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Leah Angstman

Leah Angstman has been at this for years, producing books and spaces and relationships between writers and artists. Some of the answers cover things you know, and some might just surprise you. We threw Leah a few curve balls here because we knew that she would rise to the challenge and we knew that she would bring her independent spirit to the process and we weren’t disappointed. Interviewed by Lynn Alexander, for Full Of Crow, December 2012. 

LA: I’m sure many people want to know, in your words: Why do you want to be part of the small press?

Leah: It’s cliché to say it feels like family, but the small press is this all-encompassing entity that functions like its own little village.  It has the town criers, the town gossip hens, the angry, the depressed, the incarcerated, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I can open a small-press publication and read a fresh, new author right alongside 94-year-old poet laureate Ed Galing, and it doesn’t feel forced or out of place.  The playing field is leveled; the authors are all different and quirky—but eternally grateful; and, while a lot of the writing is daring, all of it is honest because the writers don’t hide behind extensive contracts, big paychecks, and high expectations.  They are self-aware and write for the love of it, knowing they may never make a buck. Continue Reading…

Posted 4 years, 5 months ago.

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Andrew Bowen

Andrew Bowen, editor of Divine Dirt Quarterly and immersed in the Conversion Project, interviewed by Lynn Alexander.

LA: I often start by asking about current projects, books, collections, the “work”. Can you run down some of your projects, such as Divine Dirt Quarterly?

AB: Sure.  I started Divine Dirt Quarterly (DDQ) in the Fall of 2009 because I was just beginning to write theological fiction—that is, fiction that deals with religious issues within a secular context, and found that the work either had too much religion for more secular markets and not enough for the religious markets. DDQ was my offering to folks like me who wanted to explore theological issues through fiction, poetry, art, non-fiction, and even film without fear of censorship. Continue Reading…

Posted 6 years, 6 months ago.

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Michael J. Solender

Richard Godwin interviewing Michael J. Solender at The Slaughterhouse, September 2010.

MichaelSolender.jpg picture by Richard_Godwin

Michael Solender is known to everyone who visits A Twist Of Noir, where you can find many fine examples of his chiselled dark stories.  If you don’t know what I mean check out ‘Seventy-two Hours Or Less’.

He worked for years in Corporate America as a Human Resources professional and is now giving worthy attention to his creative output that ranges from noir to music reviews. He is a consummate professional in his approach to writing and manages to achieve an edginess in his prose that is built on a carefully refined technique.

Michael met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about theatre and insects.

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Posted 6 years, 8 months ago.

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Matthew C. Funk


Matthew C. Funk is a social media consultant, professional marketing copywriter and writing mentor. He is the editor of the Genre section of the critically acclaimed zine, FictionDaily, and a staff writer for FangirlTastic and Spinetingler Magazine. Interviewed by Lynn Alexander for PRATE.

1. Can you talk a little bit about some of your favorite creative projects? Looking back, what stands out as a novel or screenplay or other work that really puts forth your objectives as a writer, or typifies your style, what says “Matthew C. Funk”?

A: Matthew C. Funk tells the monster’s story. The writing that inspires me most is the writing that takes the reader to a dark place and shows its reflection is not all too different from their own. I have written about Germans and Russians in World War II, slave-peddling pirates during the fall of Republican Rome and outlaws in modern New Orleans slumland, but all of these projects have the same aim: I want to illustrate how the other side thinks and feels, and for those thoughts and feelings to have an effect. Continue Reading…

Posted 6 years, 8 months ago.

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Sherry Thompson

JM Reinbold of the Written Remains Writers Guild interviewing Sherry Thompson, author of the recently published epic high fantasy, sword and sorcery Earthbow.

JM Reinbold: Hi, Sherry! Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Sherry Thompson: I’m in my sixties, retired, and fairly unconventional. Storytelling is my second career but my first love.

I’m servant to two cats. Khiva, the seal-point Siamese was considered unadoptable by her breeder–terrified of all humans–but we’re good buddies now. Vartha is a black foundling with some Maine Coon mixed in. She’s no longer a kitten but she still acts like one. She’s goofy over cardboard boxes. Khiva comes and tells me when Vartha is misbehaving. Continue Reading…

Posted 6 years, 11 months ago.

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Ilan Herman

Ilan Herman’s first novel, “The Gravedigger”, is out now from Casperian. Interviewed by Lynn Alexander for PRATE.

LA: How long have you been writing, and when do you recall first thinking of yourself as a writer?

IH: Been a songwriter for thirty years and a novelist for about ten. Both flex the same muscle.

LA: Some writers describe a sense of having a “novel in them” or a “novel to get out”. Did you feel that you had a story you had to tell? Did you have a sense of nagging, did it prompt you to sit down and get started?

