Roy Christopher is a Seattle-based man about town that’s been on the BMX scene for as long as anyone’s bothered to count at this point. We first featured Roy in issue 48 of Dig, discussing his interview-based website frontwheeldrive.com in the “Do You Compute?” section. Since then, Roy’s split his time between Seattle and Alabama, taking time along the way to compile an anthology of interviews he’s collected over the years, and self-publishing his work in the recently released book Follow for Now. The book compiles interviews with luminary and challenging personalities from all walks of life, including musicians, artists, and cultural theorists. And Roy was nice enough to rush me some answers to some wise ass questions about the book. Take some time off from the message boards and read on…
Roy Christopher: Follow for Now is an anthology of interviews with authors, artists, musicians, emcees, scientists, and Hal Brindley. It is arranged topically according to six rather fluid categories: science, technology, media, music, culture, and literature. What it’s “about” tends to emerge from the spirit of the time over which these interviews were conducted. It’s what one kind reviewer called, “a crisp and substantial remix of the major memes of the last decade or so.”
BT: Who’s featured in it?
RC: Some of the names include science fiction authors Bruce Sterling and Philip K. Dick, musicians Milemarker and Aesop Rock, scientists Terence McKenna and Howard Bloom, cultural theorists Douglas Rushkoff and Erik Davis, Futurama producer David X. Cohen and founder of Foundation skateboards Tod Swank, and contributors include smart folks like DJ Spooky and MC Paul Barman. There are forty-three interviews in all, and it’s an eclectic bunch to be sure, but the themes and ideas are what hold it all together.
BT: What made you want to produce it?
RC: I’ve been doing an interview-based website (frontwheeldrive.com) since 1999, and a friend of mine suggested I try to get it published as a book. So I took the best of the interviews, edited them, arranged them, and compiled them. Selfishly, I wanted a concrete document of the best interviews that had been on the site.
BT: How difficult was it to self publish?
RC: It was way more work and took much longer than I’d anticipated, but there are certainly easier ways than the way I went about it. I insisted that the text be as flawless as possible (so I hired a copyeditor), as well-designed as possible (so I hired a designer), have an index (so I hired an indexer), and printed with quality (so I paid more for printing). I couldn’t be happier with the results, but as I said, self-publishing can be a lot easier than it was in my case. It just depends on what you deem important.
BT: Why would the average BMXer want to read Follow For Now?
RC: I like to think that the average BMXer is an individual thinker. BMX is a huge part of my background and my day-to-day, so I am hopeful that that spirit shines through in the book. There’s also the Hal Brindley interview, of course.
BT: How many chicks have you scored with since the book was published? Has it helped?
RC: I lost count within the first week. Now, I keep a big stick next to the books to beat them away.
BT: How can interested parties find a copy?
RC: Follow for Now is available through its own website, followfornow.com. It’s available through a few others, but that’s the direct line.