I’m back.

In June of this year I punked out of my Goodreads account as the result of a depressive stupor that had saturated my life for the better part of this year. It was a stupid thing to do. All those reviews I wrote, all the friends I cultivated; gone. Giving into my latest depressive spell and being the “extreme” kind of person I am, I thought that part of the solution was to rid myself entirely of my social media presence (which is just Goodreads & Instagram). During this time, I also tried going cold turkey off my anti-depressant medication, which undoubtedly contributed to my increased sense of hopelessness and depression over this summer. My beloved kitty/best friend/family member, Mr. Squirrel, also passed away unexpectedly from a horrible disease, so that also really sucked 😦

Point is, I realized that deleting my social media accounts was a dumbfuck approach to dealing with deep-seated depression. I also realized that you folks on Goodreads were/are some of my most vital friends. I don’t have many “real life” friends, the few that I do call friends in “real life” are extremely dear to me and I’m sure that if I met any of you in person, I’d feel that same sense of camaraderie and loyalty.

Anyway, as an act of reparation for giving into my stupid depression, I promise to re-rate all your works that I have read and continue on with what I have started in this “indie revolution.”

Normally I’d apologize for such a soppy, confessional post. But this Lady Catfood won’t be apologizing or sugar-coating what she thinks or what she thinks could possibly be offensive to other’s refined sensibilities anymore –  in the most loving and friendly way of course 🙂

Thanks to my beloved little angel for showing me how beautifully fragile life is.

– LC

Taking a break

Hello amigos!

I just wanted to let anyone who’s interested know that I will be taking a bit of a break from GR & the blog for a while, perhaps longer than usual. Maybe I’ll come back with a bang – who knows, but I hope so!  Ideally, I’d like to come back as a self-published author 🙂 But we’ll see what my lazy ass actually gets done in the mean time. If you’re an indie author and you’ve sent me your stuff and I haven’t reviewed it yet, please have patience I will get to it…eventually. However, feel free to reach out at any time via email. Happy reading butterflies in the sky! #readingrainbowbitches



Indie Author Interview: Steven Eggleton

Hi Friends,

I’m really pleased to bring you all a new interview with one of my absolute favorite emerging indie authors, Steven Eggleton. He is the author of a short story & poem collection, Deadfall Blues and the novel Dry Heat, both of which I devoured within a few days. While Eggleton’s style draws heavily on influences like Bukowski, he manages to create his own unique voice that I found both refreshing and familiar at the same time in a sea of full of Bukowski imitators. Refreshingly familiar then? I don’t know. I’m honestly not even good at writing book reviews but what I do know is that you should check out his work because it’s really fucking good. He’s got a great sense of humor too, so read the whole interview!!

You can find Steven on Goodreads and his books are available for purchase here!


Mil gracias to Steven for taking the time to answer my questions and for being a great pal!

                                                                    THE INTERVIEW

IR: How long have you been writing for?

SE: I’ve been writing for 18 years now, but it seems longer. I remember telling everyone in high school I was gonna be a writer, but I never actually did any serious writing till I turned 22. Instead I just walked around talking about it like a douche.

IR:  What inspires you to write the most?

SE: I guess life inspires me the most. Is that cliché? It used to be other writers. Music. Movies. Now, I just tell the stories I wish someone else would write.


IR: Why did you decide to self-publish? What do you like most and least about self-publishing process?

SE: I’m not gonna lie. The only reason I self-published was because I couldn’t find anyone to publish me. If I could, I would sell out like a mofo! I’m not from the school of thought that says, commerce shouldn’t patronize the arts. I wanna get paid! Bitch better have my money!

Oh the second part to the question, what do I like least about self-publishing:
What I like most about self-publishing is, having complete control of the final product. I’ve had a lot of indie editors in the small press scene tinker with my shit without telling me. Then I don’t find out till months later when they print it in their magazine. No Bueno!

What I like least is having to hustle my own shit. It would be nice to have a marketing department package me as some literary genius. I could dig that.

IR: Are you friends with any other authors, and if so have those friendships enhanced your own writing abilities?

SE: I have some author acquaintances on Goodreads, but not in the real world. I certainly subscribe to the belief that writing is something that should be done alone. Too many chefs stirring the pot, ruins the soup. Writing groups are for people who wanna be stroked off in my opinion. They just wanna smell each other’s turds and say how good they smell. What can I say? I’m an asshole.

In the real world, I don’t talk about writing. No one at my day gig knows that I write (unless they’re creeping on the internet looking for me, and yes, I have had a couple).

IR: Anything that you have edited OUT of one of your works, that you would like to share?

SE: No. I leave it all in there. Warts and all. I think my writing is getting softer though. I don’t feel I have anything to prove anymore. I think at times in the past, I was just being edgy for the sake of it. Like Sara said in episode 5 of The Maxx, “Did my saying that shock you? GOOD! Writers are supposed to shock people. We say witty and unpredictable things that are supposed to rip the shroud off a decaying society and expose it for what it is. Well, that’s the idea anyway.” That was me. All angsty. I came of age in the 90’s, Nirvana, grunge music -what do you expect. I was definitely a rebel without a cause.

IR: What’s the most difficult part about writing for you?

SE: Not repeating myself. I read somewhere once, that all writers only have one story in them. Everything is a variation of that one story. I think there is a lot of truth in that.

IR: What unique message do you hope to bring to the Latino voice in indie literature?

SE: I don’t know that I have a message, I just want to transcend my ethnic background. Even though it’s a big part of who I am, and I’m super proud of it, I don’t want it to define me. I want to be a writer first and foremost, not the best Chicano writer, just the best writer. I grew up on Southwest side of Tucson. Lots of gangbangers, cholos, hood rats, but I wanted more than that. I didn’t want to be a stereotype. Yet at the same time, I don’t want to be a “Tio Taco” either. I don’t know. It’s a fine line to tread. #beaner problems

IR: What is your favorite childhood book/author?

SE: The Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg. It’s a book about this kid who gets a tadpole from his Scottish uncle and it turns out to be a Loch Ness Monster. It’s good stuff.

