Long Live The BeastmasterInterview by Dennis Widmyer
Joey Goebel is a moron, and I mean that in the best way. He's one of the goofiest, most care-free dudes I've had the pleasure of interviewing in a long time. But I shouldn't say mean things about the guy. Hell, he's 23 and has already written two novels and fronted a band that's toured the country and released two EPs and a full length album. You don't see me writing any novels, do you? And the only successful band I ever fronted played one show at the Portuguese Heritage Society.
So what is it about Goebel's two forays into fiction that got be so addicted? Is it the fact that he lacks any and all pretensions? Maybe, but it's the world of his novels that attracts me so much. Tales of dissident outcasts in society, plagued to be living in a time when the airwaves are teeming with boy bands and insecure hip hop performers. And when the only choices in your local cineplex are a remake, a sequel, or a remake of a sequel.
Joey Goebel writes about this world with a humorous satire. His characters are you and me. His voice could be yours. His themes simple, yet hopeful. His books are refreshing and fun. They're not out to prove anything. And neither was Joey when I sat down with him and began the following interview. I came by his work via editor extraordinaire, Pat Walsh, who sent me a copy of his first novel The Anomalies in the same package that he sent me Hell's Half Acre in. I finished The Anomalies during a camping trip with friends. A few weeks later, I would finish Joey's second novel, the upcoming Torture The Artist, on an airplane flying over the Atlantic. This interview was conducted via Instant Messenger in the comfort of my sweltering office.
Joey Goebel: Dennis, I honestly don't know if you got my first message. If you did, don't think that I'm being an overly aggressive instant messenger. This is the hyman-popping experience for me in way of instant messaging. You've opened my eyes to a whole new world. I can choose my own picture. Horses!
Dennis Widmyer: Hey, Joey. No, this is the first IM I've ever seen or gotten from you on the planet Human Earth. So my first impression isn't tainted. No worries. In fact, I saw you add me to your Buddy List, and then 15 mins went by and I began wondering when you were going to IM me. (laughs)
Goebel: Yeah, I actually spent fifteen minutes choosing that picture. Let's go with a rocket now. Did it change? Do you see the fucking rocket, Dennis? Also-- will this interview be presented as if it were in person?
Dennis: First off, no I don't see any rocket. You're on MSN Messenger, and I'm on the crummy Windows version of Messenger... which is really the same thing, but without all the bells & whistles. So I don't see any rocket. And yes, I like to playfully give the idea that we're doing this in person, even though it's painfully obvious we're not.
Goebel: By the way, I love your Chuck page. I've actually been a regular visitor to the page for a few years. Thanks so much for including me. It's a wet dream come true.
Dennis: Silly, boy.... wet dreams ALWAYS come true.
Goebel: Wet dreams always COME true! Ha! I get it. I just ate me a chicken sandwich. By the way, I don't know how long you intend to go today, but in a couple of hours I must tend to my temporary job. I'm a secret shopper.
Goebel: Yes. I pretend like I'm interested in Serta mattresses. I get paid to lie on beds. Does this make me a prostitute?
Dennis: Sadly, yes. But it's a very cool job. Now let's rock n' roll!
Goebel: Okay. Kick my rump.
Interview Begins Here...
Dennis: Okay, to begin... gimme some backstory on how you got into this whole writing shindig. And don't be afraid to ramble.
Goebel: I've been writing since I could hold a pencil. Actually, my first book wasn't The Anomalies. It was THE JUNGLE IS A WILD PLACE, which I wrote when I was five. Couldn't get any publishers to pick that one up, though. But I began viewing writing as a possible career in college, when I became an English major. I had some great teachers at little Brescia University that really opened....
What the fuck? This thing wouldn't let me write any more.
Dennis: Yep, there's a character limit... you'll get used to it.
