The Kid Who Hated His Dog With Wayne Gladstone

asshole dog

Each week in Give A Little Bit, we talk to funny people — comics, writers, cartoonists, senators — about the first time they got a laugh. This week, Wayne Gladstone talks about asshole dogs, editing on meth and the Internet Apocalypse upon us.

Your first bit…

The first thing I ever got published in my adult life ran in Opium Magazine. At that time, I was still contemplating being an important novelist or whatever I thought that meant. But literary magazines were running lots of earnest pieces about kids who’d go out and learn life lessons in the woods with a trusted dog. At least that was my impression when I started writing a fuck you piece called “A Story About A Boy And His Dog” in which the dog talks and is kind of an asshole, and his boy owner hates him.

Your writing process is…

I like writing on trains or in motion. It helps me not feel stuck, because, y’know, literally I’m in motion. I like writing with whiskey or scotch. Vodka, beer, and wine are not good for me and writing. I also write sober, but edit on meth. When I’m writing a novel I’m happiest when I’m 80% sure where I’m headed. It gives me enough of a roadmap to be productive, but still leaves room for surprises which is what makes writing fun.  So I outline, but the outline gets more filled out as I go along.

Your influences are…

A lot of my influences are not necessarily novelists. Also, I typically fetishize specific works over artists themselves. I love Franz Kafka, Rod Serling, David Bowie. Some of my favorite novels are The Corrections, Kavalier and Clay, and White Teeth.

How you keep it all together…

Partial to binder clips.  This applies to both loose papers and sex play.  (Rubber bands highly inferior on both fronts).

You wish you wrote…

There is nothing I wish I wrote. The greatest things I’ve read make me competitive, make me jealous, but I’ve never made that wish. Once something exists it exists in its own unique way in a way you could never recreate. But some of Serling’s narrations, particularly the outro to Death’s Head Revisited and the opening paragraphs of The Corrections are some of the best prose I’ve ever seen.  Then again the opening to Hudsucker Proxy is so note for note perfect that it makes me cry. It’s not a sad scene, but I usually swell up and bawl. Perfection in art does that to me.

A new bit…

Well, the third book and final book of the Internet Apocalypse trilogy just came out. It’s about what happens when the whole world mysteriously goes offline. One New Yorker leads a gang of social media misfits in a dystopian world to bring it back. If you buy 20,000 copies this week, I can be a bestseller through your efforts alone

Wayne Gladstone is the author of the Internet Apocalypse trilogy on Thomas Dunne Books. He is a former Onion contributor whose work has appeared at Cracked, Thrillist, Time Out New York, Slate, and McSweeney’s. Check out his official website here.

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