Ask Dayton 92 – Just Ask Kevin …
Congratulations on being a NY Times bestselling author! Well past deserved. So looking at your career this is a big deal, but I have to ask, because being a professional writer can be a rough job, what have been your biggest frustrations and disappointments, and have you ever wanted to just say, “To hell with it?”
Thank you and congratulations again.
P.S. – Wager if Nick is reading this after his surgery or he calls in sick?
Okay, I’ll admit up front that this is a very intriguing question. It brings to mind a number of different situations and memories that really are just part and parcel of being a writer. I could regale you with tragically comedic bits about royalty statements, contract gaffes, discussions and disagreements over everything from plot points to book titles to that blob of shit you read on the back of a paperback book that makes you decide to buy it or instead use that money to get yourself a 20-piece order of Chicken McNuggets and a 59,000 ounce soda.
Have I been discouraged from time to time? Certainly. Everybody feels that way about their job or some other aspect of their life on occasion. It’s human nature to wonder if something’s worth your time and energy. However, I can honestly say that the good far outweighs the bad when it comes to my writing career, and to dwell on the negatives is counterproductive. I’m also not really interested in highlighting specific examples in this public space, because that would come off as a dishonorable airing of dirty laundry, and I’m not willing to risk friendships and professional relationships by doing something so tacky.
Therefore, I’m just gonna make up some shit.
For example, there once was this editor. I don’t want to identify him here, but if you ever shout his name at a swimming pool with your eyes closed, somebody just might yell back, “Polo!” Anyway, this dude…what a self-important dick this fucking guy was. Not a day was allowed to pass in which his “knaves” were not required to pay tribute to him in some manner. Yeah, he called us knaves, which I suppose was an improvement over “little writer monkey puppets” and “no-talent money-grubbing parasites”
Anyway, the daily processionals at his altar were so long and drawn-out and full of pomp and circumstance that they make Catholic weddings, Nelson Mandela’s funeral and the uncut director’s edition of Avatar seem like an AM radio traffic report in comparison. I actually got off pretty easy during most of these ridculous rituals, but Kevin still has to attend twice-weekly therapy sessions to deal with some of the shit he had to go through. And as bad as that was? Late at night, when I close my eyes and listen for the demons to come out from the closet or under my bed? I can still see what horrific tortures David Mack was forced to endure, and I can still hear his desperate cries for someone…anyone…for the love of all that’s holy to just please pay the damned ransom money, or to at least send more lube and maybe some plasma.
Of course, fucking Mack deserved it.
Oh, you want to talk about David Mack? Fine, Let’s fucking talk about David Fucking Mack, but let’s get the good shit out of the way. This son of a bitch can write. I sincerely mean that. I never ceased to be amazed at how he’s continually able to jam whichever hand’s not holding his drink so far up his own ass that he’s able to pass through the event horizon of the black hole that’s a substitute for the heart you’d find in any normal human being, and from within that darkest of soul and energy-sucking realms he extracts some of the most engaging, action-packed, emotionally-charged writing I’ve ever seen a mortal commit to the printed page. Readers should relish without hesitation or guilt the genius that is David Mack, the writer.
That said? Don’t ever, ever, EVER let this mother fucker into your house without an escort, and I don’t mean the kind you can call up in Vegas when you get one of those porno business cards from some dickbag on the Strip. Bring somebody who’s able to put a Taser on this guy, or just bust a cap in his ass, because if you leave him to run amok he’ll drink all your booze, eat all your Funyuns, Skittles, and any Fruit Loops or chocolate you might leave lying around, and push up against your wife or girlfriend. Of course, the rumor on the convention circuit is that he’s hung like Ant Man, so this really falls more into the nuisance category rather than any real threat potential. If you want independent confirmation of this allegation, I’d suggest you ask Kevin.
“Wow, Dayton,” I can hear someone saying from the balcony seats, “is there anybody else you want to call out for making your life so miserable?” Well, since we’re all here, I suppose I should warn you about Kirsten Beyer. Now, like the aforementioned Mr. Mack, Ms. Beyer is also a writer with some seriously mad word-pushing skills. She pretty much single-handedly managed to breathe life and excitement into the Star Trek: Voyager novels and rescue them from the Dumpster of Misfit Books to which a lot of people figured they’d been consigned. That alone is a feat worthy of commemoration and celebration in story and song. I also love her like a sister, but it’s with that fear-based respect you give to an older sister who threatens to rip off your balls and use them for ear rings if you tell your folks she stayed out past curfew.
Also? Don’t let her bum a cigarette off you. I don’t even smoke, and she’s into me for something like 25 or 30 cartons of coffin nails. “But, Dayton,” I can hear those cheap-seaters saying, “How does that work if you don’t smoke?”
I already told you: Balls. Ear Rings. Capisce?
Okay, okay. Perhaps I’ve said too much. In fact, don’t even read this out loud, Nick. We’ll just keep all of this between us, all right?
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.