I recently invited Jennifer Estep to the blog, and you guys seemed to enjoy the stop. So, I thought I’d continue to invite authors whose work I’ve loved. This time it’s DD Barant, the pen name for Don DeBrandt for his Bloodhound Files series. His heroine is sharp, interesting, and ready to kick butt. Plus her sidekick is one of my favorites in the genre.
Without further ado then, here’s my interview with Don.
Thanks for being on the blog.
1. What’s your story? Who are you, the person?
I’m a riddle wrapped in a conundrum with a chewy nougat center of mystery—no, wait, that’s Russia. Um, I’m just this guy, you know? No, that’s Zaphod Beeblebrox . . . I’m a writer, I guess. Have been my whole life. I am a very silly person, in general: a punster, an ethical hedonist (which means I like everyone else around me to be enjoying themselves as much as I am) and when I go Burning Man they call me Captain Fun. I love my family more than anything else, and I’m older than I look. That’s about it.
2. Tell me more about The Bloodhound Files.
I created The Bloodhound Files to be a social satire, among other things. I wanted to make certain points about society as well as tell a fast-paced story with witty dialogue, which is why it follows the structure it does. I kind of wanted a TWILIGHT ZONE feel, with a world that looks ordinary at first glance and then gets weirder and weirder the more you examine it. I occasionally get criticized because it’s not strictly extrapolative in a linear sense, but I did that on purpose; if I’d pursued every historical event to its logical conclusion, it would have been a science-fiction novel, not an urban fantasy. I think the humor helps alleviate some of that, but my more scientific readers are bothered by me playing fast and loose with alternate-history conventions.
3. You write under the names DD Barant, Donn Cortez, and Don DeBrandt. How did you decide to use pseudonyms? Do they have any special meaning?
DD Barant was intended to be gender-neutral. Donn Cortez was initially Donnelly Cortez, just because I thought it sounded memorable. Don DeBrandt was my first pseudonym, a shortening of my real name that was catchy. Generally, I tend to use different pseudonyms for different genres.
4. Who is your favorite character in the series?
Charlie, I think. Everybody loves him.
5. Which character is most frustrating to write?
None of them, really. I choose characters I enjoy writing—if any of ‘em clam up, they get fired.
6. What’s something you’re really proud of?
When people write me and tell me my fiction made their world a little better for a little while.
7. Name three interesting things most people don’t know about you.
I once performed a puppet show for one of the Baldwin brothers.
I coined the term “jagged” as a substitute for “cool”, and it was used in the Marvel Comics cyberpunk-superhero line 2099.
I have triple-jointed thumbs.
8. What would be your last meal?
I’m allergic to gluten, so: Kentucky Fried Chicken, Deep Fried Prawns with sweet and sour sauce, and a lemon meringue pie.
9. You receive a job offer to work in an unknown alien spaceship as a human culture specialist. Do you take the job? Why or why not?
I do not. The last time those f*ckers stiffed me on overtime. And my alimentary canal hurt for a week.
10. The zombie apocalypse is coming. You have an hour and $50. What do you do?
Use the money to buy a convincing gun replica from the local Military Surplus store. I’d buy a real one, but I’m in Canada and short on time. Then I drive down to marina at False Creek (with my family), use the gun to bluff my way onto the biggest yacht I can find, and steal it. The rich know how to swim, right?
Thanks for stopping by, Don.
Amazon author page here.
Don DeBrandt is a Canadian author who also writes under the pen-names Donn Cortez and DD Barant. Born in Saskatchewan, he currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to North America, his books have been published in Germany, France, Italy, and Russia. His influences include Spider Robinson and John D. MacDonald, among others.
As DeBrandt, he has written numerous essays, short stories, plays and comics. His first novel, the cyberpunk The Quicksilver Screen was part of Del Rey Books’ ‘Discovery’ line, and featured a cover by classic Science-Fiction painter Vincent Di Fate. This was followed by work for Marvel Comics and a novel in the series of book tie-ins for the Angel TV series. As Donn Cortez, he took a darker turn for The Closer, a hard-edged story about a serial killer hunting other serial killers.