The God Save the Whovians tour is continuing to a huge new number of venues! You have more chances than ever to meet me, and get my books. If you can stop by at any of these locations, please do and say hello!
Upcoming Tour Stops:
May 3rd (Sun): The Book Rack, Davenport Iowa 1-6 PM
May 4th (Mon): Knox College, Illinois 1-3 PM
May 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th: Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia
May 16th: Blue Box Cafe Chicago
May 22nd, 23rd, 24th: Wizard World Comic Con St. Louis
May 29th, 30th, 31st: Console Room Con Minneapolis, MN
June 12th, 13th, 14th: Wizard World Comic Con Des Moines
June 20th: Defiance Con, Defiance Ohio
June 26th, 27th, 28th: Indy Pop Con, Indianapolis Indiana
Interview with James Wylder, by James Wylder
So James, its a real pleasure to talk to you.
I'm glad to be here to. So what am I here to talk to you about?
Haha, you're funny, me, so tell me about your new Kickstarter.
Well, its not that new! We're at the end of it. I'm writing a book called “James Wylder (James Wylder)” and its all about me! And you know, pretentiousness.
(You can find it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/arcbeatle/james-wylder-james-wylder-a-book-of-eminant-preten )
How did it come about?
I'd been thinking about it for a while-- that is, what is it that make art worthy of being art? There are always jokes about being able to trick people at a modern art gallery into thinking something is art that isn't. But in doing so, that's also art, so its cyclical. The thing that really got me was how pretentious people could be about art. If you've ever gone to an art show and read the “explain the piece to me” cards, you can find some really informative stuff, but you can also find some artists who are so big in their britches you wonder how they fit in them in the first place.
I had the pleasure of stumbling into an art exhibit with some art by artists who thought they were the next Picasso, the next innovator, but were making really derivative pieces. Some of them talked about themselves and their work with this level of confidence in themselves and the deep meaning of what they'd made that I just couldn't comprehend being able to do. I had this horrible realization that I had no where near the confidence they did in what was forgettable art that I'd seen some of my high school students casually out do on the back of tests, and that if this was what being an artist meant, I wasn't sure I could do it. I couldn't put myself on that pedestal.
I always think anything I do is massively flawed, and its rare I admit anything I've made is good until years after the fact. I began to wonder, if I play acted that level of confidence, could I do that? Make art and hawk myself as a visionary with scraps? Get people to pay me to just do whatever I want?
That's actually probably the biggest criticism of James Wylder (James Wylder), that you didn't take the over confidence far enough.
Yeah, and that’s fair enough. I mean, I think it would have been easier if I'd called the book something other than my own name. Sure I definitely push it with the Kickstarter further than I do in reality, but I know people expected me to go all the way with it. I think the thing is still funny, I mean, I'm talking to myself right now that's kind of cool.
But yeah, not perfect.
So people should back the Kickstarter though?
Oh yeah, there are only a few days left and its literally the greatest book you will ever buy.
I certainly believe you! So we had some questions from your fans.
Oh good! I love those! Lets get started on them then!
What's your favorite movie from the last five years?
Tom Hooper's 2012 Les Miserables film makes an obvious and obnoxiously prevalent choice, as if you know me you know I never shut up about it. I dressed up as Combferre with my best friend as Enjolras for Halloween. I have a problem.
How familiar is James Wylder with the different possible Hispanic ethnicities?
Not as familiar as he should be, obviously, but he's learning, and has definitely learned to not lump groups of people together via assumption. At least he hopes that lesson has stuck.
How much money would someone have to pay you to get you to commit a murder?
James Wylder is largely a pacifist. You can provoke me to anger to protect people sure, I won't let people suffer if I can stop it, but I won't take a bribe to commit a murder.
Unless you're asking me commit a puppy you named murder because you're a weirdo to the dog kennel while you go on vacation, in which case twenty bucks plus the kennel fees.
Is your mouth wet for corn?
Is your mouth dry for wheat?
What is your favorite kind of cheese?
Colby Jack is the kind I eat the most. I eat a lot of it. Tons of it. Cows hate me. They revolted once, it was udderly horrible.
What inspired you to become a writer?
When I was a kid I listened to my dad read me Michael Stackpole's X-Wing Novels by my bedside. I lay there, and was taken away to the world there in a way no other story had ever captured me. I wanted to write like him, and some of my first serious stories were bad Star Wars fanfiction.
I wrote stories before that, but that was when I really knew I wanted to be a writer. I was so young, I don't know how old I was. Maybe kindergarten.
If you were going to become a super hero, what hero from the DC or Marvel universe would you want to train you?
Captain America. I'd trust Steve Rodgers with my life, and I know he'd lead me in the right direction.
