Some Thoughts with … G. M. Nair

17 Sept 2022

The Author/s

G.M. Nair

G.M. Nair

G.M. Nair is a crazy man who should never be taken seriously.

Possessing both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering has enabled him to masquerade as an intelligent, functioning member of society. If he approaches you to talk about cosmology or the state of the American Space program, try to appear as large as possible and make loud screeching sounds until he flees.

Mr. Nair writes and draws as a hobby and as an attempt to pay off the legal settlements he has incurred for beating up small children as “payback”. In a statement released by his lawyer, Mr. Nair asserts that “they know what they did.”

He is part of a New York City-based sketch group and can be seen writing and acting on their monthly sketch show “Clip Show”. He has also written for the History Channel’s Join Or Die with Craig Ferguson. He also curates the blog Make Mom Marvel.

The Interview

Welcome to my favourite section of the blog, author interviews! Today, our guest is G.M. Nair, author of the Duckett and Dyer series; a multi-awarded humour sci-fi series.

Let’s dive in!

1.- Duckett and Dyer is certainly a unique story. What impulsed you to write it?

This is a complicated and multifaceted question. I had ideas for the book as far back as 2007, but that idea wasn’t necessarily in book form. It was just another one of the hundreds of ideas that I (or any writer, really) had swirling around in my head.

When I started to seriously consider writing a novel after grad school, the book I wanted to write (and still do) was a sweeping space opera epic in three parts. My Star Wars, if you will. So I started to write it and quickly realized I had no idea how to write a book, and if I continued to work on that saga, it wouldn’t meet my admittedly lofty expectations.

Then I dialed it back and decided that I should take on a slightly less ambitious project as a dry run. So I combed back through my idea library and found a sci-fi/mystery/comedy book sitting there. Surely this would be an easier load to bear for a first book, I thought. And even if it’s bad, people might cut it some slack because it’s a simple comedy and not so serious.

And as I started layering plot threads and themes, that simple comedy idea grew into a multi-book ridiculous epic that I’m still nowhere close to finishing. I might not get time to write the original series I wanted to, but when I’m done with DUCKETT & DYER, I’m sure I’ll have enough experience under my belt to do it.

2.-After some years, Duckett and Dyer became a series of books. Do you think the process of creating becomes easier with time and books?

It does and it doesn’t. The later books become easier because you have to lay less groundwork for the characters and the world (although my world always has new insane ideas popping up in it), but at the same time, since DUCKETT & DYER is so self-reflexive and surprisingly continuity heavy for a comedic book, the subsequent books become a bit harder because I have to go back and research my own books and find ways around blockades I accidentally built for myself. But that part’s actually kind of fun.

3.- As good science fiction, D&D fiction takes part of its roots in real science. Is it related to your IRL background?

Kinda sorta. I’m an Aerospace Engineer by trade and have a bit of a background and interest in theoretical physics. So, sure, a lot of that influences the mechanics of my DUCKETT & DYER world, but it’s by no means real, hard science (which will be obvious to anyone who reads it). I’ve found that science fiction doesn’t need to be 100% accurate or plausible, but as long as it takes the DNA of real science and crafts a clear, consistent world where predictable, architectable (not a word) rules apply, it can be just as fun. But maybe that’s just the engineer in me.

4.- SPSFC Finalists, Indie Fantasy Fund Award Winner, BBNYA 2022 Semifinalist (at least), two nominations at Indie Ink Awards. Certainly, the list is impressive, did you expect this when you started with D&D?

Hell no. I thought this was gonna be a dumb book about fart jokes. I have notoriously poor self-esteem, so I’m always amazed and grateful when anyone likes it at all – or even gives it a second glance.

5.- Stephanie Dyer is an absolute disaster of a person, from where did you draw the inspiration to write her? Michael Duckett is also a different kind of character, being probably the one that always gets the short stick.

Hoo boy. You might regret the phrasing of this question because both Michael and Stephanie draw from dueling parts of my internal voice. So they’re both me. Steph is the devil-may-care side who’s only into cracking jokes, and Michael’s the part of me with the low self-esteem I mentioned earlier that is chronically anxious and worried about doing the wrong thing or having wrong things happen to him. This book series is therapy for me.

6.- Did you plan at the start to continue the series after the first book, or all just continued as you felt you wanted to write more about them?

I think it was always planned as a loose series that became tighter and tighter as I developed the idea. Especially since there’s a large overarching background plot that’s threading through each installment.

7.- Sense of humour is something that you can experiment with even from the cover of D&D, how would you define it?

This is such a hard question. Sense of humor is so incredibly subjective that it’s hard to define, and it’s hard to please everyone in the audience. My sense of humor tends to stray into the absurd, metanarrative category with the key being a constant subversion of expectations. Basically, I don’t really like a joke unless it has seven layers and is consistently up its own ass.

But I’m not above the occasional dad joke, and I like to mix the two in my writing.

Some people will love that, but I expect a lot to find it annoying.

8.- What literary plans have G.M. Nair in the future?

I’ve got 3 more D&D books to write! Plus an extra ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ and a couple of shorts in the same universe. But whenever I get done with that I have a comedic urban fantasy standalone I’d like to get through, a trilogy of YA sci-fi, and my hopeful magnum opus that I spoke about earlier.

Will I get to all these before I die? Stick around and find out!