Interview with Jayson Densman

Jayson Densman director of EGG, talks about his career and his brilliant new movie 'Party Girl'

Q. Can you tell us something of your background. When did you decide you wanted to be a director and what was it that inspired you to be one.

A. I believe it all started in the womb. During delivery I complained of bad lighting, but craft services were totally awesome. When I was about 5, I used to entertain my family by pretending I was Tom Jones or Elvis. I always wanted to entertain people, even at the risk of personal safety or looking ridiculous. I discovered guitar and writing music at 12 and that carried on 'till I was about 30. When I was 22 I attended Stephen F. Austin State University (east Texas) and studied photography and film making. Not much of anything digital back then, so we shot everything in 8 and 16mm. It was a great way to learn the process. I learned how to shoot and edit with real film, quite a different process than today. I went back to school in 2002 (Tarrant Country College - Hurst, Texas) and brought myself into the digital age of computers and cameras. We shot a lot of stuff in those classes, including a music video of some old music I'd been a part of ( http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=4277710 - I'm the guy on guitar). After 3 1/2 years of that, I started X1 Productions. I shot anything that paid (mainly weddings) and a lot of stuff that didn't, but my faves are all the music videos. Directing had always been on the back burner for me. I had always enjoyed watching movies and occasionally one would come along and just blow me outta my seat. The first that I remember was Baron Blood by the great Mario Bava. That movie scared me shitless when I was a kid! I was strongly addicted to horror films, especially the old Hammer and American International films. Great films! Then the disaster films of the 70's like 'The Poseidon Adventure' and 'Earthquake' really rocked. Whatever the film, if it moved me in some way, I was always fascinated by how they did it. I was always picking it apart and analyzing the pieces. I wanted to know how and why it had so much power. I still do that today, so directing is a very natural thing for me and I understand the operations of all the departments, from the creation of story right down to distribution. So really, directing is just one of the things I like doing and it's a very natural, organic thing for me.

Q. How did Party Girl begin.

A. After 'EGG' had been turned down by a few really cool horror festivals, I wanted to make something that would be genre specific. There really is no proper classification for 'EGG' which is something I'm pleased with, but it sort of handicapped itself in the festival arenas. So for the next project, I wanted something that would fit easily into the festival circuit and I wanted to make something umm... bloodier. John Edward Lawson, a publisher (Raw Dog Screaming Press) and writer up in Maryland, had suggested 'Party Girl' a short story from Dustin LaValley's 'Lowlife Underdogs' collection. So he put me in touch with Dustin in New York and I received the original screenplay for 'Party Girl'. There were only a few small changes made on the script to what is now the movie. Dustin is an excellent person to collaborate with and he has a strong sense of storytelling.

Q. Can you explain your different experiences/approaches working on both Jeremy C. Shipp's 'EGG' and Dustin LaValley's 'Party Girl'.

A. I was very sick when we made 'EGG'. I remember shooting at the creepy feed mill wearing a cathater and drain bag (gross, I know), and everyone was worried about me. It was a very surreal time. Somehow, all that translated into 'EGG'. Pat Martin (Tapestry Filmscapes producer) had flown Jeremy in from California to see some of the film making process for 'EGG', which he enjoyed, and Dustin flew in for 'Party Girl' because I'd asked him if he wanted to be in the movie as a victim. So for me, both of these short films had a very rare and exotic feel while I was shooting. I was totally honored to have the writers present, especially since they live so far away. Everyone always seems to have a great time on these shoots. We become like an assembled, temporary family and new friendships always happen. No friction has ever happened on one of my sets that wasn't a part of the creative process. As far as my approach, both films were the same.

Q. How long did it take you to find the right actors for 'Party Girl'

A. Tom Young was the first one cast. He liked the script and offered a lot of insight. Tom is another creative soul who just happens to be an excellent actor. I had Marilyn Burns in mind for the lead and we actually negotiated for about 2 weeks, but unfortunately that fell through. I'd been a fan of Marilyn's since I first saw 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' back in '75 at a drive-in. She's a really great and totally underrated actress. So after that, Tom suggested Candace Porter. I had worked with Candace before on one of Pat's projects and thought she would be perfect for the part. So I contacted her and sent her the script. The same day she accepted the role. All the victims were cast along the way to the shoot date in Corsicana, Texas, where the main kill room was located. For a while it was a revolving door of guys that said would, but backed out for whatever reasons. What we ended up with was a perfectly casted victim menu! We were able to do the leg amputation gag because one of the actors (Dennis Harrison) had lost a leg in a car crash years ago. We also had Jackie Bibby 'The Texas Snakeman', who's been in a bunch of movies and episodic TV. Raw Dog Screaming Press publisher John Lawson was in from Maryland and LaValley was in from New York to die as well, plus a host of others who did just a remarkable job. Hats off to all the victims of 'Party Girl!'8)

Q. Can you explain some of the camera techniques you use in certain scenes. Do you enjoy the artistic side of things.

A. I have such strong visions of how the film should look and be executed that I just shoot it myself, with the help of a few folks on the set. Cinematography is certainly an artform, as well as lighting, blocking, sound, directing, writing, effects, make up, editing, etc. This particular project was shot all freehand. I think I used the tripod on one or two shots. This gave the film a very fluid, voyeuristic feel. Actually, one of the most potent shots in the film was Candace 'dancing' with the machete and Tom shot that sequence. Everyone seems to like the shotgun scene and the way it was shot. A lot of the power of that came through in the editing process. In the entire film, some things are sped-up or slowed down. I play with time quite a bit to get the right feel. Some of the camera work was experimental in a way, because I wanted a very surreal and liquidous feel for the entire film. I get exceedingly tired of watching hi-budget Hollywood shit that's the same thing over and over again. Very few truly creative films come out of the Hollywood system, and a lot of what you see in 'Party Girl' is a welcome relief to the stale, standardized and pasteurized film making process.

Q. How do you feel just before you start working on a movie and would you say you're a good directer to work with. 8)

A. That's a loaded question! The day of the shoot, I usually feel like I'm about to blast off! I feel totally in my element. Immersed. Typically, I have the shoot mapped-out, but I leave a lot of room for improvisation. This gives myself, the FX guys and the actors room to explore and create on the spot. This approach gives the film a very fresh feel. I listen to all input on the set, no matter how small the suggestion. I'm titled as director of the film, but really I'm just a funnel and filter for all the creative forces involved. I'm only one part of a much larger whole and I believe in the power of total equality; one thing in the creative process cannot exist or function without the other elements. A good director to work with? At the risk of sounding egocentric, yeah, I think so. No complaints except maybe that I'm fucking crazy. 8)

Q.Evil John Mays make up effects are awesome, very realistic. How did you feel filming all the gory stuff.

A. All the blood and guts and weaponry were a necessary component to the story. I wasn't out to make a simple Blood, Beer 'n' Boobs film. Plenty of those around already! The story's philosophy justified the macabre element(s). I was OK with all the gore, but the one's that kinda got to me were the castration and the vomiting. about 4 or 5 days after the main kill room shoot, I had a terrible nightmare about the castration scene. Fucking awful! The vomiting scene, well... Pat had to shoot that because Evil John's bile mixture looked and sounded just too fucking real and I had started to retch myself! I actually gagged! But I suppose that's positive testimony to Evil John's craft.

Q. What would you say was the most difficult scene in 'Party Girl' to film.

A. Hands down the machete through the back sequence. We tried a lot of angles and positions for that and it was exceedingly hard to make it work in editing. A back-up (safety) shot saved that gag, no doubt. The rape scene was difficult for me personally because I think it's a violently rude, dehumanizing act and it happens every day all over the world. It's sick, but it's also reality and very much a part of the story. Shooting that made me feel bad for the real victims in the world.

Q. 'Party Girl' is a victim fuelled by hatred and revenge, although what happens to her is terrible, do you think people will sympathise with her, considering we never really get to know much about her except when we see her kill. This comes across as quite a mechanical movie, do you think people will be drawn less to characters but more to issues of rape and the problem with sex offenders. And putting those issues aside, did you set out to make 'Party Girl' for the enjoyment of all those horror/slasher/psychological movie fans out there.

A. This whole project was designed in a very specific way for an audience who are desensitized to the point of redundancy from not only the shit Hollywood cranks out for the almighty dollar, but from the real world activities of real sick and disturbed people. Understanding that a typical viewing audience for this type material has seen everything under the sun, we wanted something that would reverse cater to the idea of revenge on a personal level. Character dialogue would almost certainly have helped create a connection of the audience to Candace's character in a sympathetic (or non-sympathetic) way. The narrative brought in a kind of documentary element, which even further alienates the viewer. The movie is designed to make people feel uncomfortable in a part of the mind that normally shuts out terrible and distasteful ideas. Murderers, rapists, pedophiles are real. They live in your neighborhood. But then again, thoughts of revenge are real too. I defy anyone to say they haven't had some really twisted thoughts, at some point or another, of getting even with someone who really fucked you over. This movie is that part of the human brain that wants serious justice. It is exceptionally internal.

