Live Reading Of Bizarro Book Rainbows Suck, Eraserhead Press, At Dirty Dicks In London

On Tuesday evening I read from my book Rainbows Suck at Dirty Dick’s, a pub in London. It was just like Midnight in Paris but with Periscope and space alien rainbows. The live video is below and, if you can’t hear a word of that, have a look afterwards at the video I made in the flat. I took along some postcards with a picture by my friend Steve and wrote little messages on the back for everyone.

While I was in Brick Lane The Vintage Basement told me they loved my clothes and took a photo of me for their social networks which was nice. I also took a picture for this post of the bracelet my friend made, because I think you’ll agree it’s really important.

Live Reading

Home Reading

The Vintage Basement, Brick Lane
The Vintage Basement, Brick Lane

rainbow-bracelet

Postcard front
Postcard front
Postcards back
Postcards back

Novel, novella, short story? The word count difference in writing

Two posts in one day? Have the clocks been destroyed? Has my face melted into an Escher painting?

Word count is something that worries all writers or, if not, it probably should. Is it a novella? A short story? A microwaveable napkin?

OK, so for some definitive answers I suggest you trundle onto this post here by D. Robert Grixti, and it is definitely recommended – by me anyway, and what higher authority is there?

Interview with author Jeremy C Shipp

Hello my little slices of pepperoni. You may remember American bizarro author and all round anomalous egg Jeremy C Shipp from such books as Cursed (which got him nominated for the Bram Stoker award), Vacation, Fungus of the Heart and Sheep and Wolves.

He kindly assented to an interview regarding his work and writing in general (and to not press charges; I mean, kidnap is such a strong word) and here it is:

Which of your books is your favourite, and why?

J: One of my books that is near and dear to my heart (and spleen) is Cursed. The story was a blast to write, primarily because of the character Cicely. She’s a loveable weirdo with a heart (and spleen) of gold.

 

What impact has the Bram Stoker nomination made on your career?

J: I would say the main thing is that more readers have tried my books. Also, the nomination gave me  super powers. For instance, with the power of thought alone, I can transform sporks into slightly smaller sporks.

 

What’s the one (or more) thing you keep in mind when writing gets difficult?

J: This is your dream, Jeremy. If you’re not going to fight to live your own dream, then you’ll have to live someone else’s. And that’s no fun.

 

How do your ideas come to you?

J: Dreams, nightmares, personal events, world events, people on the street, people in the clouds, a little goblin named Bob who lives in my skull.

 

Is it possible to make a successful living from writing?

J: Yes. Mostly, it just takes a lot of work and dedication. And skill. And luck.

 

Who are your heroes?

J: Super Grover, my family, my friends, Hayao Miyazaki, Joss Whedon, Felicia Day, Kurt Vonnegut, Larry Blamire, Tree Trunks.

 

Is being a Bizarro writer a natural state of being, or do you sometimes have to push yourself to make your ideas even weirder?

J: It’s my natural state. Sometime I have to push myself to make my ideas palatable for human consumption.

 

What goes through your mind when you see your published book/story?

J: Hooray! Book! Time to sing and dance and eat chili cheese fries!

 

Did (or do) you have to do a lot of networking to get your stuff popular?

J: I enjoy entertaining and connecting with people on Facebook and Twitter, and I believe it’s on these sites that most people first hear about me and my work.

Thanks Jeremy, you may live another year. Bye!

Songstresses and burlesque queens: Five unusual ladies

I’ve had to interview various unusual and creative ladies for magazines and it got me thinking about a few that people may not have heard of, but would like to.

I’m on some pretty heavy painkillers (have a read of my post on endometriosis) so forgive me if I don’t make much sense…

The first two are musical. I like ethereal music ladies such as Bat For Lashes and CocoRosie, and two singers/musicians I came across in the last few years have caught my interest.

Anneka Snip lives in Brighton and has collaborated with electronica artists like Milanese, Blue Daisy and Ital Tek.

