1) One of your first works was “The Traveling Dildo Salesman.” Where did you get the idea for this book? I have personally sold dildos at my old porn store (well, we had to call them medical devices) and I must say as ex-dildo seller I appreciate this story being told.
The idea for “The Traveling Dildo Salesman” came from a drawing a friend made in my presence, circa 1998. It was an odd night. Lots of drawing. Pizza flying across the room and sometimes mingling with and becoming a part of the drawings in question.
This is the drawing that inspired the book:
2) Your book “Space Walrus” I really enjoyed. At first I was like I hate walruses and space too, but then I kept reading and I started to really care about Walter and the ending touched me. I really loved this book. Do you think it takes readers to take a few pages to adjust to the world you are creating?
Probably. My aim, however, is to make a reader relate to weird stuff. This doesn’t mean I soften oddity or minimize its impact. My books have a certain interior logic. The further you get into one of them, the more right it should seem.
3) I like a lot of ‘literary books’ that have a human going through the same things as Walrus, but I will remember Walter more than many other protagonists. What do you think it is about Walter that strangely made me really feel his humanity?
As mentioned earlier, I want my weird characters/settings to be relatable. I want readers to care for things they might otherwise never care about. Like a walrus in space or a washing-machine-that-becomes-a-man. I want readers to feel that they too have a traveling dildo salesman inside of their hearts. For this to happen, I require characters that harbor goals/dreams/obsessions and suffer from big problems. Characters that want more. Need more. Dream more. Like we all do. Whether or not they’re human is irrelevant.
4) During BizarroCon you have a cult act of doing your art tour, I sadly missed it, what do you think it is about the tour people enjoy and who is your favorite artist (dead or alive?)
Because I am no longer Kevin when I put on the wig. I push fear aside and meld with the art around me. Force others to meld with it, too. Force them with love. Love for art and love for its audience. When the time is right, I become a medium for the art. I channel the true intentions of the artist and, if necessary, falsify them completely. (It is often necessary to do this.)
And my favorite artist, dead or alive, is DEAD OR ALIVE. (“You Spin Me Round ((like Record.))
5) Lets get political and controversial, and make you take a stand, what are you thoughts on NASA and space travel and should tax dollars fund it?
I support it. Sure. Why not? Perhaps we’ll need to escape the Earth someday. (Tomorrow?)
6) Walter the Walrus does masturbate a lot and yet loves Dr. Stephanie, its strange but I think human beings can relate to this in the present day; do you think when we live in space, animals including humans will no longer masturbate, maybe do Sudoku or something else?
I think animals (and human animals, as Jiminy Cricket might say) will continue to masturbate until the day everyone and everything evolves into a single sentient gas. It’s the way of things. Tension must be released or else people will freak out and kill everyone and destroy everything and we’ll all need to go out into space to escape, but technology won’t be advanced enough for us to do so…and we’ll all be screwed.
7) You edit as well as write for Eraserhead Press, how does editing impact your own writing?
My writing has improved since I started editing for the press back in ’09. Time spent with other writers’ work has helped me find the errors and inconsistencies in my own work. I think more as an editor even when wearing the writer’s hat. (This makes it easier for my editor, when the time comes.) Of course, all this editing work eats into my writing time, but that’s okay. Everything eats into writing time. It’s the way of things.
8) As two two-time award winner of “The Wonderland Award”, what would be your advice to new and young writers who don’t fit into the mainstream literary world and are ‘different’?
Keep doing what you’re doing. While you may feel as though you are alone, you are not. There is a hunger for the weird, and it strengthens with each passing year. Realize this. But also realize that you need to eat, and it helps if you bathe at least a few times a week.
9) Be honest on this, how do you think your book rates to other space classics: “Hellraiser 4”, “Bloodline”, “Jason X”, and “Leprechaun 4: In Space”?
I’m not certain anything can stand up to these titans. “Space Walrus,” however, features more masturbation scenes than all these films combined. There’s more potential for emotional investment, too. (Though, I must admit, I got emotionally invested in Leprechaun 4: In Space. It sucked me in and left me crying. Wanting. Clutching. Needing.)
10) Last Question, what are you working on now?
“Musclebound Mario” was just released. It’s the story of a bodybuilder who loves the first Super Mario Bros. game in a very deep, very unhealthy way. The book reveals what becomes of that love. Where it leads him. Started work on it in December 2012. Finished it in July 2014. (Too long!)
My next book, “Bully Boys,” will be a Bizarro take on bullying. I hope to start it very soon and not spend a year and a half working to complete it.