Wednesday, June 03, 2015

20Q7A: An interview with MP Johnson

Well, I'm not sure two weeks in a row quite counts as consistency, but it's a start! Here's the second edition of 20 Questions, 7 Answers – this time with author MP Johnson.

What's your latest book, and how does it differ from your previous work?

MPJ: My latest book is Cattle Cult! Kill! Kill! from StrangeHouse Books. I’ve been working on this one for the better part of a decade, so I’m psyched that it’s finally out there. It’s about a cult of fucked-up farmers that sacrifices people to an even more fucked-up cow god called Bovikraaga. Lots of gore. Lots of weird.

My previous books, Dungeons and Drag Queens and The After-Life Story of Pork Knuckles Malone, were more bizarro, with a lot of comedy elements. This one is a bit more serious. It’s closer to the splatterpunk genre than bizarro fiction.

If you could survive on one food for the rest of your life with no health repercussions, what would it be?

MPJ: Cereal. There is so much variety! As it is, I eat at least two bowls of cereal every day. I often start with a healthy cereal, like granola or something. Then I follow that up with a dessert cereal like Fruity Pebbles. That’s a well-rounded meal!

Are you most afraid of ghosts, aliens, or clowns, and why?

MPJ: Aliens are jerks. Fuck aliens. I just don’t like secrets. I don’t like the subterfuge. Aliens don’t just kidnap you and probe you and insert weird things under your skin. Nooooo. They have to erase your memory of the whole ordeal. But then they do a shoddy job of it, so the memories start to pop up later, in bits and pieces. The images are incomplete, so your mind tries to complete them, and your mind always goes with the worst-case scenario. For all you know, the aliens were super polite and served you banana cream pie and the probing was actually the best sex of your life, but they don’t let you remember it, so your brain is all like, “Dude, something awful happened!” That’s lame. Ghosts and clowns are at least honest with their shit.

Have you traveled outside your home country, and if so, where? Where would you like to go that you haven't been yet?

MPJ: I’ve been all over the place. I stomped on the Great Wall. I fought robot monsters under the streets of Berlin. Punk rock shows in Mexico City. Wandering around the Amazon. Floating Chinese restaurants in Amsterdam. I get around, but I really need to check out Japan and Australia. I want to go everywhere.

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

MPJ: Cher.

What happens when you die?

MPJ: I suspect it’s going to be confusing and frustrating. Probably a lot like the DMV.

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

MPJ: Probably carbuncles. When they get big and there’s like a full jar of mayonnaise in there. Gross. I actually don’t get too disgusted by all of the fun things the human body does, but I’m glad that other people do. I really play on that in my fiction. Vomit shooting from one mouth to another. Guts doing all sorts of neat things. A lot of readers of bizarro and extreme horror have seen all of it before though, so I try to keep it fresh. The bottom line is that you probably have at least a small amount of feces somewhere on your body right now, and that’s okay.

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MP Johnson’s short stories have appeared in more than 50 publications. His debut book, The After-Life Story of Pork Knuckles Malone was a Wonderland Book Award finalist. His most recent books include Dungeons and Drag Queens and Cattle Cult! Kill! Kill! He is the creator of Freak Tension zine, a B-movie extra, an amateur drag queen and an obsessive music fan currently based in Minneapolis. Learn more at www.freaktension.com.

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