IR: How do you deal with bad reviews of your work?

SE: I get pissed, then let it go. I’m confident in my skill set. I know who I am and who I am not. Plus, most critics are people who have never created anything of their own. When have they ever poured their heart into anything and put their ass on the line? Instead they hide behind a computer and judge others.

IR: What would you like to see more of in indie and/or mainstream literature?

SE: Heart. Vulnerability. Less posturing. Maybe, it’s out there. Maybe, I’m just not looking in the right places.

As far as current mainstream literature, I’m not impressed. I’m sure there is someone good out there somewhere, I just haven’t found them. Then again, I’m not looking either. Book sales have been in decline for years. Publishers aren’t willing to take chances. They want a guaranteed seller. Plus, readers are less sophisticated then they were in years past. I’m blown away by how many adults read nothing but YA. Really? Back in the day, people like Hemingway were a household name. Now it’s all glitter vampires and boy wizards –vapid shit.

IR: What are your favorite movies and/or books?

SE: Man, too many to list. But I’ll give you a short list.
Women-Charles Bukowski
The Road to Los Angeles-John Fante
Lolita- Vladamir Nabokov
Great Expectations-Charles Dickens
1984- George Orwell
The Old Man and the Sea-Ernest Hemingway

Blade Runner
O’ Brother Where Art Thou
La Femme Nikita
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
The Color Purple

IR: Who from history would you like to meet and why?

SE: Jesus. I want to make sure I have the right theology. I don’t want to worship a God of my own creating.

IR: Link us to a video that makes you laugh:

SE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPHjJ…


Indie Author Interview No. 7: Jay Spencer Green

Yola mis amigos! I present to you an interview with my fellow dancer-when-nobody-is-looking-like-nobody-is-looking comrade and indie author, Jay Spencer Green. He is the author of Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s and Ivy Feckett is Looking for Love: A Birmingham Romance.

suit                                      Jay is so frickin’ classy you guys, just look at him!

First off, congrats to Jay for single-handedly lifting my romantic novel embargo. Ivy Feckett was the FIRST romance novel that I have ever read in my 30 salty years on this planet. And as my first, Jay, I will never forget you, *sniff* 😉 Seriously though, this was actually kind of huge for me. I never ever thought I could “stoop” into romance territory, especially as a female when those types of story lines are always being flung at us, only served to make me even more resistant.

But whaddya know? Turns out judging something before you know anything about it first-hand isn’t the greatest approach to life, or making reading selections in this instance. I have to say, thanks to this very positive first experience, I’m now willing to try out other romance novels. My strict diet of gore, trash and angry polemics will now be supplemented with bacon bits of romance; and just as with any balanced diet, I’m sure I’ll be better off for it.

However, the true test of y’alls friendship will be to call for a welfare check if I ever update my status to Currently Reading: “Twilight” or 50 Shades. There will never be any excuse for that shit.

Enough of my foul mouth. You can find Jay on his Website, on GoodreadsFacebookTwitter, & Instagram. Thanks to Jay for taking the time to answer my questions with such thoughtful responses. Please enjoy the interview!


IR: Let’s cut to the chase – your Goodreads bio says you were once a stagehand for Chippendales. Please explain everything related to this in detail. 

JSG: Yikes, that’s nearly three decades ago. Well, following the impulsive decision to quit my well-paid factory job to be come a full-time writer, an act that was in equal parts bravado, optimism, and stupidity, I found myself working a number of part-time jobs, including one alongside a friend of mine as a glorified scenery shifter in Manchester’s theatres. I worked on a number of shows with him, including several nights when the Chippendales came to town. They were charming, pleasant, and surprisingly short young men. They also afforded me the opportunity of seeing what gangs of women get up to when given licence to misbehave. Very interesting. Some years later, I read Christopher Hitchens’s notorious article in Vanity Fair in which he advanced the view that women are not funny. My immediate thought was “Fucking hell, Hitchens, you’re an idiot. Don’t you realize that they wait until you’ve left the room?” It was an insight born in part of those nights watching women cut loose.

That period of precarious work also yielded three first drafts, happily, although two of them were so shite that they’ll never see the light of day again. The third was rewritten around ten times to become Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s.

IR: What movie can you watch over and over and never get tired of?

JSG: I think it’s in The Tao of Jeet Kune-Do where the legendary Bruce Lee paraphrases Mae West thus: “You should try everything three times. The first time to see if you like it, the second time to make sure, and the third time to see if you tire of it easily.” This rule applies to most things in life—except bestiality, murder, and golf—and especially movies. But I tend to find I’ve sucked the marrow out of a movie after three viewings, four at most, so I rarely watch a film more often than that. Life’s too short.

If I’m honest, though, in some ways this lack of ready enthusiasm for movies is a defense mechanism. The German social theorist George Simmel, writing in the early 1900s, argued that one of the symptoms of modernity is the adoption among city dwellers of a blasé attitude. Urban residents are so bombarded with information and “entertainment” that one of the few ways to survive psychically is to adopt a detached, casual approach to everything, a neurasthenic jadedness, a kind of “seen-it-all” attitude that functions to protect them from a permanent fugue state of enthusiasm but which also—and this is important—prevents them from responding appropriately to suffering and injustice. I think Simmel’s analysis is even more relevant today, in the internet age, and it’s one of the main messages of Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s, a book in which I try to distract the reader so much that they literally lose the plot—and simultaneously any sense of value, of the relative importance of the events being described. I wanted the reader to experience directly what Joe Chambers experiences: distraction in the service of deception.

But having said all that, let me give a special mention to Joe Angio’s film Revenge of the Mekons, which I’ll watch any time I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine. I’m a big Mekons fan, and I chipped in a few quid to Joe’s Kickstarter campaign to make the movie. I highly recommend it. I’m biased, of course, but it is ace.  

IR: Your favorite book and why?

JSG: Steve Aylett’s Bigot Hall. Language gorgeously distorted, ideas leaping off every page like popcorn fireworks, electrocuted grammar scampi pinging against your eyeballs at angles suspected of existing only in other dimensions. Diogenes with synesthesia. Takes my breath away.

