Sydney Duncan talk Kill Whitey Donovan!

Sydney Duncan stops by and chats with Casey about their new book Kill Whitey Donovan and more!

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Sydney Duncan Interview

 

[00:00:00] Casey: Art, everybody. Welcome again to another episode of spoiler country today on the show. You guys are in for a treat. Normally we talk to a bunch of big city types from normally. The Pacific Northwest, because that’s where comics are apparently, but today talking to a Birmingham native, just like myself.

So Sydney Duncan has written several comics has an adaption in the works based on her comic kill Whitey. And she’s on here to talk to us about it. And I’m super stoked to bring on not only somebody I look up to as a writer, but a fricking Birmingham native who would have thought that we have the talent out here for comics.

So Sidney, how you doing? Hey good,

Sydney Duncan: Casey. Thanks for having me, us.

Casey: No problem. That was a terrible introduction and it can only go up from here. So yeah. Yeah. So how’s your day been? It’s been crazy. It’s [00:01:00] been, it’s been good.

Sydney Duncan: It’s been a really good day. Actually. I’ve had some cool things go my way.

And yeah, so things are good.

Casey: Awesome. Awesome. You had to get holiday, all that stuff settled down. We did. We

Sydney Duncan: didn’t do much. We kind of kept it, you know,

Casey: chill and yeah. Yeah. I saw like, A a story and like three parts today where it was my neighbor. Like, I guess she had finally gotten around to uploading a bunch of videos.

She had pictures and videos over the weekend and it was her like in her husband at a bar and just having a blast and being around a lot of people. And then like, She posted a picture of a positive COVID test result. There you go. Yeah. Like that’s why we stay home. Yeah.

[00:02:00] Sydney Duncan: We have not been those people.  My girlfriend has she is like the director of research for our infectious disease department.

We actually worked the same place. Oh, cool. So like she is extremely militant about all things COVID related, which thank God we are extra safety protocol. People over here. Do you, do

Casey: you mind talking about what you do for a living? Because I don’t think it’s fascinating and the Bayo is an awesome organization.

My mom in particular has used to be active in helping for fundraising for the Bayo. And it’s they they’ve done a lot of good. Yeah,

Sydney Duncan: it’s a really great organization. B O stands for Birmingham AIDS outreach and it’s an aid service organization and it’s in Birmingham, Alabama, and it’s one of the most respective respected ASMs in the country.

 Was sort of a bit naive [00:03:00] coming into this kind of work. I’m an attorney and do sort of patient client services. And all my clients are basically patients or they used to be now we’re kind of drifting into LGBTQ law. So I’ve kind of separated myself from the HIV population a little bit.

But the. The South is one of those places that is you know, you think of the HIV issue is kind of like a, an eighties early nineties kind of thing, or, Oh, I did. And I was a bit naive thinking, you know, Oh, that’s, that’s done with, and we’ve moved on. And and kind of had my eyes opened a little bit, a little bit of my privilege shown to me.

And when I got hired on. And so now HIV is, is kind of a Southern problem and it’s it. You know, where you can find stigma. About LGBTQ, you’re gonna find HIV flare ups. So Bayo [00:04:00] is one of those kind of last last standing on organizations that’s purely centered on the stopping of the spread of HIV.

So it’s a brilliant organization that does you know, holistic care for people who are living with HIV. And it’s, you know, a really cool organization. We have, you know, food boxes and legal services and social workers and clothes closets. And it’s just like the whole spa, like nutrition and chefs and all these, like, if you can think of it, we probably have that department.

And and we’ve kind of ventured into research and my girlfriend as from. Michigan by way of California. And she was hired recently and came down to old Birmingham and has been in charge of our, our research efforts. So working with, you know, universities across the country and, and. And these, and these [00:05:00] efforts and endeavors and it’s, it’s a really, really cool place.

And you’re right. We do have really good fundraising events and stuff. We have like a Monday night, bingo, bingo. Like first of every Monday night, I’ve heard

Casey: that. It’s really fun.

Sydney Duncan: It’s so fun. We like to have drag performers come in and just. You know, haze the crowd and it’s like BYOB and it’s a lot of fun.

