Moods, Masochism, and Murder: A ConversationInterview by Mirka Hodurova
Stephen Elliott is “giving” away his latest, yet to be released book; a memoir entitled The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder .
But...with a few simple and lovely conditions attached.
A new release from Elliott is always a pleasure, compounded now by his generous, and to me, slightly counterproductive, offer to let 500 fans get their eager hands on a copy well in advance of its September release date. He's named this venture the Lending Library and participants are simply requested to read the book, sign it, and then must pass it on to the next person on the list within a week. read more »
A Conflicted ReactionInterview by Dennis Widmyer
On April 24th, The Informers, the latest adaptation of a Bret Easton Ellis novel, hits select theaters. For Ellis, this is a particularly unique adaptation as this is the first time that he has a co-screenwriter credit on the finished product. In fact, Ellis was involved during every stage of production, from writing over seventeen drafts of the script, to being on set, to viewing tons of cuts in the editing studio. It is perhaps for this reason that it hits him harder than most that the end result of the film is something he has very conflicted feelings on.
With The Informers already screening at Sundance last year and advance reviews popping up all over the web, the film is already receiving a very mixed response. C.H.U.D., a movie review site, gave it a 0 out of 10 rating, saying it actually demanded a new classification of Fuck God. When I was invited to view the film by the wonderful people at Senator Distribution, I didn't know any of this. And perhaps that was for the best, as I carried no veiled biases in with me. For this reason and many others, I walked away from the movie actually liking what I had seen quite a lot. I won't go into an in-depth review, but I will frankly say that, some of the negative criticism The Informers is getting seems very unfounded to me. While the film is far from perfect, it captures an atmosphere and tone you see absent in many movies nowadays.
So when I was invited to Bret Easton Ellis' sleek, Patrick Bateman-esque apartment a few weeks ago to conduct this interview, I did not know that I'd be stepping into any potential 'controversy'. So I was happy to find that, in the end, I think it turned out great as Bret got to air a lot of his grievances over the film and I got to meet the man for the first time. Bret and I had such a fun time with the interview, that I was his guest for over two hours. He was nothing but a warm and gracious host and someone I'd be lucky to have the chance to interview again. I'll shut up now and let the piece speak for itself. read more »
Jerking Off To Sesame StreetInterview by Becky Fritter
Often it’s noted that fiction work mimics reality; especially the author’s known and experienced reality. This would certainly explain Jerry Stahl’s newest release Pain Killers. After all, the protagonist is a jaded ex-addict whose tone sounds similar to Stahl’s own narrations in his narco-memoir Permanent Midnight. How would one explain, though, how he writes with such familiarity about the book’s other key concepts – Nazis, hookers and transvestite urine (oh my!)?
Over the years, Stahl has used both his version of reality and the boundless imagination to pen stories for porn magazines, create a fictionalized memoir of comedian Fatty Arbuckle entitled I, Fatty and get Permanent Midnight adapted into a screenplay starring Elizabeth Hurley and Ben Stiller. Now under his name emerges Pain Killers, a novel weaving an intricately odd plot that truly, no synopsis does much justice. Ex-cop and murdering wife battle a demented evil genius doctor? Frightening commentary on the media’s obsession with prison television? Perhaps it’s better to let Stahl dissect it a bit himself… or simply read and interpret yourself. read more »
Grinding Out a Riot ActInterview by Joshua Jabcuga
Take a drop of Joe R. Lansdale's blood. Then a slice from David J. Schow's scalp. Scrape some phlegm off Tarantino's tongue. Inject some of Robert Rodriguez's sperm. Pour in some Karo syrup. Mix it in a blender. Pour. These are just some of the ingredients of Stephen Romano's unique work.
Stephen Romano is a mutant. He's a military science experiment gone all bug-fuck bad. He's a dangerous DIY author/artist/hyphenate. Residing in Austin, Texas, Stephen Romano is best known as the screenwriter who, along with the infamous Don Coscarelli (Phantasm), brought to life Joe R. Lansdale's "Incident On and Off A Mountain Road" for the pilot episode of Showtime's Masters of Horror series. Stephen also released THE RIOT ACT, a collection of his balls-to-the-wall short stories, in which Joe R. Lansdale wrote, "This may be the best new short story collection I've read in years. Stephen Romano isn't fucking around."