Legalize it? *Hint* *Hint* *Nudge* *Nudge* *Wink* *Wink*
Marijuana arrests have locked up a statistically abhorrent number of black youth, and the legalization in some states has already started causing problems for the violent Cartels in Mexico, not to mention that we could tax the stuff and get tons of money, and we already have more dangerous stuff like cigarettes and liquor legal. It definitely should be, strangely enough, for the public good.
And let me make it clear, I am a teetotaller, I have never done drugs or smoked, and I never will.
Hypothetically, if you reincarnate after death and you're human, what ethnicity would you be?
A surprised ethnicity that apparently didn't get the afterlife it was expecting.
Correction:What ethnicity would you want to be?
One that was near enough to a good enough resource on re-incarnation I could study up and get my soul on the right spiritual track, since apparently my expectations had been off.
Do you open bananas from the top or the bottom?
Top. Even though I know the bottom is more efficient. Habit.
Do you think you could beat me on DDR?(Dance Dance Revolution)
No. I am as awkward and as uncoordinated as a drunk fawn entered into an iceskating disco competition.
What do you think of the theory that Hitler invented antigravity spaceships and escaped to the dark side of the moon?
I think that the third Reich was actually a lot farther behind than people thought, and that most of their weird super weapons were pipe dreams they never figured out how to work.
The Nazis that do live under the surface of the moon got there thanks to alien assistance, Hitler didn't invent shit.
Paper or Plastic?
Paper. Save the Earth yo.
Can we have an A?...
Stop asking me questions while you're in school! Do your work and I'll grade you on it sheesh. And why are you always standing by the projector? Regardless, at least you two, and I know who asked this question, have more hair than me.
Do you play League of Legends?
No, though lots of my friends do. I wish I had the time for it.
How much Cheese Pizza have you viewed in your entire lifetime?
I've been counting actually. 1058 pizzas. Not counting spare slices, those don't matter. They didn't tag along with a whole pie they can statistically rot.
Do you think the movie "Frozen" deserved all the hype it received?
Yes. It was a really well written, acted, scored, and animated movie that did clever things. Sure people got tired of it, but people get tired of anything if you loop it enough. People have a lot of weird anger about it getting so popular, and they need to let it go.
If I were to sexually come onto you in a sexual fashion that happens to be sexual, on a scale from 1-10, how sexual would it be?
Also, what the heck.
Sorry if it is posted elsewhere, for I am an extremely lazy human being, is your "James Wylder" book an autobiography, or about being pretentious only? If anything else, please respond. That would be extremely radical.
Its both of those things. James Wylder (James Wylder) is a hybrid book: its basically an excuse for me to write anything I want to, and do anything visually I want to, without having to worry about its marketability or quality. I'll certainly be including autobiographical material, but also fun satirical fake pretentious junk, and real attempts at art. It should be a fantastic amalgamation, I just hope I get the money in the last few days to actually do some of the stranger things I have planned for it.
What do you think of the 12th Doctor?
I was astounded by Peter Capaldi's performance. Since I was a child, my favorite Doctor was Patrick Troughton. Now its Peter Capaldi. He understands the role brilliantly, and has brought new stuff to it that has really enriched the show. I hope he stays for a long time.
If you had a mixtape what would it be called?
The Hero of Rhyme Mixtape, Blue Box Edition.
So Jim, where do you live?
Elkhart, Indiana. I also live in several fictional universes where my brain wanders off to occasionally!
who shot first?
Han. The Confederacy. The British. Gavrilo Princip.
How much do you hate our class?
I don't hate any of my classes. Some of my classes can bug me with behavior sometimes, and I wish some of you were better about turning your work in, but I don't hate you. You're good kids. Everybody misbehaves sometimes, and I really hope all of you do great things. If I was going to be your teacher for the rest of the year, I'd be proud to be. I hope you all do really really well after I leave. I honestly wish the best for all of you.
How much paint do you snort prior to going to work?
None. Paint is expensive. Also I don't do drugs. Also paint is really expensive and you could paint something with it seriously, like, go paint something.
Gah, its so hard to chose between Infinite and the original. Honestly, if it wasn't for the DLC, I'd chose Infinite, but I really didn't like Burial at Sea much, so, lets go with the original.
Where would you hide a dead body?
And finally, do you believe in black jesus?
This is a really complicated question. First off, we have to distinguish what you mean by Jesus. There are two ways of thinking about Jesus: Jesus of Nazareth, a person who had a body on Earth that was physically the body of a Jewish man, and Jesus the Christ, a spiritual being who saves all of humanity.
Jesus of Nazareth is not black, he's an ethnically Jewish man from 1st Century Palestine.
Jesus the Christ is black, and Jewish, and any ethnicity. He is all of us, and saves all of us equally. Jesus the Christ is beyond skin color or birthplaces.
So yes, I believe in black Jesus the Christ.
Who's your favorite regeneration of The Doctor?
12, followed by 2.
Do you have a favorite author or poet?
Author: Michael Stackpole, Victor Hugo, or Alfred Bester, Poet: Stephen Crane
What was your first job?
Chopping wood for a Philosophy professor. He had this beautiful plot of woodland, and we would go out there on weekends and hack up his firewood. We'd take breaks and watch the bird and the stream while eating pasteries and drinking apple cider.
It was the best job I have ever had.
What would you do for a Klondike bar?
Pay up to $2.50.
If you had the chance to meet Seth rogan, Seth green, or Seth bowyer who would it be and why?
I'd meet Seth Green and obnoxiously try to talk my way onto Robot Chicken.
Though if I met Seth Rogan I'd thank him for his Alzheimers activism.
Do you watch anime? If so, do you have a favorite anime?
Yes! Though not much lately, sadly. Trigun is my all time favorite! Vash the Stampede!
Thank you so much for joining us Mr. Wylder.
Its been a pleasure, Mr. Wylder.
I love you.
Wow, that's a downer, and really mean to me! Like, that's how you want to end this interview?
I do what I want!
I am you!
Ugh, fine, I'm going to bed.
Well... I am to then.
Thanks for joining me here.
Its been a pleasure.... Loser!
James Wylder's Kickstarter for his upcoming Book "James Wylder (James Wylder)" Is in its last few days of funding! Please help support making this crazy amazing book possible!
The stars shine alone, almost like they're resting-- and there it comes! It crosses our vision, something shining and spinning slowly. Ah, it's come into focus now, its some sort of spaceship: chrome red, long wings on a thin body like a bullet, its engines flaring as it moves towards a celestial body (an asteroid?) we start to get a good view and then it dives-- quickly and effortlessly, pulling up at the last minute to even out over the surface of the rock. It stops on a dime, and lowers onto the blue-ish rocky surface, porous like coral. A hatch opens, and descends into a walkway. A woman walks out, wearing a full spacesuit, nearly form fitting but a bit loose on her. She takes a step out, and her faceplate lights up: her curly black hair frames her brown face, a focused looks is there. She is looking for something, and turns on a light that projects from the palm of her suit. Waving the light around, she doesn't seem to find anything... But there is a dash of movement from behind a rock. We hear her breathing increase. She must have been told the place would be deserted from the look on her face. She pulls out her weapon, something like a pistol, but there is no hole in its barrel. She creeps towards the rock, and it leaps at her-- jaws filled with fangs gnashing! She pulls off a shot-- the first milimeter of the cylander of the pistol's barrel shoots off, propelled by electro magnetism, and sends the creature hurtling upwards in the low gravity. It won't be coming back anytime soon. She exhales, this is what she gets for coming to a spiritual retreat, or whatever this place was supposed to be. She holsters the weapon, and heads towards a dome-- a dome of glimmering crystal colored like a rainbow. Maybe it was worth the trip after all. The stars shine down on it, and her, and the light takes on any color you make of it.
Maybe the most important moment in my childhood happened when my Dad was reading me the Star Wars X-Wing Novels by my bedside. We reached a moment where the Hero,
Corran Horn, decides not to sleep with Mirax Terrick even though she offers because he realizes that she would regret it later, and that in order to respect her as a person he must turn her down. Now, I didn't entirely understand what was going on at that age, but it was still a revelation for me: being a good person means respecting people enough to not take advantage of a situation with them. We kept on reading those books together, and in Michael Stackpole's “I, Jedi” I learned that cheating in a relationship was wrong, even when the other person in your relationship would never know. Corran Horn in many ways formed the foundation for my moral backbone, and taught me to start questioning situations society treated as normal where other people were at a disadvantage. Something awakened inside me, something beyond simply a love of pulpy space stories. Like Corran, I tried to look at every situation for what it was, and every person for who they were. It made me more of a Force for good than I would have been without it, and for that I'm forever grateful.
To me, that is Star Wars.
But Star Wars isn't just that, its been countless things to countless people, as numerous as Abraham's Stars in the sky. To some its been nothing but escapism: a pulpy melodrama with action and gumption. To some it has been a political or religious manifesto: dripping with ideology and secrets. To some it has been lifesaving: the spark that keeps a razor from a wrist, or the hope in your heart against abuse. Its been all that and more, and none of those. After all, there are people who hate Star Wars: some think its boring, some think it ruined science-fiction, some think its derivative trash, and so on and so forth.