IR: What are your hobbies?

JSG: Dancing like no-one’s looking. Dancing when no-one’s looking.

IR: What’s something that people do in public that really annoys you?

JSG: I really wish they wouldn’t dangle their penis over the balcony while watering the pot plants on the terrace (#notallmen).

IR: What’s the most frustrating/rewarding thing about self-publishing for you?

JSG: I don’t find anything frustrating about it. I’m finally free of frustration, if anything. For more than ten years my first three novels were stuck with an agent who, despite being one of Ireland’s best, simply couldn’t place them with a publisher because they didn’t fit into any one particular genre. Of course, I understand entirely how the industry works, but I feel a fool now that I didn’t trust my own judgement and go the indie route earlier, particularly since all the bands I love had done exactly that. Indie publishing has enabled me to get my books into readers’ hands without having to wait for someone else to say that they’re worthy of being published. And when readers’ comment that the books are just as good as those published by the legacy houses—not just in terms of plot but also design and editing—I feel vindicated. There are some amazing indie authors out there, by the way. Not that I have to tell you!

IR: Which one of your novels is your favorite and why?

JSG: What a horrible question! That’s like asking me which of my children I love most: The big, bold, extroverted, loud, sweaty, hairy, vulgar kid, or the timid, gentle, thoughtful, quiet, conformist, intellectual kid. Each has its own virtues and likeable features, so it would be an act of betrayal to pick one ahead of another. I like Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s for its sheer take-no-prisoners ballsiness. I knew it was a risk to launch my career with a novel that deliberately attempts to confuse the reader; I was relying on the sheer number and quality of the jokes to overcome the hostility that that would engender. Happily, most of my readers seem to have understood what I was trying to achieve. There’s a really lovely review at Goodreads by Rebecca Gransden in which she says that reading Cannibal Joe’s is like sitting down next to a high-functioning savant who seems to be spewing out all manner of bizarre ideas and images but, once you’ve acclimatized to his verbiage, you begin to realize that there’s something else going on, a signal in the noise. It means a lot to me that so many people were ready to give the book a chance. I heartily recommend Goodreads as a place to meet adventurous, open-minded, and sophisticated readers.

But I love Ivy Feckett too. What can I say? It isn’t in-your-face like Cannibal Joe’s is, but just as much effort and thought went into making it. She’s a sweet-looking child with a potty mouth.     

IR: Where is the strangest place you have ever been?

JSG: Singing “Danny Boy” with ballet dancer Wayne Sleep and his partner late at night in an otherwise empty restaurant in Havana, Cuba, was pretty strange. It didn’t hurt that the restaurant resembled the Red Room from Twin Peaks and that Wayne is on the small side. He may have even spoken backwards at some point.  

IR: What childish thing do you still enjoy?

JSG: Sports. I still enjoy playing tennis and soccer because they’re a way to keep fit that is less boring than just doing exercises, but I’m not a big fan of watching sports, and I think that in general they have a pernicious effect on society. If I remember rightly, the Ulster nationalist Kennedy Lindsay wrote in The British Intelligence Services in Action“Criminals, sportsmen and senior government officials are the most conservative groups in any society”, and I think that’s largely correct. The dedication to physical competition means, for one thing, that athletes don’t have time to read many books or to develop a great deal of political sophistication. I suspect that they also tend to universalize from their own experience—“I became a winner through hard work and outperforming my rivals, and therefore society’s winners must be those who worked hard and outperformed their rivals, proof that competition brings the best to the top of the tree.” Society’s love of sports is also accompanied by a glorification of the athletic body and, tangentially, of nationalism, militarism, of physical strength. Even team games: What better totalitarian message could there be than “We’re all on the same team”? Such an ethos doesn’t always lead to fascism, but the consequences are similar in respect of its suspicion of learning and non-conformity.

IR: Any future projects that you would like to tell us about?

JSG: Sure. I’m working on the penultimate draft of my third novel, Fowl Play, a kind of Rollerball for the austerity generation, which I hope to have out in the summer. I’m actually looking at the “society as team” metaphor in that, among other topics. An anonymous reader at Hodder & Stoughton said of an earlier draft that it was the funniest dystopian comedy (s)he had read in a long time, but that was 10 years ago, so I have to hope that it will meet with similar approval today. I’m researching Book 4, Manuel Estímulo’s Fascist Book of Everything, which is the sequel to Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s and a kind of hybrid Don Quixote/Bouvard & Pécuchet. I have about 70,000 words of that down but it needs a complete rewrite. I’m gathering material for Book 5, the third in the Cannibal Joe’s trilogy, Stiveley’s Story, set in Paris. There’s also Book 6, The Big O, an experimental novella that’s already written but which needs radical revision before I inflict it on humanity, and I have an idea for Book 7 but with nothing fleshed out yet and about which I shall say nothing more in case someone nicks my idea and writes it before I do.  


Indie Author Interview No. 6: Harry Whitewolf

Confession: when I was first approached by Mr. Whitewolf a couple years back (has it been that long already?) to check out his poetry collection “New Beat Newbie”, I was more than a little wary. Poetry? I hadn’t really read any poetry (besides Bukowski, who doesn’t count in my opinion) since high school and let’s be real – studying force-fed poetry in high school fucking sucked and I’ve been traumatized ever since.

But oh how wrong I was! Whitewolf is actually a real-life word sorcerer/warlock/dragon, because anyone who can reference and rhyme “govern-cunt” with anything is flipping brilliant and has gained my everlasting admiration. Seriously though, Whitewolf be spitting some hot poetry fire and you all should check out more of his many titles, which include some non-poetry, too. You can also find out more about Mr. Whitewolf on Goodreads or on his website (not the gay porn star — see below).

Thank you so very much to Mr. Whitewolf for his generosity in sharing his work with me, for his guidance with my own writings, and for taking the time to answer my silly lil questions.
Muah! Enjoy 🙂

                                                             THE INTERVIEW

IR: When did you start writing poetry?