Q. Are you currently working on another movie. Do you receive many scripts from hopeful screenwriters and what is it that you look for in a script.

A. Occasionally I get things thrown at me, but those around me know I'm only working on stuff that moves me in some way. There are a lot of dry, bland and meaningless stories in the world and I'm not interested in doing something that's not fresh and inventive. That's the artist side of me. The logical side of my mind tells me to do something for the money end of things so I can get bigger equipment and start making movies on a larger scale with investors. That's something I could certainly do, but the artist inside me has the bigger buggy whip at the moment. My next project is a series of videos, based on the poetry of the shy and elusive John Edward Lawson. After that, there will be a documentary on a subject I cannot discuss at this time.

Q. Who are your favourite directors and what advice would you give to up and coming directors.

A. Well, for me the best directors are not necessarily the ones who make the giant box office receipts, but the ones who are truer to the nature of creative storytelling. David Cronenburg is my all time fave. Other than that, its David Lynch, Robert Rodriguez, Bava, Kubrick, Hitchcock, Hooper, DePalma, Aronofsky... the list is kinda long, but really it's anyone who's said fuck it, in part or whole, to the standardized Hollywood system. They did the film their way and the film shines because of it. Advice to those who want to make films? That's an easy one: follow your heart and keep artistic compromise to a minimum.

Q. Who would be your dream actors to work with.

A. Ah geez, the list is very long and it really depends on the project and type of character. Terrance Stamp, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Williams, Martin Landau, Cary Elwes, JoBeth Williams, Christina Ricci, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt are but a few. I also like to work with non-actors. They bring a certain realness and vitality to a project, though I have to communicate with them a bit differently.

Q. Thank you for the interview. Good luck with 'Party Girl'. I hope it does well at the film festivals.

A. Thank you so much Marilyn! I had a great time with this interview, indeed! If anyone would like to order Party Girl or EGG:

and come visit the movie's website at www.myspace.com/eggfilm :)

Interview with Candace Porter

Candace Porter stars in Jayson Densman's new movie 'Party Girl.' Here she talks about playing the leading role.

Q. Can you tell us something of your background. When did you decide you wanted to be an actress.

A. Well... I grew up in Plano, Tx and had a bit of a rough childhood/teen yrs. I moved to Scottsdale, Az when I was 19 and then moved back to Dallas when I was 27. I did some modelling in Scottsdale and continued a bit when I got back to Tx, I was actually on a photo shoot when the photographer asked if I was an actress. He and his wife said I should go see an acting coach to see if I was interested. I LOVED it! So... I basically changed my whole life around, which is a bit scary.

Q. Do you think that Party Girl is a hero or a villain.

A. In my opinion, she is both. She is a villain in a way because she is a murderer, regardless of who and why she is killing. I believe she is also a hero in a way, due to the fact that she is keeping these men from hurting anyone else. She only kills rapist and pedophiles.

Q. Did playing Party Girl effect you at all and did you find it a challenging role.

A. Playing Party Girl did effect me a little because I had to go to a very dark place. I literally had to become someone who was mentally and emotionally scarred. I found it extremely challenging to become her. She is almost broken beyond repair. Her kills are so personal and she finds that it almost completes her as a person.

Q. Do you think Party Girl lowers herself to the same level as the rapist by taking out such violent revenges on sex offenders.

A. I think that is debatable. She is a killer, but she is killing the bad guys. I struggled a bit with that one myself.

Q. How did you feel about the rape scene.

A. This was my first time to do a rape scene, so I was terrified. I didn't think I would be able to deliver a realistic rape. Tom was wonderful coaching me through it. Once we began, it became very real. We left that night with scratches and bruises, but I think we were both happy with how it turned out.

Q. What do you think Party Girl was thinking when she was killing, how did you feel about acting out those scenes with all the blood, gory bits and mutilation and would you say Party Girl is a spirit or human being.

A. When Party Girl is killing, I believe she is thinking about him, the man who raped her. It was fun and disturbing to act out those scenes, there is so much hatred and blood. To me, Party Girl is very much a real person. Its really not far off to think someone could go off the deep end this much. She is in so much pain and deals with it the only way that makes sense to her. I honestly think she believes she is doing the world a favor and at the same time, she feels like she is getting justice.

Q. Would Party Girl think there was a difference between justice and revenge.

A. I think to her justice and revenge sort of run together. I believe in her mind its sort of a symbiotic relationship, with one comes the other.

Q. Do you sympathise with Party Girl and will it ever be enough for Party girl or will she keep on killing. Were you disappointed that she didn't find the man who raped her.

A. I have very much sympathy for her pain. She will always kill, in my opinion, as long as there are those who hurt others the way she was hurt. I was not at all disappointed that she didn't find him. I don't believe she was looking for "HIM" at all... just the essence of what he was.

Q. What actors inspire you.

A. The actors that inspire me are: Kate Blanchett, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jennifer Aniston, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton and probably Scott Speedman. They all inspire me for very different reasons, but I admire them for their work.

Q. Are you currently working on another movie.

A. I am currently working on a movie Tom wrote. It might be one of the best ideas and scripts I have ever read.

Q. Thank you for the interview. How would you sum up Party Girl.

A. I would say that Party Girl is a psychological thriller and not horror, but that's just me. I truly hope we get the chance to make a feature. This has so much more potential than just being a short. The writer, Dustin LaValley, is seriously a genius. I hope I get the chance to work with him again.


Interview with Tom Young

Tom Young stars in Jayson Densman's new movie 'Party Girl.' Here he talks about working on the movie and his acting career.

Q. Can you tell us something of your background. When did you decide you wanted to be an actor.

A. I've always been interested in acting but I wasn't raised to think outside the box. My father was old school and the Springsteen song the "River" comes to mind "they bring you up to do what your daddy done" It wasn't till I went to my 10 year high school reunion that I realized I wasn't doing what I wanted to be doing and I set about changing that.

Q. What other films have you been in.

A. Lots of low budget Indy films. "The Protector" played a lot on Showtime. I was in "Fat Girls" but got edited out, but I was Justin Bruennings dad which was cool, he's good looking and he went on to be the new Knight Rider. I like to say a chip off the old block. I've got several films that I've finished in the past year and I'm waiting for them to be released. I'm on IMDB if you want to look up some of the films I've been in. Also my website is www.THETOMYOUNG.com

Q. Would you say the man you portray in Party Girl is the worst character you've played so far in your career.

A. That's hard to say. In "The Protector" I played a stalker. I was a Nazi interrogator in another. He's at or near the top of the list.

Q. Do you have any sympathy for your character in Party Girl.

A. Yes. You have to be somewhat of a sad character to drug and rape someone.

Q. Did it effect you playing a rapist.

A. No. I'm not a method actor. Plus Candace is a friend of mine so it wasn't that bad.

Q. Did you do any research and how did you prepare for the part.

A. Yes, I actually watched interviews of death row serial killers just to see where their heads were.

Q. Would you say your character sees himself as a hero or does he see himself as the villain.

A. It's pretty much obvious he's definitely the villain. If it wasn't for him there wouldn't be a Party Girl, or would there? But there's one thing I learned as an actor, bad guys don't think they're bad guys, so don't play it like that because it becomes cartoonish. Did Hitler think he was a bad guy, Saddam Husein? No.

Q. Were you disappointed that you weren't caught, mutilated and killed by Party Girl.

A. Ah, No. That means I'll be around for a sequel.

Q. What was it that appealed to you about your character when you first read Dustin LaValley's script.

A. That he was responsible for the whole thing. Or so he would have you believe.

Q. How did you find acting the rape scene.

A. It was all choreography. Get that right and the scene plays itself.

Q. What actors inspire you and if you could choose an actress and director to work with, who would they be.

A. Johnny Depp. He is so versatile. He can play anything. Pam Anderson, just because she's Pam Anderson. The Coen Brothers.

Q. Are you currently working on a new film.

A. I've just wrapped "A Tangled Web" where I play a seedy private detective. It was a cool role. I thought it was a minor part when I auditioned and it turned out to be the lead. I'm in pre-production for a film I wrote "The Dancer" I plan on starring in and directing it. Candace Porter will be in it too. I'm in the process of getting a producer.

Q. Good luck with "The Dancer" and thank you for the interview. Do you have any advice for up and coming actors.

A. I would say study the craft. Take lessons from as many different coaches as you can. I can't tell you how many actors I've met that think you're either born with it or you're not. That couldn't be farther from the truth. And do it because you love it, not because you want to be a star or rich. There's a lot of rejection and very few actors are actually able to make a living doing this, so you've got to love it.


The Beast

Every night Freddy hears the bedraggled beast. It drives him insane. Freddy likes perfection.

Reluctantly, he heads up to the attic.

Freddy has kept the pathetic beast bound in chains ever since he was a boy but now Freddy is older, he finds his mother exasperating and he wonders how he will dispose of her...


The Mutilated Corpse Part 20

'Wake me up from this nightmare' you scream, you plead with me to spare your life, yet I'm past caring, so before you crack and burst, let me see you squirm, and let me see you smile.


A Love Story

Edward De Lush braces himself as he watches the strangers dance in the haze. They inflame in him a hidden desire. Edward increases his dose. He knows his reputation is truly tarnished.

Edward needs his pills to remember. To make the real seem unreal.

Edward has a secret.

Edward De Lush is hopelessly in love with Eleanor.

Eleanor Birch, not only young and beautiful but also a talented pianist and singer. All the handsome young gentlemen regularly attend her recitals.

Yesterday, Edward was seething when he heard the news of Eleanor's wedding plans. A drunken Edward ran havoc around town. How could Eleanor spurn his love for another man...

As Edward remembers, he wipes the sweat from his brow and curses.

"Eleanor, you stupid bitch. How could you do this to me?"

Tonight, Edward De Lush decides he will pursue his original plan.

Edward creeps into Eleanor's bedroom, he hovers over her, then quietly lowers himself and gently turns her head. Edward is in ecstasy as his teeth sink into her neck.

Edward lays beside a lifeless Eleanor. He strokes her strawberry blonde hair, removes her gown and caress her naked body. Then he walks over to fetch the bridal dress.

Once Eleanor is dressed, he places the ring on her finger. Just as lovers do, Edward whispers affectionate words but as he makes love to her, he shows no mercy.

"Eleanor, you stupid bitch. How could you make me do this?"

Edward De Lush braces himself as he watches the strangers dance in the haze. They inflame in him a hidden desire. Edward increases his dose. He knows his reputation is truly tarnished.

Edward needs his pills to remember. To make the real seem unreal.

Edward has a secret.

Edward De Lush is hopelessly in love with Eleanor.

The Mutilated Corpse Part 18

See part 17 at http://jeffforgotthechocolate.blogspot.com/

And think about your obsessions, your passion, your cravings, as you make that final trip to the vineyard.


The Mutilated Corpse Part 16

See Part 15 at http://jeffforgotthechocolate.blogspot.com/

Emm... then again if you pay what you owe and slash off your left ear and slice it into tiny pieces, Daniel and Albert might let you live, well... perhaps.


The Mutilated Corpse Part 14

See Part 13 at http://jeffforgotthechocolate.blogspot.com/

And if you dare to refuse Albert's proposal of marriage, he will nibble away at each piece of you until you are no more than mush.


Waiting for Malcolm

Peter the Frog hop's to the nearest lily pad. Malcolm is snoozing under the lilies, sword in hand. Peter the Frog croaks 'Malcolm.' A sleepy Malcolm slowly raises his head. Peter the Frog grumpily continues 'When are you going to materialize? People and frogs have waited one hundred years and three chapters, its just not on.' There is a moment of silence so Peter the Frog folds his tiny arms, stamps his tiny feet and waits anxiously for an answer. Malcolm raises his tall self, ponders over his cameo appearance and then replies in a stern voice, 'Patience. Patience.'

Peter the Frog slices some mango and waits.

The Diner

Greg is starving. He hasn't eaten for three days, except for a packet of crisps and a piece of stale bread. He staggers along the railroad. He suddenly stops. He notices a woman holding a severed head. She slices its crown like it was a hard boiled egg then picks up a gold plated spoon and tucks into it. Greg drools as he enters the restaurant.



Girl screams at the wake of her own destruction.

Girl, gambled her trust, gambled it on a friend.

Girl lost.

Girl needs something that is out of reach.

Girl needs to be loved.

Girl scratches.

Scratches the pain.

Girl holds the razor firm.

Masochist girl aims violent strokes.

Blood oozes.

Girl continues to scratch.

Scratches the pain.

Girl dreams of rainbows,

as the colour in her eyes begins to fade.

Girl gnaws at her bones.

Girl, gnaws, bites and chews.

Girl scratches.
Girl gnaws.
Girl scratches.
Girl gnaws.

Girl is through.

The Mutilated Corpse Part 12

See Part 11 at http://jeffforgotthechocolate.blogspot.com/

And look out for Daniel for he will be wearing odd socks and shoes, and waiting with his evil ferret, Albert.


The Mutilated Corpse Part 10

See Part 9 at http://jeffforgotthechocolate.blogspot.com/

And now I can only turn away in sadness and leave you behind but remember, please be kind to the crimson nightingale, she sings her song just for you.


The Mutilated Corpse Part 8

See Part 7 here: http://jeffforgotthechocolate.blogspot.com/

But if they eat too many cookies the devious hedgehog could give the game away and then all what should be forgotten shall be revealed.


The Mutilated Corpse Part 6

See Part 5 at http://jeffforgotthechocolate.blogspot.com/

Yes... Alistair who always drank way too much wine and made dresses and suits out of human skin for those insane cats of his - but the Vampires will be lurking, waiting patiently for you and their moment of triumph.


The Mutilated Corpse Part 4

See part 3 at http://jeffforgotthechocolate.blogspot.com/

And when I hear your words, hurtful, twisted, always sadistic, and when I see you looking so sublime, I tell myself, just fifteen days, just fifteen more days and then...


The Mutilated Corpse Part 2

The Mutilated Corpse is a one-line at a time version of "The Exquisite Corpse" writing exercise. This one is going to be twenty lines long and a joint effort between myself and Throg of http://jeffforgotthechocolate.blogspot.com/ You can read his line 1 there. This is line 2:

And you remain here thinking you're in control, pull me close and tell me this is our destiny.


Interview with Jeremy C Shipp

Jeremy C shipp is the author of Sheep and Wolves and Vacation. His new novel Cursed is out Halloween.

Q. Can you tell us something of your background. And what age did you start writing.

A. I was raised in a magical land called Loma Linda, and I still live there, with my wife, my kittens, and a myriad of other mystical creatures. I had a rather normal childhood, and I spent much of my time playing pretend, as I do now. I started writing novels at 13, and I've been writing about one book a year ever since.

As a kid, I saw the world as a magical, wonderful place. As a teenager, I saw the world as a horrible place. Now, I see the world as a magical, horrible, wonderful place.

Q. What is Cursed about.

A. Cursed is about an informal support group for people who are cursed. Nicholas, Cicely and the others work together to try to figure out who cursed them and why. And, like the rest of us, they want to find happiness.

Q. What inspired you to write this novel.

A. My wife inspired me. For years, she suffered from CFIDS, and much of her suffering came from how people treated her. CFIDS is one of those "invisible" disabilities, and many people didn't believe she was sick. Others, who did believe, treated her like she was less than whole. When she had to use a wheelchair, strangers called her names. These experiences affected me deeply, and inspired me to write a story that deals with disability, invalidation, and other such topics.

Q. Would you say Cursed is quite focused on friendships. Are any of the characters based on people you know or on life experiences.

A. Yes, friendship is the core of Cursed. People need love, but even more than that, I believe people need respect and validation.

There are bits and pieces of me in the two main characters. Cicely is my passionate, creative side, and Nicholas is my insecure, obsessive side. Parts of my characters are also inspired by various family members and friends and acquaintances. And, other parts of my characters come from my imagination.

Q. Who would you say is your favourite character in Cursed.

A. Cicely's my favourite in Cursed, and one of my favourite characters I've ever written. She's so weird and passionate and caring. I wish I could be as strong as Cicely. Maybe someday I will.

Q. What is your favourite part of the book.

A. I loved writing Cursed and I especially love the ending. I love how everything comes together. The ending affects me emotionally, deeply.

Q. How would you compare Cursed to Sheep and Wolves and Vacation.

A. In my mind, Cursed is much more character-based than Sheep and Wolves or Vacation. I love the plot in Cursed, but in truth, the characters are everything. The story is about their raw feelings, their hopes, their fears, their connections. Cursed is a novel about the home. And home is where the heart is.

Q. Have the yard gnomes read Cursed yet.

A. Most yard gnomes don't bother learning to read, as their society is dependant on oral and bodily communication. I did read the book to the yard gnomes though, and they enjoyed the tale. They especially liked that yard gnomes were mentioned in the book.

Q. How is your pet business going.

A. Everything's gone smoothly so far, and we're just starting to advertise. Hopefully things will go well.

Q. You have a very close friendship with yard gnomes and coconut monkeys, do you ever collaborate with them for ideas when writing a new story. :-)

A. I never collaborate directly with yard gnomes and coconut monkeys, but their folk tales have often inspired me, creatively. Yard gnomes and coconut monkeys have an animistic view of the world, and they've helped me to see things differently.

Q. Are the Attic Clowns still being mean to you. :-(

A. These days, they keep trying to bake me into banana cream pies, but they're not trying to be mean. For Attic Clowns, evil is a form of affection.