If the buzz surrounding his new book, SHOCK FESTIVAL, is any indication, Stephen Romano's work will not only turn heads, it's going to make heads roll, because no, he isn't fucking around. FANGORIA called it "One of the greatest homages to B-cinema ever undertaken." FILM THREAT described it as "A stone groove and as badass a tome as you're likely to come across this year or next."
Here Stephen Romano talks with Joshua Jabcuga about SHOCK FESTIVAL, his love of movies, and working as a professional screenwriter. read more »
A Long Time ComingInterview by Rob Hart
Amy Hempel is a tough interview.
I don't mean that to say she's rude or doesn't answer questions, it's just that this interview started more than two years ago.
The first time I approached her for this was Aug. 10, 2006, at a reading in the park at Union Square, where she joined other writers to read excerpts from Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs.
By the end of the reading the skies opened. The kind of rain that changes the direction of rivers. She ducked under a tent and stayed to chat with friends and fans. When the crowd cleared, I made my pitch.
She was gracious in saying 'no.' She ran out of things to say after a flurry of interviews for her collected works, she said, and told me to contact her in a year.
So I waited. One year later, I made my pitch again, and our back-and-forth culminated in an agreement to answer a list of questions by e-mail. read more »
You Were Expecting A Dude?Interview by Rob Hart
Close your eyes. Well, not yet. Read the next paragraph first.
Picture a hard-boiled bad-ass. That noir anti-hero with blood-flecked armor, imperfect but too cool to show it. Lighting a cigarette and staring off into the distance with that world-weary look of someone who knows all the angles but still can't figure out how the hell they got into this mess.
OK, now you can close your eyes, and once you get that image of that person in your head, open them back up.
You pictured a guy, didn't you?
I'd bet good money you did, and maybe it's not a sexist thing. It's fair to say that the hard-boiled crime genre has long been a boy's-only club. Sure, there are strong female characters, but at the end of the day, the person at the end with their finger on the trigger is almost always carrying a bottle of whisky and a Y chromosome. read more »
I Was A Teenage DominatrixInterview by Will Tupper
Writer Shawna Kenney is which of the following?
A. The Johnny Depp of Journalism
B. The Lois Lane of whips and chains
C. The living embodiment of your “average” Chuck Palahniuk protagonist
D. Author of the award-winning, tell (almost) all memoir, I Was A Teenage Dominatrix, as well as the just-released look at popular celebrity character hustlers, Imposters
The answer obviously is:
E. All of the above
East-coast punk with a pen turned west-coast punk with a tan (and then back again), Shawna’s story is the embodiment of Joseph Campbell’s prime directive. “Follow your bliss,” he said. And she most certainly has. read more »
Learning To Trust The Tale And Question The ArtistInterview by Joshua Jabcuga
Stephen King was once asked, "Who's the scariest guy in America?"
His response? "Probably Jack Ketchum." King added "no writer who has read him can help being influenced by him, and no general reader who runs across his work can easily forget him."
Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for a former actor, teacher, literary agent, lumber salesman, and soda jerk. That's according to the press releases, but speaking with Ketchum, one gets the sense that he's always worn many hats, but is easily most accomplished in the role of writer. He is the author of eleven novels, including OFF SEASON, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, THE LOST, RED, three short story collections (among them BROKEN ON THE WHEEL OF SEX, which will be released in a newly revised edition from Overlook Connection Press on March 4, 2008) and several novellas. He is a four-time Bram Stoker award-winner and a hell of a guy. read more »
Snarl, Grunt, Welshy Ya CuntInterview by Garrett Faber
Irvine Welsh is the incendiary writing machine hailing from Dublin, Ireland. He's writen several amazingly miraculous books including Ecstasy, Glue, Porno, Filth, The Acid House, Bedroom Secrets Of Master Chefs, Marabou Stork Nightmares and his most well known work Trainspotting, which was subsequently made into a movie starring Ewan McGreggor. read more »
Time To Get GoreyInterview by Will Tupper
Ariel Gore is an adventurer, the Indiana Jones of literature. Full-time author and part-time teacher, she’s a novelist, a memoirist, a journalist, a zinester, as well as the writer of the brand new How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights.
And how does one do it? Ariel asked Marc Acito, novelist and Palahniuk protégé, who got his big break because Chuck had read his newspaper column.
She asked poet and memoirist Michele Tea the secrets to spilling your guts on both page and stage, and got them. read more »