Goebel: Anyway, ...my eyes to literature. Initially, I wanted to be a screenwriter. I wrote four screenplays, the last of which was The Anomalies. After I couldn't sell it, I decided to adapt it into a novel. Dozens of queries later, The Anomalies found a home in MacAdam/Cage, those sweet angels of mercy.
Dennis: Let's talk about the screenplays. How did you try and go about selling them? And what were some of the other ones about?
Goebel: I went about selling them the same way I went about selling my novel: I sent out query letters like I was going to die. I sent them to agents and producers alike. I got a few bites, but ultimately, no one would take a chance on me. It was unique (borderline stupid) material. For instance, the first one I wrote was called FRANKY DANDELION. It was about a young, meek fellow who feels inferior to more masculine guys, so he gets himself some testicular implants (hippo neuticals, to be precise). Then there was GIRL HUNT. It was about a guy who breaks world records for a living. It actually opens with him breaking the world record for most world records broken.
Dennis: How old were you when you were writing these?
Goebel: I was twelve. Nah, I was still a teen when I wrote FRANKY DANDELION. I guess my immaturity showed in the premise, didn't it?
Dennis: Not at all... all I'm hearing is utter brilliance.
Goebel: Bless your heart. In my defense, while these screenplays may sound low-brow, they were rich in theme and symbol. Franky Dandelion's gargantuan testicles represented the perils of masculinity.
Dennis: (clears throat) Let's talk about The Mullets, you fronting this band for a couple years, put out a couple EPs... was it tough changing careers like that, when you weren't even sure you'd succeed in writing?
Goebel: No, it wasn't tough at all. Five years into The Mullets, I realized that a career as a musician was not the career for me. I'm a poor traveler. To achieve any degree of success, we would've had to go on an extensive tour. And for a band at our level, tours are usually exercises in futility. I mean, we had our share of out of town shows. There's always a good chance you'll drive six hours just to play for ten people and not even get paid enough for gas money. Also, playing shows was physically hard on me. I'm generally an unhealthy person. I'd play a show and be absolutely drained for the next two days. Of course, that's probably because I rocked out with every fiber of my being. The Mullets played for keeps, dang it. Also, being the singer, I'd pick up every germ on the microphones. I was constantly sick. I also have problems being in public, more specifically in crowds. Writing is a much better fit for me.
Bill Cosby, Ozzy Smith's Ass, and Beastmaster
Dennis: So what's the lamest thing you ever did while on stage during a show?
Goebel: Oh, God. That's difficult. The Mullets thrived on lameness. Let's see-- one time I played a show when I was very sick (again-- GERMS FROM MICROPHONES!). I drank Dayquil on stage and moments later tripped over myself.... I regularly dry-humped my guitar while singing lyrics like "Every time I think of you it's a wet dream. My little pony, I'll take you to Shoney's." I don't know. Even our lameness probably appealed to some people. I don't know if these examples would be considered lame. Probably.
Dennis: I'm beginning to see just how autobiographical The Anomalies really is. Speaking of that, why the fuck did you put your own face on the cover of your book!?!? you're not even a fuckin' character in the book! What an egomaniacal thing to do, man! (see book cover up top. yes... that's Goebel's mug on the cover)
Goebel: Step off, Widmyer. Believe it or not, that was not my idea. Pat Walsh, my editor justified the cover by saying, "We feel that nothing exemplifies the spirit of your book [better] than the author himself." I'm trying to make the most of it. Anyone who asks me to sign the book gets a mustache or pentagram drawn on the cover.
Dennis: Yeah, right. Pat told me it was all your idea. And that you were bummed that you hadn't written yourself into your book, Vonnegut style, and so you figured the next best thing was being ON the actual cover. Weak, man... weak.
Goebel: Pat is jerkball. That is not true. Did you know he's actually illiterate? And by the way, I did write myself into the book.
Dennis: That's true... I seem to remember something like that. Who did you play again?
Goebel: I was the nervous guy wearing a Bill Cosby sweater. Aurora noticed me.
Dennis: Ahhh, right. And let's talk about Bill Cosby. Do you feel reruns of the Cosby Show hold up?
Goebel: No! I'm so glad you mentioned that, because I feel strongly about this topic. I don't think they held up to begin with! I know this might seem like sacrilege to people in my age group, but it's the truth. You know how people call SEINFELD "the show about nothing"? Well, The COSBY SHOW was the original show about nothing. Entire scenes will revolve around Cosby pouring a glass of orange juice or eating a piece of cake. Other scenes have absolutely no humor in them. I find watching the COSBY SHOW to be a disturbing, almost surreal experience. I guess I was more of a FAMILY TIES type of guy.
Dennis: I never really dug the Cosbys either. And I hated A Different World even more. Me, I was a "Tour of Duty" "Growing Pains" kinda guy. Although nothing beats the opening theme song to "Perfect Strangers." I've always wanted a band to cover that.
Goebel: I'm sorry, but I think GROWING PAINS sucks Ozzy Smith's ass. I've said before that it has the least likable group of actors ever assembled.
"It's my life, it's my dream. Nothing's gonna stop me now."
Dennis: Ooooooh! (steps back, shaking head.... then looks to crowd, trying to feed off their energy, Hulk Hogan style) You DARE mess with Growing Pains? Mike had a friend called Boner, damn you!
Goebel: Don't hulk up on me. I love wrestling, by the way.
Goebel: Yeah, that was the coolest thing about that show. They had a character whose name couldn't be uttered without the viewers thinking about erections.
I've been a loyal wrestling viewer since Survivor Series, 1988.
Excuse me, I gotta spill some urine.
Dennis: Go for it.
In the meantime, prepare to hear the greatest Beastmaster tale ever. (Note: Goebel has a section on his website dedicated to the animals of Beastmaster)
Goebel: Lay it on me.
Dennis: Okay, Beastmaster has a strange history with me. As a kid, I remember the movie about the blonde dude who had the ferret that could fetch keys and shit and I remember this horrible scene where these "bat people" with big wings grabbed this one guy in their wings and hugged them over him. And when they opened the wings, bones fell out. Now, as a kid, this really fucked me up for some reason... until I saw Beastmaster 2 and beheld the greatest thing ever during the end credits.
Goebel: Yeah, those bat people were creepy as hell. But remember, they were on Beastmaster's side, because they were actually animals.
Dennis: Yeah.... but as a kid, I didn't see it that way. So now, I'm watching BM 2 on HBO a couple years ago and the end credits has a shot of him running in place with a tiger running next to him.
Do you see it in your head yet?
Goebel: Yes, and I own the movie, so I'll check it out later.
Dennis: Okay, anyway, about halfway through the credits, the tiger suddenly stops the charade of running in place... and just walks off the frame in a bored manner, leaving the beastmaster stranded. Furthermore, he glances over at the tiger walking off, then looks off-screen as if to say, "Are we still rolling?" And they LEAVE IT IN THE MOVIE!
Goebel: BEASTMASTER is all I know. It's my life.
Dennis: Its a good life
Pro Wrestling, The Old Dude From the Six Flags Commercials, and Hope For Society?
Dennis: Okay, I want to talk more about the writing / publishing process. We have a lot of up and coming / amateur writes on our site who are really going to take inspiration from you, because of your age. So tell me more about writing The Anomalies. Talk about how long it took, etc.
Goebel: If you factor in the screenplay version, it took me roughly a year. It's a really short novel, though. Torture The Artist is about three times as long. Here's a tip to motivate yourself if you're an up-and-coming writer: start sending out query letters before you even finish the manuscript! That's what I did. I know it's horribly unprofessional, but if you know that there's a chance an agent or editor will ask to see your complete manuscript, you're gonna bust your ass to get it done, and get it done right. I needed a sense of urgency, a deadline. Of course, by the time someone actually asked to see the manuscript, I had it finished and it had been revised several times.
Dennis: How do you go about writing? Do you write in the morning, noon or night? Do you play music while you write, or do you need absolute silence? Do you write long hand first and then type? Or strictly type from the get-go. Gimme the goods, Goebel!!
Goebel: I usually write in the morning and early afternoon, before the obligations and problems of the day stack up on me. And I need absolute silence. I write things out in a spiral notebook first and then transcribe on the comprooter. Then I revise a lot.
Dennis: Do you outline first, or just wing it?
Goebel: I don't actually write down an outline, but I do have the plot points in my head ahead of time. That tends to work better for me. I guess I don't have the confidence to just wing it.
Dennis: We have something in common in that, my mother is also a Social Worker. Has your family been very supportive of your dreams? And what sort of part (if any) have they played in all this?
Goebel: Both my mom and dad were social workers, and now my sister is a social worker. My publisher, David Poindexter told me I was doing my own sort of social work. Anyhow, yeah, my family has been incredibly supportive. My dad died eight years ago, and my mom, sister, and I are extremely close. They never treated me like I was a silly dreamer when I started writing seriously.
Dennis: What about during The Mullets phase? Were they cool with all that too?
Goebel: Yes. They were always supportive. I was playing all over the Midwest , sometimes some seedy clubs, as a teenager, but my mom and sister always encourage me. My dad had been terminally ill, and so my mom realized I needed music as a form of escape.
Dennis: If you don't mind me asking, what did your Dad die from?
Goebel: He died of Alzheimer's disease. I normally don't talk about it since I hate to bum people out. But, yeah, my parents had me late in life, and he was diagnosed when I was eleven. It was rough a few years there, especially when my aunt, grandma, and dad were all in the same nursing home at the same time. But it made me who I am, for better or worse, Oprah. That's my sob story.
Dennis: I see a lot of father / son issues in "Torture The Artist." Did your father have a strong influence over the relationship in that novel?
Goebel: Honestly, no. The relationship between Vincent and Harlan had a lot to do with writing. Before my dad got sick, I was mostly just into Nintendo and wrestling.
Dennis: AND Nintento wrestling. PRO WRESTLING that is...
Goebel: Yes. I got WRESTLEMANIA CHALLENGE for X-mas, 1990.
Dennis: Let me ask you something: Why was the guy who looked like an Italian American street brawler named "Fighter Hyabusa!?!?"
Goebel: Here, let me look it up. I kept my old Nintendo Player's Guide, even though I quite playing video games about ten years ago.
Dennis: I sold all mine, sadly. Could've made a fortune off eBay.
Goebel: He's actually from Japan . His name is Fighter Haybusa.
Dennis: He looks like that Italian American wrestler from the WWF in the mid 80s..... the dude who was always the glorified nobody who would lose. Vince something.
So, let's talk about "Torture The Artist". I really enJoyed this book a lot. Mostly, because I saw such a clear maturing and evolution in you as a writer.
Goebel: Thanks for saying so.
Dennis: No problem. You can mail me the check later. But anyway, let's talk about the book itself. This hatred towards modern day society and the state of the music and movie industry is definitely apparent in "The Anomalies". but it just explodes in TTA, and I like the way you took it, full on, in a very exaggerated satirical manner.
Goebel: Thank you. Yeah, my contempt for the Timberlake Society grows every day. Maybe it has something to do with my parents having me so late in life. Maybe I was born an old man.
Dennis: No, you were just born smart. Those elements of societal hatred were some of my favorite parts of both your novels.
Goebel: I can't wait for the MTV awards this Sunday. I actually get satisfaction out of cursing at my TV screen. I guess that's why I liked Ignatius J. Reilly so much in CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES.
Dennis: Haven't read it yet. But yes, Awards Shows are now like that...... where you watch it and you cant believe how bad it's all gotten. I liked your piece on the site about Jay-Z. Who else do you despise? (Note: Joey Goebel has a running blog on his website. In one recent post, he attacks rapper Jay-Z.)
