Tag Archives: Bizarro fiction

Authors who deserve more recognition

Michael at Literary Exploration suggested this post after I took a peek at his top 10 author list. So here it is Michael my 10 authors who deserve more recognition.

 

1. Natasha Troop. Her talent blows me away and I’m dying to read her next book. I feel bad for those who haven’t had the pleasure of going omg I can’t believe that just happened. Literary horror that makes you desperate to and terrified of turning the page.

2. Jackie Gamber. Quality fantasy young adult. Coming of age and just plain smart. Jackie writes books that are different from many YA out there, her’s has substance.

3. Paul Cleave my fave New Zealand author. Paul is kind and sent me a signed copy of his book The Cleaner which is just brilliant. His books are a must read for me and should be for everyone.

4. Craig DiLouie I <3 you Craig. He was super kind and agreed to an interview when I heard about his book it sounded oh so good. Loved The Infection when I got to it, it’s a great zombie read and I look forward to more of his work.

5. Nicole Cushing. Damn just damn. I’ve read two of her stories and I am blown away by Nicoles imagination and originality.

6. Pavarti K Tyler I’ve read one book just one by Pav and a short story at that. It was all that I needed to say yes I will read your work because only Pav could make cannibalism sexy.

7. Spike Marlowe she got me to love a placenta love story. Beat that.

8. AJ Scudiere is my I admire the growth I’ve seen having read all but her new one. I appreciate that she has improved as an author and I always look forward to what I know will be an entertaining read.

9. Tony Bertauski writes good stories. I love his work and highly recommend his books. Indie that is done well Tony is an author I can point to and say he knows his stuff.

10. Steven Shrewsbury the man’s latest book is dedicated to me so yeah it should be checked out for that alone

 

 

Interview with bizarro author J.W Wargo

I do so love bizarro. It’s weird and quirky kinda like me. Okay it puts me to shame but I like variety tis the spice of life you know. J.W. Wargo another bizarro author – you all know how I like to stalk them all, kindly allowed me to interrogate him. His new book Avoiding Mortimer is one that I simply love the sound of one to check out for sure. 16121727

 

 

Rest in Processing…

Mortimer has tried his whole life long to avoid everything. He’s estranged from his undead family, stuck in a shitty job, and his only friends are ants. Mortimer decides to avoid the rest of living. But it turns out there is much more to avoid after suicide-Eternity in a body-making factory, a soul-hungry ant blob, God and his minions, the Afterlife, and even what lies beyond it. Aided by a sentient pile of dreadlocks, his acquired skills, and dumb luck, Mortimer attempts to avoid everything-and does a miserable job of it. A bizarro adventure story about life, the afterlife, the after-afterlife, and avoiding it all-especially the parts like working as an aglet-biter, or drinking shots of Holy Fuck.

 

1. What is something about you that no one knows?

I tried to save a dying squirrel in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

2. How did you discover bizarro and what about it sucked you in?

By accident. I was in the Portland Central Library looking for Absurdist books when I came across the name Carlton Mellick III. I ended up borrowing books by him, Kevin L. Donihe, and D. Harlan Wilson. Reading “Shall We Gather at the Garden?” was what really sucked me in. It’s still one of the weirdest things I’ve ever read. For years I had been writing all this stuff I thought was silly and weird and fun but no one was interested in it, and figured that was just the way of things. All that changed when I discovered Bizarro fiction.

3. How did becoming a bizarro author yourself come about?

I think for myself, it was a much longer process than it has been for others. I discovered the genre in 2008, shortly before I left Portland to become a full time hitchhiker. I was traveling almost nonstop for three years and never found the time to sit down and write anything substantial. I began a novella in 2009 that I intended submitting for the 2010 New Bizarro Author Series, but never finished it. It wasn’t until the Winter of 2011 that I decided to make it a priority to get published. I pitched three ideas to the editor, he liked one and I wrote it. The rough draft was accepted shortly thereafter.

4. What was bizarrocon like?

BizarroCon 2012 was my fourth I attended, and it was quite possibly the most memorable of the four as it was my first as a published author. It’s a small convention in relation to others, about 50-100 people. It’s a very close knit group and more like a family reunion than a convention. It has the standard convention activities: workshops, panels, readings, but every night is basically a big party and every year they hold my absolute favorite competition: The Ultimate Bizarro Showdown. Contestants give the weirdest performance they can. Judges rate the performances and prizes are awarded to the top three.

5. Do you have plans to try out other genre or are you a one genre man?

I write primarily Absurdist, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy stories, but have written straight fiction and poetry as well. My stories tend to fall into more than one genre, but most could be considered weird fiction.

6. Please tell me about Avoiding Mortimer

Avoiding Mortimer is a absurd philosophical tale about a man’s journey through the afterlife. Mortimer, the man in question, suffers from an Avoidant Personality Disorder and commits suicide after a particularly bad day. He discovers that there is a post-mortal realm and it has been corporatized. His journey takes him through several states of existence, including Limbo and Void, and he interacts with an assortment of characters including a glob of partially digested ants, sentient dreadlocks, and God, himself, known as the Afterlife Administrator.

7. What do you go out of your way to avoid?

Quite the opposite of the protagonist of the book, I have an “I’ll try anything once” attitude. I am Neophile at heart and am always looking for new things to experience. That being said, I am a pacifist and will avoid violence whenever possible.

8. What do you have planned next for readers?

This year I will be focused primarily on promoting my book and trying to earn a contract with Eraserhead Press. Over the Winter, I recorded an Avoiding Mortimer audiobook, complete with a voice cast, and am giving it away free to anyone who reviews the book on Amazon, and/or sends me photo of them licking the cover. More details on the giveaway can be found here: http://jwwargo.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-avoiding-mortimer-audiobook-giveaway.html

Interview with NBAS author Tamara Romero

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.

 

Herfingers

 

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.

 

You can find Tamara on her Web Site / Tumblr / Twitter / Goodreads show her some support and check out her work.            

More bizarro to come as I hope to have as many of this years NBAS on as possible.