Friday, April 1, 2016

Ian Stang ~ an interview and his novel ~ The Grand Scheme of Things

Ian Strang

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TITLE: The Grand Scheme of Things
RELEASE DATE: January 25, 2016
AUTHOR: Ian Strang
KEYWORDS: Humor, Funny, Absurd, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Writing, Alien Life
CATEGORIES: Science Fiction, Humor, Fantasy, Writing
ISBN: 978-1523272679
IMPRINT: Devil’s Tower

Author Bio:
Ian Strang is an independent writer and artist. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife Cheryl and several houseplants. THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS is his first published novel. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from California State University Long Beach, which to this day no one has ever asked to see. Ian works in the film industry as a lighting technician and rigging electrician. Writing is his only hobby, other than making sure the hummingbird feeder on the front porch doesn't go empty, but he sees that as more of 'his duty'. He is currently working on a sequel to The Grand Scheme of Things.


Q: Are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?
A: Early mornings for me are great because no one is up yet and everything is quiet. There's no distractions. I also feel that my writer self is up before my procrastination self has a chance to ruin any writing I need to take care of.

Q: Tell me something you would like your readers (fans) to know about you.
A: I was in a breakdance group when I was a teenager that won the Utah State Breakdance Championship in 1986.

Q: Coffee or Tea?
A: I am definitely a coffee drinker, but I do pull out the teapot whenever I get sick. I actually love tea, but if I had to choose between the two I think it would have to be coffee.

Q: How do you feel about exercise?
A: I love exercise. I run a little route near my house, about four miles. Halfway through I stop in this empty parking lot and jump rope for about half an hour. Then I run home. It's a way for me to escape my anxieties or frustrations. I put together a playlist of certain songs that help me think of myself in some other world while I'm running. And when I get back I usually feel a lot better.


Q: When did you start writing and why?
A: I started in high school drawing comic strips for my friends. I continued that in my twenties and then tried writing screenplays in college. Novel writing didn't come until my thirties.

Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: My ideas come mostly from how I see the world. I see it as both beautiful and completely absurd at the same time. The fact that we're here for barely a blip of time in the scope of the age of the universe is almost laughable. I can't see life any other way but pure absurdity. I like trying to discover why people make certain decisions, especially the ones that, from their perspective, are important to them but from another perspective seem ludicrous.

Q: What do you think is the hardest part of writing a book?
A: I think for me the hardest part is actually writing. I play this mental game with myself where I tell myself that I can't write and that I'm wasting everyone's time. I feel like I have to constantly battle that voice in order to write anything down.

Q: Do you write long hand first, or does it go straight into the computer?
A: I do both. I used to write spec screenplays in longhand on those yellow legal pads, so in a way it's easier for me to flush out ideas that way. Then I can expand on that idea when I'm typing it on the computer.

Q: Are you a sit down and play it by ear kind of writer, or do you need a structured guideline, or maybe a little of both?
A: I'm a play it by ear type, but I'm trying to be more disciplined. I'm a huge procrastinator but I do very well in structured situations. Unfortunately, I'm my own worst boss. I think structure would help my process and I'm trying to go more in that direction.

Q: When crafting the story do you go from beginning to end, or do you jump around writing the scenes that are pushing themselves forward in your brain?
A: I definitely jump around. I'll usually start in the middle. I'll stitch some ideas together until I can see a story. Then, I try to find an ending. Knowing the ending gives me a finish line that I can go towards. After I find the ending I fill in the rest of the story.


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: Right now I'm working on the sequel to my first novel The Grand Scheme Of Things. It's going to take place four and a half billion years after the first story where everything has evolved as it should except that the humans are no longer at the top of the intellectual pyramid.

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A: Right now I just have my novel The Grand Scheme Of Things which came out on January 25th. I'm hoping to complete the sequel sometime this year.

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A:  Yes, I do. Here are the links. 

ONE LINER: The Grand Scheme of Things is a story about a humorous alternative beginning to the universe as told through the eyes of an egotistical supreme being.

THE  HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY meets "Stranger Than Fiction," in which two humans are accidentally sent to another universe and land in the middle of a story that is being written by a supreme being who has just come out of one of history's longest bouts of writer's block.

