Have you met Edward? No?! Then let me introduce you. Edward is a man in is late 30s with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Edward is a wonderful, funny man. A fantastic character created by Craig Lancaster. Edward’s creator, Lancaster joins us today for Ten Questions.
Lancaster has written two books about Edward, 600 Hours of Edward and Edward Adrift. Here’s what Dottie had to say about them.
I really enjoyed 600 Hours! It reminded me of a book by Jennifer Ashley, The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie, who also lives with Asperger’s syndrome, but in 1800’s England. (One of the best romance novels on many lists, btw). Edward is a character that you can’t help but love and cheer for. If not for his father, I would have had a smile on my face throughout the entire story. 600 Hours of Edward is now one of my favorite books, I found it to be very endearing, (I love the word endearing!!) My data is complete!
I’ve just finished reading Edward Adrift and Craig Lancaster MUST continue Edward’s story. I love this guy!! I’d have to say that I enjoyed both books equally, but felt much more familiar with Edward in this one. He is a hoot, but also a very tender man. I highly recommend both 600 Hours of Edward and Edward Adrift.
If you haven’t already discovered Edward, you need to read these books! If you’re a fan of Edward already you’ll be happy to know that Edward is coming back! Lancaster has been teasing fans on his Facebook page recently with a piece by piece cover reveal of the newest Edward book.
Before you run off to investigate, check out Lancaster’s Ten Questions.
Ten Questions vol. 2 #16 Craig Lancaster
Bookish Devices: What is your favorite word?
Craig Lancaster: I have several, but one that’s stuck with me since I first heard it is “horripilating.” Way back in that distant time known as the ’80s, a colleague of mine at the University of Texas-Arlington student newspaper unearthed that one. I always picture Stooge Larry Fine with his finger in a power socket and his frizzy hair unfurling upward.
BD: What is your least favorite word?
CL: Comprise. In another life, I was a copy editor, and this word is consistently, gratingly used incorrectly. The whole comprises, or embraces, the parts. The whole is not comprised of the parts. If we could get otherwise competent users of language to come together on this, I’d be at least 76 percent less annoyed. (I’m really, really not a grammar snob in most cases, because there’s little upside to it and because the language is a living thing that goes where it wants despite our silly efforts to corral it. But in this case, we have a distinctive word with a distinctive meaning. Let’s not lose it.)
BD: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
CL: Well, that’s a pretty wide gamut, isn’t it? I’ll give it a go …
Creatively: Just an idea. An idea that wakes me up, or punches me in the shoulder when I’m doing something else, or mocks me. It can be a little germ of an idea or a big, rambling structure with a bunch of moving parts. It can change a million times between conception and completion; in fact, I rather hope it does. It’s more exciting that way.
Spiritually: Not knowing. It’s just that simple, and just that infinitely complex. I love that we’re here and philosophers ponder why and pastors think they know why, but we just don’t know—and the only way to find out is to take the entire journey, cradle to grave. When my best friend’s mother was dying, she talked to people long gone as if those folks had gathered at the gate of her consciousness and beckoned her in. In concept, that was enormously comforting to me, because it made sense in a circle-of-life way. There are hands and arms waiting to shelter us when we’re born, and I dug the idea that we depart into a community, too. But that was her journey and not mine, so I just don’t know. It’s cool. Certainty is overrated.
BD: What turns you off?
CL: Mean people. Bullies. Assholes (a subjective determination, to be sure). And this isn’t exactly a turnoff, but I’m not a joiner. I like to find my own way into things. I like to be able to change my mind without violating a litmus test. I despise groupthink. Presidential election years are a special kind of hell for me. I’m probably not alone in that. We should form a club. … Oh, wait.
BD: What sound or noise do you love?
CL: The sound of my fiancée waking up. It means she’s going to start making me laugh pretty soon.
BD: What sound or noise do you hate?
CL: An animal in distress or pain. It just tears me in half. You ever accidentally step on your dog’s paw? That yelp! It just kills me. And so I pick up the dog and I apologize and he licks me on the nose, as if he’s apologizing to *me*. That just slays me. He wants to make sure I’m OK.
BD: If you could have drinks with any author or literary figure, whom would you invite?
CL: Steinbeck, I suppose, because I’ve lived where he lived and read all of his stuff and admire him so much. But the problem with the premise is that I would bring all these expectations to the meeting, and so it probably wouldn’t be a free and easy exchange.
BD: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
CL: I admire teachers so damn much, I’m sort of half-and-half on the question. Half of me would love to experience their working life, if I could strip away all the hassles and bureaucratic nonsense and just feel that pure moment of connecting a kid with a subject that blows his doors off. The other half would just want to stay away and let the people who know what they’re doing handle the job.
BD: What profession would you not like to do?
CL: Anything where I had to make my way with a pick and/or shovel. Look, I don’t look down on blue-collar work. My dad was a well digger. His father was a miner. The summer after I graduated from high school, I worked in the eastern Colorado oil fields. I know what it’s like out there. And I’d rather work in a place that has air conditioning.
BD: What would you choose for your last meal?
CL: My fiancée’s from-scratch spaghetti and meatballs. If there’s a better meal, I haven’t had it.
BD: What is your favorite curse word?
CL: Does anyone choose anything other than “fuck”? It’s so utilitarian. Back when I hired copy editors, I always wanted to include this on an editing test:
Name the parts of speech in the following sentence: “That fucking fucker is fucking fucked—fuck it!” (For the record: relative pronoun, adjective, noun, verb, adverb, predicate adjective, interjection.)
I love the invented words you can make if you just give a fuck. Fuckabilly. Fuckstick. Fuckball. Fuckopotamus. The other day my fiancée, novelist Elisa Lorello, dropped this one on me: “fuckmilk.” Now, I have no idea what fuckmilk is, but that’s fucking brilliant and I’m going to fucking use it in a fucking story someday, if she doesn’t fucking beat me to it.
BD: If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and could only bring one book, which would you bring?
CL: “How to Build a Fucking Boat.”
Craig, we certainly appreciate you joining us and we can’t wait to see what’s next for Edward!
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