G.M Nair “I tried to make Duckett & Dyer sort of a tongue-in-cheek love letter to a lot of the sci-fi and mystery genre fiction I grew up watching”
The writer explains his semi-fondness for pina coladas, writing on a team, and what could be next for Duckett and Dyer.
Oh good lord, where do I start?
If you haven’t heard of G.M Nair, Aerospace Engineer/Comedian/Writer, you will feel like his bestie after this interview.
Well, maybe a close friend.
What you will get is a sense for how funny he is, and if you check out any of the other tour members you will hear them rave about Duckett & Dyer: Dicks for Hire. A best friends detective screwball comedy with a little bit of crazy, a little bit of fantasy, and a whole lot of laughs.
Thanks for taking the time to have a chat with me! Could you tell me a bit about yourself, your hopes, dreams, do you like Pina Coladas?
Of course! Thanks for having me (again). There’s not much to say about myself, really. I’m a dude with degrees in Aerospace Engineering who also inexplicably likes telling jokes and stories. My biggest hope is that Duckett & Dyer spawns a large cult fandom that calls themselves “dickheads”. Let’s throw that one under dreams, too. But I also occasionally dream of being a financially successful author or well paid TV writer. Oh, and one time I dreamed I was a DINOSAUR. I’m half-and-half on Pina Coladas. I always think I won’t like them, because I think I don’t like coconut, but then I try them and I really enjoy them because it’s not the taste of coconut I dislike, it’s actually just the mouthfeel? Sorry, I brought up some stuff.
Duckett and Dyer: Dicks for Hire is hilarious. Where did you get your inspiration for the story?
I tried to make Duckett & Dyer sort of a tongue-in-cheek love letter to a lot of the sci-fi and mystery genre fiction I grew up watching: Doctor Who, Dirk Gently, the Pink Panther movies, Big Trouble in Little China, and all of the Richard Pryor-Gene Wilder buddy comedies. Some influences are more obvious than others, but they’re all there.
How do you balance your side hustle as an Aerospace and Aviation Consultant with your job as a writer and comedian?
It’s a lot easier after being laid off because of COVID, lemme tell you.
It is evident from your writing that you have a fondness for comedy as a means of communicating ideas. Do you have any writers or comedians that you look up to or that inspire you?
Douglas Adams is the obvious choice, so let’s get him out of the way quickly. I also really like Chip Zdarsky, who’s actually a writer for Marvel comics that does weird comedy exceedingly well. In terms of comedians, I have a real fondness for storytelling comedians like John Mulaney. He has great delivery and wonderful turns of phrase that can really set a scene.
I read that you are writing a TV pilot, and are part of a sketch comedy writing team, how is the creative process different for those verses for writing a book?
Those are very different mainly because they’re both collaborative efforts (I’m writing the pilot with a frequent writing partner of mine). This means I don’t have to do all the heavy lifting and I get my more ridiculous tendencies reigned in on the spot, which is very helpful.
Other than that, the writing process is fairly similar, but there’s less to write, and much more emphasis is placed on the dialogue. Luckily, I do a lot of dialogue in my books already, so it’s not so tough to switch over.
How many hours a day do you write?
Not as much as I’d like. I think my average would actually be close to zero. Because there’re a lot of days where I write nothing and a few days where I write maybe 2 or 3 hours. I wish I had more discipline.
What are you reading right now?
I’m in the middle of a lot of things. COVID’s wreaked havoc on a lot of people’s motivation to write, but it’s sapped my time to read. Right now I’m halfway through Leviathan’s Wake, Deston J. Munden’s Tavern, and Drew Magary’s Point B.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
Start writing earlier and get over the self-consciousness that says if a first draft isn’t good, it never will be. That’s a hard idea to deprogram yourself of.
How did you select the names Duckett and Dyer?
I had a manager whose name was Michael Dyer and he was a kinda quirky dude. I thought his name was pretty interesting so I stole it for a project I was mulling over about a bumbling Clouseau-esque detective called “You’re A Mystery, Michael Dyer.” After some more thought, I figured a main character who was a complete doofus might need an audience surrogate straight man, so I tossed in the alliterative name Duckett. A few minutes later, the subtitle Dicks For Hire popped into my head, and I knew I had to do something with it fast. That was back in 2008.
Lastly, I want to know about book three. Have you started it yet? When should we look for it?
Oh, yes. Book Three is going to be a little different. I’m planning on it being an anthology of different short stories, each covering a different weird case. I’ve already finished the first few drafts of the opening story, and am aiming for an April 2021 release. All that being said, the title of the book (and the final short story/novella in the anthology) is one of my favorite titles I’ve come up with so far. What is it? Well, you’re just gonna have to get to the end of The One-Hundred Percent Solution to find out.