Goebel: Oh, God. Well, here goes everything: Justin Timberlake, Kobe Bryant, Kristina Aguilera, Good Charlotte, A Simple Plan, Collin Farrell, Paris Hilton, anyone associated with SEX AND THE CITY, most rappers, that dude that's dressed up as an old man on the Six Flags commercials, you know-- it might be easier to tell you which entertainers I LIKE.
Dennis: Haha! the Six Flags thing... classic. I hate those commercials so much. But yes, I was going to save that for towards the end, but let's hear about some of your influences, music, movie and book.
Goebel: As far as music goes, my two favorite bands are The Dead Milkmen and Pixies. Currently, the band that is really pumping my nads is a dark country band called Slim Cessna's Auto Club.
Movies-- I like Paul Thomas Anderson (Punch Drunk Love is one of my all-time faves) and Wes Anderson. I like comedies and dramas but hate action movies. Books-- Vonnegut, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Robbins, hell-- I'll go on record saying Palahniuk's CHOKE and SURVIVOR are two of my faves. My favorite book of all-time though, is Robert Penn Warren's ALL THE KING'S MEN. I'll never be able to touch that.
Dennis: Good stuff. I like how in TTA you helped immediately define characters by what their favorite things were. You had a lot of good choruses (as Chuck would call them) in this book. Another one that comes to mind is, "Worrier and warrior are only different by two letters.")
Goebel: Yeah, I just used that favorite thing method to reflect one of the themes-- that what you watch and listen to has an influence on you as a person. I was self-conscious about lines like that. Hope they're not too cute.
Dennis: It worked for me. The whole idea worked. It's an idea I've had myself sometimes too... about saving society. In general, how passionately do you really feel about this? Do you feel there's still hope?
Goebel: Yes, I think there's still hope. As much celebrity-bashing as I do in Torture The Artist, I'll tell you right now that there ARE SOME truly talented, intelligent artists out there. There will always be a few diamonds in the rough. I just lament the fact that the untalented, unintelligent, unoriginal performers are the ones that get the most attention and most success. For instance, what does it say about our culture when Justin Timberlake gets a grammy?
Dennis: It's funny, I was just discussing something like this recently with someone. Like, why is it that, the music you usually hear everywhere (grocery stories, the mall, elevators, blasting out of peoples radios)..... has to be BAD music? When did that become the norm... the default? It's this mentality that has me strongly considering XM radio. Especially when I cant even stand FM anymore and just listen to AM.
Goebel: Exactly. In TORTURE, I'm just suggesting: "WHAT IF the things on the pop radio station were smart and thoughtful and GOOD? What if our TV shows and movies relied less on cleavage and butts and more on enlightening dialogue? I think that nowadays, entertainment IS culture. So if we want culture to improve, why not stop exalting the Britneys of this world? Hell, why not give some authors some TV time?!
Dennis: If in another life, you could be the host of a show that interviewed authors, which writers would you choose to profile?
oebel: The guy who was the ghost writer for Pamela Anderson's new novel.
Dennis: And what would you ask him?
Goebel: I would seriously be curious as to how he feels about that career move. I just imagine him telling someone that he wrote a book, but then having to add that they'll have to look under A's, as in Pamela Anderson. I'd also like to know if she had absolutely anything to do with the creative process. I picture him sitting down with her, and her whining, "Author dude, I'm bored. Can't we just have sex instead of doing this. Authoring is hard!"
Dennis: Maybe that's what he took the gig in the first place... for the sex?
Goebel: Maybe so. Hepatitis is quite the status symbol these days.
Dennis: But speaking of authoring... does it come natural for you? Or is it hard? Do you dread sitting down to write everyday?
Goebel: It really depends on the day. I suppose it comes natural, but I do have to force myself to do it sometimes. The cliche is true. It takes a lot of self-discipline.
Dennis: Let's get back to Torture The Artist... did you feel a lot of pressure to top The Anomalies with your second outing? And how supportive were your publishers during the process?
