January 5, 2012

Interview with Bryan Young of Lost at the Con

I was able to send Bryan Young a couple questions after being able to read his great book Lost at the Con (review here) and he gave me some great answers! Below you can find the questions I sent him and his answers! 

Me: Can you tell me a bit about yourself? 

Him:  Well, I think the primary thing about myself is that I have a habit of biting off more than I can chew. I'm a filmmaker and have produced two award winning documentaries that you can catch on Netflix (This Divided State and Killer at Large). I'm a columnist with a regular geek column in the Salt Lake City Weekly, the alt-weekly here, as well as a columnist at Huffington Post. I'm the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the geek news and review site Big Shiny Robot!, and in addition to all of that, I'm an author, too. (My other books are Man Against the Future and God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut, in addition to a host of short stories available digitally.) I guess that's more about what I do than about me. As a person, I have two kids I adore, I'm fascinated by politics and film. Also Star Wars. I'm a big believer in Star Wars and all the lessons its taught me. Obviously, I love reading and writing, too. I've got three more novels written and in various stages of editing and probably 30 more short stories I plan on unleashing into the world soon.

 Me: What was your process while writing Lost at the Con? Did you write whenever the urge hit or did you plan out so many pages a day?

Him: I had a deadline and I just worked toward it. I tried spending as much time as I could devoted to writing when I wasn't working on all the other stuff I'm working on.  My goal was to make sure I cared about what I was writing and try to make it as fun as possible for me and, hopefully, for the reader, too. I took it to a couple of workshops where I was eviscerated for not having a likable enough main character and I had some help trying to sort through all that with some really great friends. But the biggest thing was just to write every day. I try to get a bare minimum of 500 words written per day, but I usually average more than twice that. It's important to just do it every day.

Me:  Are you a con-goer? Did you attend a con to research for Lost at the Con

Him: I am, indeed, a con-goer. I've been to about a dozen San Diego Comic-Cons, I've been to a couple of Dragon*Con's, I've been to all but one Star Wars Celebration...  I've been a fan of that circuit, both as a geek and as press, for a very long time. The idea for Lost at the Con occurred after my first experience at Dragon*Con, though. That place truly is the Mardi Gras of conventions. And I love it. But it really got me wondering what a drunken reprobate of a journalist with no experience in science fiction or fantasy or comics would think coming into it with no warning or background. And every time I saw something he might react to (Snarry anyone?) I would laugh hysterically about it.

Me: What do you have in common with our beloved Cobb? 

Him: I think one of the things I have in common with Cobb is that we've both attended conventions...?  We've both been inspired by the hero myth to pursue our dreams, eventually. And I think we'd both run if there were a bionic ex-President trying to kill us.

Me: Do you think you and Cobb would be friends if you met on the street?

Him: I don't know if we would be. I think he'd be someone to have an interesting conversation at a bar with, but I think he'd find me to be an intolerable asshole. But I think most people find me that way. I'll try to get along with anybody, though. 

Me: What do you wish I would have said about Lost at the Con in my review? 

Him: That it was the best book ever written and that you were quitting your day job to proselytize it's message to the world. No, I kid. I think any review needs to come from the heart, whether it's good or bad, and yours did that, so it was great to read for that reason, one way or the other.

Me: What are 3 words you would choose to describe your book to get the reader's attention?

Him: Drunken journalist, Space Lincoln  That's four, but you get the point.

Thank you so much for answering my questions Bryan! It was great learning about a real live author and your writing process! And I think you definitely succeeded in creating a likable main character! And I was wondering while I was reading how you and Cobb are alike. I was wondering if you were an alcoholic journalist or so! And why I can't say I'll be quitting school to study your book I did really enjoy it!

Find Lost at the Con on Amazon here for Kindle version and here for paperback! Be sure to check it out! :) 



  1. Terrific interview, Alex. I've got Lost at the Con on my TBR list. I've been to a lot of great ones.

  2. It really was a good read. And thanks for the compliment. I wasn't exactly sure how to term my review- it was my first. I've never been to a Con before but if there was a Harry Potter con around here you know I'd be there! :)


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