Davey Havok can now add “author” to his list of accomplishments. The brilliant singer and actor recently released his first book POP KIDS, and there is no doubt that the success of the book has been anything less than fantastic. The novel is about the addiction of social media, sex, and drugs, the opposite of the straightedge lifestyle Havok lives. The author talks to us about his writing process, desire to turn the book into a movie, and his plans to release a second novel.
CLICHÉ: What was your inspiration for POP KIDS?
Davey Havok: The effect I see on youth culture that modern media has had over the years since the beginning of the Internet and the beginning of social media, which has accelerated the rise of cultural celebrity and really morphs it in a very powerful way, is what really pushed me into the story that you’ll see in POP KIDS. I saw it both from a distance and a very close perspective.
Have you always wanted to write a book?
DV: I have. To say always would be an exaggeration, but I’ve enjoyed creative writing for a lot of my life. Writing a novel is something that I wanted to do and it wasn’t until 2008 that the general concept of POP KIDS hit me, and when it did, I just sat down and started writing it. Prior to that, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do within a story and even at that point I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but throughout the process, the story began to tell itself. I never wanted to write an autobiography, and I’m not versed enough in any one particular field to embark on a nonfiction piece, so a novel is the best way for me to write; I’m a big fan of fiction.
Can you explain your writing process?
DV: The spark came in the fall of 2008 and I began writing then. It was a long process; I was very busy at the time writing and recording the Crash Love album for A.F.I. Once the touring cycle was over, I spent the majority of 2010 writing for hours and hours and hours every day. It became quite obsessive for me.
Did you write on paper or a laptop?
DV: Macbook Air. A lot of it was done in different parts of the country and different parts of the world because I worked on it while I was on tour, but the majority of the book was written in Oakland.
When did you finish writing POP KIDS?
DV: The final version of what we have now was finished in the fall/winter of 2010.
How does it feel to hold the finished product of POP KIDS in your hands after all this time working on it?
DV: It’a surreal experience to hold it and it’s really exciting. It’s really satisfying, gratifying, and odd. Certainly reading it in its true book form is such a surreal pleasure for me to see physically. The book itself feels very nice.
When naming your characters, did you relate them to your friends? For example, is the character “Star” named after Jeffree Star?
DV: No, no she’s very different than Jeffree. The character’s true names came from different places. I felt that the names suited the character in one way or another based on my relationship with someone with the same name in real life or just my perception of that name. As you see, the characters’ screen names were given to themselves by themselves as they felt appropriate for their own personas.
The character “Score: is italian and vegetarian. Did you base this character off yourself?
DV: Barely, I mean, some of the interests Score professes have the facade of his greater persona and could correlate to my own, but he is so wildly empty we truly have little in common.
At the end of the book, Score says “I’m tempted to tell her. But I won’t. I’m tempted to say it out loud. But I don’t need to. She already knows. We both do.” Is that going to be explained deeper into the second book?
DV: That moment is for the reader to decide. I as the author absolutely know what Score wanted to say and Stella knows the truth. Score lies to himself and to the reader frequently, but not at that moment. That is the moment of truth for the young man.
I watched the trailer for the prologue of POP KIDS. Would you ever consider turning the book into a movie?
DV: Absolutely. With the right producer and the right director, I would love to have that opportunity. It would be such an ambitious pursuit for someone. They would have to truly love the book due to its explicit nature and how really upsetting and awful it is and how those explicit moments really define the characters in a way. I would love to have the opportunity to work with Harmony Korine. I mean, what he’s done really speaks to me and what he’s done recently with Spring Breakers really highlights culturally what I was trying to highlight with POP KIDS.
Have you started working on the second book?
DV: I began working on the second book almost immediately after finishing POP KIDS. I feel that for the process of writing the first book and it being the first book I’ve ever written, I learned a bit and I feel that I will be able to finish the second novel faster so that it will hopefully be better written, but we shall see.
What other projects are you currently working on?
DV: Right now our agent is discussing a Blaqk Audio tour and I’m working on the second novel.
Read the full story on p. 138 in our June/July issue!