HW: From an early age – I remember writing love poetry to a girl in my class when I was about six or seven. It worked as well – she became my first girlfriend. These days my poetry doesn’t seem to help me get the girls though.

I started writing poetry seriously and prolifically when I was about twenty, although the majority of those poems were your typical teen angsty stuff. It wasn’t really until my thirties that I found my own distinctive way of writing.

IR: Who is your favorite poet & author?

HW: Hm, I find it really difficult to answer ‘who’s your favourite’ questions (be it authors, films, bands etc.) – there are always so many. But for favourite poets, William Blake and Allen Ginsberg both probably had the biggest impact on me – in completely different ways. I guess Blake spoke to my soul whereas Ginsberg was more about the way he crafted his words.

Other top ones would include: punk poets John Cooper Clarke and Attila The Stockbroker, Jim Morrison, Gil Scott-Heron, Charles Baudelaire, John Milton, Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Patrick Jones (brother of Manic Street Preachers’ Nicky Wire – for any Manics fans!), and Ian Dury’s lyrics.

I’m also chuffed that I’m still finding brilliant modern poets out there, like J. A. Carter-Winward, Andy Carrington, Raegan Butcher, Mat Kondo and Casey Renee Kiser.

Favourite authors include George Orwell, Luke Rhinehart, Sue Townsend, Irvine Welsh, Richard Bach, Douglas Adams…

IR: Is there a documentary or book that really changed the way you thought about something?

HW: Well, if I’m honest in my answer, people will call me a crazy conspiracy theorist, but then I’m used to that – It would be the books of David Icke, starting with The Robots’ Rebellion, which first introduced me to the worlds of corrupt politics, secret societies, ancient and contemporary conspiracies and spiritual conspiracies too. Check out my book Matrix Visions to see how far down the rabbit hole I go!

IR: What phase did you go through that makes you cringe?

HW: My life’s one long phase of cringey moments.

IR: What is your favorite & least favorite word?

HW: I don’t know how to pick a favourite word any more than I can pick a favourite author, but I’ve always liked what is often cited as the most beautiful compound, purely for how the words sound: ‘cellar door’.

My least favourite word would be the American spelling of: ‘favorite’.

IR: What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?

HW: That would be the one I got from the time I wrestled that croc in the Australian outback… Or am I getting that mixed up with Crocodile Dundee?

IR: Do you believe in ghosts?

HW: Well I’ve seen one, so the answer to that would be yes. I was in my room in student halls one evening, when a small boy suddenly appeared. I’d like to say I remained calm and cool, but I was so freaked out that I ran down to my friend’s house and woke her up; and she’s never forgiven me for scaring her. What ghosts actually are is another matter – we shouldn’t be so quick to explain such phenomena as ghosts being dead people; or people encountering ‘aliens’ meaning those beings are from other planets etc.

I’ve encountered loads of strange phenomena over the years – street lights turning off when I walk under them, seeing orbs, a tissue manifested mid-air in my lounge etc.

IR: If you were a stripper, what would your stage name be?

HW: Hunky Harry Spunk-Wolf.

Which reminds me: a couple of online friends have told me they’ve tried to find me on Facebook (which I’m not on) and ended up friending a gay porn star called Harry White Wolf.
IR: If you were a wrestler, what would your stage name be?
HW: Harry Wimp-Wolf or Harry The Hulk, depending on whether I was reflecting honesty or wishful thinking.

IR: What turns your rage meter up to 99.9%?

HW: If it has to do with any form of injustice, bigotry, austerity, and the like, my rage metre is way beyond 100%. (Examples of which can be found in my poetry!)

IR: What’s the most pathetic thing you’ve ever eaten?

HW: A Big Mac. (Fuck McDonald’s.)

IR: What’s the worst book or movie you’ve ever read/watched?

HW: There are very few books I start that I don’t finish, but there was a Clive Cussler book I remember I didn’t get very far into at all. Maybe I’d have liked it as a kid, but as an adult, reading about a character called Dirk Pitt, with descriptions like: “Dirk noticed that she was five foot four and aged about thirty six,” made me feel like I was reading some school kid’s homework assignment.

IR: Name something on your bucket list.

HW: To implement banning the expression: bucket list.

IR: Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever been?

HW: For ‘strangest’ as in ‘oddest’, it would have to be the Quebec town of Trois-Riviѐres in Canada. Sorry to any folks that are from there, as it is a lovely looking place, but me and my then girlfriend’s experience was that it felt like we’d just stepped into Royston Vasey via Twin Peaks. Eerily silent, eyes all on us, strange and nervous conversations in the shadows, people walking cats on leads and no children to be seen. We thought we were about to embark on the storyline of Race with the Devil or The Wicker Man and got out of there sharpish. We nicknamed it Trois Rivi-Eerie.

Milton Keynes is pretty strange too.


IAI No. 5: Arthur Graham

Imma keep it short n classy with this one, *wink.*

You can find Arthur on Goodreads, check out his latest collection, Sugar House Papers, or go get your fingers sticky with some Horror, Sleaze, and Trash – my personal favs.



                                                                   THE INTERVIEW

IR: Tell us about how the idea to make your own zines came about.

AG: I’d noticed a few others reviving the form as of late (Jon KonrathG. Arthur Brown, etc.), and I was liking what I was seeing, so this got me thinking maybe I could try doing the same thing — a rip-off, in short. But, having struggled to complete several longer projects in recent years, it’s really been quite refreshing, switching to these shorter, more immediate collections of work. I feel like this is a medium in which I actually excel, as opposed to just constantly hitting walls in novels/novellas and such.

Anyone who’s ever tried selling books on Amazon with next to no promotion or publisher support knows how difficult it can be making money this way, and the cottage industry approach of producing books at home represents a viable alternative. I’ve noticed that many people are more willing to fork over a fiver for something created with your own two hands than anything mass-produced or generated via print-on-demand.

In any case, I’d rather get read than paid, ya know? So, readers can either PayPal $5 to arthur.graham.pub@gmail.com for a handmade, limited-edition print copy, or just message me at the same address for a free ebook of any zine/chapbook I’ve ever written. All of these and more can be found here.