Q. Any final words.

A. Snap apple, boogie woogie, crisscross, ding-a-ling, itsy-bitsy, peanut butter butterflies.

Thanks for the interview.


The River

She waits by the river. Alice knows it's over. She watches the ripples in the water and wonders why they make her feel so calm. Alice is feeling old, too old to change. She knows your negativity has brought her here.

Alice tries to catch her tears as they fall into the river. She sobs knowing there is no other way. She has always stored her memories as if they were gold but today Alice is unlocking them. She must let go. She watches as her memories drift into the river, many dark, some shimmer and shine. Alice watches as each and everyone flows downstream. Finally, she says goodbye to the friend she never had.

A forest full of trees tower above her, rows of flowers loom and the birds sing their morning song, at last Alice feels at peace. She removes her clothes. Alice is surprised at how warm the water is. She closes her eyes, descends and lets the river take her...


Interview with Dustin LaValley

Dustin LaValley first wrote 'Party Girl' as a short story in his book 'Lowlife Underdogs' published by Raw Dog Screaming Press. Party Girl has now been made into a film, directed by Jayson Densman.

Q. Party Girl is more than just a pissed off woman, could you briefly tell everyone what the story is about.

A. Sure. Party Girl begins and remains an innocent soul, a victim turn judge, jury and executioner.

Q. When you first viewed the Party Girl film what was your initial reaction, has it done justice to your script and were many changes made.

A. There were changes made, but all were in my approval which I thank Jayson for making sure I got a hand in editing. My first viewing could be summed up in the words "Holy Goddamn!" I believe those were my first words after viewing it the first time, after the second time and thirds I just kept thinking wow!

Q. Do you think (or hope) many people will be shocked by some of the violence in Party Girl.

A. I'm hoping they will be shocked, yes. If it shocks them, it is more likely to stick with them, behind their eyes when they go to sleep and on their tongue the next day to spread in their circle of friends.

Q. The subject matter is powerful, are you trying to say something in this film or is it pure slasher entertainment.

A. I am attempting to speak out, it's not only a slasher film, I consider it a psychological slasher. The states have done very little to protect the population. The revolving door is more than a cliche it's an accurate euphemism. Sex offenders are 90% likely to become repeat offenders upon their release.

Q. Did you have any say in the film directions or were you happy to leave that task to Jayson and crew.

A. Jayson and Pat, Candace and Tom, Evil John Mays and the rest of the crew... everyone treated me with respect, they were great and are great people. I was allowed much input, many times things would not move forward until one of the crew had my input. And I thank them all very much.

Q. What was it like to be a victim of your own Party Girl. :-)

A. Surreal. I may use that word too much describing the events that took place on the shoot, as it was very much like what I had in my head when visualizing the film. It was a lot of fun to get cut up and bloody.

Q.There are many horrific, blood splattering scenes, what would you say is your favourite scene in the Party Girl film.

A. I couldn't pick a favourite, I could pick favourites but that would be like the girlfriend telling you it's her or the dog, a hard decision, though I would most likely be the one to keep the dog. Okay, for me it would be very easy, the dog stays and goodbye... But, where are we... Okay, one of my favourite shots is when the first kill happens, the look on the victims face as he sees Party Girl aiming a shotgun at him...

Q. Do you have any other scripts that have been turned into films, if so what are they.

A. Yes. Rise of the Ghosts was the first, for SV Bell/Black Flag Pictures. A good sci-fi/horror feature. I also wrote the short nod to the 80s slasher, You're Next 3: Pajama Party Massacre for NFTS Productions as well as the segment "Dinner Date" for the anthology feature Terror overload, also for NFTS productions.

Q. Are you writing another script at the moment.

A. Currently I'm working with a production company on their second feature film which I have great expectations for and I also have a few short films in pre-production. I can't give much more information but I can tell you that they will be splendid, entertaining and fun.

Q. Who are your favourite writers, how have they inspired you. And what is your favourite film.

A. Easily, my top authors are Edward Lee, Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, John Edward Lawson and Ronald Damien Malfi. Each has their own unique voice, whether it be extreme hardcore horror or subtle and psychological, they are in my opinion the top of the field. For film, Terry Gilliam, Quentin Tarrantino, and David Cronenberg and of course... Mel Brooks. As like the authors above, all have a very unique and special talent that they bring to film and without the influence of said authors and screenwriters, I most likely would not be participating in this interview.

Q. Does your daily life have an effect on your creative life and do you write everyday.

A. Everyday life has definite input, most of my stories have been sparked by a situation close to the plot or motif of the story. Everyday I do attempt to write, but with political strife at home and abroad, how can one sit and type all day? No, I don't get to write everyday but I do attempt to.

Q. How would you sum up Party Girl.

A. Party Girl is the result of the primal urge that unfortunately too many of our species haven't outgrown. She is brought to life by an event of sexual abuse and takes it upon herself to set into motion the hand of self-righteous justice. A very brutal and violent penalty that will not give any sway for repeat offenders.

Dustin, thank you for the interview, it's been a pleasure.


Her Calling

It was a flash in the day. It was a crack. She wipes the tears. You are under her skin, you are in her hair, you are driving her crazy. Julianne screams 'Why the new girl. Why not me? Shit, shit, shit, my head is so fucked up' then slams down the phone.

After the hours pass she remembers the most. The day you said goodbye, Julianne never saw it coming, your words knocked her like punches. She was dead on the floor for days. Now she has risen.

You are everywhere but you're not here. What can she salvage, did you really take it all? Unhook this fish, free this demon. Julianne shivers and laughs like a little girl. She is suspended. She spends her last seconds afraid. She spends her last seconds watching the hangman.



You can correct him if he's wrong but he's always right. Huxley shakes his head 'This will never do,' he doesn't need to add more, after all he is a genius. Bob, the insane master, wears his clothes inside out, counts everything three times over and never goes out after dark for fear of alien abduction. Huxley, the black dog hasn't always been black but that was how he rolled. Today, Huxley teases Bob, just like every other day. He runs away when called, drinks his own whiskey and then begs for Bob's. When Bob wants silence Huxley barks and laughs when Bob scolds him for peeing in the house. Yet Huxley isn't a naughty dog. He craves attention so he plays the clown. Bob has grown bored of his old dog. Every night Bob comes home from work feeling tired and sends Huxley out in the yard and tonight will be no different from any other night. Huxley hates the yard. Huxley is lonesome.

Huxley is no ordinary dog. He is a poet and an alcoholic. Dogs in the neighbourhood gather round each day to listen to Huxley read his poems. Sometimes silly verse. Sometimes tragic. When the crowd gather, this is when Huxley feels isolated. They admire his talents from afar. Huxley has no friends. The hours pass, Huxley weeps.

One day Huxley is flicking through one of Bob's magazine's and some picture excites him. The big city and its dazzling lights. Huxley jumps up and down and wags his tail. 'That's where I want to be' he shrills 'The big city must be full of new friends.'

Huxley pours out one more whiskey and drinks it down in one gulp. He places his notepad and pen in his suitcase and walks quietly down the stairs. Bob is still sleeping in his chair. Huxley feels it's best to sneak out the way he sneaked in. 'Will Bob care when he finds me gone?' Huxley shakes his head sadly and exits out the door.

'It's such a cold night' Huxley sobs. As memories surface, Huxley tries to block them out. His heart hurts bad as he thinks of Bob. 'Where did the love go?' Huxley reaches the end of his street and lets out a howl. With a little doubt but full of hope he tells himself there is a better world waiting around the corner.

Huxley turns on his ipod and dances towards the city lights, singing along with The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Huxley sings 'Fly away on my zephyr, we'll find a place together...'

Huxley continues 'Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo Woo Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah'



She tried to say she liked you. Damn it, look at you now, you fool, head in your hands, you suffer like no-one ever could. Time has moved mysteriously since she last saw your face. She was wild and insecure. You were an introvert, a bastard, a sweetheart. Grace was your friend, she pulled you out of the hole you dug so deep. Now you are distant, communication has shut down.

Today, Grace is stepping out, while someone new moves in to take her place. Forever watching the same repeats, living the same old shite. There she goes again, clasping her tales of woe.

Someone slap her quick, she is drifting, she's surrendering. Grace longs to tell you she is sorry. Thoughts dart back and forth. She is tied in knots. Her tears fall for you, guess you've hurt her some.

Grace, colourless and despondent, she feels like a blank page turning once in a while. Lend her your horse, let her ride away. Let her roam the world. She wants to have fun again, play cowboys and indians, play the damsel, play the whore, anything to escape her non-existence.

'It's no big deal' Grace tells herself, but she can't fight it. Grace is sick of the dreams. Sick to death of the stories. Sick to death of the bullshit.

Grace is thinking about her life, her plans. Out in the parking lot, is she looking for you? A gun in her hand, will she shoot? She counts down from ten. Sadness engulfs her.


Interview with Keith Young

Author of "The Kaluza Concept". A subtle cocktail of Physics and Metaphysics.

