Gabe Durham is the author of FUN CAMP, the new “novel” (told in monologues, speeches, soliloquies, letters and lists) about that age-old summertime experience shared by so many of us. I emailed Gabe some questions when his East Coast tour started last week.
Are you officially on tour now?
Yeah! Just arrived in Massachusetts today, from LA. Heading to NYC, then Boston, then Northampton, then coming to you!
You’re reading at SiwW on Wednesday as part of your tour. Have you ever been to Baltimore? What are you looking forward to in this city?
You bet. I grew up in Annandale, VA and used to love going to Orioles games. The aquarium also made a big impression on little me. Since it’s been awhile, I’m looking forward to seeing the new, real Baltimore. What should I see in just 20 hours?
It would be cool if What Weekly readers will answer that question in the comments. Next question for you: how did you come up with the idea to write FUN CAMP?
Not to get mystical about it, but the idea found me! I was writing a bunch of monologues that seemed related somehow and I couldn’t quite figure out what they had in common. But then when the idea of setting it in a summer camp presented itself, the project seemed to snap into place.
Did you go to a fun camp?
Yes. Camp made me feel mature and independent, and girls were there. In high school, my friends and I got really into performing skits, which was one of my early revelations as a writer. I got to collaborate with my best friend on creative stuff and then make people laugh hours later. It was the best.
Aren’t most people embarrassed about that kind of reminiscence? How did you make the book not cheesy? The writing is incredible.
Thanks! I mean I guess I AM a little embarrassed or self-conscious about some content in this book, honestly, but that’s also some of the material that felt the strongest. But cheesy isn’t really one of the dangers of writing for me. A lot of the cuts I made to the book were to make it less pointlessly jokey.
A few days ago you started (and completely funded) a $5K Kickstarter for your new project, a publishing company to make books about video games. In less than a week you’ve almost tripled your goal. Um?
We’ve been amazed by the response. I knew that a “33 1/3 for video games” was something that I wanted to see in the world, and it turned out that it was something a lot of people were hungry for. Even more than people saying “good idea!,” I get people saying “finally! I’ve been waiting for this!” And that’s been so exciting to see.