And and we have all kinds of crazy events throughout the year. Art parties and, and bingo, late parties. And it’s, it’s cool. It’s, it’s a great place to work.

Casey: They have the annual RD party, or at least they did. When my mom was really active, she’s always been a quilter. Oh, and she she auctioned off a quilt and you know, she that’s a sin undertaking.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen somebody do a quilt, but it’s crazy a really time consuming. And she made this quilt and they ended up oxygen, auctioning it off for about [00:06:00] 800 bucks. And she was just like, so over the moon with how. You know, she was able to help out with that and, and it yeah, it just really made her happy to, to be able to help.

And she also used to do food delivery.

Sydney Duncan: Oh, cool.

Casey: She had she used to work at McCray’s in the nineties, which is, I don’t know I guess it’s a regional, it’s like a department store used to be. And she was at the makeup counter and one of the reps that would come up eventually got sick with HIV and it hit him really hard.

And that was what inspired her to. To help out with, with the VAO. How cool.

Sydney Duncan: So,

Casey: Yeah. Yeah. So you y’all are doing the Lord’s work. You are doing great work and it’s amazing what what you can do, especially in Alabama, which [00:07:00] doesn’t really have the The best track record for being open-minded and stuff like that, but against all odds, jar yard doing great work.

So that, that fascinates with that fascinates me about you. But more to the point, we talked to a lot of comics creators here. And not only do you have like a, a big girl job, you’re a lawyer get shit done. You write comics and in addition to other stuff, but tell, tell us about how that, and how you got into that.

What drew you to the form?

Sydney Duncan: So as well, I’ve always been drawn to the forum. So I’ve been a long time comics, reader. I grew up on you know, buying them at, you know, the Bruno’s supermarket or, you know, wherever Western the supermarket, our neighborhoods meet your readers or your listeners probably aren’t local.

But we, you know, a long time, I [00:08:00] mean, I was, I’ve been reading them so long that I had like subscriptions and they would come in those like Brown paper. Bags and all dented up and stuff like that. And just like wrappings, they weren’t even bags. They were like, open-ended on both sides. I’ve never understood that, but you know, you can get them by mail.

And so I had, I was a huge X-Men girl and like, loved like weirdly the Punisher and just all kinds of crazy stuff. And read them like crazy all the way up to like college. And then Yeah, I got busy with school and studying and things like that. And, and didn’t read them as often. I still would go down.

We had a, so I went to Auburn for a little bit and we had a,

Casey: I know,

Sydney Duncan: I knew it was going to

Casey: say that. Sorry. Shit. No, I

Sydney Duncan: graduated from that’s the second time this has happened. So I went to art and and there was [00:09:00] this comic book shop called. This is kind of a cool story. So there’s a comic book shop called the comic strip.

Did you,

Casey: did you know Kevin? No, I didn’t. It does, that was, that was like his, where he started

Sydney Duncan: his origin. I was shopping in the store as a reader. And like image was breaking out back then and stuff like that. So it was like, you know, kind of like I was keeping up a little bit with what was going on in reading occasionally and, you know, I, I had read very consistently up in this.

Can I give you a timeline of, of where I kind of checked out a little bit with my. Every month read. So I was reading all the X-Men and X factors and X books, and punishers all the way up to like the Inferno series. I don’t know if you remember that. Yeah. So, so then I kind of checked out and, and.

Weirdly dove back in college, too, a lot of the dark horse stuff. Cause they were doing like aliens for predator and and kind of dipping into the star Wars, inkwell and, and that kind of stuff. So it [00:10:00] was but you didn’t have to like keep up with the ongoing stuff to know what’s going on. Kinda like you did with the Marvel things.

Anyway, I was very inconsistent with my reading now, shopping in Kevin’s store down there. And like, you know, I think every comic reader has some kind of fantasy about being involved in the creative side and how much fun that would be to just kind of play with the characters that exist and stuff. And, and I always had that kind of bucket list thing.

So I read a bunch of comics over the years and, and dipped in and out and and then got married and did the whole thing. And and moved to England in law school for a little bit and studied I, yeah, well, we went to, yeah, we went to the courts and saw the wig and the powdered wigs. But it was an Edinburgh.