Q. What inspired you to write this book.

A. For quite a few years now, I've had various disparate ideas about paranormal events buzzing around in my head, and it always bugged me that they were always written off as inexplicable or mysterious. All the stuff I've read on this never seems to go far enough, probably because the authors have reputations to uphold and don't want to expose themselves to ridicule. So, I thought I'd have a go at that further step, bringing all the disparate ideas together and making some sort of attempt at trying to explain them in terms of modern physics. "The Kaluza Concept" is the result! It was either this, or go mad!

Q. What is your background in Relativistic Physics, Quantum Physics, String Theory and Psychology and are you at all daunted, given that physicists universally agree that we are a long way from unifying quantum and relativistic level theories, that you have chosen to jump two steps ahead of them by unifying not only these theories but the disparate fields of psychology and metaphysics.

A. I originally trained as a science teacher back in the weird-hair days of the eighties, but since then, I have studied numerous courses on the first two subjects with the Open University, and have done extensive reading on the second two, but nothing formal. I would love to be able to boast that I have unified quanturm and relativistic level theories in the sense that physicists would like (!), but by unifying certain ideas from Psychology and Metaphysics, and marrying these to ideas from Quantum Physics and Relativity, I suppose there is a certain holism which perhaps wasn't apparent before! It would be ironic if the unification physicists seek were to be brought about intervention from psychologists and metaphysicists!

As for being daunted... not really, as I've no reputation to damage. I've nothing to lose.

Q. What are the obstacles and pitfalls for a layperson entering into the complex and intensely mathematical arenas of physics treated in your book.

A. Probably the complex mathematical bits. But you've got to remember that, daunting as it may look, it's only a descriptive and predictive tool, although if you're not familiar with the lingo, it can form an impenetrable wall. I personally find the study of mathematics as an end in itself quite boring, although some would disagree. To me, studying mathematics for its own sake is rather like studying a spanner for its own sake, without learning anything about what it's used for. The best way to get your head out of the complexities is to, wherever possible, picture it geometrically, which is the only way it is presented in the book. There's no mathematics in here... It's all translated into drawings... honest!

Q. How does Kaluza-Klien relate to modern string theory and M-theory. How has it been superseded, and what are the fundamental problems with each approach.

A. The original theory proposed by Kaluza posited an extra curled up dimension at each intersection of spacetime, so tiny as to be indiscernible from our viewpoint. After some initial interest from Einstein himself, and further elaboration by Klein, the red carpet treatment afforded to the emerging Quantum Theory ensured that Kaluza-Klein theory spent quite a lot of time rummaging through dustbins, sleeping in subways and busking to make a living. However, the development of String Theory required extra dimensions. String Theory proposes that each fundamental particle is the result of a certain vibration frequency on a tiny "string", and for these vibrations to occur, extra dimensions are required to act as a sort of resonance chamber. Without these extra dimensions, the required frequencies, mathematically, could not occur. So Kaluza-Klein Theory was re-housed and given a bowl of soup, and even more dimensions! It hasn't been superseded as such, merely incorporated and elaborated upon. The fundamental problem with String Theory and its elaboration, M-Theory, is the mathematics, which hasn't yet been fully developed, but what theoreticians have so far looks promising. It's only a matter of time.

Q. Why did you focus on special relativity rather than general relativity and in what ways does this limit your conclusions.

A. The strange warping of perception of timeflow which Special Relativity encompasses lent itself rather well to the idea of a consciousness freed from the three dimensional shackles of a physical body being able to manipulate, and interact with, the timeline, as easily as you or I walk from room to room. Its liberation, as I see it, into the extra dimensions suggested by Kaluza-Klein and M-Theory, would facilitate this. Special Relativity thus represents our limited perception of higher dimensional possibilities which a liberated consciousness, after physical death, realises in full. In this way, concentration on Special Relativity inspired my conclusions, rather than limiting them.

Q. Do you accept the axiom of the rule of the excluded middle and if so, how do you resolve the mathematical contradictions which arise in any attempt to unify quantum and relativistic physics. If not, what is the axiomatic basis to your logic.

A. I feel that for a view of the everyday world we live in, this axiom must be accepted in order for things to make sense, but when you delve into the underlying probabilistic substructure of reality, the axiom isn't quite so clear cut. In my view of the world of Quantum Physics, the actual "reality" we experience is just one outcome of an infinite number of superposed realities, just one of which is real-ised when our conscious mind "concentrates" on, or "collapses the wavefunction" of, this particular version of events. In this one version of events, the axiom of the rule of the excluded middle holds, but in the "big picture", it is transformed into a probabilistic form, with no exclusions whatsoever. Anything is possible. I personally feel that this is the reason for the mathematical contradictions arising in any attempt at unification of Quantum and Relativistic Physics, as relativity relates to just one version of events, the universe we live in, whereas Quantum Physics relates to the whole superposed panoply of potential realities which are waiting to be real-ised. The two are completely different animals! This view forms the axiomatic basis to my logic.

Q. How do you derive conclusions about psychology from unifying fields. Are the conclusions necessary correlates or merely compatible hypotheses. How rigorously have you tested the compatibility of your physical theories with modern psychological theories and the underpinning evidence.

A. Actually, the conclusions about psychology actually formed in my mind, and then I tried to find a logical (to me) way of fitting them into a physical theory. Not just one major physical theory, but as many as I could muster, so this is where the apparent unification probably comes from. Rather ambitiously, perhaps, I have tried to form a complete view of physical reality, derived from modern Physics, and how consciousness fits into it, and is indeed an integral part of it. I don't think rigorous empirical testing really entered into this work, as it is, at this moment in time, very speculative, but quite a lot of psychological theory (modern and otherwise) could be interpreted in a compatible way. But then again, that's the beauty of speculation. Who can say you're wrong.

Q. How do you respond to the mainstream view in modern psychology and neurology that dualism is an outmoded view which fails the test of Ockham's razor and is actively contradicted by experimental evidence.

A. I would tend to say, "Oh shit", there go the reductionists again! How would these people explain the multitudinous paranormal events that occur every day. How would they explain the fact that some people on the operating table, whilst unconscious, have actually looked down on themselves and witnessed the conversation of the surgeons and nurses operating on them, which they couldn't possibly have done physically. And visited their relatives in other rooms. I must admit, I don't hold to many mainstream views in anything, and I would suggest that their experiments are, at this moment in time, inadequate. I feel that the test of Ockham's razor is subjective in the sense that it relies on the extent of knowledge at the time, or the world paradigm as such, and in such a way, concepts which fail the test today may pass the test in years to come, albeit in a more succinct form, as Ockham would have liked.

Q. Do your metaphysical views flow from the requirements of physical and psychological theory. If so, how. If not, how did you arrive at your metaphysical views and how have they influenced the development of your scientific theories.

A. In answer to the first part... not really. My metaphysical views stem from years of casual reading and study, not holding to any one particular school of thought, and imbibing bits and pieces of disparate ideas from many viewpoints, including much on the subject of the paranormal. Almost subconsciously, these gradually condensed into a self-consistent idea of the nature of consciousness, but I couldn't quite figure out how it would fit into the view of reality posited by physicists. Much more reading on this latter subject gave me a few basics ideas about Quantum Theory, String Theory Relativity and associated concepts, such as Hilbert Space which, when tailored accordingly, seemed to fit the bill. So, it was the metaphysical views which stimulated the development of my scientific viewpoint, which is necessarily much more flexible than that usually put forward by hardline scientists.

Q. Where do you go after you have your Theory of Everything.

A. Good question Marilyn. Cleethorpes, perhaps. Ice cream and doughnuts. Nah... I'm currently writing, in a lazy way, and as a total departure, a satirical novel, hopefully much funnier than "The Kaluza Concept" I've been told it looks promising so far, but it's very sloooooooooow!

Q. How do you chill. :-)

A. Absolutely love "Family Guy", "House" anything vaguely paranormal (of course), listening to music such as Radiohead and The Pixies, any mod/scooter music, any mod/scooter paraphernalia, drinking Stella (whenever she's in), keeping fit, reading, socialising (whilst drinking beer, usually Stella). I'm a pretty chilled dude really, to the point of driving the wife to distraction.

Q. If you could be anyone, who would you be.

A. That's a hard one. How's about Brain Molko, from the band Placebo. I would not only write superb songs, but my wife would salivate every time I walked into the room. Closure. It's been a pleasure, Marilyn... Ta.

Thank you, it's been interesting. Now go and have a Stella for me. Hope she's in. ;-)

You can check out Keith Young's site here: http://www.squidoo.com/kaluzaconcept


Interview with Brett Williams

Author of Forfeit Heart, The Dare, Back in Black and Family Business.

Q. When you're setting out to write a novel do you have to be in a certain state of mind, do you draw from life experiences and are any of your characters based on people you know.

