Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mike Watt Interview

Interview a la Mike Watt

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

In all honesty, whenever I have the time and energy to write is the most
productive time. I try to sneak in an hour of solid writing, regardless of
what it is, every day. I work best under deadline, professionally, so I
know precisely how long I have to procrastinate.

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

Once upon a time, I used to write in longhand and then transcribe. I find
it easier to compose on a keyboard now. I can type almost as fast as I can
think, so there’s a much natural flow. Plus I can edit as I go along,
which was not a time-friendly luxury in longhand.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

The same as everyone else: everywhere. I pay strict attention to people I
know, listen to their speech patterns and personal motivations, which
helps me create characters and dialogue. I’m less interested in plot than
I am in the people in the story and how they handle the situations.

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

No. I feel that’s counter-productive. You can only write as much as you
can. Some days the burnout comes quicker, some days it doesn’t come at
all. Forcing a word count just makes it feel like work and I write to
escape from “work”.

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

Both. I’ve had fiction and non-fiction translated into four or five
different languages and I’ve been published all over the world. I turned
to self-publishing around the same time we began self-distributing our own
movies. The first book I self-published was a short story collection
titled Phobophobia, which consists primarily of previously-published
material. I’m lucky when it comes to cover art because my years spent as
print journalist exposed me to a wide variety of talented artists who are
usually able to come to my aid when needed. Romik Safarian provided the
amazing art for Phobophobia and the Library of the Living Dead Press’s
printing of The Resurrection Game. I also enjoy working with Matt
Gilligan, Bill Homan, Mike Okamoto and Michael Apice.

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

Not being particularly skilled at anything else. I developed a taste for
writing at an early age and I stuck with it. I have the same thick file of
rejection slips as every other writer in the world and I still hear “no”
as often as I do “yes”. Largely, though, I write for no other reason than
to write. I keep a running, rambling journal of odd thoughts on a
traveling flash drive, I scribble on post-it notes. And I’ve heard other
writers do this too, so I feel no self-consciousness about this.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

Nope. It was recommended to me that I make my work available
electronically, so Phobophobia is available for the Kindle. Since The
Incomplete Works of Mike Watt Vol. 1 is primarily a collection of online
articles, essays and blog entries, translating that into an electronic
e-reader format seemed redundant. The Resurrection Game will likely be
available electronically towards the end of the year, but I don’t have the
final say in that decision.

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

For fiction my favorites have remained over the years: Neil Gaiman,
Christopher Moore, Mike Resnick, Jonathan Maberry and Amber Benson.
Non-fiction: Harlan Ellison, William Goldman and Phil Hall. Comics: Will
Eisner, Gaiman, Alan Moore, Richard Moore, Jim Balent and Holly Golightly.

I’m currently in between Zot: The Black and White Collection, The Spirit
Archives Vol. 15  and Maberry’s Zombie: CSU.

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

I’ve only recently become aware of them because of Doug Sakmann’s trailer
for the novel “Play Dead” (I think
). Before that, it was a foreign
concept to me. I’m not a big fan of shooting trailers in the first place
and prefer to assemble them for our movies from existing footage, so I
doubt highly I’ll be doing one myself in the future, but if anyone else is
game, by all means have at it.

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

I’m usually in the middle of multiple projects. Currently I’m bouncing
between a rewrite of the script for our next feature film (to be announced
soon); contributing to the second season of Forbidden Pictures’ Chainsaw
Sally Show; After Strange Flesh, the sequel novel to The Resurrection
Game; I’m shopping another supernatural horror novel to publishers now so
I don’t want to jinx that by talking about it; I’m writing graphic novel
adaptations of two scripts—Doomtown with artist Mike Okamoto and Severe
Injuries: House of a Half-Dozen Corpses with Matt Gilligan; I’m in the
midst of putting together an illustrated screenplay for Demon Divas and
the Lanes of Damnation as well as a collection of film articles from my
column, Movie Outlaw, tentatively titled You’ve Seen Worse.

All goodness and niceness related to me can be found at
happycloudpictures.com and mike-watt.net. Movie Outlaw’s digital home is

Sirens of Cinema
Film Threat

Go to the official Happy Cloud Pictures website:
www.happycloudpictures.net - check out their new projects and buy copies
of their past ones!
Join MOVIE OUTLAW - Oddities, grotesqueries and other movies you might
have missed - movieoutlaw.blogspot.com

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