I went to university of Durham in Collingwood college in that, in that university. [00:11:00] And which is in the borderlands, it’s in the Northeast it’s minor country in crazy and weird. But so I came back in like law school has this ability to sort of I mean, think of like a piece of coal under pressure.

It just like, if you have any kind of creative energy, it just suppresses that to such an extent, because it’s such a cut and dry. I mean, think of statutes thinks that think of like black letter law, it’s just not very. Conducive to creative energy release. And so that kind of just have built up inside of me.

And I had this like revelation of, Oh God, I just said revelation. I had this like apifany I guess, and then wrote the revelation of Gabriel Adam, and just like, it just poured out of me. And I didn’t know what to do with it. So I just basically Googled You know, what do you do when you write a manuscript?

And I was like, you get an agent. And, and I did that and ended up getting an agent at [00:12:00] endeavor, which is a big, pretty big Hollywood agency. And while I was there, it merged with William Morris. And I don’t know

Casey: if you’ve ever Oh, wow. Yeah. That’s that’s big time. Yeah. If you’ve

Sydney Duncan: ever seen the movie, the show entourage, you know, are you familiar with that?

Casey: Tangentially. Like I never saw it

Sydney Duncan: for not knowing that show is about it’s about Mark Walberg and his agent was already. Gold and Ari. The real RA was Ari Emanuel, who was the guy who started endeavor. So anyway, the show is about the agency and in the show, there’s this merger. And I went through that merger and it did not pan out well for my agent.

And so things just got weird and I bailed in, ended up going to another agency. Well, Kevin was at William Morris. When they merged and he got kind of the screw under the deal too. So [00:13:00] he ended up going, I think, to CAA. And anyway, we were years. Later. When my book was coming out, I did this little bitty Comicon in Birmingham called the phenotype Phoenix Fest.

Do you remember that? Yes. It was like a blink of an eye kind of thing. A lot of heart, a lot of effort and like, you know, not, not a lot of much else. Right. But the first year was really cool and they invited me to come talk on panels and do the, do the con thing. And I went and sorry, I keep clicking that pen.

I went and swung by like the 12 gauge 12 gauge, how that’s really cool, big spread going on. And they had One of the the Adam Baldwin, I guess, is what he was there. And God Nate you have to meet a Baldwin

Casey: brother. Yeah. But it was the real bottom line.

Sydney Duncan: It was the Baldwin

Casey: from fake Baldwin.

Yes. Yes. Fake, fake Redwing Baldwin. Yeah. Yeah.

Sydney Duncan: Yeah. He got off

Casey: there all [00:14:00] over the map. That’s Baldwin’s yeah.

Sydney Duncan: I God, I can’t remember his name. I think he has done stuff, but he did like like punish her for a little bit. Were punished, was an LA Nate, Nathan. Got it. Your mom’s name. I know you’re talking about, but anyway there and Kevin was there and they’re all just kind of talking, but they’re talking about the William Morrison tougher marker.

And bitching about it and kind of saddled up to him. And I was like, Oh, well I know a little bit about that. And starting running my mouth. And Kevin’s like, where, you know, where are you based? And I was like, I’m here in Birmingham. He’s like, I’m here in Birmingham. I was like, shut up. And so we just kind of became friends.

He was married. He is married. He’s still, he is divorced. He’s married to This great woman who isn’t particularly, she doesn’t care for any of the Marvel, maybe it’s our DC movies or anything like that. And at the time I was the person I was, I didn’t care for him either. So he and I were just like, we’d always go to these films together and just like, check them out and [00:15:00] have a few beers and whatever.

And like, we did that for years and One time we were out at this awful Cajun restaurant. Well, you might be familiar with it. The Cajun steamer.

Casey: Oh yeah, it sounds, it’s like a bowel movement. I hate the name of that restaurant. Sounds like a euphemism for just a silent bathroom experience. It’s

Sydney Duncan: awful.

So we were at the Cajun steamer and probably had had a few too many. And I think this is like winter soldier, civil war, some somewhere like that. And he was like, you know, I’ve just been looking for, you know something with like a female voice and blah, blah, blah, blah. And, and I was like, well, I have something, it was kill diamond van was originally a book that I’d written in between the first Gabriel Adams book and the second Gabriel on a book.

