Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Outtakes of Interview in which the Interviewer is Implicated in Criminal Activity

***Talk about your books individually.
  • First I tried to rewrite The Lord of the Rings and pretend I’d made it up. I did. Then I went to a writing workshop at the local U. when I was twelve or thirteen and brought home a writing sample the teacher had passed out and told my mom I’d written it. That’s wanting to be a writer for you.
    • No but I self-published
      • The Boon: (Thoughts of a Schizophrenic in Remission)
      • while querying with the manuscript of Way Out: (A True Account of Schizophrenia)
      • then a couple of years later produced The Diamond Grenade: (A Series of Novellas)
 So you have experience with both traditional and indie publishing. Compare the two?
  • Indie publishing all the way, man. Pen-L sicced an editor on me, which was fine and improved the accessibility of Way Out. Couple of rewrites. Hard work. But worthwhile.
There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?
  • Writing will always be a contest. Writing is lotto. Oh Oprah, read me already. Getting picked up by a big publishing house will always be going to Disneyland.
 ***Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that? 
  • A serious question deserves a serious answer. Sure, we can self-publish books as beautiful as the big houses’, but they’ll be beautiful in a different way – collectible on different shelves perhaps than the high-end spines.
 ***What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?
  • Well I make a whole lot more off of each book sold on the one I self-published, but fewer sell, so it evens out. Ish. In that double-digit bottom line every year.
 ***Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?
  • How do you know a self-published author’s been to your blog? Haha just kidding no punchline.
With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?
  • You load up the trunk of the car with hardcopies and go door to door giving them away. I think. I mean I have not done that, exactly, but all you find online when you go looking for readers is more writers looking for readers.
***Do you write for a specific audience? Why or why not?
  • I think I set out writing The Boon for family and friends. Then it became an open letter. It’s quite religious and pretty PG. Way Out is written for anybody over thirteen years of age. Which is a coincidence, because the mainstream media targets the grade eight reading and comprehension level. So we’ll go ahead and say Way Out is made for the mainstream. But with big words.
 ***What are some of the special challenges of being a non-fiction writer?
  • Well, you have to philosophize. Be a… philosopher. And that’s tricky.
 ***It was written on the temple at Delphi not to desire the impossible. As a philosopher, how do you write to conform to that saying of the ancient sages?
  • Funny you should ask that. It’s almost like I asked you to ask it, isn’t it. I do stress to myself not to desire the impossible. I mean, what’s really impossible if you believe in miracles? But all the same, I try to stick to probable outcomes as goals.
 ***Do you feel that memoir writers are expected to conform to some standards that are perhaps not realistic to the world?
  • The pressures on we memoir writers are enormous. But it’s the same with novellas. You can’t just toss off whatever memoir comes to mind or spit out a few novellas about whatevs, you’ve got to marry the thing. It’s got to be you.
 ***Do you feel that memoir writers should focus on writing really great story or on presenting the details of their lives clearly in everything they write? Or is it possible to do both?
  • I wondered as Way Out came out to what extent I was sensationalizing, but I’m pretty sure I succeeded in keeping faithful to the actual, so if I erred it could be in sacrificing the great story for keeping faith with the facts. Locking oneself in a room for a couple of months does not high dramatic action make. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Way Out is a book about somebody sleeping. It’s action-packed. I’m just saying. I didn’t sensationalize or romanticize overly much I think. I did use ex-girlfriends as stepping stones of memory to move me along through periods of my life, so it reads a bit like a country song.
 ***If you write speculative fiction, do you find that the reader community to which you normally cater is accepting of that genre as well?
  • Well, you get them hooked with the non-fiction, you see, and then let a little line out… then you net them with the fiction and poetry and such. The trick is never to lift the net out of the water. Never reel them all the way in. Reading multiple works by the same writer is a journey you know. Much like the journey of the fish who is forever being caught.
***I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?
  • Wow, I am back in Alaska! Where I worked on a fishing boat on Kodiak, travelled with the only carnival town to town one summer, worked for a few years up by the Yukon at a hotsprings in the cold, did grad work in Squarebanks, wow, hey, I’m home. I guess I’ll get some writing done. Good thing I brought all of these books I hate. Like Pynchon – so hard to read. But then there’s the book of love poems she gave me. Too bad summer so no snow-go; I’ll see about copping a cheap cruiser bike. Wonder what’s the lot rent down in that speedbump trailerpark in the city, hehe.
    • Good thing I got this remote cabin so no neighbors.
      • Now I can finally grow an enormous harvest of marijuana mushrooms.
        • I shall name them… the Seuss.
Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?
  • I more think that my body of writing is a fat folio of an open case history of schizophrenia. I guess I’ve gotten to where writing about Sz while having Sz becomes kind of a Sz process. Not that I cannot distinguish well between writing for writing’s sake and writing as, say, the pressure of speech word salad of psychosis. Having psychosis is being psychotic, not psychopathic. Anyway, I just think that the disease centers in the speech areas of the brain, so it’s no surprise it’s similar to writing. That they get intertwined. Voices are dialogue after all.
    • And then there’s the way in which all writing is bearing witness.
      • Everything is evidence.
        • Now you’ve heard me talk about…
          • the Seuss, so… I guess you’re in on that. Don’t worry, I’ll do all the work. I’ll just bury a trailer out here next to the cabin. No biggie. Trust me. We’ll win awards. I’ll cut you in. I just need a little longer than the one month. Could we do three?
  ***What do you want readers to think or feel after reading this interview?
  • Implicated.
Who designed your book cover/s?
  • Why are people always asking me that? It’s the beating of his tell-tale heart! Haha I just say that because I snagged the shot on the front of The Boon from a trekker’s travelogue webpages and did not even attempt to credit it. Nor did I cite the innumerable sources I paraphrased throughout. Sloppy sloppy. But I wasn’t going to spend all the time writing footnotes no one would ever chase down was I? There’s a point at which citing Wikipedia everytime you rewrite a few of their lines becomes OCD. MLA is nuts! Perhaps I protest too much. Guilty, guilty.
Do you have a special place where you write?
  • Word.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Everything's Dramatic What's Got A Body In It

with an air
of invisibility
a lot like that of an S.B.D.
Silent But Deadly

by a corpse in the next room

so you cannot see it, but you sure as hell know when it's there

he entered and prepared and commenced to rifle the desk of the coroner who,
ever on time,
came in during the rifling

red-handed, he yet denied - just looking for matches, he demured
the rascal