Drew Magary is a Maryland-based writer best known for his often profane and occasionally all-caps observational humor on sites such as Deadspin, Kissing Suzy Kolber [which has won multiple “Webbies” for Best Sports Site], and Gawker. His work has also appeared in GQ and on various NBC websites [despite having previously written a 2009 article entitled “Dear NBC, DIE”]. He has gained a cult following for his annual graduation ‘speeches’, weekly mocking of Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King’s writing, and ghostwriting the football prognostications of a fictional aquatic animal doctrinaire of the National Socialist Party.
His first novel, The Postmortal, covers new and distinctly less sports-related territory. It’s an occasionally humorous, often terrifying and emotionally sincere depiction of the effects a cure for aging might have on society, observed through the blog of a lawyer who receives “the cure”.
Drew was kind enough to respond via email with answers to the following questions.
You’re widely known as a sports blogger. What attracted you to science fiction for your first novel?
It wasn’t the genre, per se. I was just following the best idea. I never made a conscious effort to sit down and be like, “I’m gonna write a sci fi novel!” I think it would have showed. I just let things come naturally.
What made you choose the subject of aging and mortality in particular? Why not say, space and lasers or the romance between a vampire and teenage girl?
>Because vampires are stupid. The idea led me to aging and mortality, not the other way around. This happened to be an idea that led me down a dark corridor. That happens sometimes. I think those deeper topics are a lot more interesting that fantastical shit, so you long as you do your best to keep it brisk and moving.
Did the recent state of the Vikings contribute to the dark tone of The Postmortal?
Ha! Probably. I wrote it right when they signed Brett Favre, so personal corruption was a big theme for me back then.
Do you plan to continue writing fiction?
If so any notion as to what your next novel might be about?
I have to keep it secret, but I can tell you it’ll probably still be in the realm of social/speculative sci-fi
Your blogging often touches on personal anecdotes and subjects, and it’s commonly thought that an author’s first work is often his most autobiographical. However the tone of this novel is far different than your work on Deadspin or KSK. What was making that transition like?
It wasn’t hard. It was a nice change of pace, frankly. I have a short attention span, so it helps me to juggle things a bit. That way, if I get stuck on one thing, I can move to another thing and then come back.
Did you receive any complaints about the lack of poop stories?
Nah. I think people already got their fair share of them from me.
Who wins in a fight, you or [former Kansas City Star, current foxsports.com columnist] Jason Whitlock?
Whitlock. He’s real big.
You recently gave up writing about Peter King. Have you ever met or interacted with Peter King? Has he ever acknowledged or responded to your years of fun at his expense?
We traded polite emails a long time ago, but I haven’t heard from Peter in a year or so. I know he’s not wild about the column being broken down, but he generally accepts that he’ll get flak for stuff.
It’s safe to say you rip on your least favorite sportswriters a fair amount, but which ones do you actually enjoy reading?
I like all the Yahoo guys a lot. And Steinberg. He’s the best.
You’ve had a fair amount of success in blogging. What direction(s) do you see Internet journalism and/or blogging moving towards in the future?
It’s already in the process of all migrating online. Eventually, all of the content will be there, there will be more of it, and very few people will make any money writing it.
What’s your advice to anyone trying to break into blogging or novel writing? We could always use more pageviews and half our readers probably have unfinished novels saved as Word documents to their hard drives.
Try and notice everything you can. All the little crap you see while driving or picking up groceries… those are the details that end up making everything you write sound like they’re coming from a real human being.
What’s your craziest story about [former Deadspin and current Gawker editor] A.J. Daulerio?
He once murdered a stewardess. True story. (Not true.)
You’re a pioneer of all-caps style writing in a non-YouTube commenting setting. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TWITTER FEED THAT COLLECTS YOUR ALL-CAPS WRITING?
Oh, it’s great. There’s also a Tommy one and a Nazi Shark one. Hugely flattering. I am easily flattered.
You’re a bit of a foodie and a poorly crafted beer aficionado: what’s your signature dish recipe and favorite crappy beer to accompany it?
Chili and Bud. Yum.
You’re known as a recovering 80s metal fan. What do you think of Dave Mustaine’s endorsement of Rick Santorum for president?
He wrote “Symphony of Destruction”! How can he reverse course like that?!
What is your general opinion of G.W.A.R?
Didn’t one of them die? I HAZ A SAD.
1985 Tawny Kitaen materializes out of thin air and wants a playlist of your all-time top five metal songs or she’ll use her mystical powers to transmute all live and recorded music, past, present and future, into a Kidz Bop version of “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake that will inevitably bring about the end of civilization. What songs do you pick to prevent this and why?
Pick any five cuts off of “Master of Puppets” except for “The Thing That Should Not Be”. And there you have it.
Thank you for saving us, if briefly, from the impending doom of humanity.
The Postmortal: A Novel by Drew Magary is currently available in paperback from Penguin Press.