Jeremy C. Shipp Interview

Hello, friends. I recently interviewed Jeremy C. Shipp. That’s all. Thanks for stopping by my page.

What? Oh, you want to read the interview? Yeah, I guess we could do that. It’s a little more involved than what I had in mind, but…

BMK: What all do you get out of running the workshops? Does your writing gain anything from it?

JCS: Once upon a time, I was an aspiring writer in need of guidance and support, and I learned a great deal from the workshops I attended. Now that I’m an experienced writer myself, I’m able to help others, which makes my heart jig. And teaching the fiction writing course definitely helps me to improve my own writing. Teaching is a wonderful way to learn.

 

BMK: What two celebrities would you like to see gene-spliced with animals and then made to fight for our entertainment? Also, what animals ought they be spliced with?

JCS: I would splice Mel Gibson with a thief ant (no offence to thief ants). And I would splice Andy Richter with a South American giant anteater. After the battle, I’d make sure to unsplice Andy with my unsplicification machine, because Andy rocks.

 

BMK: What are the ideal conditions and/or time of day for you to really hammer out the ol’ story-words?

JCS: I like to tickle my muse (as they say) late at night, around the witching hour. The sandwiching hour is also acceptable. While I prefer the night, I’ll write whenever I can make time to do so.

 

BMK: Will the sasquatch and the yeti ever see past their differences and join together as brothers and sisters?

JCS: In short, no. In longer, no, because their differences are too great. Sasquatches prefer Kirk and yetis prefer Picard. There is no hope for peace.

 

BMK: Do you have a way to jumpstart creativity when you get stuck?

JCS: Sometimes I like to dress up as an anthropomorphic peanut and eat a bowl of peanut butter. But this has less to due with jumpstarting creativity, and more to do with my own personal issues. Sometimes, to recharge my creative batteries, I’ll watch a movie that I love, or listen to music. But usually, when I’m feeling blocked, I just force myself to write, and the juices will flow eventually.

 

BMK: Many, many years from now, after I’ve passed away, I would like people to be able to summon me. I think a person alone by a campfire at midnight should be able to close their eyes, say my name eleven times, and have me appear. How will the children of the future summon Jeremy C. Shipp?

JCS: Step 1: Capture a wild yard gnome.
Step 2: Make the gnome chortle by telling a joke about a Vaudevillian duck.
Step 3: Capture the chortle in a mason jar.
Step 4: Bury the mason jar next to an apple tree.
Step 5: Wait 27 days.
Step 6: Pick apples from the apple tree, while dressed as an anthropomorphic peanut.
Step 7: Use the apples to make an apple pie.
Step 8: Feed the apple pie to my skeleton, while singing the theme song from Charles in Charge.
Easy as pie.

 

BMK: It seems like all we ever get are zombies, werewolves, and vampires. Where are the original monsters?

JCS: I do enjoy a good zombie/werewolf/vampire story. For instance, Let the Right One In is one of my favorite horror novels. That being said, I love original monsters and new myths. The anthologies that I edit are packed with original monsters, and of course, I try to populate my own stories with such creatures. In addition, I should mention that writer/director Larry Blamire does a fantastic job creating new myths.

 

BMK: The war between gnomes and possessed dolls has raged for centuries. Who do you think will win in the end?

JCS: The gnomes and the dolls will destroy one another, and then the clowns will inherit the earth. Or at least my attic.

 

BMK: Do you ever see yourself writing sword and sorcery, bizarro-style? Boy, I’d like to read that…

JCS: I’m writing a YA novel right now that’s set in a sword-and-sorcery-esque world. Maybe eventually I’ll write an epic Bizarro fantasy series.

 

BMK: If you were in a buddy-cop movie, what would your character’s gimmick be, and who would you cast as your partner?

