PDB: Can you pitch your latest project and online magazine in 25 words or less, each?
Autophonomania is a transgressive autobiographical novel about a failing young author obsessed with his own suicide forced to contend with the monster he will become.
Slit Your Wrists! Magazine is the home of dark fiction, rebellious tunes, underground art, and controversial opinions. We plan to change the face of entertainment.
PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?
I listen to a lot of different stuff. Except more modern things, most radio rock is horrible and this new electronic music craze with people my age is just a warped bastard child of the techno age. A random song I keep listening to ever since I watched that Perks of Being a Wallflower movie like a week ago is Pearly-dewdops’ drops by the Cocteau Twins, can’t get it out of my head. I’ve like some weirder stuff like Of Montreal and this band a roommate of mine introduced me to called The Sparks. My most casual listening would be things like the greats Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits. You can’t really go wrong with them.
I’m not really into most film. The most recent high budget movie I’ve seen was an illegal download of Cloud Atlas – it definitely made a better movie than book, for sure. Most of my favorites are all based off books or writers outside of all those fun Troma films. If I had to list some of my favorites it’d be Wristcutters: A Love Story, He Died with a Falafel in His Hand, Hemingway & Gellhorn, and The Royal Tennenbaums. Pretty hipster, right?
As far as TV shows I stream all the popular ones on the net. Shows like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Californication, and Dexter are all pretty entertaining.
I just started reading this novel by Junot Diaz recently called This Is How You Lose Her which was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. I think he deserved it honestly with his blend of Spanish and English language along with taking the power away from the derogatory term nigger mixed with emotional plot and life lessons people should learn early on. Other than that I’ve been going over some classics again and extending what I’ve read from the beatnik generation. There is a novel coming out in 2013 from somebody I’ve never read named Craig Wallwork that struck a chord with me called The Sound of Loneliness (worth the Google) I’m looking forward to.
PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?
I think it varies from person to person. Some writers I know can review several books a week objectively. I don’t like to review anything really. Reviews for the most part don’t mean a damn thing nowadays. I mean – sure, it will get somebody up the polls on Amazon, Goodreads, or give your website search engine terms to be found, I just can’t justify giving something of only entertainment value a similar rating to something I found to be important fiction. That said – I understand why others do it. One time on Twitter this lady I was randomly following kept posting all these 5-star reviews from an Amazon page about her ‘books’, so I had a look to find her work was a series of fifteen page ebooks she was considering a series priced at $2.99 each. The scary thing is they all had like twenty 5-star reviews and actual comments about how entertaining and well written they were. Looking inside they weren’t either and should be in the ‘if you like this, you may like’ widget alongside something like a self-published title called My Fifth Grader’s Entire Year of Spelling Tests; which is why I do promote people belonging to various genre fiction who are good at what they do via my publication or with some kind an interview – because something needs to be done to stop the other scandalous behavior.
This may come across as pretentious or something, but I truly don’t understand this modern cluster of opinions for the sake of money and not art. I already fear most bestsellers of the future.
As a writer, I look at genre fiction as the kind of writing that actually gets people paid. A goal for me – and one I think other writers need to attempt more is less of a focus on the usual formula in genres and blend in the styles of classical literary fiction with better focus on your characters’ thoughts. A person I think does this pretty well is my friend, Caleb J. Ross in his book I Didn’t Mean to be Kevin (MAYBE I AM A WHORE?) – which is kind of a noir fiction novel with a darker, but similar feel to Kerouac’s On The Road.
As a self-proclaimed editor with no qualifications, I have a simple way to judge submissions. First I look for bits of originality and interesting cross-correlations between genres. Secondly, I look for the kind of stories that will always be popular in a genre. I’m pretty simple really – and that’s about as far as my reading objectively goes.
PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?
In between old novel drafts of Autophonomania, I actually wrote a screenplay draft to keep the plot fresh in my head. An interesting thing I did was make the screenplay a sequel to the book, without any plans of writing a sequel novel. The reason for this is because I would like the book to stand on its own merit and there would be no way to film this sort of novel anyway.
I think it would do well as an independent film – and Hollywood pays more.
PDB: How much research goes into each book?
In the case of Autophonomania, not much – because it’s based off my memories, schizophrenic breaks, and things of pure imagination; however I do have a pulpy-horror novella as a side-project called BONDAGE that required me to put in research. It revolves around a serial killer who likes to play with and kill people who find it pleasurable to be hurt among the underground BDSM clubs in Chicago. I had to watch a lot of bondage porn and research some things I didn’t already know from the classes I took back when I thought I’d make a good detective or special agent.
It’s honestly just a dark and despicable work created from my pent up negative emotions.
PDB: How useful or important are social media for you?
It’s a life saver! Honestly, SYW Magazine or I would not be known if it wasn’t for social networks. The internet is a melting pot of education and ideas to improve on. If I met the guy I was a year ago I’d probably be thinking horrible thoughts about how stupid he is.
Social media has brought me friends that probably know me better than anyone in real life. It has brought me mentors. It has opened my eyes to other worlds of writing. Not to mention in this occupation, unless you’re some bestselling smuck, it’s a good idea to keep your name in the minds of people – especially when you are nobody like me.
PDB: What’s on the cards for 2013?
SYW Magazine will be publishing its first anthology called Shock & Appall for a unique charity idea I’m not sure even exists in the world of publications and literature currently. Following that, we just received sponsorship from Scribophile to give away yearly memberships in our future contests alongside some cash prizes. I hope to have an incredible flash fiction contest in the upcoming year – as well as find a way to fund the site to make it a pro-paying market through a crowd-sourcing campaign, possible merchandise, and donations.
The entire idea behind SYW drips with sheer romanticism and a love of the arts. If there was one thing I would want people to know is at its core, it’s a creation in response to a world forcing individuals to feel like they shouldn’t exist anymore. It’s the very butterfly effect that could change the face of the entertainment industry. The amount of upcoming authors and the well established already signing on to be a part of this future with our honest, emotional, humorous, and educational columns is phenomenal evidence of that – with each name indirectly supporting the names of those published regardless of their popularity stature. We won’t be fading away and we reject the current status quo of practically everything hurting the natural nature of mankind. We want to change the world – and nobody – and I do mean nobody, will get in our way. In some random words of John Lennon, “We do hope someday you will join us”.
As far as my personal work goes, I’d like to obtain some more publications – maybe some novel/novella excerpts put in some other cool mags, plus get these manuscripts in front of publishers. Oh, and hopefully not develop cancer or for my liver to fail before I leave a mark or set the stage for some kind of good change in this world.