Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Exclusive Interview with William Dickerson, Author of "No Alternative"



What is this book about?

Thomas Harrison, a teenager in 1994, is determined to start his own alternative band, an obsession that blinds him to what’s either the mental collapse, or the eruption of musical genius, of his little sister, Bridget. Bridget boldly rejects her brother’s music, and the music of an entire generation of slackers, by taking on the persona of an X-rated gangsta rapper named Bri Da B.

How did you get the idea for this book?

I was a teenager in the early ʼ90s, specifically one of those teenagers who picked up a guitar for the first time when Kurt Cobain killed himself. There was a zeitgeist in the air, sound waves of disaffection and the feeling that teenagers were connected, however ironically, through that disaffection. This feeling was captured in the music at the time, and I wanted to capture that feeling again in this novel. The movement of music in the early ʼ90s, in my opinion, has never been matched -- it was as much a musical movement as it was a cultural phenomenon, in both the worlds of alternative and rap music. Teenagers often feel completely alone, whether as a result of their place in the world or the capricious hormones whirling inside them. However, at this moment in time in 1994, teens were able to harness what is often uncontrollable energy through music.

Is this your first book? If not, what else have you written?


This is my first novel. I am also a screenwriter and have written numerous screenplays. My feature film, DETOUR, which I wrote and directed, was recently acquired by Level 1 Entertainment and is slated for a Fall 2012 release.

When did you start writing? Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. My advice to beginning writers is: don’t fear the blank page. When face-to-face with the blank page, just start writing -- the quality of the words almost doesn’t matter, just transpose your thoughts onto the page. Writing is rewriting, and there is nothing to rewrite if nothing is written. Writer’s block is self-imposed. Just start writing; there is nothing stopping you. Once you have something on paper, then it’s time to structure the paragraphs, trim the fat and make your ideas sing.

Why did you decide to write a book in this genre?

It’s technically a coming-of-age story. Given the time period, and my personal relationship to it, the genre really chose me. I was coming-of-age in the early ʼ90s, so taking the dramatic point-of-view of a teenager in that period was the most natural choice for me. The teenage years of one’s life often leave an indelible impression on you. They sure left an impression on me.

Do you plan a sequel or future books?


I doubt I will write a sequel, but I do plan on writing future books. I’ve already started work on a memoir detailing my experience making an independent feature film in contemporary Hollywood.

Do you have a website? How can we order this book?


I have a Facebook page (which I would love for you to “like”!):
http://www.facebook.com/noalternative.novel

And you can buy the book here on Amazon:



It’s also available electronically on iTunes, Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook.




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