A. Not typically, but I do pull from life experiences as do all writers. I do utilize character traits of people I know, but I do not transplant entire people from my life into characters. That would not be entertaining to me to write. Although I did write about a friend and her guitar in a particular short story featured on my website.

Q. Do you have to be in a certain state of mind to write. Do you have any daily rituals.

A. I usually have specific songs I use as a soundtrack for each story. If I get stuck, I play the song or songs and it will kick start the ideas flowing and get me into the mood. Also, I try to write every day at the same time of day.

A few examples of song/soundtracks would be Fiona Apple's "Criminal" which helped inspired me to write Forfeit Heart. That and "Angel Heart." I played Danzig's "Bodies" a lot while writing "Back in Black." Of course I listened to AC/DC, too. ;-)

Q. Do you think self publishing is good and worthwhile.

A. Self publishing gets a bad rap a lot of the time, but it has been good to me. Not that I am getting rich self publishing, but I am getting my work out to readers and getting the attention of professional publishers.

I would like to point out that I started self publishing because it was more cost effective than printing out manuscripts for friends and family. Things quickly snowballed from there. Now my most recent work features artwork by my friend Christa St. Jean. Another friend of mine helped with light editing. "Family Business" is a very polished product that readers have been clamoring for. I sold out a limited, signed edition in just a few days.

Q. You write strong female roles, you seem to understand the mind of a woman. Have women had a profound effect on your life when growing up.

A. Thank you. I have received the same comment from other readers. I'm very proud of the way I write female characters. I'd probably have to credit the females in my family for helping me develop this writing ability as they are all women with strong wills.

Q. You describe your writing style as literary rock and roll. Would you love to be a rock and roll star and has music been the inspiration for any of your stories.

A. Definitely, music inspires me as I pointed out in an earlier reply. I'll never be a rock star, but for me, writing is my version of being in a garage band, hence the self publishing. How many great bands started out with a demo tape recorded in a garage? Maybe some day something I have written will be "playing" in a large bookstore.

Q. Your writing is fast paced and full of suspense. It's all sex, drugs and violence. Why do these subjects appeal to you so much.

A. What appeals to me are down-on-their-luck characters. They have flaws. They have addictions. They want to get laid. They get mad and beat the shit out of other people. They are so much more entertaining to write and to read. The pace is sometimes fast because these characters jump from one bad situation to the next. Sometimes the suspense is because not even the characters know what they will do next.

Readers can relate to this and feed out of it. It helps to keep them hooked.

Q. Do you plan your stories, do you know where you're heading, or do you prefer to let it take you on a journey.

A. I've done it both ways, but never totally planned out. It's more like having a point A and B but I don't know how the story will get from A to B. Sometimes it skips directly to point C. Some stories have more preconceived checkpoints planned from the beginning than others.

Typically, I know roughly how the plot will go, but the subplot (s) grow from the primary plot line.

Q. What authors inspire you and why.

A. Anything I read can inspire me, or give me ideas. But the authors who most consistently inspire me would be Richard Laymon and F. Paul Wilson.

Laymon knows how to entertain and build suspense. He also goes above and beyond by screwing with his readers' minds.

I also love F. Paul Wilson's work because he really knows how to write thrilling novels and build three dimensional characters.

Q. What is your favourite novel.

A. If I had to pick one, I'd pick "The Travelling Vampire Show" by Richard Laymon. I love that novel. It's a great coming of age story with tons of suspense. And Laymon really screws with the reader in that one. Could the vampire be real? Is it all a hoax? You've got to keep reading to find out. Wow.

Q. Can you tell us about the novel you are writing at the moment.

A. Currently I'm writing a sequel to Family Business. It pulls in characters from previous manuscripts and expands on themes utilized in the other novels and manuscripts. Eventually, there should be four novels which are loosely connected.

Q. Do you have a favourite character from any of you stories.

A. That is a very tough question. I will have to pick Kat only because she appears in four different stories of mine. Kat has always been a secondary character so I feel funny selecting her as a favourite. Of my published novels, she only appears in a single chapter of "Family Business".

Q. If you could be a cartoon character who would it be.

A. Tweety Bird. He's cool and ornery.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there.

A. Write, write, write. It's the only way to gain experience and skill.

Brett, thank you for the interview, it's been great.

Thank you, Marilyn, for my first of hopefully many interviews. It has been a pleasure. It's great that there is a community to support and grow readership of new authors. Without folks like you and the readers willing to give us a shot, the reading landscape might be frighteningly dull.

Keep up the good work. Keep reading, I'll keep writing.

You can check out Brett's site here: http://www.brettwilliamsfiction.com/


Interview with Throg Niemand

Not known so much in this world but a celebrity in the underworld, Throg Niemand talks about life, writing and gives hope to all wastrels out there.

Q. What age did you start writing. Did you have a happy childhood in Germany. And did your childhood have an effect on the way you write.

A. To answer the second part first, no. I wrote my first short story at the age of three months, several months before I spoke my first words. It was called "Agg owm wei pwappo" and was the harrowing tale of the abstract interactions of some barely understood emotions with a cluster of blurry lights. Or something. Meanwhile back at the second part of your question, I am not from Germany although my name is. My name had a traumatic upbringing: born an orphan in the fictitious town of Neuschlectsburg, he was horribly yet nebulously abused by the memory of the parents he imagined he would have had, had he actually existed.

Q. What inspired you to write Malcolm the Barbarian.

A. Malcolm the Barbarian is a true story. To protect the individuals depicted, some of the inside-leg measurements have been changed.

Q. Do you write everyday or only when you feel inspired.

A. I pretty much always feel inspired. However, I am very easily distracted.

Q. You confess to have side stepped reality for a number of years, what did you do over that time.

A. I danced I sang. I made marmalade from the bones of the old Gods and spread it upon the grim toast of disappointment to make it palatable. Then I ate it with some Fava beans and a nice Vimto.

Q. Do you receive a lot of fan mail regarding your moustache. I've heard people say it's mighty impressive. It seems to be the talk of the town around here.

A. Why, you flatterer! Oddly, no. I do receive a surprising number of fan moustaches. One particularly ingenious fan had written the first chapter of a novel on the individual hairs of his moustache. Sadly, due to some rough-handling by the post-office the original order was not preserved so I don't know if it was any good. It did feature the word "beetroot" a lot and I believe the author's name was either Hector or Plimsoll.

Q. Do you prefer to be known as a writer or a wastrel and what authors and wastrels inspire you.

A. I prefer to be known as a moustache with a writer/wastrel attached. An eagle-clawed reader would be very scary. What? Anyway, an eagle-eyed reader could probably infer some of the authors who have inspired me from my blog. I'll mention a few for readers who have the body parts of only a single species. Robert Heinlein, for being the first author to present me with worlds I hadn't imagined and sparked a life-long interest in science fiction, intelligent naked women and unworkable simplistic politics, Stephen King for making people in unbelievable situations believable. Umberto Eco for somehow managing to make stories entertaining and readable while requiring a trip to the dictionary or encyclopedia every three pages, Dan Brown for showing utter contempt for research, plot, characterisation, grammar, integrity and for inspiring in me utter contempt for authors named Dan Brown.

The wastrels that have most inspired me are Albert Einstein, Bender B. Rodriguez, Kwai Chang Kane and John Henry Holliday (despite his weedy moustache). The real trick to being a wastrel is to find the line between louche and lounging around in your underpants.

Q. What music do you like and has music ever inspired you to write a story.

A. My tastes are eclectic, but a disproportionate number of the songs I like are from the mid-sixties to early seventies. Not just the nineteen sixties and seventies, but from the adjacent centuries. I like a lot of Tchaikovsky, Bob Dylan, The doors, Queen, Sam Cooke and Queebril Vappfong (big hit with "My nanotech love" in 2068). The most recent band I can recall being really into are Radiohead and the least recent are Alvin Rrrg's tarpit troubadours.

I am quite often inspired by music, but it tends to be isolated strings of words, images or emotional stirrings rather than the ostensible content.

Q. Do you have any daily rituals and do you plan out your stories or would you say you are a spontaneous writer.

A. I have no rituals, nor sadly, any habits related to writing though I do intend to shop for some in the near future. I don't do any deliberate planning, and most of the stuff that appears on my blog is completely spontaneous and - as you can probably tell - rarely edited. Malcolm The Barbarian is also just typed as it comes. Some of my more serious writing rattles around in my brain for a while before I write any of it down though there is no formal planning. My novel tends to get between fifty and a hundred pages in before I decide if it could be better, or throw it away and start over again. I have a smoking jacket and a writer's hat now, so hopefully that will change.

Q. Are you still a big fan of The A-Team.

A. They don't seem to have done a lot lately, do they? Also, I was a fan of the real A-Team, who were rather more violent and much snappier dressers than those namby-pambies on television. Although, in contrast to George Peppard's "I love it when a plan comes together", the real Hannibal's catchphrase is this disappointing "My knee really hurts". Also, Face is a Mandrill.

