“I write poetry for the heart and the gut. I write poetry for the boy and girl in the miniature Minotaur masks crouched in the corner of the burning doll’s house” – Miggy Angel

part 4 of interview series with Miggy Angel

miggy 4

 

Words & Image by Miggy Angel

art as therapy
“Poetry/writing saved my life. The blank page was the only receptacle that could contain the infernal mess of wild overspill that I was. I believe that art was/is the first therapy. Art was the first tool we wrought and reached for in our initial primeval howling and wailing. I have for a long time had this image in my mind of a woman crouched down, directly after a stillbirth, and in her grief she reaches her hands down into the blood and viscera and begins to mark the walls with the raw material of her grief. That’s the birth of art, right there. I saw recently that they did a study and found that the vast majority of hands used in the very first cave paintings were womens’ hands. Basically, if a person doesn’t understand that blood and viscera were the first ink or paint then I don’t have a lot to say to them. We are obviously not mining the same vein nor drinking at the same vine. I facilitate a weekly writing workshop for people who are facing addiction issues, and I also take poetry workshops into schools for teenagers. My whole life makes sense in the context of community arts. I went through what I had to go through, so that art could save my life, and so I could then take that passion and enthusiasm for art into the lives of people who need art the most. Poetry for some of us is do or die, and around people for whom that is the case, I am at my most content. If you ever saw me turn a school assembly hall into an open mic for 300 teenagers then you would understand. I feel most myself when I am pulling poems from the forever nooks of your broken heart”.

poetry for the ear or eye
“I write poetry for the heart and the gut. I write poetry for the boy and girl in the miniature Minotaur masks crouched in the corner of the burning doll’s house. Ah, I don’t know. I crawled on my hands and knees for eternity across broken glass and molten tarmac just to tell you a poem. But if you’d like to read it, instead, quietly, inside the halls of your own sweet mind, to yourself, then that’s perfectly ok, too, because I love you enough to let you choose. I’d say that craft is what people mean when they talk about page poetry, and content is usually associated with oral, spoken, performed poetry. So when I write I suppose what I’m trying to do is achieve a balance between wild content and hard craft. Go read a book like Ai’s ‘Cruelty’ for the balancing of content and craft. Women tend to do it best, in my opinion. Plath knew all about it, and no one has ever done it better, really”.

Miggy’s poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms is available digitally here.

GKPPaperback copies are a little rare, best to contact Miggy’s website.
Miggy organises and comperes Nottingham’s monthly
poetry event Speech Therapy and facilitates writer’s workshops.
Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3 of interview series with Miggy

 

 

Interview Miggy Angel Poetry

the kid who can blag for a life-time discovers eternity inside the black hollow of his mouth – Miggy Angel

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Words & Image by Miggy Angel

A person doesn’t have to have ever written a poem to be a poet, you already know that though, I’m guessing. So the poets that shaped me have not necessarily shaped me by virtue of their having written poems.

Watching my mother drag two kids and a pram and shopping bags up the stairs to the top floor of a tenement block with no elevator every single day of my childhood taught me all I need to know about poetry.

South London asphalt taught me all I need to know about poetry.

Addiction taught me all I know about poetry.

Panic disorders, amphetamine psychosis and spectral voices at 4:48am taught me all I need to know about poetry.

London and Cordoba banging their frantic morse-drums in my chest day and night taught me all I know about poetry.

The crack-pipe in my mouth at fourteen years old taught me all I need to know about poetry.

In South London, language, and the commandeering of oral communication, was power.

As working-class kids knocking about on council estates all you have is your tongue, your larynx, your gnarled alphabet.

Spiel is an act of survival.

Every kid I knew growing up was a poet by another name.

We splayed the alphabet daily.

That’s where I learnt everything I need to know about rhythm and emphasis and repetition and refrain and the silences and crawl-spaces between tenses that hold a lit match up to life and death.

The kid who can blag for a life-time discovers eternity inside the black hollow of his mouth.

I’ve seen people murdered by glottal stops.

Verbal wounds you’ll spend a lifetime removing guttural-shrapnel from.

The bruised air of a girl holding her breath for infinity.

The beauty and fragility of a self-worth erected upon nothing more than the lightning dynamo of a street-kid’s hyperbole and rhetoric and bravado taught me every single thing I need to know about poetry.

And, by the way, I was that kid….

 

 

Miggy’s poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms is available digitally here.

Paperback copies are a little rare, best to contact Celandor for options.

Miggy organises and comperes Nottingham’s monthly poetry event Speech Therapy and facilitates writer’s workshops.

 

Part 1 & Part 2 of interview series with Miggy

Interview Miggy Angel Poetry

the internet is a love letter we are writing to ourselves – Miggy Angel

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Words & Image by Miggy Angel

The internet is the greatest art installation we ever built.

Made of light and longing.

The internet is a mass act of clairvoyance, the biggest seance in the universe, and we are all seers and the dearly-departed there.

