Thursday, May 16, 2013

Brent Kelley Michael can remove an organ with plastic scissors

can remove an organ
with plastic scissors
After a series of setbacks, including not getting a plumb editing job with a dumb company I didn’t want to work for anyway, Brent Michael Kelley, author of one of my favorite books Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater, dropped by the Blog Mansion to help me plan my future.
Johnny: No Brent, cat food. I need cat food coupons. I don’t have a dog.

Brent: But you get more meat in dog food, I mean, you know, if it gets that bad.

Johnny: It’s not going to get that bad.

Brent: If you say so. Here’s one for cat litter?

J: Scoop?

B: No, Crystal.
J: Okay, that’ll do.

B: Tofurkey’s on sale at Safeway –

J: NO!

B: Tuna?

J: Dolphin Free?

B: Doesn’t say.

J: Cut it out. I’ll check when I get there.

B: These scissors aren’t very sharp.

J: They were free.

B: Where’s the “Davis Cuddle-Hug Daycare”?

J: Okay, I borrowed them. Let’s talk about your book Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater . How would you describe it to someone who hasn’t read it?

B: I’ve told people it’s like Fear and Loathing in Middle Earth. That’s not quite right, though. I think that suggests there’d be knights, dwarves, elves, and orcs and stuff. There’s none of that, and hopefully it’s exactly like nothing folks have read before. Monsters, madness, babes, blood, and booze! Why, it’s even got elements of science fiction.

J: What genre would you say it is?

B: I’d call it dark fantasy. I heard somebody call it “Neo Post-Modern Hyper-Minimalist American Revival Splat-Fantasy Funk.” I’m sorry, nobody’s ever called it that. I was lying just then. Anything on this page you want me to cut out?

J: Not with these scissors. Hey, grab that one for hand lotion. I go through lots of that. And tissue. Look for tissue. That's always good to have. For colds and such. What age group is Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater?
Fear and Loathing in Middle Earth,
but without the dwarves, elves & hobbits –
  kinda' like a western but with horror too.
Hunter would have liked it.
B: I originally met Chuggie when I was in college. When I think about age groups, I always think about the kids at good ol’ UW-Stout. I still feel like one of them. Only until I go there for a visit, though. They’re all walking around with boomboxes on their shoulders and parachute pants… I tell ya, back in my day we listened to tiny mp3 players with discreet headphones! We wore blue jeans, and our hats were all on frontways! As a responsible adult, I say Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater is for people 18 and up. It would be irresponsible to say that 14-year-olds would probably enjoy it, so I won’t. I’m gonna be responsible and say KIDS! DON'T READ CHUGGIE!

J: Yeah, that'll scare them off. Was Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater your first book?

B: No. I mean, yes.

J: How long did it take to write?

B: I dunno. Like a decade or something. Like I was saying, I started tinkering with Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater in college. I didn’t really know I could get published, but I kept chipping away at the story. Mostly on my voice recorder cruising across the state of Wisconsin with the windows down and Tom Waits barking gravel through my speakers.
J: How did you get a blurb from Piers Anthony?

B: Got lucky. Well, whaddya know! They got coupons for sweet, sweet alky-boozes in here.

J: Skip the PBR. Cut out that MGD one though.

B: Hey, look at this one. MD 20/20 is two-for-one. Oh, it’s select flavors only.

J: What was the inspiration of Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater?

B: Mostly Mr. Tom Waits. Without his music, there’d be no Chuggie. Everybody should stop reading this interview right now and go listen to Tom Waits for the next eight days.
Tom Waits.
The real creative force behind Chuggie
J: When do we get more Chuggie, when’s the next installment?

B: Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways should be out later this month, May of 2013. The only hold up is that I’m in the middle of a campaign of cyber-attacks directed at the publisher’s computer systems. I’m not sure why I’m doing this, and I’m even less sure why I just confessed to it here. I guess I should expect a phone call once this interview goes online.

J: What’s your day job?

B: Graphic Designer, I guess. If you wanna get real technical, I’m the Creative Director for a marketing firm in Northern Wisconsin. I’m basically Don Draper, only without all the affairs. And I have to do a lot more work. And we’re a much smaller company. And my wife isn’t as cool with me drinking hard liquor all day as Don Draper’s wife. Also, I make less money than he does.
J: Are you looking for help?

B: Not right now, but if this book thing takes off the way I want it to, I imagine I’ll have to do some extensive book touring around the world. I’ll need an entourage for that. What would you bring to the table in an entourage-type situation?
J: I can stir brandy with a nail. Tell me about your art?

B: I like to paint strange things that are brightly colored. I’m pretty awesome at doing art. Some say the best.

J: I love your abstracts. Do you do drugs?

efs Scarecrow by Brent Michael Kelley
B: Thanks! I’m not sure what you mean by “drugs,” though. I took a semester off college to live in Florida back in the first part of 2001. There was this guy there who always said DRUGS stands for “Developing Reality Understanding Gamplezican Solarmachy.” I think the DEA got him right after I moved back to WI. That, or he never existed in the first place. Whenever somebody mentions “drugs,” I think of that guy and his technicolor screams.

J: So you couldn’t hook me up with anybody? I could be a mule. That pays well right?

B: They really make it sound like being a drug mule is the sweet life, don’t they? What they don’t tell you is the other cartels like to make examples of the mules. So, yeah, it’s damn sweet while it lasts. Then comes the inevitable day when you wake up in a piranha tank with your head in a vise. Or, I don’t know, your face sewn to a pig butt or something. Because that totally happened to this guy I knew once, but you probably never heard of him. If you’re serious about getting an interview to be a drug mule, I’ll get you the number for the cartel’s HR department.

J: I hadn't considered the downside. Piranhas, huh? Maybe I could rent out the servant’s quarters here at the blog mansion. Do you think I could get them to bunk up?

B: They don’t look happy now.
J: There’s nothing wrong Top- Ramen®. And the weather’s getting warmer. They’ll get over it.
Taste the rainbow

B: OR ELSE, right? Ha!

J: How did you get a publisher? What was your journey from writer to author?

B: It was an adventure! Man, if I told you, you’d be on the edge of your seat. Let me sum it up… No, I can’t sum it up. I’ll just tell the whole thing. Okay, the year was 1979, and a young man named Robert rushed his wife Sheryl to the hospital. The morning air was crisp as – Dammit! Paper cut. This is why I don’t cut coupons at my house.

J: Are you getting along with Omnium Gatherum?

B: Absolutely. It’s great to be lumped in with the other OG authors. Chief Editor Kate Jonez has been great to work with. I wish you could listen to our editing sessions, because we have truckloads of fun. But you can’t listen. No one can.

J: What do you do for fun, beyond novel editing?

B: Why, snuggle with Mo and J.P., of course. What else is there? Making wine, that’s what! I even made a batch of wildberry shiraz recently that’s an exact replica of the wine Chuggie enjoys throughout Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways. It’s called “Borjo.” That will make complete sense after you read the book.

J: Where on the internet can my peeps find out more about you?
J: Ah shit. These coupons are all expired! Dammit. That’s it. I’m going to have sell another organ. How important is your pancreas, do you know?

B: I don’t think you need it. If we fill a tub with ice real quick, I can have that pancreas out and over to my guy by 2 o’clock. By 3, you could be $500 richer!

J: Okay. I'm desperate and we already have the scissors.

Look for CHUGGIE AND THE BLEEDING GATEWAY this month from Omnium Gatherum.


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