The author, Bill Friday, decides that his novel will play out on a giant ball of dirt that he calls The Earth, which, in his language means ‘profit making business venture.’  The presence of the two humans on the barren planet, however, has dramatic and historic consequences for The Earth, and their existence threatens to ruin, not only the entire plot, but possibly Bill's career as well.

“Clever, insightful, and delightfully deranged, THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS takes our universe and imposes gravity upon it, so it can be turned upside down.  It is an enjoyable story about someone who is unfit to be creating life—a cool comeback comedy that competently combines cosmological conjecture, courageous career courses, and coping with creative commons conflicts.”

–Logan J. Hunder, author of  WITCHES BE CRAZY


Only two days ago the Thingamabob had unceremoniously shut itself off and sent everyone into a panic.  It then turned itself back on and then off again and it did this sporadically as if to toy with the scientists.

In the process of trying to locate the on/off switch, Barf and Simon ended up disassembling the entire contraption down to its last quatt-node.  Its parts were spread out all over the floor like a toy chest that was upended by a hyperactive child who had just eaten a suitcase full of candy bars.  

“Almost got it,” Barf exclaimed with excitement.  He was tightening one of the last spire nuts that held the Hastings rod in place on the Thingamabob.  

Simon was busy replacing a burnt out reality inter-fuser.  

The two scientists worked feverishly trying to completely understand the machine and all its functions.  This wasn’t just about finding two missing people, although that was certainly at the top of the list of priorities, but it was also about understanding something that was much bigger than they were, bigger than anyone was.  It was about the capabilities of the human intellect and its achievements and the possibilities of where it could take them in the next thousand years.  Again, this was primarily about finding a missing actress and a test pilot, but the pursuit of scientific knowledge does not come without sacrifice, which is why Barf and Simon were both confident that if Hannah and Buddy were never found again they’d probably get a touching tribute or possibly have a street named after them or something.

Between the Thing's intermittent on again/off again game it was playing with Barf and Simon they conducted several tests, one of which included sending a hamster through with a tracking device attached to its ear.  Missing for several days, they finally tracked the hamster to a nearby city where it managed to get a job as a talk show host on a local cable network and was now pulling down six figures a year. 
Then, they sent two more hamsters through and tracked them both to a quaint little farming town where the two hamsters, who were once pretty good friends, had now become bitter enemies and chased each other around the countryside trying to destroy each other.  They were eventually eaten by two cats who, not surprisingly, also hated each other.

Simon would later realize that the Thingamabob had only achieved Doublo Synthetic Propulsion to Infinity and not Quattro Propulsion, which was required to fully thrust the hamsters completely out of their realm of totality. 

“Done!” cried Barf as he stood up and re-checked the Thingamabob’s main accelerator hose.  The Thing had miraculously been put back together by the two men using almost every last piece, except for the few nuts and bolts that were always casually lying around at the end of a project and never seemed to belong anywhere, whether it was rebuilding an aircraft carrier or putting together a credenza.

Simon stood up, staring at the Thingamabob.  He was beginning to gain a newfound respect for the machine that continued to baffle him completely.  

“Do you think it’ll be worth it?” he quietly asked.

“Will what be worth it?” Barf replied.

“Think about it,” Simon looked up, “if we’re correct about this machine, think about the possibilities.  New worlds, new galaxies, new universes, I mean, think about it,” Barf noticed that Simon’s eyes were tearing up.

Barf walked over to him.   

“I know exactly what you mean, my friend,” as Barf clapped his buddy on the shoulder reassuringly.  

He looked at Simon.  He didn’t really know what Simon was thinking, but he didn’t want to go into a long, drawn out, teary-eyed discussion and reminiscing session about the possibilities of the future and how important all this was.  For reasons that only Barf knew, he felt that getting emotional about science was like writing a love letter to your lawn.  It was absolutely pointless.  

“I feel the same way,” Barf politely replied.

Suddenly, Simon looked up at Barf.  His eyes were red with emotion.  Barf was afraid of this.  Simon had become too involved and too emotional.  He was too close to the project.  There was complete silence and the room had suddenly become extremely awkward.  Simon kept staring as if there was something else on his mind, something that he needed to say. 

“What is it, old buddy?” Barf reluctantly asked.

Simon wiped a tear from his cheek.  

“We’re out of hamsters.”

Buy Links:



BARNES & NOBLE:;jsessionid=1099C4B6F240AD8DE25DDDE3160241DF.prodny_store01-atgap06?ean=2940152798814





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