Q. What would you say to all those people who said you were talentless. :-D

A. What? "All"? Who are these people? In all honesty no one has ever said that, but if they did I'd say, never presume to judge a man's talents until you've been naked with him and given him a few minutes to get his breath back.

Q. Are you working on a story at the moment. And will we be able to read more of Malcolm The Barbarian soon.

A. I am about four minutes into a ten minute film script I'm writing. I am between destroying the most recent draft of my novel and starting again. I have two thirds of a poem and about seventy ideas for things. There will be a lot more Malcolm The Barbarian. My plan is to write a new chapter every week, which means I'll probably actually write one every two or three weeks.

Q. How do you like to relax.

A. I never relax. Being a wastrel is a 24-hour-a-day commitment.

Q. Do you like frogs.

A. I am ambivalent. They look kind of gradely but they are boring conversationalists.

Q. Is being Throg Niemand hard work.

A. Being Niemand is easy, being Throg is something else and I'm not entirely sure what.

Thank you for the interview Throg, it's been great. Any final words.

It has, hasn't it.

My final words are "mellifluous", "moribund", "helicopter" and "oh my God, is that a - ?"

You can check out Throg Niemand's blogs here:




Interview with Jay Link

Cool rocker Jay Link, lead singer with LA hard rock band Death & Taxes talks about his new CD, the band and awesome things...

Q. How is the recording coming along on the forthcoming Death and Taxes CD.

A. The recording has been a slow process, over three years now and lots of money invested, but we are on track, Michael Cutting, our guitarist, will be finishing the guitar tracks by end of summer, and I will be finishing the vocals in an LA studio around the same time, then final mix and mastering by Brian Gardner in Hollywood, and we should have a very nice CD completed!

Q. Who is producing the CD. And what other musicians has he worked with.

A. Michael Cutting is producing, and he has been a member of Christial metal group Holy Soldier since 1985. We have also worked with Eric Falborg, who has produced Josh Groban among others.

Q. Do you all get along as band members. And do you socialize outside of the band.

A. Absolutely, I married Michael's sister Pamela in 1981, we had three children so Michael is now my ex-brother-in-law and uncle to my 3 adult children. We are all very close. Dave Starkey, my bass player, Michael and I have been playing music together since 1982, so we are like family. Yes, we socialize a lot outside the band...

Q. You have an amazing singing voice and an awesome image as the frontman of a rock band. As a kid did you practice in front of the mirror pretending to be a rock star.

A. Lol actually no, I was an extrovert as a kid, and was loud, obnoxious and wore wild clothes, I had no idea that would ever turn into a career and lifestyle... I was pushed into the singer job, cause no one else wanted it. Once I got under the lights and a microphone in my hand, well it was all over... lol.

Q. If you had to pick a favourite song on your forthcoming CD which one would it be.

A. New song called Drowning, it has a very Pink Floyd feel, and it's about getting knocked down in life and picking yourself up to fight again... I hope everyone will enjoy it.

Q. Is being in a band one long blast to you, if not, what are the pros and cons.

A. Pros - Being acknowledged for your songs and your talents, meeting so many cool people, travelling. Cons - Hard on family life, lot of personal sacrifices and a lot harder than it looks...

Q. Who are your music heroes and why.

A. I have so many - but my music heroes are all the undiscovered young men and women out there who struggle every day to get heard. There is so much talent and great music out there that just falls by the wayside because of lack of promotional money and people who need to survive sometimes just give up too soon. Those people are my heroes!

Q. Do you ever try to imitate any performers when live on stage.

A. Hmmm... I am quite an original and unique I have heard many say. I try to entertain and put on a show that will make you forget your daily grind and problems and bills... I guess my performing style is a cross between Freddy Mercury, Ozzy, David Lee Roth, not to say I'm anywhere near these guys, but I think I give it 110%, my heart, my soul, my pain, my joy, all comes out on stage, plus I am an MC of sorts for a huge party!

Q. You're very generous with downloads of your music. Would you say this is your way of saying thanks to your fans and also reaching out to new ones.

A. Absolutely, it's also a way of introducing our fans and friends to our music, and hoping they will support us and buy new music when it comes out.

Q. You have a huge Twitter following and there's talk of a Twitter show after the release of the CD. Can you shed any light on that.

A. Yes, we have a tentative date of August 18th at The Viper Room in LA. We want to do a show to meet our Twitter fans and friends in person, and will also do a live stream for the fans around the world!! Should be so much fun!!

Q. Do you feel privileged to be playing at The Viper Room. And what is the best gig you've ever done.

A. We feel privileged to play anywhere... lol. Seriously we have played all over the USA and have opened for many well known bands in our long career. I think my best show was in front of 20,000, outdoor at the Year of the Child Fest in Chicago, it was breathtaking playing in front of so many people!!

Q. What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you.

A. That's printable you mean... hahaha :-) We were playing in Kansas City Missouri, and the crew drove to Kansas City instead, so when we got to the real show, no gear, no equipment, no road crew, so I had a fit and fired everyone on the spot... Lol. I rehired them right away so they could get the gear to Missouri. It all worked out.

Q. If you could be a superhero, who would you be and why.

A. Probably my father. He passed in 1998, but he was a superhero to me. He was kind, generous, and really loved by all people. I hope that his legacy will somehow have rubbed off on me a bit, and I can carry on the joy and the good he brought to so many people.

Q. Thank you Jay, you rock. One last question, what advice would you give to someone just starting up a band.

A. Work hard, avoid drugs, alcohol, and practice your ass off. Remember this is first and foremost a business, if you don't have business experience, surround yourself with people who believe in your music and can help you, and most of all NEVER, never give up, believe in yourself, and with a little luck and the right timing, you could quite possibly achieve your wildest dream.

Jay, thank you for the interview, it's been a pleasure.

Thank you for these great questions Marilyn, you ROCK!!



It's a hot summers day in Kansas. Everyone is feeling lazy except Fritz the Schnauzer. He is so excited. "Woo Woo" he says. Brett has left the back door open and Fritz takes this opportunity to give him the slip. Fritz has been scheming for some time about an escape plan. Finally his chance has arrived. He dances, hops and skips down the road in complete joy.

Fritz is on a mission. He is going to England. He has a friend living there who is lonesome and needs his hugs. And Fritz being a loving kind of guy wants to make her happy. But Fritz has never ventured far before. He's feeling a bit scared. He grinds his teeth as he looks on. He's careful not to make a scene. With his nose to the ground and his eyes fixed on the horizon, Fritz is about to stow away. He stands in awe of the ship, of its magnificent size and splendor. The people step onto the ship. Fritz boards unnoticed. "Woo Woo" he thinks to himself.

A few hours pass. Fritz is hungry, scared and lonely. He misses Brett. He sheds some tears then shakes his head and sighs. Fritz thinks it's going to be a long night. He misses his toy frog too.

Morning arrives. Fritz is starving. Just then a little boy walks by. He is carrying a bottle of water and some biscuits. Fritz greets him and wags his stumpy tail. He raises his paw. The boy shakes it. Then the boy tells Fritz his name is Danny as he offers him a biscuit. The boy says he can't hang around but before he goes he gives Fritz another biscuit and a sip of his water. The little boy waves goodbye. Fritz liked that boy.

Fritz has made it to England and strides safely off the ship. He uses his sniffer dog magic nose to seek out the place where they arranged to meet. But oh dear Fritz is running late. He moves fast to his destination puffing and panting all the way. On arrival he can't see her anywhere. "Woo Woo I am too late." he sadly cries. Just then he hears a friendly voice. "Fritz. Hey Fritz, I'm over here." Fritz spins round and bounces towards her. They hug. Fritz gives her licks which make her giggle. The lady strokes his head. Fritz likes. It feels good. He thinks to himself we're going to get along just fine. And like two long lost buddies they walk off happily down the road.



A man stands at the door. He watches. He waits. He tells me I'm too slow. Can't he see I'm stuck in limbo. His nails scratch the grey paint. I scream "Take my life. I don't want it." He whisks up a meal. I tell him I'm not fucking eating that. He roars. I leave. I want to know where I'm heading. No, fuck it, I want to lose myself. Hold my hand. I'm afraid. Lets pretend this isn't happening. I shift my feet around. I giggle. I act naive. I let the fuckers think they have won. Piece by piece I soak it all up. Ugly head, ugly tears, ugly girl. What are you doing? Little girl with nothing to say. Are you lonesome? Why the hell do you toy with my mind? I'm gonna wait here on this doorstep and...


Just Another Sad Tale

In the humdrum city there was little to occupy their minds with. Catch up with old acquaintances, its all meaningless, small talk drifts like sand. Lola finishes packing her suitcase. She dreams of something better. But she's dreamt this dream a thousand times. Reality holds the upper hand. It always disappoints.

Lola decides to take one last walk, to the park where they laughed, to the cafe where they reminisced. For a few moments Lola surrenders to the tranquillity of the lake but she soon grows restless. She tears herself loose from mere delusions, knowing that life is just too inconsistent to say for sure if anything is real.

