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.