The Coping with Sanity Interview: Chuck Wendig

I’m a big believer in giving back when you have success. Therefore I’d like to take a newer blogger and provide them a bit of legitimacy and exposure through an interview here at Coping with Sanity. Today’s guest is a relative newcomer to the blogging and fiction scene (at least to me and if I haven’t heard of him before now how popular could he really be, right?) Chuck Wendig. You can find his blog at Terrible Minds. Thanks for joining us Chuck.

When I first hit you up for this interview, I mentioned it would be more parenting centric than writing centric. So taking a cue from your own interview tactics, I’d like you to tell my readers a BDub parenting story. Preferably one that makes you look really stupid so I can feel better about myself as a parent.

I find nothing more humbling than the countless times the tiny human hits me in the testicles with – well, you name it. Fist, foot, head, toy, chair leg, my own phone, police baton, Remington 700 rifle, another baby.

You’ve talked some other places about managing a career while being a parent and how to find the time. But I wonder if being a parent has changed you at all internally as a writer. Do you find yourself writing different things or writing things differently since you’ve become a parent?

Not really. As a parent I’ve now developed that squicky feeling whenever people talk about kids getting hurt, but it hasn’t really changed my output any. Except all my print-outs now feature smeared applesauce stains, spit-up, and may or may not be poop (spoiler warning: it’s poop).

According to most published reports you have a wife. How? Did she know about you’re special…personality…before she married you? What’s being married meant to you as a writer?

I was not able to conceal my personality for long, and we lived together for a number of years. Though I like to think I continually surprise her with the depths of my stupidity and madness. It’s a daily journey through my own shortfalls.

Being married means I get support from someone other than the imaginary people I make up to high-five me whenever I do something notable.

Being married means I now have a new host of people I have to convince that writing is actually a career and not a thing a drunken hobo does for attention.

Being married means I have health care.

You’re kind of a genre spaz with work all over the spectrum. I love it. Is there a field you’re still itching to try? Anything you have no desire to write?

I am indeed a “genre spaz.” I will now make that my license plate.

I’d like to write something meant to be explicitly funny someday. A “comic novel,” I believe they call them. Though that also sounds like a novel about superheroes, but I have one of those, too, I want to work on.

I don’t want to ever write a hard sci-fi story. Not because I don’t like those, but because I’m far too dumb to write one. Seriously.

I first found out about you when your agent, the grand but frightening Stacia Decker, announced your Sundance Screenwriting Lab win. We don’t hear much about your screenwriting these days and frankly I feel duped. What the hell man?

You ever been at the urinal with an old man suffering from kidney problems? He pees really slow. It’s like – drip, drip, heavy flow, drip, drip, nothing, heavy flow, drip, nothing.

That’s film development. It comes in trickles and rushes, feast or famine. Our film is still in development and in the meantime still writing other script stuff. (I’ll be in LA at the end of April to “take meetings,” as they say in the common parlance.)

Tell me more about your blog Terrible Minds. You’ve called it your “sticky embrace” and your “authorial base camp”. Why is it important in these days of tweets and privacy-whoring billionaires to have a blog as well?

I am nothing if not a total control freak, and for me it’s nice to have a place that I can point people do, where I can focus all my rage and whorish self-promo, and that I control utterly.

How did your unique blogging style develop? I’ve learned I can no longer have beverages in my mouth when I read your posts for fear of choking the death at my desk reading about Lithuanian pornography because you’re so funny. Why such exaggerated language? Are you like that in real life?

It’s interesting because most people who meet me conclude that the online persona is far more aggro version of the meatspace-me, but ironically it’s just because I’m being polite in person. Ask my wife, she’ll tell you that I am, in fact, really like this. Possibly more so.

I suspect the style developed much like the many stages of syphilis – it just got stronger and more concentrated over time and eventually I just couldn’t cure myself of it.

Finally, tell me one thing you’ve never told any other interviewer.

I have a prehensile penis and I use it to hack ATMs.

Thanks Chuck. I think. Go to his store and buy some of stuff. He has a cute baby who needs to eat and poop in fresh diapers.