Books

Interview with RM Zubairi, Author of Two Infinite Things


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What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Two Infinite Things?

I was thinking about the idea of superheroes and how terrifying superpowers can be to the people who have them. Like, imagine discovering that you can fly by jumping wrong and ending up ten stories in the air with no clue how to land. From there, the idea evolved into a story about a kid who’s completely traumatized by his powers. He can’t use them without getting hurt, there’s a telepathic mouse shouting in his brain at school, and random people keep showing up to kill him.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Two Infinite Things, what would they be?

“Hold On” by Shawn Mendes really captures how Orville embraces his fear just to survive each day. Penelope March is the living embodiment of Hoku’s “Perfect Day” from the film Legally Blonde. She’s superficial and wealthy and secretly the smartest person in the whole place. Omar’s is “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He does the right thing and he stands his ground.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I’ll generally read anything, but I gravitate more toward science-fiction and dystopian stuff that’s a lot darker than my own writing. My own genre of light-hearted sci-fi/fantasy for children and young adults is a fairly lonely one. Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett come closest and they’re two of my favorite authors.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Hilary Mantel’s whole career passed me by, so Wolf Hall and everything in the Mantel-verse is at the top of the pile. I also have to read Where the Crawdads Sing before someone spoils the ending for me.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

All the scenes with Orville’s father. He’s a certified conspiracy nut and thinking of conspiracies for him to embrace was the most fun I’ve ever had as a writer.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I don’t know how people write in coffee shops and airport terminals. I need nearly total isolation, which is a little hard in a house of five people and a cat. I’m working on having them evicted.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

From The Phantom Tollbooth, “So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.” My daughter made that into a bookmark for me, and it’s the last thing I see before I go to sleep.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

There’s a sequel! Also, the success of evil often depends upon people just doing their job.

 

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