And And I never quite finished it. Like we’d sold the first book and I had a weird book deals. Like they took the first [00:16:00] one and then waited for the second. And when it sold, well, I think they did the second, third. So I had I had a little delay in in that. So I started writing something and it came out Killarney Donovan.

But so I pitched them that and I changed the name cause it was called like, A divine labor or something stupid and like you know, very highbrow or something. And and I kind of low pitched it and give it a little action flare. And then it just came off. Like top of my head, I was thinking of Chris Farley at the time, it was like, yeah, let’s

Casey: call it

Sydney Duncan: sorta God.

And it was like, it was called Killarney and he’s like, Oh my God, it’s crazy. And so like, he calls his agent and his manager, who’s now my manager he’s like, what do you think of those things? Like Celtic winner. And he calls Brian Stelfreeze and he’s like, what do you think of it? And still freezes like, well, the titles, I don’t know all the titles.

[00:17:00] That’s crazy. I guess I’m in. So it’s just kind of happened like that. I mean, it was really

Casey: awesome. So CA can we get back to the Cajun steamer? Because really, really quick, this pisses me off so bad. We got Ben yeas. Last time we went there and  is French for a little pillow or something like that. I don’t speak French, but that’s what my wife says.

And I trust her because she’s really smart. It was flat and joyless. It was not a pillow. It wasn’t even like a footstool. It was, it was like a hard lump of barely cooked dough. And I was, and they just put a little bit of powder on it and No bueno, as I say in France. So that’s my, that’s my bitch about, about Cajun steamer.

Sydney Duncan: Places not great.

[00:18:00] They have wonderful food.

Casey: I was totally kidding. I’ll eat some shrimp But Holy smokes. So this book has taken off you’re, you’re published under, under dark horse, which is a pretty freaking big deal. And now they’re wanting to adapt. It is, can you tell us a little bit about that?

Sydney Duncan: Yeah, so we We kind of came out the gate.

So like I said, his first call was to his manager who at the time was at CAA. And John Levin is his name. Who’s now my manager. And he was just like, let’s, let’s get it on. Let’s do this. And verb got involved with it and and. It’s just became this thing and we found a producer and a screenwriter and they, they have a take in another kind of just waiting to shop it around.

So it’s, it’s, it’s happening. I think the hideout pictures is, is the, the [00:19:00] company that option to, and they are, I think, pretty intent to make it so we’re, we’re pretty good.

Casey: It’s the same. I’m looking at the art right now to, to. Kill body. And

Sydney Duncan: how good is that Emily? Nah,

Casey: it’s, it’s fantastic. I really like it.

And another thing that, that catch just really catches me is the

Sydney Duncan: colors, colors. I know you going to say that she’s a brilliant

Casey: colorist totally inspired on now, so, Oh,

Sydney Duncan: good. I can’t wait to see her career take off. I think she could do just about whatever she wanted to. Is this

Casey: your first time working with Nat?

It does.

Sydney Duncan: Yeah.

Casey: How did, how did you end up pairing up with

Sydney Duncan: Stelfreeze brought her to the table, Brian? Doesn’t really take on like proteges right there like that. And I don’t know the full story behind the scenes, but she had been his protege and. He kind of took her under his wing and, and, [00:20:00] you know, gave her kind of an introduction to the, to the format.

And Kevin went to Brian and was like, you know, who do you think we could do with this? And he’s like, you need to give her a try. She’s she’s going to be perfect for this. And. So we asked her to, to show us some sequentials in some character designs. And and I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Natalie Hood up arts.

I think it’s art.com, but her, her website, Google it, Natalie. Barona you’ll

Casey: find it. Yes, I’m on it right now. Actually, there’s this

Sydney Duncan: one painting of these two girls in snow, and one has like this rifle and we just kind of looked at that and we’re like, I’m not as like the. The essence of our story here and it had all the attitude and all the, the, the emotion and character that we were looking for.

And then she, you know, gave us what we were looking for again, on Vinita on the art samples. [00:21:00] So she was just, you know, lock. I mean, she was ready to go and, and we had. We were ready to go with her. So she was brilliant. Just kind of watching her, you know, I think, I, I don’t think she. She was so good.

I mean, it’s like everything she gave us like, Oh my God. That’s exactly what we’re looking for. I can’t remember, like there ever being any like significant notes that we gave her, it’s just like everything she turned in was like, God is perfect. That’s

Casey: great. That’s awesome. One thing about her artwork is I see a lot of folks now who draw a really pretty people.

Yeah. And that’s it. Yeah, they, they, they is gorgeous. It looks great. She can do that, but she can also draw people, you know, different shaped people and like people.

Sydney Duncan: So full character, like [00:22:00] character in her.

Casey: They have miles on their face. They, they have years and years of stuff on their face and it it’s so telling it’s really fantastic.

So you’re done with, with kill whiny Donovan, correct?

Sydney Duncan: Probably. Well, I mean, we have I want to do it another volume and we may revisit that later. Probably, you know, if it, if it’s a screen, we’ll probably do it.  So, you know, I have, I think a really interesting take for the second volume probably wouldn’t be too expected, so it could be cool.

Without revisiting like the, the, the ground that we’ve tried already. So I would love to and I think Kevin’s keen to do it too. If, if, if the But the situations, right? So, and Natalie too, she’s she’s down for it. So

Casey: nice. So I’m to take it, they go 200 years into the future and I’m just making sure,

[00:23:00] Sydney Duncan: dude, you’re not like

wouldn’t be dumb obviously, but it could be a weird, anyway, I’m gonna shut up

now.

Casey: Kay, can you give us an elevator pitch? Like the people listening at home.

Sydney Duncan: Or the second volume

Casey: just for the first volume. I don’t, I don’t want you to spill the beans on

Sydney Duncan: anything. Oh God, God awful at this. This is why I have agents managers. I want to see, I want to see books flying

Casey: off shelves.

Sydney Duncan: I want to hear.

Yes. So, all right, damn, I should be way better though.

Casey: So sorry, put you on

Sydney Duncan: this book. So Killarney Donovan is a sort of a feminist revenge tale about kind of self-exploration and identity. So these two women kind of set off and by the way, I’m sorry, I live right next to a train track.

So the train that’s spot [00:24:00] Stripe. So they he here that

Casey: I can, but it’s, it’s not that bad. Okay.

Sydney Duncan: What’s about to get real off.

 

So it’s, it’s about, you know, Self-discovery and and identity and sort of understanding who they are in the world set against this plot to kill. Why do you Donovan Why do you, Donovan’s this, you know, arts type villain.

Who’s, he’s done this horrible thing to both girls and they’re out to get revenge. He’s not terribly interesting, but the story isn’t about that’s too much that it’s about who they are and, and who they’re to be in the world. And and kind of. What it takes to survive and, and, and become the person they’re meant to be.

So,

Casey: so the villain’s basically like a plot device to get to learn about that. That’s awesome. I like that. I like that. That twist it’s all good. And we could, we could totally cut this out. It’s no big deal. You might

Sydney Duncan: have to my after research.

[00:25:00] Casey: Let’s see, I’ll make a note. Oh yeah. It’s all good. Yeah.

Trains happen.

Sydney Duncan: Right on the tracks. We,

 

Casey: We live out in the country and so. Occasionally we’ll hear a train, like about like two miles down the road. But what, we will hear our our redneck neighbors on their four wheelers and shooting guns off the porch. Oh my God. Cause that’s what happens,

but yes,

but What inspired you to, to take on this story? Because it’s such an, it’s such an interesting such an industry take on that type of story. Yeah.

Sydney Duncan: I don’t know. I, I get asked that a lot and it’s kinda weird. I just get kind of thunder struck by ideas. They kind of come out of nowhere. And I don’t know if it’s like, because I get inspired by something I happened to see or whatever, but but you know, I think the civil [00:26:00] war you’re from Alabama, somewhat inescapable it’s hard to kind of.

You know, be from the South and not have some sort of awareness of it. It kind of exists at the peripheral of all of our lives and in some capacity, I mean, she, these idiots with the Confederate flag all over

there,

Sydney Duncan: it’s just, it’s a little bit you know, ubiquitous. So I don’t know. I wanted to kind of explore.