Goebel: No, I didn't feel pressure to top The Anomalies at all. I guess because it was so short, I was thinking TORTURE would automatically be superior because of its length and monumental subject matter. I mean, Torture The Artist is me taking on the world. No one is safe from my triple-x-ray vision. MacAdam/Cage were incredibly supportive. Kate Nitze was my editor for TORTURE, and she was a delight to work with. They've been nothing but good to me. I am grateful to have them on my side.
Dennis: And how do you think they're going to promote you for this title? Any tours planned?
Goebel: They're going to send me on a little tour, mostly of the Midwest , but there is talk about an appearance in LA. They thought it would be appropriate since the book deals with LA. DENNIS-- Terribly sorry, but I have to get going soon to secret shop. I'll be home this evening. Can we continue later?
And so, after a brief sojourn, I contact Mr. Goebel a couple days later, only to catch him at a rather bad time.
Goebel: Hey, Dennis. I gotta crap, but I'll be back soon.
Dennis: Ok, today's the day. We'll wrap this interview up.
Goebel: Dennis, I'm back, you gnarsome cat's pajamas person. Sorry 'bout that.
Dennis: Alright, let me see where we left off.
Goebel: I lied about having to take a crap. I'm sorry. I normally don't lie, but right when you popped up, I got a phone call. I had never been faced with instant manager etiquette before. (Who should take precedence...It was long distance from my childhood best friend so I took the call.) I panicked, and decided to say that I had to crap. Sorry.
Dennis: Well, picking "I gotta crap" as your excuse definitely shows tact. So how have you been since we last left off? Job working out for you?
Goebel: Secret shopping job was just temporary, but it did work out well. Easy money for testing out beds.
Dennis: Okay, so let's talk about writing more.
Goebel: Kick my rump, Hamburglar.
Finding A Muse, Yellowcard and James Lipton
Dennis: How long did it take you to write "Torture The Artist?" Did you immediately dive into it after "The Anomalies" was published? And was it an idea that was brewing for a while?
Goebel: It took me fifteen months to write TORTURE. If you factor in the research before and the editing after, it would be about a year and a half. Yeah, I had begun working on TORTURE months before The Anomalies came out. I originally had the idea a year before...I thought, "What if every love song you heard on the radio was written by one guy who was kept in a basement somewhere, who was deprived of happiness so that he'd always have inspiration to write songs?" At first I wrote a song called Torture The Artist. I still remember some lyrics: "Tie his feet and hands with strands of blonde and brunette rope." But I held on to the idea of an artist being tortured, and then I realized that it could be a metaphor for business and commerce harming art. And I thought I could get a whole book out of that metaphor, and I did.
Dennis: Yes, you did. And it never once got old for me. It went exactly the way I wanted. But I was most impressed with the way you ended it. I love when a character is left with a decision like that.
Goebel: Thanks so much. Without giving too much away, originally, I planned for the ending to be bleak as hell, with no hope for better days. But about 1/3 of the way through my writing of the book, I fell in love. My babe dramatically altered the direction of the book, and she made me consider for the first time in ages that maybe there could be something more important than leaving my artistic mark on the world. But enough pillow talk....
Dennis: Ahhh, so THAT'S why.
Dennis: But talk about this new love for a moment. Would you call her a muse?
Goebel: I don't think I would call her a muse, because she's tangible to me now. She's an inspiration, though, in other ways. She is supportive of me, she claims to love my books, and she makes me want to strive more for success. We go together like pizza and corn at a grade school cafeteria.
Dennis: I just got an e-card from the band Yellowcard.
Goebel: Was it a generic mass-mailed thing, or do they know you?
Dennis: Must be mass-mailed. Although I do get solicitations from bands sometimes that are fans of the Chuck site. Weird.
Goebel: What are your thoughts on Yellowcard?
Dennis: Are you serious? THEY ROCK!!!!!!! Again, kidding. I want that violin player's head.
