I am “UnderDiscussion.”

Over the weekend, I hung out with the gang from UnderGopher, a group of local gamers and genre enthusiasts who enjoy sharing their love of tabletop gaming, comics, and other fandom topics with anyone who will listen. Though I tend to run into them at our local comic and game shop, they also produce their own regular podcast, “UnderDiscussion,” in which any or all of the aforementioned interests have the potential to be the topic du jour.

We have quite a few people here in the KC area with their fingers in various genre pies (comics, games, prose, etc.), and the UG guys do their part to promote the home team pros. To that end, they also conduct the occasional interview with one of those folks. This past Saturday, it was my turn in their spotlight.

After being whisked away to the secret UnderGopher Lair, during which I was blindfolded and given a tranquilizer so that the location could remain classified, we commenced to discussing all sorts of stuff. Once the interview was completed, I was returned to the surface world nary the worse for wear.

The interview started out with the best of intentions as we talked about my writing, how I got started, and so on. Topic Drift set in pretty soon, though, as we began weaving and winding all over the fandom map, from movies to games to the 80s and all sorts of stuff in between. The interview ended up going in excess of two hours, but the guys seemed content not to edit down to the bare essentials and the…you know…relevant stuff.

The result? UnderDiscussion: Dayton Ward

Thanks very much to Brady, Dustin, and Kevin for inviting me down to their world for a bit. I had a blast talking Geek, and there already are plans afoot for a return engagement when certain topics come up in their discussion queue. I believe there’s a podcast devoted to James Bond in the offing as I write this. Oh, yeah….


5 thoughts on “I am “UnderDiscussion.”

  1. Dayton, you write: “…the guys seemed content not to edit down to the bare essentials and the…you know…relevant stuff.” That’s the perfect way to describe the situation we as writers have when interviewing subjects for books or articles. A person, through his or her publicist or manager or producer, agrees to thirty minutes for an interview; the writer arrives with a page of questions about character and wardrobe and lighting choices. The first answer comes back about breakfast and the weather. The writer’s constantly thinking, “Stay on target; stay on target.” Then the thirty minutes are gone and the interview has produced only one sentence of usable quote. Bye, bye, the person/publicist/manager/producer says. That’s it. Then the book comes out to readers who complain, “My favorite person only had one quote,” and give the project a low rating. Just an observation; thank you, Dayton, for having expressed it so concisely.


    1. I’ve heard some interesting interview horror stories from Kevin, where he gets one-word answers to questions and extracting anything more to provide context is like pulling teeth.

      Whenever I’m being interviewed, I try to make sure that the question as asked is addressed, and if that spins out a follow-up, then that’s on the interviewer. This was more freeform discussion than interview, hence the drift, and we even kept asking each other as we went if we weren’t going too far afield. The guys seemed content to see where things might go, so I just floated along with the tide. 🙂


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