JCS: I would be the voice of Champ, an even-tempered police detective/labradoodle. And my partner’s a streetwise rookie named Bob, who bends (or breaks) the rules whenever it suits him. Also, Bob’s a dead parakeet. He would be voiced by Nathan Fillion.

 

BMK: Across America, all agree alliteration’s astounding and always appropriate. Even enraged entomologists eating elk elbows eagerly encourage it. Your thoughts?

JCS: I also love alliteration. I mean…ai also alove alliteration.

 

 

Thanks to Jeremy for letting me interview him. I did his writing workshop last year, and it was worth every penny. If you’re considering it, I advise you to sign up. If you’re not considering it, I advise you to sign up. If you’ve already done it, you know what I’m talking about.

Jeremy’s page is here. If you subscribe to it, you’ll be glad you did. He’s the author of Vacation, Sheep and Wolves, Fungus of the Heart, and Cursed, among many other glorious things. He recently edited the anthology Aberrations, required monster reading.

Chuggie Speaks: Kate Jonez

My good friend Chuggie would like to tell you about my other good friend Kate Jonez. Following the photo are Chuggie’s comments about Kate.

Audio of Chuggie: Chuggie-Kate

“The first thing you gotta know about Kate Jonez – the very first thing – is that she can’t be trusted not to kill you with an ax when there’s one around. Y’see, I knew this guy – oh, shit, how long ago was that? This guy was doing some handy work around some of the farms in the area. It turned out the guy didn’t have a house. He just slept out under this old bridge every night hoping the damned coyotes wouldn’t devour him in his sleep. Well, if I got my story straight, Kate Jonez was passing through the area with a furniture refinishing-and-trading outfit when her whole little caravan got halted by a washed out bridge. Somebody went upstream to find the nearest bridge, and Kate went downstream in search of same. She gets to this guy’s bridge that he’s livin’ under… what in bloody, screaming, shrieking hell was that guy’s name? Let’s just call him Tugoviander. No, let’s call him Red. So Kate got to Red’s bridge, and she found him, I don’t know, probably cooking a can of beans or something. She got angry at ol’ Red, don’t ask me why. Probably had something to do with that can o’ beans he had. Maybe Red didn’t want to give them beans over. Anyway, Kate found Red’s ax and whacked him in the face with it. He took off running, trying to scream with his own ax sticking out of his face. Well, she ran him down and finished the job. She chopped him all into pieces, then she went back and got the caravan. They all went down to Red’s bridge to cross, stopping only so Kate could gather up the pieces of Red to feed to her goats. She fed those goats, and it turned out that Red was just the dietary supplement they needed. They got bigger and stronger, and their coats got shiny and nice. They didn’t even smell like goats anymore. They smelled like, I don’t know, lilies or nettles or something. Kate entered the goats in the fair and won a blue ribbon for each. I bought those damned goats, but somebody stole ’em three weeks later. I always suspected Kate, but I never brought it up until now due to the prospect of painful ax-death by her hand. I get a little fuzzy sometimes about which parts of this story are true, especially the parts I wasn’t there for. But I still stand by my original theory, whatever it was. Something about furniture, I think.”

Official Announcement

December 15th is my novel’s
scheduled release date!

The title has been updated, too. My book’s official name is:

Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater

Read the Announcement at Omnium Gatherum.
Read about Omnium Gatherum’s stable of Authors.
Read about Other Books being published by Omnium Gatherum

Hot diggity, these are exciting times for ol’ BMK! What else, what else…  I’ll get back to you on that. Go to facebook and like my Author Page.

And for giggles, here’s my author photo (inverted)

My Top 5 Writin’ Movies for Writin’

I’ve always, dating back to college, had movies playing in the background while I work on my projects. Designing, painting, writing. They usually get tuned way out, but they provide comfort. Sometimes I can’t start working until a suitable movie or show has been selected on the Netflix. When I’m writing, I like movies about writing. Here are my favorite movies that involve writing, in case you care:

#5. Barton Fink
Turturro plays Barton, a struggling writer. Fish out of water. John Goodman is the muse that Barton ignores. Let your muse in, friends. Let him show you the Life of the Mind. When your muse decides to torch the hotel you’re living in, embrace that. He’s your pal, and I sincerely doubt he means you any harm. He also understands the importance of wrestling.

