Powerhouse lit citizen Jay Slayton-Joslin interviewed me about Camus, writing Young Adult, THE STRANGEST, and more for Cultured Vultures.
So writing books, as well as creating them through indie powerhouse Civil Coping Mechanisms, what challenges does that bring to your writing and personal life?
Exhaustion, the threat of burning out. Hmm, the lack of a life or being able to actually sit still and not do anything. You know, just relax and, I don’t know, watch TV, without thinking about what I’m working on at the moment. I’m definitely a workaholic. There’s no doubt about it; I never feel right, “normal,” if I’m not working on multiple things at once. If I have nothing to do, I feel useless. Yeah, lots of long hours, less sleep, and the feeling of time passing at a rapid rate. I wish it would just slow down once in awhile.
Click here for the full interview.
As of May 1st, my fourth novel, “My Pet Serial Killer,” will go out of print. I’m sure leftover inventory will remain available at some bookstores and on Amazon but if/when those copies are snapped up, there will be no more printed. The publisher of the novel, Enigmatic Ink, has gone on hiatus; as such, this edition will unfortunately stall a little over a year after publication. It had a good run. It obtained a readership and I’m thankful for that.
I want to say that I’ve coped with the news by revising the novel from the ground-up, alongside writing a sequel. It’s my hope that “My Pet Serial Killer” will one day gain a second life.
One day this novel will kill again. Until then… \m/.
Dennis Cooper is quite possibly the best supporter of indie lit. Where many typically focus on whatever enters their view (via extensive publicity, etc), Dennis keeps his finger on the pulse of the indie lit scene. He watches and wish-lists many an indie/small press book title… and reads them too! That’s why I’m so thrilled to have made it into his year-end “best of” list for the second year (last year it was for “The Sky Conducting“). Dennis listed “My Pet Serial Killer” as one of his favorite novels of 2013. Couldn’t be happier to be included in a list full of top-notch titles like “Mira Corpora” by Jeff Jackson, “Crapalachia” by Scott McClanahan, “Taipei” by Tao Lin, “Haute Surveillance” by Johannes Goransson, and “Solip” by Ken Baumann. This is truly worth celebrating. 2013 was a damn good year.
Click here for the entire list.
The always amazing and always lovely Hannah Lee dubbed “My Pet Serial Killer” one of her favorite books of 2013. The nomination alone is enough to bring a smile to my face; however, she went one step further and created a mixtape for the book. That’s right. A mixtape. Can’t thank her enough for this. Have a listen and make sure to click that “heart” button to like the playlist!
Click here to listen.
Feeling a little down-and-out myself right now, so I’ll let Jeremy Maddux’s excellent podcast copy do most of the fighting, but Jeremy and I spoke for a little under an hour about everything from “Sugar” Willem Floures, the main character of my latest novel, “The Laughter of Strangers,” to Alt Lit and social media. I’m happy to have been featured on the podcast and hope my whiskey-rambling makes sense to those that listen.
I spoke with Michael Seidlinger about his latest novel, boxing centric The Laughter of Strangers, and his own shortlived boxing background. We also talked about relationships that may or may not have inspired the soul devouring Claire from My Pet Serial Killer, why you should change up your writing approach occasionally, where America goes from here after the Nuclear Family paradigm and the social networking phenomenon. This interview was a lot like a boxing match. Michael’s got a strong chin, took everything I threw at him!
Click here to listen.
Eddy Rathke is one hell of an interviewer. As per the style of the interview series, 52 interviews 52 weeks, each interview being 5 questions, Eddy chose those questions wisely. Some really great ones. Here’s a sample from the interview:
Mb: Along with the books you seem to always be writing, you also took over Civil Coping Mechanisms. How has publishing affected your own writing? What is your goal as a publisher?
MJS: I kind of view this as two pieces of one heart, if you will—I’m extremely thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to publish such an amazing array of talent. I’d be lying if I said the publishing side didn’t cut into my own writing. Got no room for any complaints though: I love every moment of it, be it the buzzed, alcoholic moments shared between publisher and author at a bar a the dead end of night or the anguished research and accounting that goes with keeping the books in check. I’d rather die than let this opportunity go to waste.
Click here for the complete interview.
From the review:
My Pet Serial Killer is a complicated novel, but with a narrative that moves at such a quick pace, it’s hard to set down. Claire Wilkinson is a graduate student pursuing a degree in forensics, and as research for her thesis, she develops a plan to study a serial killer that has been targeting women in the area, named “The Gentleman Killer” by local media outlets. Claire doesn’t pester law enforcement or investigate the crimes to discover the killer’s identity. Rather, she uncovers who he is and forms a partnership with the man, named Victor. With her forensic expertise and his seemingly endless appetite for torture, murder, and dismemberment, they make the perfect pair. She keeps him safe, and in turn, she gets insight into what makes him tick. She transforms her apartment by soundproofing the walls, rigging it with cameras, and building a cage in which the killer can do whatever he wants with the women she chooses for him. For Claire, simply killing dozens of women is not good enough. The victims must be the right kind–they must have “fight” in them. She watches his every move, probing him about what the victims taste and feel like, criticizing what he does wrong, like an overbearing coach. As long as he does as she says, there is no way he will ever be caught, she tells him. Their relationship thrives as the body count climbs, and she studies him as they march toward serial killer immortality.
Click here for the full review.
Dennis Cooper included My Pet Serial Killer as one of his favorites of 2013 so far along with a lot of great books, films, and music. Some of the notable books include Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan, Taipei by Tao Lin, In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell, Throne of Blood by Cassandra Troyan, Bluebird and Other Tattoos by Luna Miguel, Young Americans by Jordan Castro, and Happy Rock by Matthew Simmons.
Click here to have a look at the full list.
Here’s an excerpt:
BSP: So it seems you’ve been a jack of all trades. How did you come about mingling with so many varying paths and which was your favorite?
Seidlinger: “I have no idea. I am never the person that remains indecisive. If I want to pursue something, I just do it. I don’t linger around the idea for long. It’s probably why I ended up in so many different scenarios. I also feel like I’ve mellowed out extremely since focusing on writing/publishing. Those days of venturing up and down an interstate, blacking out in a band practice space, blowing out my vocal chords at a basement hardcore metal show due to the PA short-circuiting and being too lost in the music to notice, seeing my hands dry, red, and swarming with rashes due to the various chemicals used to detail (clean) cars all day, even waking up at 2AM to drive around the suburbs with certain struggling artists thinking that we might have to break into one of the houses, robbing the place (desperation does crazy things), forming insanely impractical plans only to end up at the local breakfast place, shortly before dawn, consumed by the doom of seeing our music/art dreams dying before our very eyes due to a lack of funds… yeah, I guess I never lingered around the idea of giving an idea a shot; I just started it. With very mixed results.”
Click here for the full review.