History to some degree. And I have, I’m always fascinated by history. I have the Gabriel Adam books are to some degree that as well, they’re an exploration of Judaeo Christian history, some degree. And I have another a screenplay that we’re shopping around right now is, is, is

Casey: world war II.

Oh, cool.

Sydney Duncan: And yeah. And it’s, you know, I love history. So, you know, I did kind of want to dip into that [00:27:00] well, a little bit and do something that I mean, a civil war, revenge flick isn’t particularly an original idea, but I wanted to do something in a way that, that. Explored identities relative to the civil war and relative to the South and and just be truthful to it as much as I was capable of as a writer and and just kind of explore it a little bit and see what, what it was about and, you know, and that just kind of spilled out of me.

 

Casey: I’m just imagine you going through like a crazy deep dive on history and. All that other stuff. And I’m like, especially knowing your background is I was like

Sydney Duncan: looking up what the weather was for. I swear to God around, you know, Sherman’s invasion of Atlanta, cause that’s kind of the area and the space that this was happening.

And I mean, I was looking up farmer almanacs and things like that. Oh, nice. Everything right. [00:28:00] That I could for, for the area and the space and the time. And in that event, You know, I took some artistic Liberty, but I mean, not, I love that kind of stuff. I love kind of diving in it and learning about it as much as writing about it.

So it was, it was fun. I enjoyed

Casey: it. Nice, nice. I I’m a bit of a history nerd myself, and totally go into like spirals where like this all I’m wanting to like read about and listen to podcasts on I’ll be talking to my wife about it and she’ll just look at me, like, literally talk about anything else right now.

Yeah.

Sydney Duncan: It’s, it’s, it’s fun. I mean, it’s, I love it. It’s so weird. Cause I was, I don’t think I was too drawn to it as a kid growing up, but I really have been looking backwards. I feel like for the most, my adult life and then learn [00:29:00] about where we’ve been, where we’re coming from, I guess. So, so

Casey: when you’re writing, do you have like a method that you use or like a.

You just kind of slap whenever it hits you?

Sydney Duncan: Well, no, I mean kind of it so if, if I am writing about a particular time or something, that’s historically based or factually based, then I do do a lot of like research and, and learn about stuff and kind of put myself in the framework of it. And then. You know, as I’m learning from that I usually have ideas develop or spark out of that and just kind of, and then you know, think of characters and what life would be like in that time.

And they just kind of formulate out of, you know, those elements that, that I discover. Or, you know, I, I might just have some stupid idea. Like, you know, what if. You know, X, Y, and Z [00:30:00] happened. And then I try and think of what might be a cold place that, that might happen. What might be could time that that might happen.

So no, all my stuff is it’s historically based. I have a couple of other things I’m working on. It is contemporary, but I mean, It’s weird. I couldn’t even begin to explain how inspiration and the muse works. I have no idea. I wish that I would definitely cultivate that and try to make it something more consistent.

Oh yeah. Just kind of like happens. I had a weird week last week where I had like three solidly good ideas that I was just grabbing pen and paper and just. Trying to get them down as fast as I can. And I’m going to go back and flush this out and see which ones are awful. But yeah, I, I don’t know.

It’s it’s feast and famine with ideas. I think sometimes cause you know, I was, I’d been in a space right for last week where I was just like, God, I don’t even know where I would go after this. I [00:31:00] have no idea what could be next. And you know, I have other publishers who were kind of reaching out saying, Hey.

We might be interested in working with you. If you have anything. God, I have nothing. So it’s you know, it, I dunno, I dunno how it works. I’m thankful that it hasn’t shut off inside of me yet. And that I’m, I’m still coming up with stuff that is at least interesting to me. I have no idea if anyone else gives a shit about what I’m writing, but You know, I start with me first and then hope that others have similar tastes.

So

Casey: when you write, do you, do you listen to music or have TV on or anything like that or is it like Sydney has to be focused a little bit?

Sydney Duncan: No, I, I do like a bit of a a right coffee shops a lot. I like a bit of commotion happening sometimes out. I used to love to write too. I think I wrote the entire Gabriel Adam series set to like Hans Zimmer [00:32:00] soundtrack and like movie soundtracks, stuff like that.

