WW: How do you describe the book/CD format of ALARM?
Mike Daily: It's like an [art] installation. It's multimedia. But at its core, I see this as a book. The CDs weren't meant to be a book-on-tape, read-along kind of thing.
Do you consider yourself part of the tradition of the Beats?
About 10, 15 years ago, I read a lot of Beat stuff. But the Beats weren't quite as visual with a lot of their literature or poetry. I've been more influenced by the MC and freestyle element of performing. Where guys are doing their stuff in a rapid-fire format. A lot of verbiage. Driving a narrative. What I've been trying to do is more of storytelling theater.
You still call ALARM a "novel." What makes it a novel?
With my first book, too, having the word "novel" on the cover was a conscious play on words—using the word "novel" as something new. I try to bend genres.
What does writing from the fictional perspective of Mick O'Grady allow you to do that writing from an autobiographical perspective wouldn't?
That's what made this game, this fiction game, so compelling. Being able to fictionalize in the gaps, make stuff up as needed. Making a bridge between fiction and reality.
Do you live vicariously through fictional Mick O'Grady?
Mick O'Grady might be a distraught entity. Mike Daily can be a distraught entity. But Mick O'Grady can be more cavalier. Because obviously with fiction you can smooth things out or make something less rough and more free-flowing; you can edit a character. You can't do that in real life.
Mike Daily will read from ALARM at Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 7:30 pm Monday, June 25. Free. He'll also perform selections from ALARM at 9 pm Wednesday, June 20, at Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave., 248-1030. $5.