes up and crashes hard into him. He looks around and at first the room does nothing. Then it wakes up. Myllan is on the other side, a place where people meet in Astral, not SIM, where luminescent mushrooms grow in the snow, and the weather knows what you are thinking.


Gravity is a convention in SIM. Otherwise you’d puke. Distance? That’s optional.

High-voltage energy escalated as avatars shifted from one group of friends at the noLine to another. Sometimes instantly. Warp speed was the preferred method of transference, but way overplayed. The black Madonna, the one with the stars of the cosmos shimmering in her bare breasts, wore the music of the spheres like a halo. She rose like darkness and cast her shadow as she traveled. Way fuKool. With an avatar like that you could get past the bouncers. Holding a ticket wasn’t enough. You couldn’t just buy your way into this phantasmagorical fabFreak Switch hauteMode mecca. You had to be inducted.

My Review:

Dumont’s premise is unique & catching. She had me intellectually and imaginatively captivated. The mix of future & technology is brought to life in a manner that caught my attention and had me wanting to know what happens next. That said, I found the style that the story was written in to be very distracting. I felt as if the author was going for a gritty feel to the tale, which she did achieve in a manner, but it was done in a manner that I found hard to get into.

The characters are fetching. The unique circumstances that they found themselves in drew me to them almost as much as the situations they find themselves in. Both them and the world that they live in were brought to life in a way that was larger than life.

As a whole, this was an enjoyable tale that brought a futuristic world to life in a fetching manner. It was a unique tale that allowed my imagination to escape for a while.

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