I, I love that kind of stuff.  Movie soundtracks are great. So you know, I don’t know, it’s a little bit of everything. But I, you know, and then sometimes silence works as well. I don’t, I’m not really good with like, I, you know, I hear all these writers and they’re like, here’s, here’s what you need.

Here’s my dude work. And here’s what I find my blah, blah, blah, blah. I don’t, that doesn’t work for me. I just kind of go with the flow a little bit. One thing that I do find that is helpful is reading a little bit in the genre or in the medium that you are writing. So if I’m. Doing a comic book. I might read a couple of comics before.

Okay. Sitting down. If I’m trying to get in the head space of a book, I might read a few chapters of a book, same with the screenplay. I don’t know why that’s happens. It’s not like [00:33:00] I think it just puts my brain in that sort of mode. Because I am writing in a lot of different mediums and it is kind of Writing for medium just means you’re, you’re aspiring to a certain rhythm of telling a story and it’s kind of easier to get into that rhythm when you’re reading.

First of all, it’s always good. I think it always makes you a better writer to, to read. So I do think it’s helpful. So maybe that’s my one thing is I read a little bit. And then dive in. If you’ve ever gone writing by Stephen King, it’s, it’s a must read, but I think, I think I got that from there. I think that’s what he does.

I think he reads for like 30 minutes and then dive in.

Casey: Nice, nice. That’s one. That’s one book I’ve actually had on my list. Oh no, you got to, I’ll have to check it out. What do you do to. Take yourself out [00:34:00] of like to disconnect cause you, you can’t always be producing you. Can’t always be spitting stuff out or reading for research.

You have to do something to enjoy. Otherwise like life is just work.

Sydney Duncan: Well, you know, I have a plethora of different hobbies and things up. Still play soccer to some grim. I try and stay athletic and exercise. I have my kids and that’s, that’s a whole different that’s a whole different. Thing. But that’s, that’s a big distraction.

Sub-degree is my kids and you know, in a relationship and we watch documentaries all the time and all kind of stuff. And, you know, you just, you try to be a person in the world. I think I’m pretty social, pretty outgoing. So You know, just live as much as you can and do the things that you like to do and [00:35:00] play guitar and whatever.

It just, just have kind of fun with that. And anything you can to take her seat like a right to take my mind off of things that I do at work. And then sort of just like cascade and then like a play to take my thing my mind off of like the writing and then. I do work to get serious taking over the place.

It’s like this endless circle of life and for whatever reason it works, I guess. But

Casey: so with that in mind, how do you kind of, is there a way that you kind of achieve a balance or is it just spinning plates?

Sydney Duncan: Yeah, you know, I think I have some, some level of of balance And it just takes work. You know, it, it takes it takes effort and knowing that, you know, part of your life needs attention at different times and just kind of being aware of that and, and and also not [00:36:00] taking what you do too seriously.

Obviously the, the, the lawyer stuff is, is. Very serious will that I do for clients, but it’s calm is compartmentalized. I think some degree at work. I’m going to take a little bit of it at home sometimes, but you just try to have boundaries with that stuff. And then the writing stuff is, is something I love to do.

So I don’t, I take it seriously, but I don’t I don’t over do it with that. I, I try to keep up a healthy context of writing in life. So you know, I get. Kinda like you tagged on the shirt for, for herbal tea and that’s

Casey: it, when that happens, you, you have to go. Of course, baby. I’m going to make, of course,

Sydney Duncan: of course you do.

Casey: So is there [00:37:00] anything you have coming up that you wanna, that you want to talk about?

Sydney Duncan: There’s a lot of stuff and I have to be that. Douchebag writer who just says, well, I can’t talk about it right now because I can’t talk about it right now, but I do know this stuff pawn up with some really cool people, just like dream people that I’ve worked with that, that, you know, have been amazing.

I can’t believe they know my name. So really exciting stuff. And I think 20, 21 is going to be a, a pretty good year. The Gabriel, Adam trade comes out, I think. And. April. Oh, nice. That’s beautiful. Yeah. It’s April, February. I think it’s April. So we’ll have that out for the first time. That’s a why

Casey: book?

What, what reader? What? Like what? Or around money?

Sydney Duncan: Yeah,

Casey: I was wondering why you called it a trade

Sydney Duncan: idiot. Yeah, so the [00:38:00] cool white stuff comes out. So and that got delayed because of COVID. Absolutely. We’re excited to have that out. Kevin’s I think pretty excited about it. And then I have some other cool stuff happening this year.

So I was really concerned that I would be like a one and done. But I, I think it just, it was one in delayed. So but I think everyone kind of deal with that. Well

Casey: I’m totally stoked for, for you and, and looking forward to seeing what else you come up with. Thanks.

Sydney Duncan: I appreciate that. I’m just thrilled that I get to do it and happy that it’s been received.

Well, and I love comics people so that I’m right in my element here. This, you know, people like you and, and, you know, everyone else that I’ve met have just been. The greatest so well, it’s,

Casey: it’s I really like talking to to creators in, you know, kind of picking their brain and seeing what motivates them and makes them want to do what [00:39:00] they do.

And it’s just it’s just a fun way to spend an hour in the evening every now and then. So w what, what has been inspiring you lately?

Sydney Duncan: Oh man. Hmm. Inspiring. I don’t know. I think there’s a lot of perseverance happening in the world right now. And you know, the stuff that I’m, I’m trying to write right now I think is bending towards the optimistic.

So I think it’s, I think what’s inspiring to me is, you know, Probably what’s inspiring to a lot of people right now is that there are a lot of stories of people who’ve gone through some really awful things and have come out of it or, you know, taken a hit or taken a loss and, and they’re thriving still, or, or you know, coming out of the darkness, that’s been basically 2020, so.

I think, you know, I’m [00:40:00] inspired by the people that are around me. I think in my life right now friends and family, I’ve had friends just go through some horrible stuff this year. And you know, just seeing kind of the. The goodness of humanity and the people that are close to me. And and I’m just kind of grasping at that, holding that close and and finding some, some joy in that and, you know, occasionally a little art in that too.

So No friends and family, they’re just, I’m holding them close. I think completely closer than I have long time, probably because I can’t actually hold them close, so, Oh yeah.

Casey: Yeah. With, with COVID and everything. It’s. Yeah. We haven’t, my kids have been like the boy in the bubble. And they they’ve been, you know, locked in.

We haven’t really done anything. My wife and I haven’t gone out to eat at a restaurant we’ve like done takeout, like crazy. Don’t get me wrong, [00:41:00] but we haven’t like sat down anywhere just because We have to help out her great-grandparents or her grandparents rather fairly regularly and they’re in their eighties.

And I don’t want to be the reason that they get sick, so trying to stay safe. So grandma and grandpa, like a mile down the road will not get sick. And also I still have to go to work every day. So. We’re

Sydney Duncan: hard right now. And I think a lot of people are, are really sort of rising above that and that’s, you know, that’s hopeful.

Yeah. Yeah.

Casey: So we’re gonna, we’re going to get through this 20, 21. I’m looking forward to it.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Oh my God. I’ve been, I’ve been like all day looking at the the Georgia the Georgia calls. Oh yeah. I’m just [00:42:00] ready to get it over with. I’m ready for these dumb ass is to, so yeah, Sydney. It has been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you so much for for chatting with me. And I look forward to to seeing what you’re doing in the future.

And hopefully I’ll see out at a con eventually if those ever happen again

Sydney Duncan: less than we’re going to have to. Bait you into Birmingham, Kevin and I go grab a Oh one day. I’d

Casey: totally grab a beer with y’all. I yeah, I’m just like 20 minutes down the road and actually work. Right next to Sloss furnace.

So,

Sydney Duncan: Oh my God. That’s where I am. What’d you say?

Casey: Oh, that’s not too far away from the BA. Oh yeah. So yeah. Yeah. I work for a medical company, right. Okay. Yeah. I know what you’re talking about. Yeah. Yeah. Shoot stuff at lasers all day

Sydney, it’s been a [00:43:00] pleasure. Have a good one. And Y’all don’t hesitate to check out Killarney Donovan and Sydney Duncan. Thank you again. It’s been such a pleasure having you on. Thanks, Casey. It was a blast. All right. Be well, wash your hands and I’ll

Sydney Duncan: I’ll catch you later. Cheers.

Casey: Thanks. Take it easy. Bye.

 

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