Goebel: I wanted to make sure you weren't a fan before I launched a tirade against them.
Dennis: I'm all ears. the more tirades the better. (turns on tape recorder)
Goebel: I fucking hate that band. I have a small degree of authority when it comes to writing punk rock songs. I've probably written and recorded around 150. So I can tell you that factually, Yellowcard sucks ass. Of course, I've only heard that one song. But I'm telling you, it definitely didn't deserve a win over Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or even Franz Ferdinand at those MTV Awards. Just another example of mediocrity behind rewarded over excellence. The chorus of that Yellowcard song particularly annoys me. It's so FEMININE! Femininity has its place in the world, but not in rock music. It's prissy and Celine Dion-sounding. You hear similar choruses with all those new MTV "punk" bands-- Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, New Found Glory....I hate it! And having a fiddle player is not an innovation. (As a matter of fact, even The Mullets did that on a song once.)
Dennis: So you're not a fan of Yellowcard?
Goebel: Hey-- sometimes I feel guilty laying into band like that in public forums, but not this time. I know someone who bumped into a Yellowcard member at the Warped Tour, and the guy was a jerk about it. Rock stars-- be nice!
Dennis: Speaking of, what are some new bands that you DO like?
Goebel: I mostly like old bands, but there are some new ones that I think are great. The mainstream has actually had several surprises for us in the last year or so....I like the Strokes, the Hives, Andrew W.K., the latest Modest Mouse (but not their older releases)....See for all the mainstream music bashing I do in Torture The Artist, I'm not some elitist music snob. Actually, maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but the last few years I've been unimpressed by what the indie labels are putting out. I'll praise Slim Cessna's Auto Club to no end. I also love Swingin' Utters....But mostly these days I listen to older crud.
Dennis: I just think the theme of Torture The Artist is so ironical. In that, a true "revival" of good music is impossible in the society we have created today. That anything that makes it to the airwaves is going to be corrupted, over-saturated, and exploited before long.
Goebel: Yeah. The best we can hope for is a few good records here and there before the musicians decide to collaborate with Pink.
Dennis: Ok, let's wrap this up. What is your favorite curse word?
That was my James Lipton.
Goebel: That's what I thought-- I love that part of the show. It's SHIT, by the way.
Dennis: Don't even get me started. You ever see David Cross' imitation of him on "Mr. Show?"
Goebel: No...I've just seen Will Ferrell's.
Dennis: That's great too. But you gotta check out David Cross' someday. He did it long before Ferrell was doing it. He loathes James Lipton.
Goebel: I tried getting a blurb from Cross. Thought TORTURE would be right up his alley... It's funny how it used to be, Lipton would have serious actors with lots of accomplishments, people who have proved themselves as thespians. Now, he has on everyone from Hugh Jackman to LL Cool J.
Dennis: Well, that's because the show became so popular. They needed to keep the ratings up. And how far did you get with the Cross/blurb lead?
Goebel: Knew someone who had his e-mail. Sent the e-mail. Never got a reply.
Dennis: Hmm, that sucks. He's a cool guy. That would be a killer blurb.
Goebel: Yeah-- I admire anyone who publicly denounces Creed.
Dennis: Okay, on that note... What sort of advice could you give to writers just starting off? (and make this good, Goebel)
Goebel: I'm thinking..................
Dennis: You have to be profound and inspirational here. So don't blow it, pal.
Goebel: Sorry, no profundity available today, apparently. I always like giving practical advice. For instance, buy a Writer's Market. Also, keep a little notebook and write down all of your ideas. That will help eliminate writer's block. As for more vague, inspirational advice: Be relentless. If you're serious about being a writer, then focus on writing. Get on a writing schedule. Believe in yourself and so forth and so on. Get mad at something and make it better through writing. Remember that you're gonna die, and getting published is your only chance of immortality. Stay alive, no matter what occurs. I WILL find you.