Lola hates the old house. She takes off all her clothes and throws them out with the garbage. She drinks her coffee. Then once more, Lola reads his note and cries 'What's the fucking point' as she devours a handful of pills and crawls off to bed.



Summer is coming to an end. Caroline waits. Her clothes are shabby and torn. She has no shoes. These are desperate times. Over the last few months it has become an obsession of hers to listen to the children playing outside in the backyard. Caroline wants to be loved. She pulls herself up from the floor and moves her silent self towards the stairway. But here Caroline loses her footing and plummets down the stairs. Her legs twang. Her head cracks. Moments pass, disorientated, Caroline slowly struggles back up the stairs. Her tiny hands hold up her rickety head. She manoeuvres into the bathroom. A raucous popping sound brings Caroline to her knees. An eye falls, followed by a mass of grey and pink coloured fibres. Caroline wants to feel the pain. The family's dog enters the bathroom. He observes, sniffs, then throws Caroline over on her side before he retreats unsatisfied.

Caroline lays still on the bathroom floor. Is she broken for good? A hand reaches out to her and carries her down the stairs. Caroline is outside. She hears the children. 'If only I could join them in their games' she thinks to herself. Suddenly, Caroline spins in the air. She lands face down in a heap of yesterdays waste.


The Drifter

A drifter picks up a hitchhiker. They cruise along the highway. The car radio is turned down low. The drifter hums. The hitchhiker is feeling uncomfortable as he fidgets for something to do. He looks at his watch several times before he speaks.

"Hey, thanks for the ride. I'm Jim. Whats your name?"

"Its immaterial." Replies the drifter, keeping his eyes fixed on the road.

"I'm a salesman." Jim continues." What do you do?"


"Nothing?" Jim looks down at his watch again.

"Are you late for something?"

"No. Im just looking. Hey, would you mind turning off that radio, I have an awful headache."

The men travel in silence for the next five minutes.

The drifter speaks. "Have you ever killed someone?"

Jim raisies his voice "What kind of question is that? "

The drifter continues. "If you had to kill someone how would you do it?"

"I couldn't. I..."

The drifter cuts him off. "I said if you had to."

Jim hesitates. "Emm... I'd probably shoot them. Bang Bang." He mimics the actions of a crazed gunman as he chuckles.

"Everyone does that."

"Stab them to death, you know like in Psycho."


"Throw them off a speeding train. That good enough for you?"

"No. And you watch too many movies."

"Hey, I could kick the shit out of them." Jim adds.


Jim chuckles. He's almost enjoying the conversation now. "Okay, I have a good one. If someone had really pissed me off, I'd strap them down to the floor and pour hot motor oil down their throat. Ha.. good eh?"

"You're pathetic." The drifter sneers.

Jim snaps back. "Okay, Mr. good for nothing smart ass, how would you kill someone?"

"You really want to know?"

The journey is interrupted. The car stops. The drifter's stomach rumbles. He knows its time. He attacks...

An hour later, the drifter reaches a filling station. He steps out the car, yawns, stretches and looks up at the night sky. Then he turns and notices a young woman, looking bored, waiting for the next customer to show. As he walks through the door, he receives her with a mocking smile. She smiles back. Then he slides his tongue over his fat lips. The desire is too strong to fight.


Marty's Fiend

Simon: Hi Marty.

Marty: You're late.

Simon: Sorry. So how are you feeling?

Marty: Like shit.

Simon: Are you going to eat today?

Marty: Nope.

Simon: Have you tried those exercises?

Marty: All I can do is move my head. No movement anywhere else. See?

Simon: It's very rare to suddenly become paralysed for no reason. You haven't been involved in a serious accident. Emm... Would you tell me again what happened?

Marty: I was on a park bench reading, then I became aware of someone watching me.

Simon: And the description you gave, run that by me again.

Marty: Oh Lord... his eyes were red like blood. His skin was green like spinach. He wore a blue hat with a yellow feather in it. His teeth were enormous. He looked like the devil, only in drag.

Simon: And since this sighting, you have remained paralysed?

Marty: Yeah.

Simon: Emm...

Marty: I think he wants you.

Simon: Who?

Marty: The fiend.

Simon: So he talks to you?

Marty: Yeah. Sometimes.

Simon: That's interesting.

Marty: Is it?

Simon: And what does he say?

Marty: It's a secret.

Simon: Has he told you not to tell anyone?

Marty: Nope.

Simon: No.

Marty: He's here.

Simon: Where Marty. Over there. What, in the wardrobe?

Marty: Don't.

Simon: Don't open it. Why not Marty? Theres nothing in here.

Marty: Don't.

Simon: Arrghh!

Marty: No. Not again.

Simon: Help me. Arrghh!

Marty: I can't. I can't. I told you. I can't. No, not his arm. No, no, not his head. No stop! Please don't eat his head...

Five minutes later.

Marty: Hello nurse.

Nurse: Mar... Marty... What... Ha... have... you... done?

Marty: It wasn't me. It was him. I'm paralysed you stupid bitch. It's the fiend. He... he's laughing at me, make him stop.

Nurse: Emergency... I need assistance here. Anyone hear me.

Marty: I didn't kill him. I didn't do this.

Nurse: What the...

Marty: Hey nursey, I think he wants you.


Have you seen Bobby Revellian?

The little bird in my garden keeps falling off the fence with excitement. 'What is it Joe?' I ask him inquisitively. 'I have some fab news' he chirps. Joe continues and tells me that Bobby Revellain has just given birth to himself. Joe decides I should go and investigate. I agree.

As soon as I arrive in New York, I'm on the phone making enquires. I ring Bobby's agent, his doctor, his bank manager, I even ring Oprah Winfrey. They all tell me the same line. 'Bob is out of town.' Then a genius plan slips into my mind. I will hire a detective.

Meet Sidney Rocco Rix. A handsome thirty-five year old, half yank, half Spanish. Cool enough to take as a lover and I do... But weeks pass, no sign of Bobby and my cash is running out. I fire Mr. Rix. I will set off to California. I'm heading to the home of Jeremy C Shipp. When I arrive he is in his garden writing. As soon as he sees me, he greets me with a warm smile. I'm feeling slightly embarrassed. There is a gnome performing a jig on his head. Jeremy seems oblivious to this fact. I look to the ground and shyly ask 'Have you seen Bobby Revellain?' He replies 'Have you lost him?' 'Yes' I answer. Jeremy says 'No. I haven't seen him for a while.'

I need a new plan.

I'm at the airport. Suddenly, a woman walks by pushing a pram. 'It's him, it's him.' I yell, jumping up and down as if I were attached to springs. 'Stop' I order the woman. She hurries by. I grab her arm but with so much force, I puncture her arm. The sight of blood makes her scream! Two cops materialize.

I am in a room with no windows, just a table and two chairs. I don't know the man sitting opposite me but I tell him everything. He escorts me to another room. This room is filled with hundreds of babies and they all have Bobby Revellian's face! The babies fix their eyes on me. Then these creatures start bawling and whaling. I reach for the door. It is locked. 'Shut up' 'Shut up' I shout. I cover my ears. I close my eyes.

Next thing I know I am falling down a wishing well. I make a wish...

I hear the words, lights, camera, action. I am on the Oprah winfrey show. She turns to me, smiles and says 'So Bobby, will you tell us about your new book.'


Nightmare Number One

Am I real? My feet feel like blades. They carve into the ground. Am I here? I turn my gaze to the window, swamped in contempt with myself. Am I dreaming? My head feels like a vacant tomb. I am immobilized. And the children sing: He's here. He's here. The Boogeyman is here.


Some facts about Me

I have ten imaginery friends.
I don't believe in magic. I believe in fantasies.
My best friend is a toad. Although, she wishes to be a frog.
I would like to be an Octopus.
I would like to be a suitcase.
I love Yogi bear.
I like creepiness, darkness, and Hammer Horror.
I like lollipops.
I married a member of the Melodramatic Idiot Society.
I have a beer belly and a hollow head.
I am not myself today, or any other day.
I am breaking into fragments...


This is me on a bad day

This is me on a good day

Grace Waits

A freezing cold day. Grace waits outside on the steps. She stares at the building that she cannot enter. Grace opens her flask, the smell of fresh coffee makes her smile. A fly lands in her flask. "Oh shit" she cries. Then the sight of the fly drowning brings a strange kind of pleasure. Quickly, the moment passes, now utterly disgusted, she pours her coffee out, watches as it trickles down the steps.

For a fleeting moment, Grace wishes the building wasn't there. She wishes she had her coffee now. She throws her flask down the steps. It rolls onto the busy road and under a passing lorry. Crushed. Grace is devoid of hope.

Grace is feeling cold. She picks herself up and heads home with her transparent demons side by side. She calls them Insecurity and Melancholia and the other one she tries to forget, the one that lingers behind - What's her name?