An Interview With Bayley Aylesford By TanikoBayley Aylesford, along with Tank Girl, is a MoBster on the to-date newest novel on PanHistoria, Noctropolis. In making the rounds, I dropped in on Bayley and asked a few questions.
Q1. How would you describe your personal ideal city of night?
An ideal city of night would be vibrant, loud, full of colour and colourful people. It would be exciting, with a hint of danger to make it spicy but not to terrify you into running into your hotel room. It would be sensual, and musical, two aspects of ourselves that bring us pleasure. There would be an air of mystery, of Film Noir to it that would give it that sharper edge I find interesting. And there would be art galleries, many of them, open late, and bistros, cafés and restaurants that would serve fine food. There would be no fast food at all. And there would be an abundance of time to appreciate it all.
Q2. Tank Girl and yourself have just started up a really new novel. Where do you hope... if you have such a concept... that this novel goes? What's your idea of a successful novel?
The novel has a lot of different aspects to it: mystery, drama, Film Noir, Goth culture, and some science fiction thrown in for good measure. *LOL* It’s really hard for me to say (you’ll see why as I answer the next question) where I’d like it to go. I want it to be like real life is in a way (funny saying that about a piece of fiction, I know) in that in real life things don’t just end conveniently when one problem is resolved. New things come up, a person changes, evolves and adapts to their circumstances and experiences. I want to have us all transform over time, and be quite different a year or two from now.
What do I feel is a successful novel? One where the writers Want to write, where they seriously consider what is best for everyone in the novel, not just their own characters, where the story is compelling, and one which doesn’t always teeter on the brink of deletion notices.
Q3. What was the brainstorm behind this novel?
The brainstorm is really Tank Girl and Sony Thornburgh’s. They came up with the concepts behind the novel and were waiting to see if others might be interested. When Tank Girl came to me and mentioned it, I was intrigued, but unsure. It was a struggle to come up with the details that make my character realistic, to build up the interconnections between myself and the other characters. Once those were created it was quite easy to write as the story now seems to grow “organically” – I know how I feel about things, and react accordingly, just like a real person would. Now I can’t wait to see what else will happen!
Q4. Is there a particular SF movie or novel which inspires you, whether you use it in this online novel or not?
I like science fiction but most of my writing takes place in settings very much like the real world today. I think that a lot of Hollywood films and the associated licensed merchandise like the Star Wars novels might be fun to watch or read but really offer little more thought once the credits roll or the last page is turned. We might debate over which lightsaber is better but that is pointless and insoluble. Science fiction like Ayn Rand, George Orwell or Philip K. Dick cause one to stop and consider things well after one shelves the book or closes the DVD case. A novel that I feel has somehow a relation to what we are doing in Noctropolis is Dick’s Counter-Clock World, where time runs backwards. Time will be a critical element in our story, and how it is disjointed will have a strange impact on the characters and their actions later on.
Q5. If you were to find a place to visit on the current planet Earth, what would you choose, and why?
Oh my, that’s hard! There are simply so many places I’d love to see. But having to pick one, I think I’d like to see Machu-Picchu. Such a fantastic place, high in the mountains and beautiful for its location . I love the solitude of the place – if I could go there I’d want to go alone, have the place to myself with no one else there at all, to experience a city that has no denizens but me. And no rush to take my photographs. I’d want to spend the night there and just be able to think about the people that lived there once.