Hello there dear friends.
It’s time for another amazing interview to bring us a little closer to that wonderful invention known as the weekend.
Today I have a comedic treat for you all in the form of author W.T. Fallon, as she shares the hilarious madness of her new novel Fail to the Chief. If you are looking for some light-hearted relief from all of the presidential election shenanigans then this could very well be your cup of tea (or coffee/wine/beer/cider depending on where in the world you are reading this and what time it is).
Have fun and happy reading.
Hi there W.T. – thank you for being our featured guest, it is indeed a real pleasure to be chatting to a well-established female comedy writer, especially one involved in political satire.
Let’s start directly with your book – “Fail to the Chief”, which was published at the end of September. A novel concept indeed, which is absolutely hilarious. The election of a presidential official via the medium of a reality TV show – genius! Please tell us more about what inspired your idea to meld these two entities together and what sort of hilarious mishaps we are going to encounter in your book as this chaotic saga unfolds right before our very eyes?
One day I was running on the treadmill, and the TV was on one of those 24-hour news channels. As I watched it, I thought about how the election process was a lot like a reality show — candidates are followed by cameras most of the time, there’s constant coverage of everything they do, commentators discuss and dissect it, etc. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny if they just made the election a reality show and let people vote from their couches like they do for other reality shows?”
After all, it’s a fact that more people vote for reality shows than vote for president. But most people will watch the news and yell at the TV when they see a candidate they don’t like. If we could all vote for president from the couch, wouldn’t voter turnout be better?
Then I started picturing the presidential election playing out like some of the reality shows I had watched in the past. The host smoothing over hurt feelings and handing out tissues, the contestants pandering and making speeches, the audience creating challenges that the candidates have to go through. By the time I got off the treadmill, I had a story idea.
If your novel was to be made into a film, who would you cast in the lead roles?
I think it would be fun to have a former reality-show host as Bryan Seafoam, the character who hosts the show American President in Fail to the Chief.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
I think getting started is probably the hardest part of writing. Once I write something, usually the words start flowing. I think it’s easy to come up with ideas, and hard to put them into actual words on a page.
Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you?
I read everything from John Grisham to Stephen King to Andy Borowitz. I like stories that may have a serious plot but also some humor.
What sort of research did you do to write your book?
Probably the most fun research I did was when I Googled, “Things the U.S. government wastes money on.” I found a list of the most bizarre stuff we taxpayers apparently fund — everything from studying the effects of cocaine on the sex lives of Japanese Quail to building a soccer field for detainees at Guantanamo. I fictionalized these things in my book, but we do waste money on a lot of crazy stuff.
Additionally, I did a lot of research on our current electoral process. In Fail to the Chief, there’s a fictional 29th Amendment to the Constitution which does away with the current 12th Amendment — that’s the one that sets up our current electoral process. I also did a lot of reading about executive orders, and what a president can or can’t do with one. I’ll be honest, I now know a lot more about the Constitution than I ever learned in school. (My teachers were wrong. I didn’t really need to know any of that stuff I learned in fifth grade that I didn’t care about then and don’t remember now anyway. When I needed to know about the Constitution, I Googled it. Problem solved.)
I also did some research about the size of the Oval Office, to determine if an exact replica would be a feasible size for a TV show with ten contestants, a host, and half a dozen TV crew members with cameras and equipment. (In Fail to the Chief, the show takes place in a building where all the rooms are replicas of rooms in the White House.) I decided the actual Oval Office was too small, so I wrote that the room was built to scale bigger than the real version. I also looked at pictures to see what that carpet with the eagle on it looked like.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I’m a very opinionated person, and I think I always wanted people to hear my opinion’s on anything and everything. This current election is unique and bizarre in so many ways, it really inspired me to write about the ridiculousness of politics, and how the real issues always gets swept under the rug while candidates argue about the size of their hands and their so-called accomplishments.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
I tell myself to just keep writing. Sometimes I know I’m writing something I’m going to delete later, but that’s okay. It may take me a couple pages to figure out where I’m going. I don’t outline because I find it creatively stifling. So sometimes I write several pages and then I say, “That’s where I was going with this.”
I give myself permission to write something that isn’t perfect. I can always edit or delete later. Not much you can do with a blank page.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I’d go back to when I was a little kid in the nineties and badger my parents to buy stock in Apple and Google and put it in a trust fund for me.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
I like watching TV, haggling for better prices at discount stores, looking for that perfect score at yard sales (which I’ve never found), and of course, making fun of politicians.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I am working on several other writing projects, including a story about the pharmaceutical industry that’s somewhat satirical and somewhat suspenseful. I also blog at a website called Shareable Sarcasm, and write for Humor Outcasts.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Don’t be afraid to write something that isn’t perfect. You can always edit your work. Critique groups have helped me a lot, and it’s always a good idea to get input from other writers.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for putting some mirth into our lives W.T., we appreciate it!
W.T. Fallon believes if you can’t say something nice, you should say something funny and totally true. She has few marketable skills, but is highly talented in the areas of sarcasm, satire, and snark. For the past several years, she has written for the local Gridiron Show, and this year she started a blog called Sharable Sarcasm. The 2016 election provided so many opportunities for humor that she decided to write her first novel, a political satire called Fail to the Chief, which was released in September 2016. She was recently published at The Satirist (Trump Proposes Trump Care: Viagra and Plastic Surgery for All), and started writing for Humor Outcasts in September 2016.
You can connect with W.T. on the following Social Media channels:-
Blog/Website:- Shareable Sarcasm – The Blog & Website of W.T. Fallon
Facebook:- W.T. Fallon – Author (FB)
Twitter:- W.T. Fallon – Author (Twitter)
You can buy her book here:-
Still want more? Well, the best satire takes an original idea and then tweaks it just enough to still sound plausible to be true but absurd enough to be hilarious, just like W.T. has done here. For more articles on the theme of ‘Original’ then check out the links below:-
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8. Dronesville Adventure #9: original mind reading boss – a nerd’s confession: when-iam-68
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