I’ll be in bed like “all those things I did are actually garbage, and they’ll multiply in my sleep if I don’t get up and correct them now.”
Marv Volta – 31 January 2016
The Back Flap
I Should Be Different has poetry about refusing to get over things. Word nerds might like it–it was written for them. There’s rhyming and word play and other stuff. Warning: this book may contain obscene language. Warning: this book may contain obscure language.
About the book
What is the book about?
It’s a book about hatred and self-loathing as a main response to life. It’s the mean, sulking, negative stuff that people think when harassed by idiotic family and coworkers. Actually, every poem is probably in some way about how much I hate my former step-dad. And there’s a ghost (who I imagine has the voice of the late Mason Adams) fighting demons.
When did you start writing the book?
Some of it was written back in 2011. So, 2011.
How long did it take you to write it?
Including creative hiatuses, about four years. I started with 140 poems then cut that number down to 27 for the book. Quality control. Indulgence control.
Where did you get the idea from?
I didn’t think there was enough nowadays poetry that could claim a lineage to Edgar Allan Poe. After the release of my book, probably nothing has changed.
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
Absolutely. Hours of research can go into a single reference. Word choice can be another struggle. Not only for meter and meaning, but also for sound. Too many “of’s” or consonant blends or…whatever it is…will clunk. You gotta remove the clunks.
What came easily?
The cover. I made that in like five minutes. My girlfriend was like “I’m really glad I didn’t walk in on you doing that.” The gun part, not Amazon Cover Creator.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
Almost every character is based on someone I know in real life. Flattery was not a theme, apparently.
We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?
Edgar Allan Poe and Tom Robbins. They inspire me to go beyond “sparse” and “essential” and “stripped-down.” I like an aureate style over a plain one for both reading and writing, and those two writers are, in my opinion, example-setting masters of that style.
Do you have a target reader?
Word-nerds. Anyone who likes word play. Anyone who likes rhyming, formal poetry. Anyone who thinks that a lot of the free verse getting published cannot be distinguished from a teenage Klonopin-zombie’s journal.
Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
Not really. My brain will be like “hey rhyme these two words” and then I’ll try to build a poem from that if I can.
Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?
I do not outline. I have a document with plays on words I’d like to incorporate, though.
Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
Both. I’ll be in bed like “all those things I did are actually garbage, and they’ll multiply in my sleep if I don’t get up and correct them now.”
Did you hire a professional editor?
I did not. I hired myself for no money. I did okay, probably.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
I do not. I watch movies while I write. Mainly superhero stuff. Or I watch YouTube videos of people eating fast food in their cars.
Did you submit your work to Agents?
I did not. I, without representation, submitted to publishers. But I am picturing Hugo Weaving’s face now.
What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?
After three rejections for a different book, I got really impatient and/or realistic then chose myself when no one else would. Because I’m the publisher. I’m the tyrant. I’m rejecting them, they’re not rejecting me! Truthfully, buyers don’t need a gatekeeper to protect them from a book of all things. They can go online, read a preview, then decide on a purchase. Overworked slush-movers are definitely not required for any of that. Also, some MFA graduate is not going to tell me that my lineated revenge fantasies are unfit for the e-reading world!
Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?
I had a clue about how to make one, so I did it myself. In the kitchen. With the revolver.
Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?
I am just winging it.
Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?
“Indie” should not be synonymous with “low effort” or “low quality.”
“Indie” should not be an excuse for “low effort” or “low quality.”
End of Interview: