Bob Madison is the author of Cash and Carrey. Cash and Carrey follows High school jock Cash Hamilton, and brainiac Stu Carrey. The novel explores the lives of these characters. YEM was able to speak with Bob about what is was like to write the romcom, his inspirations for writing it, and personal connections he has to his novel.
Young Entertainment Mag: When did you first know that you wanted to be an author?
Bob Madison: I first wanted to be an author when I was in the first grade! True story! Once a week our teacher, Miss Trainer (hello, wherever you are!) would ask us to write a story. Mine were always gruesome tales of vampires and premature burials. No wonder I grew up to write comedies…
YEM: Cash and Carrey is your debut adult romcom, why did you decide to write an adult novel?
Bob: I often wonder at the distinctions between YA and “adult” novels. Some of the finest novels ever written are considered YA novels; so, what makes a book YA and another “adult?” I’ve never figured this out. The funny thing about Cash and Carrey is that it’s about two teenagers, and it’s considered an “adult” novel.
I wanted Cash and Carrey to be considered “adult” because I wanted to push some of the jokes as far as I could! But any teenager can read it and enjoy it.
YEM: What was your favorite part of writing a romcom?
Bob: Love! Romcoms are all about people falling in love. It’s the best thing there is! But another part of the answer is – complications! A good romcom throws a lot of obstacles in the path of true love, and complications are fun to write.
YEM: What inspired you to write Cash and Carrey?
Bob: I was inspired to write Cash and Carrey, to some degree, by all the great comedies I watched when I was a kid. I loved The Odd Couple, for example, and quickly realized that good comedy came from opposites interacting. Cash and Carrey is about two people who could not be more different, and then I threw them into whacky situations.
YEM: What is the biggest difference when writing for an adult audience versus a young adult audience?
Bob: The biggest difference between writing for an adult audience vs. a young adult audience is that you have to be more honest writing for young adults! Seriously. The older you get, the more bullshit you’ll believe. The younger you are, the less. Honesty is the key to a YA novel.
YEM: Are there any personal connections you have to the story you tell through the novel?
Bob: There’s a lot of me in both Cash and Carrey, just as there’s a lot of my husband in each, too. (Talk about opposites attract!) But the biggest personal connection is this – the book is about two guys pretending to be a gay couple, and that premise would have been impossible when I was young. Teenagers today are free and free-thinking in a way that was impossible when I was in high school.
YEM: What is the best part of the writing process for you?
Bob: The best part of the writing process is holding the finished book in my hands. Everything before that is very hard work! Never let anyone tell you otherwise; writing is a bear!
YEM: What is a genre you hope to one day be able to write?
Bob: Well … so far I’ve written comedies, comic strips, trading cards, YA novels, thrillers and westerns. I’d love to write a play! The problem is I haven’t the faintest idea of how to do it. Cash and Carrey would make a terrific play; I would just have to figure out how to translate it from book to stage.
That’s another funny thing about writers. Once they have written in one medium they want to flex their muscles and try something different.
YEM: How has your writing changed from writing Spiked! to writing Cash and Carrey?
Bob: I don’t know if my writing has changed much from one book to the other; I do know that my style changes from book to book. I always think of a book as a sales proposition, and the key part of that is always keeping audience first. When I think of “how” I want to write a book, the first thing I consider is “who” is the book for? The style follows that.
YEM: Is there a message within Cash and Carrey that you hope resonates with your audience?
Bob: Cash and Carrey is a comedy and comedy often trades in real truths. There is an old maxim that it was the job of the court jester to speak truth to power, and people who write funny get to do that. But, keeping that in mind, there’s no message to Cash and Carrey – other than life is often ridiculous and it’s always best to laugh at it.
If there are other meaning in Cash and Carrey, it’s for the reader to find!
YEM: What is your favorite line or quote from Cash and Carrey?
Bob: Here is Stu Carrey’s dad about to pay Cash Hamilton to date his son:
He leaned really close, and now I could smell the mint of his mouthwash. “I’m going to hit you with the deal of a life-time.”
I closed my eyes.
“Good and tight?”
Now I really was nervous. “Good and tight.”
“Good.” His voice grew low and urgent, like some guy doing the voiceover for a Marvel movie trailer. “I want you to picture money. Think of money. Oceans and oceans of money. The picture coming through?”
I nodded, my eyes still closed.
“Think of all of that money. Greenbacks, spondolas, smackers, moolah, lucre, cabbage, samolians, celery, bread, clams, dough, ducats, folding stuff…cold hard cash!”
“Now…” his voice got even more breathy. “Now, you’re naked and the green stuff is spread all over the floor, all over the chairs, all over the bed, and you start to roll in it. Can you smell it? Your naked body on all that money?”
Now he scared me so I opened one eye. He was still dressed, so I closed it again.
YEM: What do you have planned for with your writing in the future?