You know how everybody hates Millennials? Meet Sebastian. He’s 32 years old, waits tables at Kangaroo Burgers, sleeps under his dad’s table to repay his college loans, and doesn’t understand how his mom drowned in a bubble bath. But the good life is just around the corner: he’s got a master’s degree and this thing with Shelly is really going somewhere. That is until he lost the lousy job he did have, and Shelly gave him 30 days to get a real one. In a world split between the have-jobs and the have-nots, of grumpy dads who supported a family with only a high school diploma, global corporations that pay crap, guru-bosses still in high school, he won’t stop riding on his worn-out bike through this quirky novel until he’s made it.
In today’s interview I sat down with David Gregory about his new book ‘Sebastian Needs A Real Job’. David, let’s start at the beginning, how did the idea for your book begin?
An emotion. Many people my age (Millennials) are angry, scared, depressed, and confused about how the job market isn’t taking their education as an acceptable form of payment toward a middle class life (but they’ll happily accept our college loan payments though, right?). My attempt is to create an relatable character named Sebastian in a hyperbolas, iconic scenario who searches to find a real job, and himself in the process.
There’s alot of opportunity to address that emotion and disconnect that many Millennials seem to feel where education does not necessarily have any direct contribution to their career, and I like how you have done it in a humorous manner. Was it a conscious choice to incorporate such themes into your books?
Yes. Many of them are conscious, if not blatantly obvious. But of course, some are not.
Did you primarily use your own life experiences or employment when writing this book and did you do much research?
I’m in digital marketing, so pithy writing is life.
Much of this book was drawn from my experience. I was a boomerang kid after college, and I used to be a shy goof-ball. I also waited tables for six years. Additionally, someone close to me passed while I worked on this novel.
I’m sorry to hear that. How did those events shape the characters in this book?
Sebastian (and Eldon) is a combination of myself, Ignatius Reilly from Confederacy of Dunces, and some of my close friends. Andy was created from good, college memories. The other characters were born from imagination, for the most part.
Out of those characters, was there anyone that you wanted to stay with longer?
Becky. I wanted more time with Becky in this novel, but it didn’t happen.
What did you find the most rewarding aspect about writing this book?:
My personal growth as a writer. This book took me two years, and I’m so excited with how far I’ve come as a writer. I also look forward to feedback! This is a humor novel, and so I’ll be pretty embarrassed if folks don’t find themselves laughing throughout. All the more, I manage a humor flash fiction website called FunnyInFiveHundred.com where I ask writers to submit a funny story in 500 words or less. Because I’m constantly providing writers my thoughts on their writing, I know I better step up with this book.
What are you working on next?
I may dabble in shorter fiction, but eventually a second novel. I’m thinking about something more spectacular, maybe futuristic.
Now, lets find out who David is a reader. Who are your favourite authors, and do you believe that they have influenced your writing style?
My favorite book is Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
Do you wish you would have written it?
Apart from Confederacy of Dunces, I have read humorous novels before, but that book was the first to make me laugh from my belly so consistently. My other favorite authors include Christopher Moore, Mark Twain (short stories), Douglas Adams, and Kurt Vonnegut. And, yes, they certainly have influenced my writing style, in addition to my life.
What are you reading now?
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
And how about as a child, what was your favourite thing to read?
Calvin and Hobbes
And finally, do you have any philosophies or quotes that you live by?
“Today me will live in the moment unless it’s unpleasant in which case me will eat a cookie” -Cookie Monster
Any my favourite quote is: Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life… Because they aren’t hiring.
I do love those pearls of wisdom from Cookie Monster and forgoing the employment auditions. I hope that some of those Millenials out there can take some of that advice. Thanks again for your time, and good luck with the success of ‘Sebastian Needs A Real Job’.
Want to find out more about David? Contact him at the following locations: