deepFreak by Mars Dumont


Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Venus: Our latest book is a joint effort. I’m Venus and this is my band-mate Mars. We mixed his first name with my last name.
Mars: The book is about the near future when everybody is playing around with virtual reality glasses and it all gets kind of psychedelic, but suddenly things get even stranger when a parallel reality starts to bleed through and no one knows what’s going on.

What inspired you to write it?
Venus: Since I was a kid I've always wondered if I could just thought click myself into another reality.
Mars: We spent years walking with our young nephew discussing what that portal might be.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?
Mars: I didn't.
Venus: Our main character, Audrey, is a SIM designer, so I channeled her. The actual inspiration was the constructed-light artist Dan Flavin.

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?

Venus: For Audrey, a 20 year old Romola Garai. For Dano, maybe Heath Ledger.

Is it part of a series or is it a stand-alone novel?
Venus: We’re already working on book 2.

Where is the novel set and why did you choose to set it there?
Mars: Somewhere in Central Europe, in the former communist block. We purposefully wanted it to be a not too familiar place.

What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?
Mars: What genre?
Venus: What Mars is trying to say is you can't pigeon hole this book: it’s sort of a heightened pastiche of William Gibson, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Harry Potter, Flann O’Brien, Three Men in a Boat and Jane Austen, with a pinch of Clockwork Orange. Color it noir, give it a heart and there you have it. It's just how it came out.

What made you want to become an author?
Mars: I've always written but I could never think of stories.
Venus: He was a writer in search of a story and it turns out I can spin a tale on almost anything. We have many creative outlets and that's our connection.

How do you come up with character names?
Mars: I haven't the faintest idea. They just showed up
Venus: It's as much visual as anything. I also obsess about the sound, the attitude. Different but not too different. When it's right, I just know it.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?

Venus: Once upon a time I would have said Crime and Punishment, but it's been so long since I’ve read it.

Mars: I'd agree with that. Actually we both bonded over Master and Margarita, but Jack Kerouac would have to be right up there. So would Hundred Years of Solitude.
Venus: Yeah, Hundred Years of Solitude, but if I had to pick one for all times, Pride and Prejudice.

Who, or what, inspires you?

Venus: This little voice inside of me that seems to be yelling louder every year and, of course, Mars.
Mars: Venus and my copilot, the dog.

Where is your favourite place to write?
Venus: We have a retreat in the woods. That's where the magic happens.

Mars: It's in the middle of nowhere.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
Mars: Lord of the Rings.
Venus: Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Name two of your favourite authors.
Mars: Flann O’brien, William Gibson
Venus: Jane Austen, Sommerset Maugham.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
Mars: I was a founding member of Linoleum Blownapart.
Venus: My first love was fashion design.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Venus: What, my life? Nobody would take the part.
Mars: For whatever it’s worth, I've been told I look like Gary Oldman.

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
Mars: About New York City? They still can't get rid of the rats. But the dog thinks they're great.
Venus: There are worlds within worlds, within worlds. That's what I love about it.

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
Mars: Book 2.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.

Mars: Get abducted by a UFO.
Venus: Have a little money someday.

Favourite myth / fairytale?
Mars: Robin Hood.
Venus: Bewitched. Does that count?

Who/What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Venus: A vet.
Mars: I did want to be a spy for a while

Mars was born in Poona, India. His father was a biologist, and research grants took his family to Mexico City, Silicone Valley, Stockholm, and finally New York City. After graduating from the Bronx High School of Science, Mars traveled around Europe and spent time in London and Prague. He finished his undergraduate studies at Columbia College, with a major in art history and a minor in physics, and then got a Masters degree at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture. Mars then spent many years doing architecture as a day job and playing electric guitar (for The Shameless Sycophants, Dark Blue and Linoleum Blownapart) at night, in clubs ranging from CBGB’s to the Knitting factory. Mars holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and an Elder Brother rank in Tiger Claw Kung Fu. Mars Dumont speaks three languages: Czech, Spanish and English. Remaining creative is, as far as Mars is concerned, the most important thing in life. 

Venus’ unique style took form in New York City with summers on Block Island under the supervision of her advertising mad man art director father and her gourmet cook mother. Their home was a gathering place for artists and intellectuals. As a child she wrote and illustrated her own books. Venus’ affinity for art and design eventually took her to Italy where she studied for a number of years. Although she has lived and worked as a designer in New York City for most of her adult life, she still retains close ties with friends in Florence and a love of everything Italian. Venus has a soft spot for Italian style anarchy and humanist centered dissidents. She also likes to dabble in the mysteries of Astrology and Tarot and draws on the archetypes to develop the characters in her books.


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