                                                            L’image de Arthur, l’auteur

IR: What is the most rewarding /// frustrating thing about the process?

AG: It’s rewarding interacting and exchanging correspondence with readers in real life, as opposed to just doing everything online, as we’ve become accustomed to doing these days. /// What’s frustrating is when readers insist on overpaying you way more than your asking price for a book, or when they send the wrong color of panties or something as one of the many bonus items routinely exchanged through the post.

IR: What is your favorite book & movie of all time?

AG: I have a hard time picking favorites of all time, and this only gets harder with each passing year though I could at least tell you my current favs:

My favorite book I read in this past year was easily The Hottest Gay Man Ever Killed in a Shark Attack, by Douglas Hackle, and I think the greatest movie I’ve seen in quite some time was Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie, which I caught on Netflix while stoned with my gal the other night.

IR: What food/restaurant do you hate the most and why?

AG: I try to avoid chains in general and chains with shitty business practices in particular, choosing to support good local restaurants wherever possible instead. I’m a pretty adventurous eater, so there’s very little I won’t put in my mouth, but I’m not overly fond of ripe bananas. I’m the kind of person who’ll look at a menu and either order something they don’t have in stock because no one ever orders it, or I’ll order something that will make the head chef come out to see who this psycho is.

IR: If you could go back in history to meet anyone, who would you choose and why?

AG: I think it would be cool to meet some prominent figure from the Bible, get involved in that story and see how this fucks up our present-day reality. Like, if I stole Mary away from Joseph, there could be some sort of butterfly effect, and Christians would then look at ME as the freewheelin’, time-travelin’ father of Jesus, as opposed to God or whoever.

IR: What annoys you the most?

AG: Well, I could talk a lot about bad drivers and spelling mistakes, but the former are just a fact of life and the latter are sorta like my bread and butter as a professional editor. Probably willful ignorance, because it’s a lot easier to enlighten someone who doesn’t know than someone who doesn’t want to know.

IR: Most disturbing documentary/movie you’ve ever seen?

AG: I would recommend the Japanese filmmaker, Sion Sono (Suicide ClubCold Fish, etc.) for all things supremely disturbing. As for documentaries, there’s Grizzly ManBlackfish, and Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony.

IR: Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever been?

AG: I’ve travelled a fair amount, so I’ve definitely been to some strange places, but I’d say it’s a toss-up between Robot Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan and House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin. I could go on about them both, but you can easily just Google to see what I mean.

IR: Most memorable thing you’ve ever overheard in a conversation.

AG: I’m sure I’ve got a good answer to this buried somewhere in my brain, but honestly I can’t think of anything great at the moment. Needless to say, I am equal parts annoyed and entertained by some of the private conversations people choose to have in public.

IR: What is a controversial opinion that you have?

AG: Maybe it’s just the optimistic counterpart to my generally cynical nature, but I have a hunch that our disastrous little dalliance with Trump might prove to be a positive thing in the end, sort of like those lessons learned following the dissolution of bad relationships. Nuclear war might be just the thing to either get us back on track or get this over and done with already.

IR: Do you curse a lot?

AG: Yeah, but mostly just when I’m behind the wheel or between the sheets.

IR: Morals aside, describe a reality show or game show you’d like to see

AG: Well, speaking as someone who doesn’t really hold a whole ton of moral scruples to begin with, I’d like to see a reality show where a group of top celebrities are left on an island with Charlie Sheen, and the winner is the last to catch his cooties.

IR: Link us to a video that makes you laugh.

AG: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csj7vMKy4EI

IR:  Any future projects coming up that you’d like to tell us about?

AG: Nothing definite on the horizon, but I am constantly working on things and hoping for a productive year. Probably the best way to stay up to date on my projects is by following me on Goodreads and checking my author page often. There’s almost always a blog post showcasing whatever I’m currently focused on at the moment. My most recent releases include The Sugar House PapersTanuki Tango Overdrive, and HST Quarterly: Spring 2017. I was also recently interviewed on Bizzong!, “The Bizarre and Weird Fiction Podcast”.


Thanks to Arthur for taking the time to participate in the interview!

– IR

Interview with Indie Reader Jason Denness

As a part-time indie reader, I tend to feel a pinch of guilt every now and then that I am unable to read more of my author friend’s work faster. But! Such is life, there is never enough time to do all the things we want. That is why I am so impressed with some folks on the GR feed who have already completed their 2017, 100-book reading challenge. Like, whaaa? How is that even-? I’ll never know because my peanut shell brain just can’t do words that fast.

Jason Denness, however, is one of those readers that leave a lot of us trailing hundreds of pages behind. So why interview an indie reader, you ask? Simply put, if there weren’t such devoted readers like Jason out there, the entire publishing industry – indie or Big 6- would go kaput. In the exciting world of indie publishing it’s easy to forget the folks who help make putting our writing out there worthwhile – the readers. Jason, being the superstar reader that he is, has already been interviewed by Psycho-Tropics author, Dorian Box (who, I admit, I stole the idea from to do this). I hope that Jason will not be the only reader I profile here, so if you know of any other butterflies in the sky, get in touch.

Enjoy and remember: always be extra nice to your readers!


IR: How do you manage to read so dang much?

JD: I always have a book with me, a book at home and one at work.  I have my kindle I sometimes take when walking the dog.  I also have the kindle app on my phone for those moments when I’m waiting for something, ie: the wife is shopping 🙂 or I’m cooking tea. I watch very little TV, so whilst the family are doing that I’ll be in a book.  So every spare moment I have is spent reading.

rocky wonderful

Photorealistic image of Jason

IR: What do you enjoy most about reading indie authors?

JD: The same thing with watching an Indie movie, instead of spewing out the same old shit they have come up with an original idea. I think because they have to do so much of the work themselves the book comes very close to perfection, mainstream books are just thrown out as quick as possible, are dull, full of errors and yet people love them.  One of my favourite things about reading Indie books is when you finish the book and you’ve been blown away by how good it was, what you feel after reading books like “Throbbing Gristle” and “Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol” will rarely be experienced in a big published book. Then I have fun trying to get others to read it.