Kid A (or Annie T) is an American lady who is currently on tour with Scroobius Pip. Have a listen:

Next up is a cabaret artist known as Missy Macabre. A one woman vintage burlesque freak show, I interviewed her about a short comedy/horror film she appeared in called Annabelle’s Tea Party. Have a look at her in action:

Next we have comedy burlesque performer Fancy Chance. I was sent to review The Fire Tusk Pain Proof Circus and she was very entertaining:

In the same show was Lucifire, the lead stunt woman. Amongst other things she ate glass, walked on it and made me chuckle (the gentleman onstage is her husband and fellow performer Professor Tusk):

Just as an added bonus here’s Bat for Lashes doing Horse and I at Shepherd’s Bush, London:

Article: How to cope as a werewolf

We’ve all been there, waking up nude at the zoo and scrabbling to get home without being seen. Now there’s a whole list of advice for those suffering from the monthly furry persuasion.

Have a little read of my new article on coping as a werewolf; it could prove invaluable.

5 Reasons a spooky creative brain prefers winter

It’s that time again (almost). When a headless coachman appears out of the mist to take you to the cursed castle, and charges you double time on Saturdays (“But you went the long way round those crumbling gravestones”).

Nothing like a cup of haunted tea to warm the cockles

The good thing about being a creative type is that you can do anything and claim it as research: “What do you mean you spent the day watching the Twilight Zone?” “Shut up it’s research.”

So here are a few small reasons winter is best for anyone who likes to dally in the darkened spaces of art or literature or…something else.

1. Halloween. Yes, yes, it’s all commercialised and it’s for children etc, but who cares? Just for one year try not to be a Halloween McScrooge and celebrate the Day of the Dead with everyone else. Dress up, even if its as ‘your best friend who wears the exact same clothes as you.’ I began my first proper short story at school on the day of Halloween and ever since then its had a special place in my disturbed heart. I guarantee you’ll find some kind of inspiration, even if its a story about murdering trick or treaters.

2. Staying indoors. Let’s face it, writing or doing anything work related during summer is difficult and unpleasant. Maybe I’m alone here but I like knowing that the world outside is furiously cold while I sit indoors drinking tea and working/watching The Twilight Zone. Which brings me onto my next point.

3. Spooky films get spookier. It’s a cliche certainly, but there’s really nothing like watching a spine-chiller while the wind and rain howls against your window. Sometimes for extra cosiness I like to pretend there are zombies stumbling around my driveway too. That way I can feel smug that they can’t get me. Or can they?

4. Your surroundings are inspiration. Whilst its obvious you need to be wary of writing/painting/whatever in cliches, its hard not to think of great ideas when wandering through a mist clouded field. Just remember, focusing on the idea rather than lengthy descriptions of nature might be best. Unless your main character is a lecturer of some kind. Even then, maybe not a good idea…

5. More time to think. Summer is filled with Gestapo-like orders to have fun, but time seems to slow down in winter. People tend to vegetate and grow moss which is perfect for ruminating on thoughts, or simply trying to occupy yourself. You can either spend your winter obsessing on why Cathy brought all the men cups of tea and not you or Sally, or you can send your brain to another place and make up somewhere better. Or much worse, depending on what you like to do to your main characters.

So this was my little thought bubble on winter. I wanted to include the wearing of fluffy socks and colourful coats but it didn’t seem relevant, so I’ll just mention them here. Happy winter!

Short story: Sweet Sweets Emporium

I’ve a new short story, Sweet Sweets Emporium, out with LegumeMan Books who are described thusly:

LegumeMan Books is an independent press devoted to extreme and/or unusual fiction for extreme and/or unusual people. Run by the Brothers Gunther and operating out of Melbourne, Australia, our aim is to represent upcoming authors writing in the abovementioned styles.

We hope to form an ongoing relationship with upcoming authors who write in styles not represented by major publishers.”

Have a read! It has sweeties and Nazis, what more could you ask?