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.
The Laughter of Strangers‘s publication date is fast approaching and DAMN if it hasn’t been given one hell of a nod. The book is listed as one of Flavorwire‘s notable books of November. Other titles include This Is Between Us by Kevin Sampsell, Hill William by Scott McClanahan, and The Isle of Youth by Laura van den Berg. Man, what a list! Big thanks goes out to Jason Diamond for including the book. Here’s what he said about the book:
Unexpectedly, Michael J. Seidlinger has given us the boxing novel of the year. The Laughter of Strangers is a tough and gritty book that will challenge you page after page, but it is oh so worth it.
Click here to take a look at the whole list.
Looks like the first review for the book is out, and it’s a good one. David Atkinson reviewed the book over at The Coffin Factory. Definitely dig this, and I think it makes for a good pull-quote:
The Laughter of Strangers is Seidlinger’s most surreal and enigmatic work to date […] Identity is a curious creature to begin with, and Seidlinger does odd and marvelous things in making abstract aspects of identity concrete at the same time that he makes concrete aspects of identity abstract.
Click here for the full review.
The Laughter of Strangers will be available on November 24th from Lazy Fascist Press
I’m not the first to face off against the infamous Mourning Goats. In fact, I’m No. 59. I like odd numbers. 59 seems like a number given to the underdog. I’m fine with that.
Among questions dealing with the writing craft and my role at Civil Coping Mechanisms, Goats asks me about my next book, The Laughter of Strangers. This may or may not be the first time I’ve explained the basic premise of the novel. Here’s what I said:
The Laughter of Strangers is about a boxer celebrity named Willem Floures on the tail end of his career, struggling to remain the current “most noteworthy” version of himself. This is a world where fighting in the ring means fighting yourself. You face the versions that decided differently; you wage war with the versions that want to be the penultimate, the one that best represents “Willem Floures.” This is a story about the version that had it all and yet still wants more, he wants to keep fighting and is willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means losing himself in the process.
Click here for the full interview.
The Laughter of Strangers
Available: November 24th, 2013
Lazy Fascist Press
Cover by Matthew Revert