The following is a transcription of a conversation recorded in sporadic bursts over the last eighty years. This is due to unforseen circumstances that are not in any form the fault of Leaky Libido, its derivatives, editors, contributors or victims. I mean guests. Guests. Blame the Nazis.
Anyway, this interview is with the amazing Gabino Iglesias!
Leaky Libido (circa 1934): Jolly pleasant to meet you, sir. I say, do you awfully mind letting me know a little about your good self?
Gabino Iglesias (circa 1936): Last time I checked, I was me. It took me a while to get there. I was born in Puerto Rico and was a beach bum until life interrupted that glorious state of existence and I ended up in Austin. I’m about words. I’m about books: reading books, sharing books, writing books, and reviewing books for a plethora of online (also here) and print publications. I also like to spend time with awesome people, drink good beer, and have fun.
Leaky Libido (circa 1937): Splendid, my good man! Absolutely splendid! Now, I hear it told that you yourself have written a book? Could you tell me a little about this marvellous achievement?
Gabino Iglesias (cirac 1939): I’m promoting GUTMOUTH, my debut novel. It was published by Eraserhead Press as part of this year’s New Bizarro Author Series. This is the best year ever. The NBAS is amazing every year, but this year it’s an international sensation that goes from the US to Australia and from Spain to the Caribbean.
Leaky Libido (circa 1939): Wow, it really is huge this year! Almost like a… WORLD WAR!!!
Leaky Libido would like to offer its sincerest apologies for the outbreak of World War II. It couldn’t have come at a worse time. You can blame Andy Adams and his bastard Nazi army for disturbing the peace.
Leaky Libido (circa 1976): Well, the war ended nearly three decades ago… but to be honest, in the post-war abyss of existential uncertainty, we didn’t feel like continuing on with the interview. However, Gabino Iglesias is such a character that he sought us out and gave us a very god reason to carry on with it. So here is the next question:
What was it that made you want to be a writer?
Gabino Iglesias (circa 1976): Writing always gave me a way to exorcise my demons. Punching people in the face stopped being the best way to deal with things once I became old enough to go to jail. Since I’d been writing since I could remember, focusing on that made things easier. Also, I’ve always been a reader, so I always wanted to write the books I wanted to read but couldn’t find out there.
Leaky Libido (circa 1993): Another change of interviewer here, as the old one died of drug related causes. I always say, if you’ve got to punch somebody, make sure they’re a Nazi. Or at least a Nazi sympathiser. Or a wimp. But if you want the best out of life, you should learn to take a man out with a single strike. Leaky Libido offers 1-on-1 tuition in the deadly art of Hokuto Shin Ken as taught to all editors here by master Ken of the North Star.
So, you’re a regular kind of guy, you’ve got shit to say, and writing helps with that. I get it. That’s respectable. Only, it doesn’t explain why the fuck you would write bizarro fiction. So tell me, why bizarro?
Gabino Iglesias (circa 1997): Because bizarro is fucking awesome! When writing horror or crime, two genres I love, there are boundaries you can push, but they still hold you back somewhat. With bizarro, there are no boundaries, no rules, no limits. Bizarro allows you to reinvent writing every time you sit down to do it. The absolute freedom that comes from that is one of the best things the genre has to offer. Bizarro lets you do whatever you want with words, and that includes inventing new words, using old ones in new ways, and creating things no else has ever imagined. Also, the bizarro community is a family, a tribe of very cool, talented, inspiring people. I wanted to be a part of it since I became a fan of the genre, and writing bizarro books was the best way to do that.
Leaky Libido (circa 2001): Wow, I love the energy, like you’ve been drinking Pepsi (not an endorsement: Pepsi is evil) or another brand cola! Awesome stuff! Are there any writers who inspire you in your writing?
Gabino Iglesias (circa 2004): Way too many to list. I love books and being a book reviewer means that new stuff shows up at my door every week. Here’s a very short list of names: Nicholson Baker, Sam Pink, Pedro Juan Gutierrez, Mark SaFranko, D. Harlan Wilson, Carlton Mellick, Charles Bukowski, Chuck Palahniuk, Jose Saramago, Joe R. Lansdale, Jeremy Robert Johnson, H.P. Lovecraft, Hunter S. Thompson, Andersen Prunty, Oliverio Girondo, Edward Lee, Rob Scott, Reinaldo Arenas, Henry Miller, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Harry Crews…I could go on and on and on, so lets leave it there.
Leaky Libido (circa 2010): I get it, I get it. We all love to write the names of enemies in code. What about inspirations outside of writing? You got any?
Gabino Iglesias (circa 2012): I’m a musician, so I’ve always felt inspired by individuals who are extremely talented and can do things no one else can. John Coltrane. Arturo Sandoval. Yngwie Malmsteen. Paco de Lucia. From divers to musicians and powerlifters to writers, I tend to find inspiration in people who give their all to be the best at what they do.
Leaky Libido (circa 30 B.C): I write this from the past as proof of my telepathic powers. Whatever whoever just said is true. I also have a question to ask, it will be music related. Here it is: What music do you listen to when you write?
Gabino Iglesias: Depends on my mood. Usually something dark, like Agalloch or Opeth, if I’m writing horror. Most of the time I switch it up. An afternoon of music can go from Paganini’s caprices to flamenco to Cannibal Corpse to salsa to Bob Marley to Spanish rock to jazz.
Leaky Libido: I like a man who can switch it up. Like this: What is one thing you hate?
Gabino Iglesias: Bigotry.
Leaky Libido: And now the other way, one thing you love:
Gabino Iglesias: Meaningfulness.
Leaky Libido: Ahh. Then perhaps you would grace us with some meaningful words now? Can you sum up your life philosophy in 5 words?
Gabino Iglesias: Listen to the braingels’ voices.
Leaky Libido: Cryptic words there. Were they the product of a coffee bender by any chance? Do you drink coffee?
Gabino Iglesias: Coffee and I have a loving relationship that it has asked me not to talk about in public. That being said, I’m Puerto Rican, so coffee is a big deal for me. I like my coffee real. If you can add weird flavors, it has a name that sounds like an Italian disease or you can drink 32 ounces of it and your heart doesn’t explode, it’s not real coffee.
Leaky Libido: Finally, are there any stories of yours online that people can read?
Gabino Iglesias: I have a few stories here and there. There’s one up at Paragraph Line and two essay/stories at Bizarro Central. If anyone wants to read more, just get in touch.
Leaky Libido: Thank you so much, you are a remarkably patient man!
Gabino Iglesias (didn’t say, no matter how much money we offered him): I would have waited for the death of a thousand suns to get my name on Leaky Libido!
End of transcript.
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