Gather round, fair folk of the cosmos, for another seat at the Cosmic Table is about to be filled! You can search all throughout your local galaxy as much as you'd like, but I doubt you will find another author of science fiction of this astronomical caliber. You may know him by his prose on Slipstreams or his blog that opens like a present every time you visit, or by his superhero-like ability to encourage and inspire others through easy and tough times. And speaking of time, it's high time for me to hereby dub thee, Sir Michael Offutt, Knight of the Cosmic Table!
MO: This just got real! Thank you so much, and I feel honored to be part of this esteemed group.
DPK: We're certainly pleased that you will be joining us, Sir Offutt! And I see you brought along a friend (hi, Tomeka!). Wonderful! The more the merrier! I believe the others are setting up the celebration party in the main hanger ... and I'm feel like sneaking a cosmic cruller or twenty before the guests arrive. Won't you join me?
MO: Cosmic Cruller ... If that's the one that's like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick then yes!
DPK: That's precisely the one - but with a large platinum brick instead. We spared no expense! And no, that does not mean we brought live dinosaurs on board. If you would follow me ...
*opens the main corridor*
You're a sci-fi guy by trade, so tell us, what has drawn you to write this genre over all the others out there? Who are your favorite stellar penmen (besides the Douglas of Adams) who have inspired you?
MO: To paraphrase Ray Bradbury, he said that science fiction is about ideas. Ideas are exciting, they get adrenaline pumping, and one ends up propelled by the energy of the idea itself. Authors who choose to write science fiction are explorers of things that don't exist yet and who doesn't love a great adventure? My favorite writers are: Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell, George R.R. Martin, and Margaret Atwood.
Honorable mention: Robert Kirkman.
DPK: Now THAT is a fantastic list! These authors are very good at presenting a sense of wonder, the same kind of wonder I felt when I picked up a copy of Slipstream. Could you tell us how that novel came to be? Any cats harmed in the making of this novel?
MO: I don't know if a cat was harmed because I lost the box somewhere in the Tardis! The Doctor ran off to check on it. That's also where I got the idea, you know. It came up in a conversation with the impossible girl. Do you know her?
DPK: Oh, I do! We've crossed paths on a number of occasions - and between you and me, I think she's quite impossible. I think that's why everyone calls her that ...
What are you working on now?
MO: I am writing the conclusion to my third book. Conclusions are difficult (for me) to write, so I'm taking my time.
DPK: Wise approach. I'm the same way, actually. And I look forward to reading it!
What do you do when you're not writing? Dream of electric sheep?
MO: Oh I spend time watching HGTV and thinking of my dream home. Favorite show is "Love it, or List it." I so need a Designer Hillary in my life when I take the plunge to become a home owner. Designer Hillary is FABULOUS. Oh, and yeah ... I watch a lot of TV. So the usual gamut of sci-fi shows happily eats up my time.
DPK: Even sci-fi enthusiasts need a dose of reality now and then!
*enter the main hanger - dodge confetti*
What's your viewing recommendations?
MO: The thing is, because of Nielsen sweeps, most shows are about to hit their mid-season finales so there will be no original programming until February. However, I give my highest ratings to Breaking Bad, Dr. Who, the Walking Dead, American Horror Story season 3, Sleepy Hollow, the Big Bang Theory, Arrow, and Supernatural. If you like reality television then I'd go with "The Voice" and "Love It, or List It."
DPK: Ooo! I do love me some Walking Dead! They need to get out of the prison, though. I'm way behind on everything else. As soon as there are zero malfunctions on the ship, I'll have time to watch!
One of the things I love about your blog is I can never predict what you're going to talk about, and I must say you've amassed an impressive following. What's your secret to successful blogging?
MO: Thank you for the compliment!
I try to talk about things that I find interesting and hope that there's someone out there that thinks like me. It turns out that a lot of my traffic originates from Google search engine optimization. My actual followers account for less than 5% of my daily page views (I think) with the majority coming from several huge articles I've written that have generated hundreds of thousands of visits.
DPK: ... I think my mind just went kablooey! You're going to have to teach me that magic trick (no pencils allowed, though).
Now that you are a Knight of the Cosmic Table, tell us what it means to be a knight to you, in real life and in the writing community?
MO: For me, a knight takes on a more traditional definition. Someone who is rewarded with such a title lives a life that is worthy of respect and honor, so I feel truly fortunate to be chosen to sit at your illustrious table good sir! You keep some awesome company.
DPK: Yes, well ... each and every one of us at the Cosmic Table are noxiously awaiting us to take our seats. Sir Father Dragon has lit the candles, I see. And Sir Mark (Madman) Koopmans has his special dish of Lucky Spam ready! And here's Lady Morgan, smiling as always!
Is there really ten of us now? My stars! We'll have to add another leaf to this thing if our order gets any bigger!
Now to make it all official. Here's your badge of honor, proof that you are now a member of the Cosmic Table that you may display however you'd like! A most deserved congratulations, Sir Knight!
MO: The last thing I won was from a Nigerian Prince email. I gotta say, this award is way better.
Thank you so much. :)
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Thank you for coming, Michael! You're one of the few great bloggers I've had the privilege to meet in person, and something tells me the world would be righted some if we had more good souls like you!
Now let us be off - there are copious words to vanquish! That and I'm seeing Frozen this morning. Taking The Girl to her first big screening - exciting! And in case I don't see you, have a Happy Thanksgiving!
If you want to check out Michael's blog, click on this portal! Have you checked out Slipstream? What's your current favorite TV show?
I'm David, and this is how "Doomsday" should have ended ...