FLUFFY'S REVOLUTION - TED MYERS
THE FATE OF THE WORLD RESTS ON THE HAUNCHES OF ONE SMALL CAT
It’s 2135. Fluffy, a super-intelligent GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) cat, leaves the safety of her home to look for her lost brother. On the way, she falls in with a motley crew of animal revolutionaries. Like many dogs, cats, mice, and the occasional pig, Fluffy’s brain is the product of genetic tinkering by humans that started more than a century ago. With their powers of telekinesis, GAB animals can manipulate physical objects without being able to grasp them. They can speak to each other telepathically without audible voices. Now, humans have begun to fear them and to systematically exterminate them. Will Fluffy and her friends survive the perils of this hostile world? Will they find a way to stop the impending doom that threatens to annihilate Earth?
This week, we’re talking with musician turned author Ted Myers. Ted, Welcome to Martin Matthews Writes!
Thanks, Martin. It's great to be here!
I know you have a book you’re itching to share with us, but tell us a little about yourself first.
I've always been an arty type. When I was in jr. high I drew a lot -- cartoons and cruel caricatures of teachers were my specialties. I went to an elite high school in NYC called the High School of Music and Art. I was an art major, but that's where I decided to be a musician. I was also writing beat poetry and the like (this was the early '60s) and eventually started writing songs and playing them on guitar. In college, I started my first rock band. We dropped out and moved to Boston where we were signed by Capitol Records and became local rock stars. By the time I was in my forties (now living in L.A.), I realized the rock-star ship had sailed. I got a job with a record company. I worked in the music industry for about 15 years, then they pulled the rug out from under me. Now in my fifties, I didn't think I could get another job in music. So I enrolled in UCLA Extension and studied proofreading and copy editing, then copywriting for advertising. I got a job writing copy at an ad agency and did that for a few years. It was fun and creative, but not enough. I now wanted to employ my writing skills as an author. So I retired and began my third and final career as an author. My first book was a memoir. It got published, but not marketed very effectively. With my second book (Fluffy's Revolution), I delved into the world of YA sci-fi. I got a new publisher and Fluffy has been well received by readers and critics alike.
Sounds like you’ve led an interesting life. There are some echoes of the Dude from The Big Lebowski going on there, just much more successful. Tell us a little about Fluffy’s Revolution.
Fluffy's Revolution is billed as a YA book, but I've found that it appeals to animal lovers of all ages. It takes place in the future (see the back cover blurb for a synopsis) and stars a super-intelligent and very moral cat who falls in with a group of animal revolutionaries. These special animals are called GABs (Genetically Altered Brain) animals, and people have come to view them as a threat. In this dystopian world, they are hunted down and destroyed. There's plenty of action and high adventure as Fluffy and her friends try to elude the authorities and free other animals from the extermination center. It's sort of like The Hunger Games meets Watership Down. But different.
That is some combination you’ve got going on! I don’t think I’ve heard of anything quite like this. I am reminded a little of Dean Koontz’s Christopher Snow series, Fear Nothing and Seize The Night, which deals with genetic manipulation of animals to make them smarter, among other things. Who are the major players in your revolution?
Our protagonists are Fluffy; her "dad" Professor James Riordan; his girlfriend Indira; and, of course, Fluffy's crew: Hacker, a very smart mouse; his mate, Mitzi; Fang, a cute, shaggy female dog; and Tigger, a young orange tabby cat. Many other GAB animals come into the picture when our heroes liberate them from the local extermination center. One of these is Bernard, a big St. Bernard, who has remarkably strong powers of telekinesis and telepathy (as do all GABs). Bernard has deliberately infiltrated the rebels to recruit Fluffy into a secret university for GAB animals called Animal U. There are many twists and turns and all roads lead to Animal U, where our protagonists all come together to save the world from impending doom. The main antagonist is Jeremiah Epps, CEO and owner of the world's most powerful corporation, Epsilon. Epsilon is part of the Triumvirate, three mega-corporations that rule the world.
Quite the cast! Where did the idea for this book come from?
I was driving and listening to my local public radio station, KCRW in Santa Monica, and a news item captured my attention: Geneticists had inserted human DNA into the brains of unborn mice and the resultant mice came out with brains that were 12% larger than the normal mouse brain.
I love KCRW! I used to listen to that station when I lived in California. Ah, memories! Please, do continue…
From this, I extrapolated a sci-fi scenario in which human scientists continue these kinds of experiments on other animals: dogs, cats, and the occasional pig. The unintended consequence of these experiments is that, when two GAB animals mate, their offspring are exponentially smarter than their parents. By 2135, about a third of all the mice, dogs and cats, and a quarter of all the pigs on Earth are as intelligent as the average human being. They have developed the powers of telepathy and telekinesis to compensate for their physical limitations.
Sounds far out, man. Is there a take-home message from Fluffy’s tale?
Yes, messages and lessons galore: Nonviolence trumps violence, there is hope when we put our differences aside and work together, we’ve got to take better care of our planet, no one is beyond redemption, and, of course, the best way to move an asteroid with your mind.
Very Star Wars! Speaking of influences, what are some of yours?
Author Kurt Vonnegut, the cartoonist Gary Larson (The Far Side), The Beatles, Authors John Fowles and Margaret Atwood, Swami Sachidananda, Buddha.
What are you currently reading?
Are you working on another novel? Can you tell us anything about it?
Yes. Something completely different. The working title is Paris Escapade: A seventeen-year-old boy goes on a trip to Europ with a camp group and jumps ship, disappearing into the artistic labyrinth of Paris' Left Bank.
For those who clamor for a Fluffy sequel (including my publisher), I will get around to it -- eventually.
Sounds like you’re trying your hand at many genres, right?
It's probably the worst strategy an author can follow, but I just gotta write what inspires me in the moment. I never target an audience.
So true. Best advice I can give any writer is write what feels true to you. You really can’t chase what’s popular or target the perfect audience. Well, Ted, thanks for stopping by and chatting with me today. It was great getting to know you and your furry friends.
My pleasure. Thanks for having me! And to your readers: follow your instincts and inspirations -- in work and in life.
After twenty years trembling on the brink of rock stardom and fifteen years working at record companies, Ted Myers left the music business—or perhaps it was the other way around—and took a job as a copywriter at an advertising agency. This cemented his determination to make his mark as an author.
His fiction has appeared online at Literally Stories and in print in the To Hull & Back Short Story Anthology 2016. His epic and amusing memoir, Making It: Music, Sex & Drugs in the Golden Age of Rock was published in 2017, and more fiction appeared in Iconoclast magazine, The Mystic Blue Review, Centum Press’ 100 Voices Anthology, Culture Cult Magazine, the Ink Stains Anthology, Vol. 9, and Bewildering Stories. Fluffy’s Revolution, published by Black Rose Writing, is his first novel.
Fluffy's Revolution website: https://fluffysrevolution.com/; Ted Myers Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2RJM2CD; Ted Myers B&N Author Page: https://bit.ly/2DDizVN; Ted Myers Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/Ted_Myers; Ted Myers Bookbub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ted-myers; Ted Myers Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ted.myers.56; Ted Myers Twitter: https://twitter.com/TedMyersAuthor; Ted Myers Blog: https://tedmyersblog.wordpress.com/; Fluffy's Revolution Amazon buy link: https://amzn.to/2T8QjiZ; Black Rose Writing buy link: https://www.blackrosewriting.com/scififantasy/fluffysrevolution?rq=Fluffy%27s%20Revolution; B&N buy link: https://bit.ly/2CGX7xB.