IH: Cliché as it may sound, I am but a prism to the tale, and probably to my past. They come together. I enjoy the alternate universe and miss it when it’s gone. Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 1 month ago.

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Matthew Revert

How does one describe a book such as A Million Versions of Right, the collection of short stories from Australian literary first-timer, Matthew Revert?  Not an easy task, especially if one wants to avoid repeating all other attempts, every single one of which can be distilled to the words ‘bizarre’, ‘hilarious’, and ‘disturbing’.  An interview with Matthew Revert by PD Lussier.

So then what about the author?  How the hell do I introduce Matthew Revert in a way that offers meaningful insight on his indescribable work? Bizarre, unusual, hilarious, and disturbed???   After all, anyone whose mind can generate such stories surely qualifies to have his name designate some new mental disorder in the latest version of the DSM, right?

Alas, Matthew can’t bank on any pity inducing freak-factor; despite all expectations, these stories are in fact the product of an overly sane mind.

Indeed, Matthew would be a worthy poster-boy for that scarce and paradoxical crowd I playfully label as rebelliously un-rebelling rebels—those whose still fully-functioning sensibility fills them with disgust in the face of the world we are forced to passively accept, but whose razor-sharp acuity allows them to discern the futility and inevitable despair behind wanting to function outside of certain societal constructs,  while  a profound sense of identity enables them to reach for the ‘meaningful’ and scorn the ‘prosaic’ knowing full well that their version of Happiness relies on the acceptance that their non-conformist goals are dependent on conventions and conformity.

Understanding this about Matthew Revert doesn‘t make describing his book any easier, but it certainly should make it clear to you that this book aims to fall well outside  of that weird-only-for-the-sake-of-goofy-novelty mess that festers the mainstream bowels of Bizarro and Absurdist fiction in much the same way that love songs were soiled by Air Supply.   Rather, this book offers a crucial and refreshing difference that should instantly establish it as a prototype of the Bizarro genre (perhaps New Absurdist?  Subject for a debate no doubt).  That difference is: in these stories, the nonsensical actually makes sense and the illogical is firmly grounded on logic, i.e. they have a raison-d’être. Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 5 months ago.

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Greg Smith

Greg Smith

J.M. Reinbold interviews Delaware author Greg Smith, author of “Final Price”.

JMR: Hi, Greg! Please tell us a bit about yourself.

GS: I was born and raised in Washington, DC. I have a BA in English from Skidmore College and an MBA from the College of William & Mary. I worked in public relations in DC and moved to Delaware to get married. I also worked in PR in Wilmington and Philadelphia before committing to fiction writing full time.
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Posted 7 years, 6 months ago.

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Tim Gaze

Tim Gaze is the publisher of Asemic Magazine, a publication dedicated to the presentation of Asemic writing. Interviewed by Lynn Alexander.

By Tim Gaze

By Tim Gaze


ASEMIC:
It looks like writing, but we can’t quite read it.
I call works like this “asemic writing”.

LA: Starting off with asemic writing, how did you become interested? Do you find yourself explaining what it is, only to be asked why you do it? Not to say that there even has to be a reason for art or writing, but people often want one or feel entitled to one, to some kind of justification. Do people ask about your objectives with asemic work?

Do you find that people easily misunderstand?

TG: I used to write quirky fiction & poetry. somehow, after a holiday in Indonesia, talking in Bahasa Indonesia for 2 months, I started to make wordless squiggles of symbols. Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago.

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Ben Tanzer

Ben Tanzer“What they struggle with is what they feel or don’t feel, the inability to communicate what they are feeling and how it is we connect with others.” Ben Tanzer, interviewed for PRATE by Peter Schwartz

P.S.: Ben Tanzer is one of those guys you meet and like within seconds.  He’s agreed to talk to me here and I’ve agreed to use my big boy voice.  Welcome Ben, why don’t you tell our good readers a little about yourself and how you can change their lives?

B.T.: You are very generous, and it’s clear you have picked-up on one of my worst not so hidden traits – I love flattery, both giving and receiving.  I would add here that I appreciate your interest in interviewing me and I think you look great today.  Is that a new shirt?  In terms of myself, I used to tell people that I was a founding member of Wham!, but they soon realized that was maybe not entirely accurate.  I blame Wikipedia for that and now I tell them I used to be Ric Astley.  Beyond that I went to the same high school as Rod Serling, albeit after he did, and if you forced me to pick whether I am a Star Trek person or a Twilight Zone person, I would choose the latter.  I also went to high school with Lisa Baylor who you probably don’t know, but wish you did.  I was interviewed on the debut episode of the now long defunct MTV Sports show.  Continue Reading…

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago.

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