Today, I am chatting with Studio Dongo (not his real name) about his book, The Kugler Dynasty (Danglers). I’m not going to try to say that again as there are simply too many D’s in those words. I also have a piece of coffee flavored toffee in my mouth, so everything is all coming out unpronounceable. I’d like to ask Mr. Dongo why he has chosen the name Studio Dongo when he could have named himself something much simpler such as Mike. Mr. Dongo is shaking his head beneath his cloak of anonymity refusing to respond. Therefore, we shall just go forth with our structured interview and allow him to answer the questions that he is comfortable with.
Naomi: Let’s start with just a brief synopsis of your book. In 20 words or less, tell me what it is about.
SD: The Kugler Dynasty is the techno-thriller prequel to a science fiction series about the colonization of the ocean.
Naomi: That’s fine, Mr. Dongo. You made it within the limit. Would you prefer to be addressed as Studio?
SD: SD works.
Naomi: It does, but it is also reminiscent of STD. You wouldn’t want our readers to infer anything from that, would you?
SD: Uh…no, I guess not.
Naomi: For the sake of expediency, I will continue to refer to you as SD but all readers are advised not to interpret Mr. Dongo’s initials in any other way. Back to your book, who is your favorite character and why? Since you successfully passed the word count test in the first question, you are now allowed to be as prolific as you wish in your responses.
SD: Thanks. I love my medical researcher Dr. Lila Worth. She gets pushed around in the beginning of the story because she is even more trusting than she is brilliant. But you can’t push a girl around forever as her colleagues eventually discover.
Naomi: If Dr. Worth called you up tomorrow and said, “Hey, let’s go do something.” What and where would you go with her assuming you did PUSH her in any direction?
SD: Some place with lots of witnesses and (ideally) a lot of cops on patrol. Dr. Worth is very upset and unpredictable at the moment, and she has good reason to be mad at me.
Naomi: Well, I can certainly see why since you are PUSHING her. What’s the hardest part about writing your book?
SD: Making bad things happen to good people.
Naomi: I don’t find that difficult at all. It’s all the good things that happen to bad people that frustrates me. Oh damn, I’m getting political again. Never mind. I’ll eat another toffee and shut my mouth. What’s the easiest part about writing your book?
SD: Definitely the spaces. Choosing the words has always been hard, but I find putting the spaces between them happens almost automatically. I think it had something to do with that typing class I took in high school.
Naomi: I am simply left speechless by either that comment or this toffee. Spaces. (Naomi shudders). If you had to pick one object to represent your story and one color to paint it in, what would it be and why?
SD: The best symbol for my book is definitely a rainbow-colored unicorn. I say this because I know several people who cannot help themselves when given the opportunity to purchase rainbow-colored unicorns, and I would like for them to buy my book.
Naomi: Now you are getting political. Shall we put rose colored glasses on the unicorn, as well? Do you do anything else besides write and if so what is it?
SD: After writing, I think I spend most of my time dreading juice. My wife is on this new dietary kick that requires her to do a lot of juicing, and somehow I got caught up in it. As it happens, I don’t care for these crazy juices (especially the ones with beets–blech!)
Naomi: So, to reiterate, you sit around all day worrying about drinking juice and celebrating the magic white spaces that appear in your text?
SD: Yeah. You have a problem with that?
Naomi: Now, I understand why you named yourself Dongo. What’s the ugliest thing in your closet?
SD: A collection of rainbow-colored unicorns. What can I say? My wife is a pushover for that crap.
Naomi: It could have something to do with living with you. I imagine, she is well medicated. What’s in the bottom of your purse, backpack, attaché or whatever you carry?
SD: I don’t carry anything like a backpack, but I do drive a pickup.
Naomi: With a gun rack?
SD: Yeah. You got a problem with that too?
Naomi: Not at all. I have one on both my Prius and my Lexus. Back to your pickup though.
SD: My junk ends up on the floor. I guess the floor is mainly studded with peppermints and rusty pennies that have fallen off the dashboard. I could clean it up, but I think stale candy and tetanus-laden pennies are great for keeping children occupied whenever I have to taxi kids around.
Naomi: Name one character in your book that reminds you of a real person and tell us who it is and how they are similar.
SD: Christian the pickpocket reminds me of Marcel Marceau because he is mute. Of course, in Christian’s case, it was because Ron forced him to bite his own tongue off, but the similarities are otherwise uncanny.
Naomi: Does he do that box thing? What’s your favorite game? Would your favorite character play it and be any good at it?
SD: My favorite game is definitely contract bridge, and Lila Worth would be excellent at it if she took the time to learn. However, she lacks both the time and the inclination to play games of any kind.
Naomi: Contract bridge is not a game as you well know. It is a serious application of analytical thinking that requires diligence and fortitude as well as deep concentration for the purpose of acquiring the ultimate prize, MASTERS POINTS. Did you ever wonder if you were a little crazy for writing fantasy/fiction?
SD: No. But thanks for creating a sudden nagging doubt.
Naomi: I didn’t create the doubt. It has been there all along, falsely cloaked by your odd pen name. Do your friends ever wonder the same thing? I am asking this though I am entirely certain that they do.
SD: My imaginary friends you mean? The ones you just created by asking me whether I’m going crazy? I’m not sure what they’ve wondered about me. They’re all talking at once. Gah! Help!
Naomi: Well, tell them to shut up and deal. Now, which conventions do you play, strong or weak 2’s?
While we are setting up the card table, you can find out more about Studio Dongo and his book at the following links: