Interview with the April (Fool's) Challenge Winner KyleRKopp


The past, the present and the future walked into a bar. 
Things got tense...

What did Richard III say when there was a half-price Christmas sale at the local camping supplies store? 
"Now is the winter of our discount tent"

Where does Dorian Gray shop for clothes? 
Forever 21

We're sure you're already on the floor guffawing at the hilarity of our one liners - but a sentence, sadly, does not a writer make (unless you're Hemingway) - so in honour of April Fool's we ran a comedy writing challenge for our WEbook members... 

We were in fits of laughter here at WEbook HQ reading through all of your brilliant entries, but as ever there could only be one winner! We chose KyleRKopp's hilarious entry, Work From Home, They Said, because it not only had us cringing and giggling all at once, but the painfully realistic humour used by Kyle seemed natural and effortless in its deployment - well done to Kyle!

In the wake of his win, we had a chat with Kyle to find out a bit more about his entry...


WEBook: Congratulations on winning the challenge! Your story was very funny, it is autobiographical at all?

Kyle Kopp: Sadly, yes; this event really did happen, and I seem to find myself in similar circumstances ever since becoming a father.  My first foray into writing was a “daddy blog”, which I considered therapy.  I found it relieving to write out the insane things that were happening to me after my twins were born, share it with the rest of the world and when they laughed, I could finally grasp the humor in the reality that was my life.  It’s much easier to go through life looking at is a comedy rather then a tragedy.  Sometimes the only difference between the two is the audience laughing.

WB: You write humour very comfortably, is it a genre that comes to you easily?

KK: It is, though I tend to shy away from it when I write.  I’m much more comfortable with humor in a face to face, performance type setting where I can gauge the audience and make sure they’re getting the joke.  I’m always concerned that a reader will miss the inflection of certain words or miss the intended tone of the piece entirely, especially with something like sarcasm.  I get real downtrodden when an attempt at humor fails to connect because humor really comes from your soul; it’s much less crushing for me if a dramatic piece fails to resonate.  I feel with heavy pieces I craft them and build them and angle them and if someone doesn’t like them, that’s fine, it’s a structure, something I made.  With humor it pours out of me unfiltered; if someone doesn’t like it then they don’t like me.  I feel much more exposed when I put it out there.

WB: You discuss working life and the social set-up of the workplace - is the story intended to poke fun at office hierarchy?

KK: I certainly wasn’t trying to avoid pointing that out.  While I’d love to pay the mortgage off of my creativity alone, that hasn’t come to fruition yet.  Instead, I’ve had to trudge through the muck of the American workplace for the past fifteen years and the ridiculousness of the hierarchy has not been lost on me.  The average employee sees the executive leave early with golf clubs in hands and then spends the remainder o f the day grumbling about it.  What he never gets to see happen is the executive fall in to the water hazard trying to retrieve a ball on the 9th and spend the rest of the day pulling leaches off his legs.  This was a moment for me to share the reality; shit still happens no matter how high up the ladder you’ve climbed. 

WB: What is your favourite type of writing to read?

KK: I like to be able to relate to a piece, regardless really of genre.  I want to feel that it’s speaking with my voice, or at least a voice I can imagine to be coming from me as well.  I tend to not do well with fantasy pieces for this very reason.  I can’t really relate to riding on a dragon or smelting a sword of pixie alloy.  Thrillers I really get into; I can absolutely relate to panic.  I enjoy history’s very much, as I feel once you stop learning you’re brain begins going to mush, and I have a soft spot for a good relationship story.  Not a romance per se, but a grounded relationship where two people deal with life together.  My wife and I have been through some things, and when I read a story that deals with the struggle of real life and the strength a relationship can bring, I can superimpose myself into that and really draw a connection from the piece.   My wife would like to superimpose us into Fifty Shades of Grey, but I’m a little frightened. 

WB: If you could meet any writer, living or dead, who would it be and why?

KK: We’ll I think meeting a dead author would be a much better story, so my first answer is Oscar Wilde; I feel that’s something he would really enjoy.  But truthfully I feel an hour or so with him would become tedious as he’d just make me feel ignorant with his wit and word play.  Instead I think I’d like to spend a day with Earnest Hemmingway. He’d probably also make me feel extraordinarily stupid, but he’d do it while we were being chased by bulls or battling ferocious man eating sharks, or some other equally daunting adventure.  I feel that would ease the pain of realizing my many inadequacies.  Of course I’d probably be eaten by one of the sharks.  That might not be ideal.

WB: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Kyle! We look forwards to reading more of your challenge submissions over the coming months. 

Well done to everyone who entered our April (Fool's) Challenge - don't forget that our June Challenge is now running and we're challenging you to write without the use of sight or sound... could you be our next winner?

The WEbook Team

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  1. It is rare to see writer with natural humor in writing style. Webook really made good choice.


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