C&C: What do you have in your pockets?
A pen, 8 cents in change, a pack of cigarettes, a lighter, keys, nail clippers, my wallet, and a 2G memory stick. I guess enough things to create a hole in my pocket, or a “‘ole in me pocket,” as animated Ringo might say. And when these pants do develop a hole, I’ll then be able to play Pocket Pool.
C&C: Steve Nash – when was the magic moment, the moment your everlasting love for him really solidified?
It’s a bit of a long story, actually, and I won’t go into the whole thing. It’s become no secret that I lost my fiancée to suicide in April of 2010. I was living in Florida at the time, and had been struggling with a pretty severe drinking problem already, and this event kind of pushed me over the edge, and I became very suicidal myself. I loved basketball as a kid but had exchanged it for some prepubescent need to be cool, trading punk rock and industrial music and whatnot for everything else, certain at that age that a person wasn’t allowed to like all of it. It was an either this or that kind of thing, which happens to most kids at that age.
So I was sitting alone, living alone, drinking more than you can probably imagine, contemplating taking my life every moment I was awake, with the TV constantly on. I’m not a fan of television, but at the time it was my only constant companion. Never in my life did I think I would watch so many episodes of Reba. And one evening I came across a basketball game and it pulled me in. The playoffs had begun, and suddenly I found myself mostly sober, even if it was only for about two hours a night. And every time I woke up, still drunk and wanting to die, a little voice in my head told me that I couldn’t kill myself that day, because Phoenix was playing LA, or Boston was playing Orlando, etc. So the games kept me going. They kept me alive, talking me out of suicide each day. I’d been so out of touch with the sport that I didn’t know who anybody was, but two players stood out to me: LeBron James and, even moreso, Steve Nash. James was still playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers and he impressed me with his power on the court. Steve Nash, on the other hand, impressed me on every level, and was someone I could relate to a little more. A short (for a basketball player) white guy who moved like lightning on the court. Cleveland was eliminated fairly early on but Phoenix, and Steve Nash, made it to the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers, and now I had more reason to stay alive: to see this man who was, suddenly and unexpectedly, becoming a hero to me. I read about him and his struggles to achieve what he had. I read about his philanthropy. Basketball kept me on this planet, especially Steve Nash, and I’m grateful that I caught that first game that night, and grateful that someone like Nash was there, giving me shreds of inspiration and hope every day, and, in a sense, keeping me alive.
C&C: Do you secretly think Elton John was really good before disco ate him and did that to his hair? I do. Tell me about some of the unlikely music you listen to – not the cool stuff.
I never liked Elton John. I’m a big rock and roll fan, but Elton John and Rod Stewart are two I just never liked, though I do like the song “Rocket Man”. As far as my musical taste, and being in bands filled with assholes for years, I don’t really make any distinction between cool music and uncool music. I used to work at a video store and one day I was playing a CD by Tommy James and the Shondells and a woman said, “You’re too young to be listening to this,” to which I responded, “Well, we’re all too young to be listening to Mozart.” She said that was different, and I said, “How? It’s the same twelve notes.” But if you want the dirt, I love Avril Lavigne. I own everything she’s done. I also really like Christina Aguilera, and don’t mind a little Kelly Clarkson from time to time. And y’all know, we down with OPP. And find that juicy double.
C&C: Do you collect anything? Rocks, bones, heads….
I collect old pulp paperbacks, mostly in the crime and sleaze genres. I have some super cool first editions. Sadly, others have now decided to collect them as well, or rather it’s become a little more mainstream, and a book I could’ve gotten for eight bucks a few years back can now go for up to $200. I’m a writer. Of course I don’t have money, so I haven’t been collecting lately.
C&C: A few days ago I saw my dogs making eye contact with a defecating llama. I may never stop thinking about it. Weird, awkward animal moments? Bitten? Kicked in the face? Peed on? Rejected?
I’ve done many kinds of therapy in my life. One I tried was equine therapy, which is a therapeutic measure involving horses to facilitate growth and therapy. I approached the horse calmly, said sweet horse-like things, and right when I reached him he ditched me. The man in charge of the therapy saw this and came to me and said, “You have abandonment issues, don’t you?”
C&C: Who was your first crush?
I’m pretty sure it was Patty Duke. I grew up when Nick at Nite played real classic TV, and I dreamed about Patty Duke a lot, even though I only knew what she looked like in black and white. I still remember my first sexual fantasy about her, which of course I won’t go into. This, of course, may very well have been simultaneous with Shelley Fabares from The Donna Reed Show.
C&C: I’m just going to come right out and say I thnk the Patty Duke thing is pretty twisted. But the skirts in that time period WERE pretty phenomenal. Speaking of old shows, there seems t be among men REALLY strong feelings in the positive or negative towards Eddie Haskell. How do you feel about him?
Whaddya mean, you goof? You wanna come over to my house and see my razor? It’s gold-plated, and it’s in a genuine plastic case. There aren’t enough Eddie Haskells in the world. If we had more Eddie Haskells, our nation might have less trouble, as Eddie personified trouble in the late fifties and early sixties. And Eddie, well, the worst we might ever have seen out of him would be a bitter garbage man, or maybe, if classed up a bit, a member of Don Corleone’s family. Scratch all I just said. Eddie Haskell rocks.
C&C: Have the old pulp covers had a large influence towards the covers you choose for your own books, or is that something you even take a huge interest in?
Yes and no. It depends on whether or not I get a say in the cover art. I LOVE the old pulp covers. One of my reasons for collecting them. Butterfly Potion, which I was given most all say in the cover, is clearly inspired by those covers. But that style would fit every book I’ve written. It’s nice in this day and age that we don’t have to be stuck with one style of cover. To date, I like all the covers to my books, though I have a cover for Shadowboxer I much prefer over the one that’s out there. Given enough time, I hope to wear the publisher down on that one.
C&C: Do you open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
As I have no real feelings toward Christmas one way or the other, these days I just go along with what my mom likes, which is to open them Christmas morning, which is usually actually afternoon, as I really don’t care until I’ve had enough coffee. Plus my brother goes to church. Screwed up as my family is in a lot of ways, we still always celebrate Christmas together.
C&C: Who is your favorite super hero and why?
Spider-Man. He’s just a normal geeky kid, but he can also climb walls.