Q and A with James WylderSeptember 2, 2013
Guess who’s back at it again? Our buddy James Wylder is working on a new book of poetry to go along with the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who! He is currently running a very successful Kickstarter to back the book. Check out what he had to say about this new project!
BS: What exactly is An Eloquence of Time and Space?
JW: Its an episode guide for British Sci-Fi show doctor who, but written as a poetry book. Its not like anything you’ve probably read before– every single episode of the show gets a poem written about it, there are illustrations by Olivia Hinkel, and we’ve been expanding it with the Kickstarter, so it now features appendices of fiction, essays, and other poems.
Its also a celebration of the show’s 50th Anniversary this year, Olivia and I are huge ‘Whovians’, so its special for us to make something so many other people can enjoy.
-The book is also being worked on by Alyssa Fifer and Spencer Sholty.-
BS: What made you want to make this?
JW: I’ve been a fan of Doctor Who since I was a little kid; a really early memory of mine was watching the serial from the 1960’s “the Seeds of Death” where there was this deadly fungal growth that they used foamy soap bubbles to make on screen. I re-enacted it with Legos and a lot of my dad’s shaving cream, and oh boy did I get in trouble with the mess I made!
Now there are a whole new generation of Doctor Who fans, who’ve seen the revived series and its spin offs, and I wanted to do something to celebrate it for old and new fans alike. Being a professional poet, I thought of doing a plain ol’ book of poetry would be nice, but that seemed to simple. I didn’t just want to make a book people would look at once and forget on their shelf after the 50th anniversary is over, so I got together with my friend Olivia Hinkel, an art student at Hanover College who I’d seen do Doctor Who doodles before, and put together the crazy idea of doing a complete episode guide of the revived show, all in the form of poetry, with illustrations to make it even better. That’s over a hundred poems by itself, which is a massive undertaking. But it’s worth it, because there is nothing better to celebrate an unusual show like Doctor Who than a weird but awesome idea like this!
BS: Why did you want to go through Kickstarter for this?
JW: Three reasons: I didn’t have the money to print the books myself (or pay Olivia for her art), its a weird enough idea its not the kind of thing you could easily go through a publisher with (not to mention the turn around time getting it made would be longer, and it wouldn’t be done when it needed to be), and I wasn’t sure that there would be any interest, and this would be a good bellwether of that.
BS: How has the Kickstarter been going so far?
JW: Well, as it turns out there is huge interest. I’ve been absolutely blown away by the support the fan community has been giving us! Since we’ve been expanding the book as we get more pledges, the book is getting thicker than we anticipated! But its so exciting to be given the chance to work on this, though we have our work cut out for us, its going to be great.
BS: What types of rewards are you giving out?
JW: You can get the book itself, in a PDF or physical copy, and we’re also making the book in a large coffee table version. Other rewards let you get poems written for you, autographed copies of the book, or even to write an introduction to it yourself!
BS: You have seen a lot of support for this project. What type of support have you been seeing?
JW: We were featured on Kasterborous.com (a prominent Doctor Who Fansite), dozens of Doctor Who fan pages on Facebook, and we’ve quadrupled our funding goal. People have been talking about this project all over Whodom, and its so humbling to be given this kind of support.
BS: What does it mean to you to see this outpouring of support?
JW: More than you know. I mean, Cascade, my first book of poetry was a modest success, nothing to write home about, but not a failure by any means. So, seeing all of this support for my idea is very liberating in the sense that I’m free to just sit back and create this book, rather than worrying if anyone will pay any attention to it at all. It’s also heartening to see that so many people care about Doctor Who! Its my favorite TV show, and being able to share the 50th anniversary with other fans so publicly is truly an honor.
BS: Why does Doctor Who mean so much to you?
JW: More than just growing up with it, Doctor Who has changed me life, and the lives of other people around me. I’ve seen this show help people going through the worst points in their lives, give people reasons to keep on fighting their struggles and living in the face of real and utter darkness and degradation… The show’s concept sounds strange: an alien who looks like a human traveling around in a machine that goes through time and space, but its actually one of the most compassionate and rewarding things to watch. Just take a look at my favorite quote from the show: “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things. But vice versa – the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant.” The Doctor says that in the episode “Vincent and the Doctor”. And it’s a powerful line; I know people who that line literally saved their life.
And that’s why the show is so important to me, it’s not just that it’s fun, or exciting, or funny, it’s that it reminds me that there is always an important reason to life, beyond the dirty soil under our feet; something worth living for.
BS: What do you think it is about the show that unites so many people and makes them want to support such a project?
JW: Well, a show that’s so powerful for so many people in so many different ways is bound to inspire this kind of love. Lots of people have grown up with it, or found it to be consoling in difficult times. It’s a shared experience that binds us all together, and since this is a special time for the show’s fans, it’s natural for them to want something special to have to celebrate it with.
BS: What parts of this project are you most excited about doing?
JW: I’m very excited to write the fiction portion of the book, obviously the fiction will only be “in the spirit” of Doctor Who, but I have some exciting ideas I’m looking forward to putting down on paper.
BS: How long do people have to back it?
JW: They have till September 27th, a Friday, when the Kickstarter Ends at 11:11 EST.
BS: Since you easily passed your goal, what is your new goal for the project?
JW: Well, I’d like to get the money to expand the book to include poems about the entire history of the show, everything from the 60’s onwards! That would be the best. It will take a bit to get there though! We’re also hoping to be able to add some full-page artwork to the book from Olivia.
BS: Anything you’d like to say to your supporters and fellow Whovians?
JW: Just that this is going to be a wonderful 50th Anniversary, and I hope you enjoy my little attempt to make the celebrations for it even more fantastic. You guys are the best, and you love a wonderful show, so keep watching it, check out our Kickstarter, and alons-y!
Check out the Kickstarter Here