Wednesday, June 10, 2015

20Q7A: An interview with Kevin Strange

This week's edition of 20 Questions, 7 Answers is going beyond weird, past odd, and deep into Strange territory. Ladies, gentlemen, and others...allow me to introduce you to author Kevin Strange...

If you could have chosen your own name when you were born, what would it have been?

KS: It would be Kevin Strange. Because that's not my real name. I was a big Harry Potter head before I became a film maker and decided to take the LeStrange's name as my own, but shorten it because reasons. I don't like my real name. No offense to my family but our name got me picked on mercilessly throughout school and I could go the rest of my life without hearing it and be just fine.

Who or what is your favorite movie monster, and why?

KS: Werewolves are my favorite movie monsters. Always have been since I was a little kid and saw the Howling flicks, Monster Squad, Teen Wolf, Silver Bullet. Later when I was a little older, Dog Soldiers, Ginger Snaps, American Werewolf in London. I think when you hate everything about yourself and everyone in your life picks on you and makes you feel like a piece of shit, there's an appeal in that transformation from nothing into a powerful, sexy, violent monster that can rip all of the adversaries in your life into tiny ribbons. I was even obsessed with the role playing game Werewolf the Apocalypse. The werewolf art alone in that book was worth the 25 dollar price tag for the hardcover rule book. I didn't have any friends to play with, so that's pretty much all I did. Read the backstory of the werewolf packs, looked at the pictures and tried to draw my own werewolves. There was somehow a witchcraft book in my middle school library (this was the 80s when shit like that happened and nobody gave a fuck) which had a spell in it to transform into a werewolf under a full moon. I wasn't ate up enough to actually try to find the wolf skin and wolf piss to use to perform the ritual, but I fantasized about it a lot.

If you could be reincarnated as a sentient but inanimate object, what would you like to be?

KS: Are dicks inanimate? They grow and move around and perform functions so they move. But they're not sentient so I'm going with dicks so I can say I'd want to be a sentient dick. I'd ride around on my human host Krang style from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, always dick-high from everyone we meet so I could check out their kibbles and bits. And I'd get to fuck with my face. Which I do anyway, but my face would be a dick so it would be like fucking everything with my own head. What was the question?

What happens when you die?

KS: You're dead and that REALLY sucks. I used to work for a dude who was convinced I believed in an afterlife because the thought of eternal oblivion scares the holy fucking crap out of me. I don't understand how that makes me some kind of closet theist. Oblivion doesn't sound fun at all. It sounds boring as fuck. It actually doesn't sound like anything because the human mind can't comprehend what that even means. Remember before you were born? No. Of course you don't because it's completely beyond human understanding. This dude's argument was that you can't be scared or feel anything when you're dead so there's nothing to be afraid of. SORRY DUDE, I'm afraid of FOREVER NOTHING! Next question.

What's the most disgusting thing about the human body?

KS: How about we start with the fact that it even exists? Why kind of cruel god makes up people and then shits them out in a world with absolutely no clue what they're supposed to do. They have to figure out shit like beating the other life forms to death with rocks and sticks makes it easier to keep on living with a minimum amount of the people they love and cherish dying at the hands of their food. Or that making fire is a good idea because it makes food taste good and cold kills you. Or that multi-national conglomerates and psychotic bankers control absolutely everything they see and hear in order to create mindless consumers whose entire lives exist only to serve the profits of a small group of evil men. We had to figure all that shit out on our own at the same time people create bombs and viruses to wipe billions of years of life off the planet in a single instant. And even if they don't, an asteroid could smash into Earth's fucking face and render 25,000 years of human progress moot in an instant. That's pretty disgusting. Maybe poop is more disgusting. Poop is pretty gross.

What's your secret?

KS: Secret to what? I have all kinds of fucked up secrets. I'm not telling you that shit. Are you crazy? Are you trying to become an accessory to some shit you're going to wish you didn't even know after I tell you? No way. So I'm going to assume you me my secret to success. Well, I'm not successful at all if success means that my art pays for my life in any way shape or form. And you'd think after ten fucking years of doing this bullshit that I'd at least be paying a mortgage off the crap I shit out. Nope. So let's assume you mean the secret to my output. Yes. Here we go. I write a ton of shit. What's my secret to writing so much bullshit? Simple. I'm never satisfied. As soon as I'm done with one thing I immediately need to start working on something else to try to chase that high I got the first time I created art that truly transcended who I was as a human being and represented exactly what I needed to express to the universe at that exact moment in time and space. That feeling of needing to communicate my helplessness, the futility of my existence, the tragedy of my fucked up life. I always want it. I always need it. It's the only feeling that makes me truly alive. Even if it only lasts for a second.

Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what? Is it different than what you listen to when you're not writing?

KS: I listen almost exclusively to fantasy metal. Shit like Iced Earth, Dragonforce, Manowar, Rhapsody of Fire, Hammerfall, and Iron Maiden even though they're not fantasy, they're just the greatest band in the world. I used to listen to angry metal. I spent a lot of time listening to sad metal and industrial music. But now it's just the uplifting, heroic sounds of warriors fighting for freedom and justice against evil wizards and dragons. It probably has to do with the fact that my life is nothing but a sad series of terrible mistakes, missed opportunities, backstabbing friends and lovers, and failed attempts at making a living off my art. A real comic tragedy. So I listen to extremely positive music in order to keep waking up every day and pretending to be a functional adult so I don't just turtle up under my covers and rot away into the piece of shit I know I am. Anyway, I listen to this crap when I write, when I drive, when I eat, when I jack off. I just try to keep the positive vibes flowing constantly like some kind of last ditch effort or vain attempt at staying connected to the rest of humanity. Also it keeps me pretty amped up when I'm writing sex or fighting scenes which is pretty much exclusively what I write.

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Kevin Strange is an award winning author with two published novels to his credit, ROBAMAPOCALYPSE and VAMPIRE GUTS IN NUKE TOWN, two short story collections, THE LAST GIG ON PLANET EARTH, and MURDER STORIES FOR YOUR BRAIN PIECE, as well as numerous novellas including MCHUMANS, COMPUTERFACE, and COTTON CANDY. He loves schlocky B-movies, Bizarro fiction and Iron Maiden records.

Find out more about Kevin here:
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