Thursday, August 25, 2016

Interview with local author Chad Descoteaux

This is beyond exciting for me! I have asked a few people if I can interview them because I think they are interesting and because I believe in the works they do.
As any regular reader knows, I write about life with my son who is developmentally delayed. He was originally diagnosed with the very broad term Sensory Processing Disorder.  As of this year he got the autism diagnosis. I feel the diagnosis is only a term to help him get help, not a label, not a punishment. A. can be anything in life he aspires to be and I will help him get there.
My other favorite topic is anything nerdtastic. My third favorite topic is books.  If I could mash these three things together what would I get?
I would like to introduce local writer, director, aspiring rapper, and original Gerber baby Chad Descoteaux.  I own two of his early books, watched  The Fuzzy Bunny movies as well as Science Fiction Cereal which are viewable on his You Tube channel.  His more recent works are available on his website.  Chad can be followed on Twitter  as well.  
What I like is he has persevered. He had a small local fan base that essentially started among his group of friends. Soon he was showcasing his books at our city's annual Oktoberfest celebration. He never stopped being creative and has moved his work space from the table in his kitchenette to a an actual writer's office filled with geeky memorabilia that would make the lads from the IT Crowd weep.
I am thrilled that he was nice enough to take time out of his schedule to grant me an interview. Honestly, his stuff is very original and funny. Please take the time to explore his works.

1. Before we talk about your work and the creative process, could you tell me, in your own words of course, which ninja turtle always brings his A game and why?  Well, I would say Leonardo, just because he is the most intense student of the martial arts out of the four.  Between being a perfectionist and the responsibility of being the big brother and the leader, he is always bringing his A game.
2. How long have you been writing?  I’ve been writing since I was a kid.  I always enjoyed creative writing assignments in school.  And it was reading Bruce Coville’s ‘My Teacher is an Alien’ series when I was in fifth grade that made me want to write my own stories.
Out of your books, which was the hardest to write?  ‘Working-Class Superheroes’, That story focused more on the larger world, with a lot of superhero characters, so when I did the rough draft, I had to figure out who the main character was.  I think I made the right choice, picking the most relatable one, but that was the challenge.
Which was the most enjoyable to write?  ‘The Inter-Terrestrial’, because that one is just the ultimate nerd fantasy, between the aliens and the kung fu and the geek getting the girl. Characters I am proud of and very satisfying.
3. Do you plan on making any more movies?  I plan to make one or two book trailers to advertise my work on YouTube.  And I had the idea to make a few short films that take place in the same universe as ‘The Tattler’ to advertise that book.  But those plans are in the early stages.
4. A subject that is close to home for me is autism.  My son was recently diagnosed. When did you discover that you have Asperger's?  I discovered that a few years ago, when I was in my thirties.  I researched the condition because I have a second cousin with a more severe case and I wanted to understand his challenges.  Then, I started reading all of the symptoms and it filled in a lot of blanks going back into my childhood as to why I did/felt certain things.  So, I went to a shrink and got diagnosed.
5. As an adult with Asperger's what are some of your biggest challenges?  Social anxiety.  Any kind of social interaction makes my brain more tired than it does for a normal person.  And it has nothing to do with whether or not I like the person/people I am with.  I could be with people I love to death and I still want to go home and lock myself in my office after a while.  I am fortunate enough to have friends who understand these things, but growing up, I had people (teachers/family) pointing out things that I did well and saying “well, you’re so smart, why can’t you do this?”  Like when I would get poor grades.  That never made sense to me, even before I was diagnosed.  “Why can’t people be good at one thing and stink at something else?  You’re a smart teacher and you suck at being tactful.”  (Aspies thrive on logic.)  As far as advertising my books is concerned, publishing e-books has been a blessing in disguise because I couldn’t do book signings if I wanted to.  It’s digital!  Leave me a review on Amazon, though!
6. Your wife is gorgeous!  Well, thank you!
7. What is your favorite cereal? Corn Pops.  Side note: I am a snob when it comes to cereal.  Any other product, I have no problem buying the generic version, even soda, which I love.  But I want Kellogg's Corn Pops, not Corny Poofs.
8. Marvel or DC?  I like Marvel better because the characters are far more relatable.  Good versions of DC characters (The Flash TV show, Bruce Timm’s cartoons) borrow the ‘relatable secret identity’ thing that Marvel started and are better for it.
9. What are some upcoming projects you are working on?  I am working on a sequel to my book ‘The Tattler’, called ‘The Tattler: Losing Time’.  I just started on the rough draft, but it’s coming along very well.
10. What advice can you give to my son, and other children on the spectrum? Surround yourself with people who get you and do the best you can.