IR: What’s your favorite book of all time?

JD: In the past this always changed with each book I’ve read but The Ghosts of Nagasaki by Daniel Clausen has held on to the top spot since 2015.

IR: Favorite movie of all time?

JD: Life is beautiful http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118799/ easy choice.

IR: Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever slept and why?

JD: Wales….Was a scout and we got dumped in the Brecon beacons during winter for 4 days, had to build our own shelter.  Was the coldest I’ve ever been.

IR:  Name your pets.

JD: My stupid smelly cat is called Fudge, she farts and snores constantly.  My dog who is awesome and worships me is called Einstein. I love how he has no respect for my wife, if she calls him over he always looks at me first and only goes if I say “go on”.

IR: What do you want your tombstone to say?

JD: Tombstone.

IR: Name the most pathetic thing you’ve ever eaten.

JD: Most pathetic? Probably the pizza I made at school, I suffered from migraines as a kid and was told to not eat cheese, so my pizza had no cheese on it and it was rubbish, I remember the base was over an inch thick too.  Since I left school I’ve become an amazing cook and nothing I make now is pathetic.

IR: What mundane task do you hate doing even though it’s easy?

JD: Driving to work. It would be ok if I could take different routes but it’s the same road every day.

IR: What annoys you most?

JD: The police, I’ve never experienced anything so annoying and pathetic than having to deal with them.  Had somebody break into my car years ago, police wouldn’t even come out, just told me to put anything they might have touched into a bag and bring it them.  5 years later I got a phone call saying they had a hit from a finger print, he had been in their system for years, I asked why it had taken 5 years and they said they were busy. 2 years later I got a call at 11pm to be told they had the guy, he said he hadn’t been in my car so there was nothing they could do.  Wha?????

Another time my wife, who was pregnant at the time, was in the bath when somebody started smashing the windows of the house, she phoned the police, took them 90minutes to arrive.  They took the stone away and that’s it.  I found out some kids did it, got their address and passed onto the police, by the time they got around to going to the address, over a year later, the family had moved.  Case closed apparently.

IR: What’s the most useless fact you know?

JD: Hippos sweat this red stuff that acts as a natural sunscreen for them, now that I’ve used that fact here it’s no longer useless…

IR: What’s the most disturbing thing your child/children have ever said to you?

JD: Every time my youngest opens her mouth there is a 60% chance somebody will be disturbed by it.  Latest one was when we were in a gadget shop, she saw a “duck with a dick” she shouted out a number of times from the back of the shop “Dad, what’s a dick?”

IR: Link us to a video that always makes you laugh.

JD: https://youtu.be/TlDqz5xYzV8

The music from that is my ringtone.


Thanks to Jason for taking the time to answer my questions!!


A silly little poem by moi

“I don’t care”


Sorry to inform you, but why can’t you see?

That I give no shits,

About your baby.


Shall I get it tattooed on my face,

To keep your business in its place?


Shall I tell you sitting in a chair,

At the bottom of a stair,

Pulling out my hair,

That I, absolutely,

Do not fucking care?


Sorry I missed the shower I guess,

Rather bathe my cat I confess.


I care not what your son did last night,

That he knows left from right,

Passed out, head on the toilet seat,

I barfed on myself too, aren’t I sweet?

‘Cause being a baby is much the same,

As being a drunk if I may claim.


Baby ate mush with a spoon and a bowl?

My bucket of cares has a huge hole.


Baby keeps you up at night?

Learning to teethe, chew and bite?

Filthy diapers and nose full of snot,


I, unequivocally, care not.


Don’t show me your pictures, but let me guess,

You think your baby is the best?

Sorry to inform you, but I am not impressed,

That at some point you clearly had sex.


It’s great that you’re a parent, so happy and overjoyed,

But this is what I’ve been trying to avoid,

I see you have more photos to show,

Before you ask, the answer is no.

Indie Author Interview No.4: Kevin Cole

Whew, it certainly has been a while since my last post! 2016 saw my indie duties go largely neglected but I’m hoping to try and make up for that over the course of this year. So I’m kicking things off with Indie Author Interview Number Four (I’ve really only done 4? Boy have I got some work to do!). The star of this post is American author Kevin Cole, the word wizard behind Days of Throbbing Gristle (hereafter DOTG). Since I didn’t write up a full review on Goodreads, I’m including my thoughts on it here below.


I have to admit, this is one of my absolute favorite indie titles that I have read so far. I think it’s really a testament to the ability of Kevin’s (we cool like that) writing when I can get this excited about a book with a storyline that, on its face, didn’t seem like something that I would be initially drawn to at all. DOTG follows Samuel “Sam” Hay, a high school exchange student from Sheffield, England who transfers to Kaiser Lake, (near Houston) Texas circa the late 1980s. To understand the dynamic of Sam’s host family, the Turners, picture the largest chain supermarket you can think of, maybe a place the rhymes with “Wall-Fart.” Now picture the people who go there; in a Hummer, with a “Freedom ain’t Free” or “Jadyn’s Mom” bumper sticker. And if you can’t see them, then you will feel the vicarious embarrassment permeating the parking lot following an aggressively loud stream of verbal abuse of which theses folks seem to be so fond of in public places. You get the picture. That’s the Turners. Which is cool because Sam is kind of a dick, so he knows how to manipulate them to get what he wants.

The ending was totally unexpected, not what I was wanting for the characters at all, but I’m a bit of a literary masochist in that way so I appreciate an ending that doesn’t give me what I want.

So what’s the big deal, why am I now a Kevin Cole fan? Because the writing in DOTG is so damn good. And by good I mean really fucking funny. Not many books that I’ve read at all, including by any of the “pros” (that I can recall) have made me laugh or smile to myself quite as much as I did while reading DOTG. The dialogue was always on point and sharp as a tack. The transitions from dialogue to event descriptions to inner monologue and back again, were seamless. That’s what makes an for an excellent read my friends. A story with writing so engaging and entertaining that it doesn’t matter if it’s in your traditionally favored genres; you just can’t stop turning the page or find yourself thinking about the characters in between emails at work as I so often did.

One other thing before I get to the titular interview. In one of my questions I asked Kevin how, as an American, he came up with such an authentically English character. Kevin’s answer is spot on, but it made me realize that I should have worded my question perhaps differently. Truth: I have never even met a real English/British person, in person. So how the f would I know what even makes for an “authentically British” character -or anything – to begin with? Point is, I don’t. Just wanted to clear that up so I don’t come off like a real boob-punch. This brings me to my last word of praise for DOTG. Sam’s character seemed to me, so inherently “un-American” (or maybe not-American is a better way of putting it) that I even thought Kevin was British at first! The insightful dissection of many, admittedly repugnant, American idiosyncrasies through Sam’s observations seemed so naturally to be those of a “foreigner” to me. Yet another endorsement of the author’s talent.

Alrighty, enough of my blabbing. Interview:


IR: Describe your writing style.


Mil gracias to Kevin Cole for sharing DOTG with me many moons ago and for taking the time to answer my questions!! Buy DOTG here! and check him out on Goodreads too!

IAI No. 3: Mike Robbins, Author of Dog!


I bring you Indie Author Interview No. 3 featuring writer and world traveler, Mike Robbins.


Is that a snow-woman with tits, Mike?

Mike is an author of 6 works ranging in topics from reducing carbon emissions in the world’s poorest regions to his travels in Africa, as well as a collection of short stories recounting life in England during the 80’s.

Check out my full review of Dog! on Goodreads here.

Get yourself a copy of Dog! while you’re at it too!


                                                     THE INTERVIEW

LM: When did you first experience the need to write and to share your stories with others?


MR: Probably when I was nine or ten. I loved being asked to write a story for English composition. I was disengaged at school – I was bored to tears – but woke up when asked to write.


LM: What are your creative influences (non-writers, life experiences included)?


MR: There’s a difference between writers you like, and those that have influenced you. For me, the latter are those that change either what you write, or the way you write it. Graham Greene did both for me. He wrote in a straightforward, elegant style that I’d love to emulate. But he also had substance. Books like The Quiet American had their roots in a confused, changing post-colonial era that he understood, because he’d been out there and reported on it. He’d been in Indochina during the last stages of the French occupation. Like another great English author, Somerset Maugham, he’d also been a spy. I also love J.B. Priestley. He is still seen as a popular ham writer, and his output is inconsistent. But his 1946 novel Bright Day is one of the best things ever written in English; a poignant, thoughtful, compassionate meditation on growing up, of the vividness of youth and its dreams and illusions, and of what remains in middle age.


Other writers who have influenced me have included Ernest Hemingway. His influence on me has been the same as Greene’s – he’s got this straightforward, unshowy style and he’s not divorced from the world. I thought For Whom the Bell Tolls was a dud, I’m afraid. But I loved A Moveable Feast, Islands in the Stream, The Sun Also Rises and most of all, A Farewell to Arms.


Several writers have influenced me through a single book. The most important has been Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. It crystallized a lot of ideas for me about the conflict between rationalism and emotion in human affairs, and especially in politics. To read Mann is to understand the roots of European fascism, which is as important now as it ever was. It’s an irony that I read it in the 1990s when I lived in Aleppo in Syria, where rationalism is now being battered to death. Mann understood a lot. Other books: As a young volunteer in Africa, I stumbled on William Golding’s To the Ends of the Earth trilogy. It shows the narrator’s development from youth to man, from the inside; you sit behind his eyes and watch. The sea setting is magnificent, as it is in Jack London’s The Mutiny of the Elsinore – a tremendous character study, as well as a book of the sea. But I do sense that there’s a whiff of fascism about London.


So did George Orwell, which brings me to the two writers who have influenced me most. Orwell is one, for the utter clarity of his thinking and prose and, again, because he belongs to the world; he took part in it for the whole of his life. He’s also an acute social observer. You can see that especially in his novel Coming Up for Air – not much read outside England, but it’s one of his best works. But the writer I admire most is Heinrich Böll. In 1945 he staggered out from under what was left of his country and wrote two novellas, The Train Was On Time and, a little later, The Bread of Those Early Years. These are two of the most humane and lucid books ever written.


What I write comes from the live I’ve led as well. I was a journalist as a young man, but started working in international development at 30. I have spent the last 30-odd years traveling. My first book, Even the Dead are Coming, was a memoir of Sudan, where I spent two years in the late 1980s. Later I lived briefly in Ecuador, which was trying to avoid the then troubles of its neighbors, Peru and Colombia. This led to The Lost Baggage of Silvia Guzmán, a story of a refugee seeking asylum in a country that was partly responsible for the horrors she was fleeing.  The bloody Chilean coup of 1973 also informed the book. It is still the book I care most about.


Three Seasons reflects the England I’d left in the 1980s and the way I’d felt about it; the first of the three novellas in that volume is especially from life – the fishermen struggling to survive against a backdrop of falling fish stocks and politics. I’d been covering the fishing industry as a journalist, and the story felt very real to me.  The Nine Horizons is the story of my own quarter-century on the road. Finally in the 1990s I spent several years in Syria working with agricultural scientists, and learned about the link between food production and climate change. Years later, Crops and Carbon was the result.


There is a lot more than has influenced me, of course. Music, politics; the English landscape in which I was brought up,with its constant changes of light and mood. But maybe that will do.

LM: When do you write? Day/Night?

MR: My best time is when I get back from work. I like to try and write for an hour before dinner. But I’m often tired – it’ll be eight PM before I get home, and my work (I’m an editor) demands concentration. I wish I could get a more regular writing habit. Apparently Kingsley Amis used to force himself to write 500 words every morning. Then at lunchtime he drank. As he drank at Olympic level, this routine was essential. I don’t sleep well and often wake at five, so maybe I should get to work then.


