LeakyLibido: Hello, welcome to a new segment on my blog where I disseminate, through a puppet interview, top-secret information given to me in confidence by authors I respect. Expect some real juicy gossip and drama folks. So without further ado, I will ask the first question:
Who are you? What are you? Where are you from? What are you about?
Simulacrum: I’m G. Arthur Brown. I’m half Elf. I’m from Maryland, USA (that’s where Baltimore is, for all you fans of the Wire). I’m about five and one half feet tall.
Actually a stock photo of a man with a mini face. Purportedly, the model is an exact look-a-like of G. Arthur Brown, but how true this claim is remains indefinite.
LeakyLibido: That’s all real fascinating stuff, G. Tell me, what are you promoting or writing right now?
Simulacrum: I’m promoting my book Kitten. Part of the 2012 New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press. So, please, buy at least 5 copies.
LeakyLibido: Oh yeah, I know that one. You can buy that one on amazon. I hear that it’s “one part a nightmarish family saga, and one part a fantastic, surreal voyage of discovery for a kitten. It’s a seriously fun mix of grotesque humour and sombre existential horror”, which sounds nice.
So, moving on. What made you want to write, authentic G. Arthur Brown?
Simulacrum: I received a message from God when I was about 10 years old that I would be a writer. Like many great prophets, I tried to flee my destiny by pursuing, instead, being in a rock band and, briefly, being a comedian. But God tracked me down about 7 years ago and said, “Remember what I told you?”
LeakyLibido: That sounds remarkable. But surely, if God commanded you to be a writer, then why do you write bizarro fiction? I can fathom not that God would wish this filth upon any mortal man, especially not one of his chosen prophets.
Simulacrum: You might as well ask a tree, “Why vegetation?” I tried to write genre stuff: Lovecraftian weird fiction, Gaimanesque fantasy, Anthony Burges-inspired sci-fi. But I kept wanting to subvert and/or pervert the text and forms. Once I found Bizarro, I knew that this was the flag that would be flown over much of my fiction.
LeakyLibido: God does indeed work in mysterious ways. Who else, aside from the Almighty, would you say inspires you?
Simulacrum: Films inspire me quite a bit. Guy Maddin, Terry Gilliam and the Coen Brothers have affected me deeply. Psychedlic 60s rock and Post-punk music have also impacted my ideas about melding weirdness and pop sensibilities. If I’d never been exposed to Devo, the Residents and Syd Barrett, in particular, I’m sure my writing would be entirely different. Comedy has played a big role, too, with Monty Python being one of my first exposures to absurd and surreal techniques.
LeakyLibido: That’s a fascinating list of inspirations. Who would you say are your favourite writers?
Simulacrum: Kelly Link and Brian Evenson tie for absolute favorites. Link has such an amazing dreamlike quality to her prose that it immediately began to change my approach to writing. Evenson has the amazing gift to produce literary effects that you can’t put your finger on what to call them or how he produced them. But these two geniuses are sort of a yin and yang for me, Link being the wonder-inducing daylight and Evenson being the creepy dark hours.
LeakyLibido: You have mentioned a few different musical styles so far. Do you have any particular favourite type of music you like to listen to whilst working? I expect it will be hymn or gospel music, won’t it?
Simulacrum: I generally will try to listen to only instrumental music when writing. Space Oddities 1 & 2, two compilations of quirky European instrumental music intended for educational and public service soundtracks. Sometimes I’ll listen to grim Black Metal, as long as the lyrics aren’t in English (so, Tulus or Khold or Horna primarily). Also the experimental stuff by Swell Maps.
LeakyLibido: Ah, I see. Well, how about telling me something you hate?
LeakyLibido: And one thing you love?
LeakyLibido: Who doesn’t love a bit of cheese? Tell me, young squire – if you were at the point of a sword and the hand that held the other end was attached to an arm that was attached to a torso that was attached to a head, via a neck, and on that head there was a mouth and that mouth did move and sounds were elicited in that movement that formed the words, “sum up your life philosophy in five words”, what, pray, would you say?
Simulacrum: Mind your own business, man.
LeakyLibido: Oh, ok. Well… erm… how do you take your coffee?
Simulacrum: I prefer tea. But if I must have coffee, sweet and light.
LeakyLibido: And if people are cheap (they are) and want to read your stories for free before giving you money in exchange for a joyful experience like what they will experience when they read your book, where should they look?
Simulacrum: A Public Luncheon was published at the Dream People (http://www.dharlanwilson.com/dreampeople/issue32/fictionbrown.html). Holy Olivia Orphanage at Paragraph Line (http://www.paragraphline.com/2012/05/07/holy-olivia-orphanage-by-g-arthur-brown/). And there is a ton of my flash at garthurbrown.blogspot.com.
LeakyLibido: Well, G, thank you for an awesome interview. Despite it getting a little icy at the end there.
Simulacrum: Thank you LL for being an awesome blog.
LeakyLibido: Oh G, you didn’t have to say that.
Simulacrum: Yes I did, you wrote it. In fact, I never said that, this wasn’t part of the interview. You are making this part up as a way of ending the narrative, giving a sense of closure to the preceding interview. I wasn’t even icy, that was you doing it to yourself. I may even look into suing you for defamation.
LeakyLibido: Oh shit, it’s gaining sentience… Quick, shoot it in the head!
*END OF TRANSCRIPT*