Greylands Interview: C.J. Duarte

Day Two of the Greylands interviews! Duarte offered a couple of stories under various pen names, as well as some really inspired contributions that couldn’t find their way in the completed collection, namely a poster and a video. But named or not, I couldn’t allow his efforts to be overlooked into the final compilation and he was gracious enough to answer my questions today.

Before I lead into his interview, for those of your who are interested, you can purchase your very own copy (and figure out which stories might belong to Duarte) here.

And now: C.J. Duarte!

1) Other than a fabulous contributor to Greylands, who are you?

I’m C.J. Duarte–or, depending on which part of Greylands you’re looking at, one or more other names. Other than being a semi-anonymous contributor to this project, I’m a novelist whose big, experimental debut The Dash is currently in mid-release (Volume 1 of 2). My first volume has also been fortunate enough to win the 2013 Readers’ Favourite Silver Medal in the General Fiction category this past month, and was simultaneously made available as an e-book for the first time. 

2) Small blog serial or not, it took a lot of guts to contribute to the project. What drew you to it?

The mysterious premise drew me to it right away, followed by the first chapter, and then the tantalizing offer for anyone to continue the story on any tangent they wanted–within reason, of course–for an unspecified amount of further chapters. That’s probably the other thing that still draws me to it today. The fact that the main author was able to take all these sometimes-disparate elements and wrap them together in a saga that’s both complete and open-ended.

3) Why did you choose the characters that you did? Did you know when you started with them that they would turn out the way they did?

Without revealing too much about certain plots or contributions, I chose the character(s) I did because they seemed more sympathetic to me. So I tried to expand on that as much as possible, to create a contrast with whatever elements I maybe wasn’t as drawn to, even though I respected them all the same. I had no idea if a particular contribution I made would be continued or forgotten about, but that’s the chancey nature of these types of projects, and also what makes them exciting and fresh.

4) Other than your own character, who was your favourite?

If I had to pick just one favourite character, it would probably be Pops. He may’ve been more in the background but to me he was a big part of what held the world together. He, along with certain other characters, was proof that there could be potential for hope and progress, even in a very grim atmosphere.

5) What other projects do you have going on? Can we expect to see other titles from you?

Not a whole lot that I’m comfortable specifying right now, other than my currently released novel. I’ve said in prior conversations that I’m working on similar story ideas that could very well equal or even surpass The Dash on a creative level. Until that ever happens, though, I hope people who read that book are satisfied enough for a while, because I know I would be.

6) Where can people find you on the interwebs?

I try to keep it simple: for now, people can really only “find” me on my official blog-turned-general-website, thedashnovel.blogspot.com, which I update on a fairly steady basis, and where there are lots of interesting sections and materials to explore. And if they’re even more interested, they can acquire Volume 1 of my book at the following clickable links:
Amazon.com (in e-format)
Kobo.com* (in e-format)
* This just became available this past weekend, so the timing couldn’t be better to try it out!
Chapters.ca (in paperback)
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