Bold Beginner: Interview with Lambert Muir

Welcome back to the latest edition of my author interview series! This week, I shine a spotlight on Lambert Muir. Lambert is just starting out in his writing career, but he’s already well on his way when it comes to leaving his mark on the fiction world.

A few icebreakers to start: when did you first decide to become a writer, and who are some of your favorite authors?

Lambert MuirI don’t believe in Fate or Destiny, but I don’t believe I really decided to be a writer either. I was the weird kid at school, distant, always with his head in a book, living in that head most of the time, had maybe one friend. A C student that no one really thought would go on to pursue higher education. BUT! Find me a book that interested me, most often a book that hadn’t been assigned by a teacher, and I could recite it almost cover to cover. Ask me to write something, not just take dictation, a story of my own and I was on it like I was trying to cure cancer, working madly at it. I wrote past the word limit, I wrote stories that didn’t fit the curriculum. Some teachers encouraged me, most asked to speak with my parents or sent me to speak with the counselor.

Flash forward to some years ago, add some punk and puberty, and I made it to the Cinema program at Dawson only to realise that I cannot stand cameras and sound equipments and editing softwares. The whole moviemaking process is like a piano wire spider web and I want my ideas out there faster than it would allow. There’s no way I’m continuing in this field of study on to University. Fortunately, the nice older man working at the comic shop I frequent tells me that [if] I like coming up with stories, why don’t I try and sign up for the Creative Writing program at Concordia? So I cobble up a portfolio a week before deadline and I get in. Once there…Things felt right.

I’ve been shamelessly calling myself a ‘‘writer’’ ever since, because when I write, it feels like the right thing for me to be doing at the time ,and I want to go on writing in some capacity until I die.

As for favorite writers, I don’t really have one. Let’s just say Grant Morrison, or Arthur Conan Doyle, or Hunter S. Thompson and move on.

Is there a particular genre in which you prefer to write?

No. My writing is predicated on the ideas I have when I have them. They appear as flashes, images, sentences, and evolve as I think about them.

If forced to choose, which part of the writing process is your favorite: developing point of view/voice, crafting dialogue, or building conflict?

Again, writing is more a long strange trip for me. Sometimes ideas will come as big story-ready things; sometimes I have to Frankenstein smaller ideas together. But once I have my idea, my story, and what I want to say or do with the story, writing is just a matter of getting to work.

It’s not a perfect process and it results in a lot of beginnings written with ink scattered across quite a few notebooks, unfinished, waiting for something that’ll trigger an idea on what to do with them. Still, it allows for fresh perspectives, new ways of telling the story that I think improve the whole thing. Though, I may just be excusing laziness.

What is best, though, is when you go off. When the actual work of writing is erased by the fun of creating, of coming up with the next bit of the story, when you’re jamming, like, really jamming, going back and forth, writing and rewriting, like…Jamming. I’ve been high, I’ve been drunk, but nothing’s quite like when you just let go and jam your writing. It’s what makes the tenth rewrite tolerable.

The Blasted Tree

What projects are you currently working on? In what directions would you like to take your writing career in the future?

A sci-fi story, maybe a queer love story, a spy story, an autobiographical story about going on the road, a weird detective story…I couldn’t say which will be published first, or which will get worked on next or when, but that’s mostly what’s been in my head this summer.

The way I write is dependent on mood and setting aside time to work, which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone, least of all me, but I recently joined a group of writers online and while it doesn’t ‘‘motivate’’ me per se, it does keep me thinking about writing, consciously or otherwise.

As for the future, my wildest dream would be to write comics. Marvel, DC, creator owned stuff, I love the medium, I’m a fiend for it and I’d love to contribute to its future. I don’t think I’ll stop writing prose though; maybe I’ll even try this poetry thing I keep hearing about…

Any links you’d like to share?

You can find both “Clarity in Darkness” and “Two Fifteen,” my first published work, at The Blasted Tree’s website. The Blasted Tree is a Canadian art collective and publishing company that provides an outlet to the next generation of Canadian artists, writers and poets. If you’re looking for wild stuff produced by mad Canadian children who witnessed the birth of the 21st Century, then look no further.

Big thanks to Lambert for being part of this week’s author interview series!

Happy reading!