LM: What was your inspiration for Dog?

MR: Ah – this goes back a long way! In the summer of 1976, when I was 19, British TV showed a program called The Bloxham Tapes, in which a Welsh hypnotist, Arnall Bloxham, was shown regressing three subjects into past lives under hypnosis. Bloxham himself says virtually nothing in the program; he’s this white-haired avuncular presence – yet his subjects scream and writhe and relive their past lives, and when they wake up, they remember them. One had been a sailor in Nelson’s navy; another had lived in the prehistoric Balkans, and a third had died in a pogrom in medieval York. The program was a sensation. In later years it was questioned. But I never forgot it, and the plot for Dog! must have been in my mind for a long time.


LM: What was the process of writing Dog like? How did you feel in the beginning vs. after you finished?

MR: In the summer of 2015 I was working on a much larger project that was stalled, and one evening I just started writing Dog! instead. From then on I worked on it for an hour or so every evening. It went like a dream and in a month the first draft was finished.  I have never written anything as quickly and easily as that.


LM: Reincarnation and karma are a couple of the philosophical/spiritual themes that are brought up in your novella, what message about these themes are you hoping that the reader takes away from Dog?


MR: I think that’s for them. The reader can strip off as many, or as few, layers as they like. Dog! is intended at least in part to be fun, and if someone just reads it for a laugh, that’s fine with me. But they might also start wondering: Does life have meaning? If it does, do the major faiths – in particular Christianity and Buddhism – have something to say about this? Is there a soul, and does it have biophysical existence? And why do dogs lick their balls?


LM: Are you working on any new projects? What kind of works/themes can we expect to see more of in the future?

MR: Too many projects! The one that has been stalled is a novel set in England in the awful winter of 1947. It’s a book I am excited about but after five years it is only two-thirds written. The research is very difficult; I have had to find out when German prisoners in England were allowed to leave their camps and work, what the bread ration was and what was on the radio on Christmas Day 1946 (I did find out).  It’ll be quite long, about 110,000 words.


After that is a novel set in New York, where I live for now. Its dynamism and diversity are extraordinary – I heard today that 800 languages are spoken here, more than anywhere else on earth. There can be nowhere else where so many people sink their cultural differences and function as one society. It is an amazing achievement. But it is also a hard place where people sink or swim. I can’t capture it all, and I shan’t try. I’ll look at it through the prism of two or three lives at most, and it won’t be a long book.


There are one or two novellas also in the pipeline but the next book after New York will probably be a collection of “think pieces” from my blog. I will likely have the material I need by late 2016.  Lastly there’s a photo book of New York; I have most of the pics but the production will be complicated, so it’s on the back burner for now.


So – too much going on! In general my books will get shorter. I’ll doing more with the novella format, as I did with Dog!. To some extent this is a lesson I learned from Böll. If you haven’t said it after 30,000 words, maybe you aren’t going to say it very well.


LM: Why is indie publishing important to you? Why did you choose self-publishing vs. submitting your work to a big publisher?

MR: Publishing is closed to new writers. No-one will take a chance on something they’re not sure will sell. Anyway, I don’t like to depend on someone else; the one book I did do through an established publisher was priced far too high, and was hardly marketed.


But the world is changing, anyway. The digital “long tail” means that in future, instead of a hundred writers selling a thousand books each, a thousand writers will sell a hundred each. Many more of us will have an audience, even if it’s a much smaller one. This has already allowed some really innovative and unusual writers to publish. It’s invidious to quote names in a way, but I like Rupert Dreyfus and am also hearing good things about Rebecca Gransden, both of whom you’ve interviewed. Other indies or small-press writers whose work I’ve really enjoyed are Harry Whitewolf, Daniel Clausen, Michele McGrath, Chance Maree, Samuel Astbury, Luke F.D. Marsden, Dana Mazur, Ruth Hunt and Peter Jason Payne. The last of these put out a book called Gay & Genderqueer Speculative Fiction, which I can’t see a major publisher daring to do. But it’s original and thought-provoking. Of course there are bad indie books around. But if Hollywood can put out total stinkers, I think we can as well.


This is also about politics. Not long ago I reviewed (and liked) Stet: An Editor’s Life by Diana Athill, who was for many years senior editor at André Deutsch. In the book, she confesses that she was part of a “caste” with an iron grip on the publishing world. This caste was “the mostly London-dwelling, university-educated, upper-middle-class English people [who] loved books and genuinely tried to understand the differences between good and bad writing; but I suspect… our ‘good’ was good only according to the notions of the caste.” In fact, Athill herself was an able editor who published Jean Rhys and V.S. Naipaul, among others. Still, a small group became the arbiters of taste, and however sincere they were, I don’t think that was a good thing. In the end this is about power structures in society, and I do not believe in power structures.


In the end, indie publishing is healthier, not just culturally but politically.


LM: What helps get you into a creative mindset for working on your writing?


MR: Oatmeal stout is helpful, and cheapo Australian red wine. Music of course; I listen to a very wide range as I work, from Elgar to Southern Gothic, and I’ve lately been into Gipsy and klezmer. But I can’t predict when I will write; at the weekend I may spend eight hours online e-pottering, then suddenly write very well for the last hour.


LM:  Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?


MR: Winston Churchill. He could be extremely witty, although I don’t think my liver would survive a long encounter – he could put away a bottle of brandy in a day. I suspect Queen Elizabeth I would also have been fun, when not having you beheaded. Both politically suspect, of course. But then, as Oscar Wilde once said, one goes to Heaven for the climate, and Hell for the company.


LM: Any final thoughts?


MR: For more info about Mike Robbins:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mikerobbins19

Blog: http://www.mikerobbinsnyc.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/MikeRobbins

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mikerobbinsNYC

Dog! is available as an ebook for just 99c (US) or 99p (UK), or as a paperback, from  Amazon (US, UK, and all other country  

sites), Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Indigo, iTunes and more.



Many thanks to Mike Robbins to participating in the Indie Revolution Indie Author Interview Series and as always, thank you dear  revolutionaries!

Ciao for now,