Interview with author Spike Marlowe

I have more Spike on the blog today with an interview. Here is a little about Spike and her straight up awesomeness. Be sure to check out yesterdays post with the giveaway for Placenta of Love 

Spike Marlowe and her Siamese twin sister were born to academics in Provo, Utah during the region’s speculative fiction renaissance. Since her teenage years, when Spike’s parents and sister entered the Federal Witness Protection Program–which necessitated the surgical separation of Spike from her sister (if you buy her a couple drinks and ask nicely, Spike may show you the scars)–she has held a variety of odd jobs, including a performer in a wild west show, detective, Bigfoot researcher and writer for an Internet content farm. Recently she found her calling as a Bizarro author. When she’s not writing fiction she works as a street busker in San Francisco. At night she fights crime.


So Spike if I may where were you and your sister conjoined?  –

Our lower abdomens and my right side and her left. I have amazeballs scars. They’re legendary.

Any interesting crime fighting tales?  –

Oh…. I have lots of good ones…Here’s a recent favorite:Just a few weeks ago,  a famous zoo who will remain nameless, so that they and I can avoid a lawsuit, reported to zoo attendees that they thought they had a pregnant panda, due at the end of the summer.

Pandas conceived in captivity are a rare and awesome event. The thing is, whenever a baby panda is born, it belongs to the Chinese government. China will fly any baby pandas from wherever they’re born back to China and then decide what to do with them. They’re that big of a deal.

Word got around, as word does when you have a pregnant panda. In the morning of July 29th, a super-villain known as The Mother showed up at the zoo. She’s a Bay Area villain, and I have to deal with her every so often in San Francisco. She’s perpetually pregnant and runs around the city, screaming and stomping and causing insane amounts of property damage. She’s also been known to raid Baby Gap and Babies ‘R Us and shoplift thousands of dollars of diapers and baby socks and footie pajamas. When she’s not pregnant, she tends to kidnap babies.

Anyway, I was at the zoo, doing research for a future book, when I saw The Mother. She was all incognito with sunglasses and a black scarf over her head, but I know that waddle ANYWHERE. She’s been pregnant so many times she waddles whether she’s pregnant or postpartum. Now, I’d heard about the baby panda when I’d gone through the panda exhibit, but the zoo also has other babies, like giraffes, but I was pretty sure The Mother was there to check out the panda.

I snuck into the private back area where the zoo was keeping the panda mother-to-maybe-be. Once I got a look of her, I was sure–she was definitely pregnant. Her gut was HUGE. And it moved in a way that only a baby can do. I hid in a giant pile of bamboo and waited.

Finally, around lunch time, The Mother arrived, carrying a giant purple tarp disguised as a handbag. She threw the tarp in the air, obviously to trap the panda, and I jumped into motion.

The Mother and I sparred in the pregnant panda enclosure for a full twenty minutes before I trapped The Mother in her own tarp. I wrapped her up good and threw her in with the gorillas. They’ll probably keep her as their pet for a while.

Unfortunately, all the excitement caused the pregnant panda to go into labor while the panda OBGYN was still at lunch, and not on zoo grounds. Luckily, I’m pretty familiar with human gynecological health and had a pretty good idea how to deliver a human baby. I figured I could deliver a panda, too! So I did. The baby panda is adorable. We should all have the chance to cuddle with baby pandas.

That was my last crime fighting gig for a while. Now I’m trying to help with the war on women. This is why I’m donating all my August royalties from Placenta of Love to Planned Parenthood for Well Woman exams for low-income women.

How did becoming part of the NBAS come about?

Back in 2008, I attended Carlton Mellick III’s workshop where I pitched Placenta of Love. The pitch went well and Carlton told me I had to write it. Lots of stupid-awful life stuff happened, and every so often I’d poke at an outline, knowing I really wanted to write this awesome book. Finally, in the summer of 2011, I finished the outline and fleshed it out to what I call zero draft. A couple weeks later, Carlton posted on his Facebook page that Eraserhead was looking for books to fill out that year’s New Bizarro Author Series. I wrote Carlton, asking for the application forms. He sent them, I filled them out and then went to Burning Man. When I got home, there was an email from Kevin Shamel asking to see the book. I took a week and fleshed it out to first draft status and sent it to Kevin. And Kevin accepted it, changing my life from super-good to super-awesome.

I heard your reading of the first two chapter of Placenta of Love you have a lovely voice do you have any plans for an audio book? –

Thank you so much! Yes! I’m planning on doing an audiobook of Placenta of Love! I’m doing a couple other things first, and then? THIS WILL HAPPEN. Reading these sorts of things is one of my favorite things to do.

What was the inspiration behind Placenta of Love?

I did a workshop with a bunch of other, awesome, amazing writers and Cory Doctorow back in 2008.  We all wrote down a person, place and a problem on separate pieces of paper, mixed all the papers in each category up, and then each picked one piece of paper from each category.  I got Cory’s person and problem: a pirate in love with his ship’s AI. I got my place: a Wal-Mart parking lot. Later that fall, the night before I sent in my pitch for Carlton’s workshop, I had a dream about a giant placenta destroying an amusement park. Everything just clicked into place from there.

Do you plan to continue writing bizarro exclusively or are there other genre you’d like to work on?

I want to write more bizarro, definitely. I love bizarro. I also like to write weird, horrific and just beautifully strange fiction.  The Drabblecast is going to broadcast one of these beautifully strange pieces one of these days.

What’s next for you?

Fighting the war on women, writing a few short stories for anthologies and other publications and then a new novel after BizarroCon.

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  1. Headlines: Zoo-worker kidnaps baby Panda in transit to China! Love it! 🙂 xx

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