There’s a scene in The Hot Guy in which our heroine Cate is angsting over her career, and her friends Kirsty and Vanessa offer lots of not-very-helpful advice.
“I need a fresh start,” Cate said, fidgeting with the kite in her hands.
“Well, what sort of job do you want?” said Vanessa.
“Maybe,” said Kirsty, “you could have your own internet startup!”
“What would I be starting up?” said Cate.
“It doesn’t even matter!” Kirsty said, tugging on her left set of strings to bring her kite around in an arc. “That’s the beauty of internet startups. Just start a website of some sort. An app… or a bot… maybe a crap butt… crap-bot app… butt? I know! It could be called Crappr! And it could tell you when you have to go to the toilet.”
“I think my body already does that,” said Cate.
“It’s a standard feature among humans,” said Vanessa.
“My body tells me when I’m hungry, but there are still heaps of apps about restaurants,” Kirsty said defensively.
“Maybe it’s a social network where people share their poos,” said Vanessa. “Some people love talking about that shit.”
“Um, how did we get here?” Cate said. “I’m not working on a butt app.”
Perhaps Kirsty was onto something after all, because today we learned about D Free, a Japanese wearable tech device that uses ultrasound to monitor bowel movements, and sends you a text message warning that you’re about to shit your pants.
We are shaking our heads that a stupid joke from our novel is actually a real thing. Read More
We’ve had so much fun inventing fictitious pop-cultural artefacts for this book. One of our favourites is The Consumption Saga, a quadrilogy of paranormal fantasy romance novels by Chastity Horniblo, which is the favourite book series of Cate’s friend Vanessa. Like many of our Hot Guy jokes – and indeed the idea for the entire book – it began after a film screening.
In this case, we were laughing about the way a certain character in the film we’d just seen was ‘dying of consumption’, yet she didn’t actually seem to have tuberculosis. She was just pale and sickly, fading away in a weak, picturesque manner. It was as if the screenwriters didn’t know what consumption involved. So basically, the joke of The Consumption Saga is that its author has woven old-timey diseases into her story just because they sounded cool and romantic. (Much as another author riffed on the vampire mythos while totally discarding almost all its well-established tropes.)
Today I found the notes I made about The Consumption Saga that day over lunch. I remember laughing so much during this lunch. I was seriously tempted to abandon The Hot Guy and write these books instead, but Anthony ultimately convinced me that paranormal fantasy is an oversaturated market.
In The Hot Guy, Adam and Cate spend a weekend in Adam’s country hometown, Ladbroke, where Adam’s short film Metadata is premiering at the local short film festival. We had a lot of fun coming up with the other films that screen in the festival.
Well, just now we were chuffed to stumble across this SBS Comedy article: “The programme for every amateur film festival ever”.
A lot of these clichés are heartbreakingly familiar from every student short we’ve had to sit through while ‘supporting our mates’: the murder mystery with the inevitable not-quite-dead body; 20-year-olds clearly pretending to be older adults; people shamelessly filming themselves doing their hobbies, with very little actual story; heavy-handed political subtexts that are more like actual texts; and the entirely predictable twist that someone “was dead all along”.
The other thing that makes amateur film festivals so cringeworthy is that the filmmakers’ craft limitations are so poignantly obvious. The SBS article skewers the way that students try to make a virtue out of their lack of skill with lighting, cinematography, sound and editing, and the way most of the films are shot in backyards, share-houses and classrooms.
Will Adam’s film be any better than these? You’ll have to read The Hot Guy to find out!
We have been working on The Hot Guy since last year, but rather than switching writing duties alternately as we did then, we’ve recently switched to a more collaborative ‘writer’s room’ method in which we actually sit together and workshop as we write, saying the dialogue aloud and destroying ourselves laughing at each other’s jokes.
As we’re both film critics, the book lampoons pretty much every aspect of the film world: from comic-book nerdboys to arthouse snobs; from hyperbolic blockbusters and young adult franchise adaptations to cringey 1980s Australian historical melodramas.
Anyway, yesterday we were writing a scene in which our heroine, Cate, discovers her friend is reading a torrid fantasy novel in a series called The Fur Chronicles, which is set in the ‘Kingdom of the Cats’ and has evolved – as certain franchises do – from a series of horrible, cat-themed, self-published erotic ebooks.