Starting the year off with some bizarro sounds about right. As a blogger who loves sharing about authors and their work -sharing about authors who are part of the NBAS really is an honor for me. I’ve had a giveaway recently for one book and now I have another author on. NBAS – New Bizarro Author Series is a series by Eraserhead Press. They publish new authors and pretty much say go out and sell. If you can sell 200 copies in a year we’ll give you a contract. 200 seems like a small number and that may well be the case in theory but in reality and the fact that 200 is the marker should show how important that support of indie authors is. Promote them, review them ask your library to bring them in and put them on the shelf. Hell buy a copy for your library that way you get to enjoy, others will as well and you’re helped an author reach more people.
Tamara Romero is one of the NBAS her book Her Fingers was published recently and I’m pleased that she’s letting me share about her work. If you don’t know bizarro you don’t know what you’re missing. Give it a try. It’s witty, quirky, bizarre satire. Sometimes horror, sometimes sweet, sometimes so damn freaky you wonder if the author should be in therapy but always entertaining.
What is something about you that no one knows?
I have a phobia for religious imagery. I’m scared of nuns, statues of saints and gothic churches. And I enjoy reading about conspiranoia on Wikipedia. I think I haven’t told anyone yet.
What are you reading now?
I read several books at the same time. I’m catching up with some bizarro titles that I got at BizarroCon: Tumor Fruit by Carlton Mellick, Unicorn Battle Squad by Kirsten Alene, my fellow NBAS books… I’m also rereading Jim Dodge’s ‘Stone Junction’ and I hope to find some time for Catherynne M. Valente’s ‘Palimpsest’ soon.
Some favorite books and authors?
‘Story of O’ by Pauline Reage is one of my favorite books. I enjoy classic erotic literature. As for fantasy and weird fiction, I read everything that China Miéville and Jeff Noon write. I loved ‘Lost Souls’ by Poppy Z Brite, ‘City of Saints and Madmen’ by Jeff Vandermeer and ‘The Books of Blood’ by Clive Barker. I like Jack Vance, Irvine Welsh, J.G. Ballard, Alan Moore, Ursula K. Leguin, M. John Harrison, Philip K. Dick, A Song of Ice and Fire… Ok, this list could be endless.
What is your favorite bizarro read?
I’m happy to think that I haven’t read lots of bizarro yet, so there are still great books to discover. So far, I enjoyed Athena Villaverde’s books and Carlton Mellick’s ‘Cannibals in Candyland’. They are good starters.
How did you come to discover bizarro and what about it did you like so much?
Through Goodreads, which is a great site. I’ve found fantastic books and people there, and it’s just been very useful. I came across some bizarro books and I remember that they had the craziest covers and titles. I like its huge variety of subjects (I’m less keen on satiric or humoristic bizarro), but I love the format, mostly short books that you can read in one seating. In a world of fantasy sagas with thousands of pages, that’s almost a relief.
What is your writing space and routine like?
I sit on the couch and type frantically on my macbook. I write mostly on weekends, but I try to scratch an hour every day, because I can’t do it full time at the moment. I switch the modem off so I don’t have any Internet distractions. I saw an interview with Jonathan Franzen where he said he turns his internet off, so I call it ‘franzening’. Like ‘I’m going to franzen’. If my parents are out, I move to their place and write. There’s even less distractions there and I usually get the work done.
How did becoming part of the NBAS happen?
I used to work doing PR for publishing houses and I was interested in the way Eraserhead Press is building a huge bizarro community. I also had written a novella a few years ago that would fit in their New Bizarro Author Series, so it all happened quite naturally. I pitched the story by email to the NBAS editor, Kevin Shamel, and after his approval, I worked quickly on a translation, because I first wrote it in Spanish. It was a very smooth process.
What was bizarrocon like?
Fun and crazy! I was traveling around the West Coast and Bizarro Con was my last stop. We spent 4 days talking about books, drinking bizarro beer and taking very useful workshops. I met many interesting people and I did a reading of Her Fingers. I definitely recommend it if you’re interested in writing Bizarro fiction. That’s the place to be.
What do you have in the works for us next?
I’m working on a long fantasy novel, currently finishing the first draft. It’s kind of a girls detective story. There’s night clubs, a good looking hero, metal bands, a missing teenager, an evil mother… I write in Spanish first, so I have no idea when could this be ready in English. I also have in mind a couple of Bizarro novellas and short stories that hopefully will be written next year.
More bizarro to come as I hope to have as many of this years NBAS on as possible.