Sunday, June 20, 2010

Interview with The Reverend Steven Rage

The Reverend Steven Rage

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

The Reverend works full-time as a respiratory therapist and has five children, so I have to squeeze it in whenever I can. Writing the final drafts on computer is the most difficult to get to, but the incubation of most stories work themselves out in the Reverend’s head, and the long-hand portion can be done anywhere.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

The first draft is always done with line-less copy paper, usually in pencil. Old School, baby.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

I draw from many sources. The Reverend has worked in hospital critical care for over 25 years. That’s where ‘You Morbid Westphal’ was set. My ‘Brutal Bible Tales’ come from re-imagined bible stories, set in an ultra-violent modern American ghetto shit-hole I have dubbed: ‘The Harbor’. That’s what the residents of the real ‘Harbor’ call the place.

The Harbor is a for-reals dangerous place. Almost all of my stories (biblical, or otherwise ‘YMW’ being one) uses The Harbor as a setting. The person I based (physically and some of her unique mannerisms) Immanuel, the female Latin re-incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth on, took the Reverend on a tour of the post-industrialized town. One week in the The Harbor was all I needed to get the setting just right. Creepy as all Hell. If there reall are such things as vampires, demons, werewolves, and the like, The Harbor is certainly one of the places where they would be right at home.

3 folks were gunned down in that short time and I, as a stranger, was getting the stink-eye from some very unsavory characters. Fortunately, ‘Immanuel’ kept me stoned on cognac and hydro. She went way out of her way to keep the two of us moving from place to place. We found out later, that sometimes we were only a few short steps ahead of the gun-toting shorties. Scary shit, friends.

I’ve been asked if I would ever go back. I will if I need to, I suppose, but the Reverend will never go again naked. Fuck that noise. If there is a next time, the Reverend’s coming heavy.

We writers are all shameless poachers anyway, so I grab interesting tidbits from a shit-ton of different sources, such as music, films and even snatches of conversations.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

Not anymore. It’s more like setting out a puzzle, where you are satisfied seeing the image as it takes shape, because the story, for me, dictates how long it takes to write. The story is always in charge, not me.

The Reverend has written published novellas that were literally thrown together in just a few weeks. There has been short stories that have taken me a year to finish. I am right this second working on a very big (for me) novel that I originally began 15 years ago.  How long it takes doesn’t really matter too much to me anymore. Which is good since the Reverend, as I said, is always second to the tale.

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

The Reverend is fortunate enough to be both traditionally published and dtill an Indie.  The differences between the two are interesting. With a traditional small press, they take care of all the art work and editing. Having the house take care of the artwork is great, especially if you are lucky as a motherfucker as I have been.  “YMW” has very cool artwork put together by the publisher of Evil Nerd Empire. I’ve been shown the preliminary cover art for “The Place in Between”, done by publisher: “LegumeMan Books”. The art on my Indie stuff is not very good at all, sad to say.

Hands down, if someone wants to pay for your work to be edited, jump on it.  Professional editing has improved my final product, my ego notwithstanding. The only down side to being traditionally published through a small press is that the author still is responsible for the bulk of the marketing. That and it takes up to a full year from contract to print.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

To leave my mark on this world, in my own small way. I am jazzed by the thought of affecting someone, whom I might never meet face to face. That’s very cool. As a reader, I often come across absolute gems from writers I have never heard of. Some of these books are 50 years old. The writer is, more than likely, long gone and here I am being edified by his or her work. I think about that for my shit and I can’t imagine many things topping that.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

The Reverend covets a Kindle. I publish most of my Indie fare effortlessy with Kindle, so I would love to own one myself. Someday (big sigh…).

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

For popular mass fiction, the Reverend digs Irvine Welch, Paul Erdman and the fantastic Walter Mosley. For my hardcore-weird-extreme-Bizarro reading needs I’d have to say my favorite is Jordan Krall. The Reverend also loves Garrett Cook, Matthew Revert, Carlton Mellick, Gina Ranalli, Anderson Prunty and on and on. All are associated with the Bizarro genre of the Weird.

The Bizarro movement is really beginning to catch on. Eraserhead Press, ran by the incredible Rose o’Keefe, has a nice-sized catalogue of over ten years worth of Bizarro tales. I’d highly recommend your readers check out This is Ground Zero for the whole freaky scene. It’s a great place where even the most successful writers converse with you about anything. They are some of the most brilliant minds I have come across since getting back into writing in 2008. Check ‘em out and show them some love. You will be glad you did!

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

The Reverend thinks they are an incredible tool, one with huge marketing potential. I’m loathed to admit that I haven’t tried to put one together yet. It’s seems to be a good idea, I have seen some Bizarro books just explode in sales after a trailer has been circulated. The Reverend wishes to figure out how to set one up….soon!

10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

I am smack dab in the middle of the 2nd round of the editing process for “The Place in Between”, from LegumeMan Books. It should be out in the fall of 2010. I am beginning to build a reputation for being ‘The Most Depraved Writer in Print’ and this collection of three stories will, believe you me, only heighten that image. I promise, you will never read the likes in your lifetime.

In addition, I have a short coming out in Volume 4 of “The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction” and I am taking a short break from the extreme and am working on a fairly traditional medical suspense/thriller I am calling “PHARMACIDE”.

And then…well the Reverend has ideas for a couple dark and hardcore weird shorts and novellas I hope to get back to without too much delay. The Reverend doesn’t doubt he will. The ideas that turn themselves into stories never leave me be for very long without forcing me to write the shit down. Sometimes I just need to purge my head. Putting it down, even just ideas on paper seems to help. If the Reverend does not flush it out, my brain-pan gets all full and oogey-feeling. That has been known to lend itself to outbursts of incredibly visceral violence.

And that’s a bad Reverend.

But wait…there’s more! Check out this shit:

The Reverend is continuing his 2-for-1 offer. To get your filthy mitts on some FREE Rage, simply purchase a copy of “YMW” from

October 12, 2009
5 out of 5 stars(11)

Then, simply send me an e-mail: telling me the Amazon Ranking # and the Reverend will send you a FREE pdf of:

May 15, 2010
 Just for asking. Now, how fucking cool is that?!

”Jesus, my eyes hurt!!”
                                                                                                                          -Rev. Steven Rage

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