The funny thing is, Star Wars isn't even one thing. Those words, “Star Wars” refer to a movie released in 1977, and to the series of films that followed it and changed its name to “A New Hope”, it refers to comics, books, games, audio dramas, games played with toys on the living room floor, commemorative towels, and more, let alone the divisions within those divisions. There is now so much that is Star Wars, as its seeped so deeply into people's psyches, digging it out of there is basically impossible.
Naturally, this blog is here to try to figure out what Star Wars is, because I like setting reasonable goals for myself.
This isn't an ordinary time to ask this question though, as fans of Star Wars have reached a crossroads. Since Star Wars has been sold to Disney recently, its now out of the hands of its original creator for the first time since it came into being. Most of the stories created under the old guard are now bunk, cast off into an alternate universe where they still sort of exist, but won't effect any of the upcoming movies. The direction Star Wars takes is now in the hands of people who grew up with it, and that direction won't be entirely unfamiliar, because Star Wars has been so many things at this point, its impossible for it not to be.
The second trailer for the next Star Wars movie, “The Force Awakens” recently went online, and has taken the fandom by storm already. What's funny about the reaction so far, is that it shows the ways in which Star Wars fandom has created its own insular culture and language, repeating keywords and buzzwords to communicate important concepts that they believe define what Star Wars is and should be (I swear, I'm rather tired of hearing the term “Lived in Universe” after two decades of it being repeated, I wish there was another term that could fill in just so I could take a break from it for a bit!) with a firm deference, and often a bit of rancor when people like a part of the endless saga they didn't.
That's been a part of Star Wars to: one only has to have been a child being made fun of by grown men who enjoyed breaking you down when they found out you liked something they didn't to know that fans aren't always nice, and aren't always good. Still, even through their cruelty, there is a passion that demands an answer to why this matters still, and why people are willing to treat a pulpy movie from 1977 with the deference due to deities.
We'll be exploring the major releases throughout the history of Star Wars, and how they have affected fans, the ideological meaning of Star Wars, and the future of it. There will be triumphs, failures, and oddities, action, romance, and tragedy. There will be dead ends, beginnings, endings, and unended cliffhangers.
But before all of that, we have to go back to the start, back to 1977... Because before we can know what Star Wars is now, we have to look at what it was before anyone bothered asking that question.
This will be a weekly blog, leading up to Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Check here every Friday for a new post!
Thank you so much to everyone who went to my reading at Cliffside Village books in Toronto! I had a wonderful time, and I'm very glad I could come visit. It was an honor to meet some fans who had watched the very first episode of Doctor Who when it aired in 1963! Just fantastic.
I hope I get to visit that bookstore again-- if you're in Toronto stop by, its a great place.
Along with my upcoming trip to Canada, some of you may be learning about some neat things I have coming up fairly soon.... If you found a copy of "That Towering Blue" welcome to the site, and please take a look around :)! -Jim
Years ago I took on an internet persona in order to be able to interact with fans without being deluged with questions about my own work. I felt liberated under this new name-- a thousand cords had been cut from computers like a spider-web trapping me, and I was free once again to roam and post weird gifs on Tumblr.
However, it soon grew to more than that, and I'm afraid to say it grew out of control.
I started writing under the name James Wylder, and putting out books my publishers didn't want, maybe they were too weird, or just not good enough, but I felt trapped by only being able to express myself through novels, a world popular youtube series, and movies of my bestselling books. I needed more, and the myth started to grow too big.
I soon found actor James Wylder, also an Indiana resident, just by doing some Google searches. He was attending Hanover College at the time, and really needed to pay off some student loans. He already had the name of my persona, and even though he was an odd choice we concocted a plan where he could attend book readings and conventions as the fictional persona "James Wylder."
There have been a few hiccups along the way: James had a hard time explaining he wasn't writing his play about a teenage girl with cancer, Patience of Virtues anymore as it was too similar to the Novel I later turned the partial script into, The Fault in Our Stars, but mostly he did an impeccable job of protecting my identity, and I'm very grateful to him for his help.
Its time now to be open about all of my work, and stop hiding myself away under a pseudonym. My work as James Wylder isn't as good as the work I've published under the name John Green, but I hope you can enjoy it, and support the real Mr. Wylder as he begins his real career in acting, his lifelong dream.
This website will be closing after today, so please look for news on my own websites:
Thank you all so much for your support, and I look forward to bringing you more stories soon! I know some of you might be upset at this news, so maybe the edge will be taken off by this news: my next novel, "Straight White Teens In Love: A Tragedy" will be coming out this December!
PS: I hear its the start of a new month, check your calenders and enjoy it!
Poet, Playwright, Game Designer, Writer, Freelancer for hire.