#4. House of 1000 Corpses
The movie doesn’t seem, on its surface, to have much to do with writing. It’s incidental that the victims are traveling cross country to write a book on the bizarre roadside attractions they come across. Luckily for everyone, they stumble upon Captain Spaulding’s and ride his famous Murder Ride. Now the kids are writers, but they aren’t the only creative minds in the film. Why, Otis Driftwood is also a creative visionary. The film is really, I feel, about Otis overwhelming a creative block and advancing his art. We all have our own Dr. Satan, but the question is: Will we bring him new victims to experiment upon? I hope so, guys.

#3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
You’ve seen it, you know it, you love it. What could I possibly say about this movie that hasn’t already been said? How about this: Johnny Depp accidentally killed three dogs and a blind kid with a hockey skate during filming. It’s not true, but it’s something that hasn’t already been said.

#2. The Shining
This is what happens, Larry. This is what happens when a writer doesn’t get any support in his endeavors.  I know you’ve seen this movie, too. This story is about one thing: A guy trying to write his breakout novel… getting interrupted at every turn by his whining wife and sniveling son. It’s no wonder the first draft was junk – the man had to write under constant threat of interruption. If Wendy had just taken Danny and played with him quietly on the other side of the hotel, we get a completely different movie and book. He finishes his rough draft, asks her to read it, and joins in on the family fun. They spend the winter cementing their family bonds and exploring Danny’s ESP. The closest thing to a problem comes when Jack whacks his shin on an end table. He laughs about it, and his running joke becomes the movie’s new title, “The Shinning”. Moral of the story? You know the moral of the story.

#1. Naked Lunch
Best movie ever? Hmm, I’m not sure abou- YES! If you haven’t seen it, it’s a family friendly* film about a bug exterminator who quits the business to become a writer. He has all kinds of wacky adventures in Interzone that he has to write reports on. The rare Brazilian Aquatic Centipede has a small role, and we should all treat ourselves to some of the centipede’s “black meat”. Plus, there are funny looking guys called “Mugwumps”. How could a Mugwump be bad or family-inappropriate? Anybody who has read Harry Potter knows that Dumbledore’s official title is Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards. Harmless fun for the fam, that’s what Naked Lunch is*. And don’t let the title fool you. It’s just the name of the guy’s novel-in-progress. Talking typewriters, too?! You know it!

 

Now you know what I like to play on the TV when I write. There are other movies I put on, mind you, that don’t involve writing. Trainspotting, Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. Stuff like that.

Breaks are important, too. Pause your movie every hour or so, and shoot at an old, junked-out car. The report of a heavy caliber really helps clear the mind. Got no old car? I guess you could shoot at a tree or something. Got no gun? I don’t know what to tell you. Do you think you could get your hands on some dynamite?

 

 

*No, it isn’t.

 

Night Owl, Scarecrows, and Edits

I’ve been pretty quiet, I know. I assure you, I’m being productive. The edits for the Scarecrows of Stagwater have been occupying most of my time. Soon, friends, soon. As I refine the scenes, things have been popping up that I didn’t know about. It’s fun. And hard. Sometimes my puny human brain has trouble working its way through the tangled web of my first draft. Still on track to meet the deadline, though. Hopefully by the time it goes to press and e-book, I’ll have a book that I’m not embarrassed to have other people read.

Here’s a recent painting I made for my sister on her birthday. I’ve decided to call it “Night Owl”. This one seems pretty popular, so I’ll be doing more along these lines. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be able to save up enough money to afford one of your own!*

 

You’ve been updated.

*What, are you Donald Trump or something?!