The internet is a selfie that god is taking.

It’s an infinite sculpture made of blue smoke and our passive-aggression and we’ll only recognise our creation once it steps down from its plinth and puts its hands around our throats and throttles us in the name of love.

The internet is the scatological vapour and mist of consciousness made mercurial replicant of the quotidian and material.

It’s a weapon of mass disjunction.

It’s how they put a barcode on the soul.

It’s McCarthy’s wet dream.

It’s the missing one in black hat with hands behind the back who walks ahead of the hearse which is your life.

It’s a brain on fire.

It’s a boxing ring and you can feel the gloves but not the ropes.

It’s a neon gallows and the hood fits.

It’s an emergency room and all procedures are urgent and psychic and the walls in the theatre are red.

It’s a pageant of heaven and hell held in the little copper pocket-mirror stitched to your breastplate.

Maybe, along with pollution, the internet is the fingerprint we’ll leave at the crime-scene.

The internet is what happened to us when we became as frightened of intimacy as we are desperate to acquire it.

The internet is a love letter we are writing to ourselves, and it says Hello, and it says Do you remember me, and it says I miss you, and it says If you won’t touch me where it hurts anymore won’t you at least acknowledge that I’m alive…

Even the worst internet troll displays the heartbreak of unrequited love if you look hard enough.

On the internet we are all exiled lovers in a death pact, forever bound together in the electric eternity of our yearning.

If you are an artist, then the internet is a heart and spleen-shaped clay-oven that you put your organs inside – where they’ll either melt and become malleable or harden like a stone, and that’s how you find out which kind of person you are.

So, the internet is a personality test.

And, let me tell you… we all failed.

But, there’s still time.

 

There is still time.

 

Miggy’s poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms is available digitally here . Paperback copies are a little rare, best to contact Celandor for options.

Miggy organises and comperes Nottingham’s monthly poetry event Speech Therapy and facilitates writer’s workshops.

Part 2 of interview series with Miggy, view Part 1 here

 

Interview Miggy Angel Poetry

Miggy Angel

“Street, rattle your skulls, shake
Your pouch of owl’s claws, baste
My charred heart in your asphalt kiln,
Street, spit the steel bit from your mouth…”

(Litany For The) Street – Miggy Angel
Grime Kerbstone Psalms

 

It’s taken the whole of this year to get here. My review and interview with Miggy Angel. His poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms I read inside a sombre day in December last year. It changed me profoundly. Through him I discovered writers, artists, photographers and film makers that fired my imagination. His poems gave me the push to delve into myself and see what I could find. Mostly, it’s his writing and images with that unnerving reality that hits the spot for me. The honesty inside the dark, he unknowingly mentors.

My questions felt stilted. We did our best to have a bash and banter, but life got in the way. Whenever Miggy and I ever got time to connect, bit by bit, it started to make sense. Like ephemeral intercontinental pen friends.  A lot of the questions were fueled by my own inquisitiveness and when reading them over, they just paled into a wall. They at least became triggers for Miggy to answer. Concentrating more on the visual this year, he uncovers society, his images are fast and messed up, all you can do is be still and take it all in.  It is the most exquisite grit to view and says so much more than words, something I thought could not be possible in comparison to his poetry. I asked Miggy if I could just take his answers that he has sent me and connect them to some of the images he has taken this year. The result is a series of posts to discover for yourselves the unique insight that lives inside the poet.

 

 

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Words & Image by Miggy Angel

My mum is English, a South London girl. My father was Spanish, from Cordoba in (Moorish) Spain. Angel is my middle name. I grew up in South London in the 70’s and 80’s as a Miguel (Miggy) with a Spanish surname full of what John Fante called ‘soft vowels’, and an absent father allowing me no root-path back to the origins of my name. So, culturally, you could say I have always felt like an outsider. Talking of Fante, I read Ask The Dust in one sitting, a solitary afternoon sat in a library. When I read these lines of his, which articulated something I related to so absolutely, I was again resolved to writing as the only way for a mongrel-hound like me.

“Smith and Parker and Jones, I had never been one of them. Ah Camilla! When I was a kid back home in Colorado it was Smith and Parker and Jones who hurt me with their hideous names, called me Wop and Dago and Greaser, and their children hurt me, just as I hurt you tonight. They hurt me so much I could never become one of them, drove me to books, drove me within myself, drove me to run away from that Colorado town,” … “But I am poor, and my name ends with a soft vowel, and they hate me and my father, and my father’s father, and they would have my blood and put me down.”

– John Fante from Ask The Dust

Miggy Angel is a poet. His poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms is available here . He organises and comperes Nottingham’s monthly poetry event Speech Therapy and facilitates writer’s workshops.

 

GKP

 

Interview Miggy Angel Poetry

PAPER and INK

 

MARTIN APPLEBY editor PAPER and INK

LITERARY ZINE

logoThrough the white noise of twitter popped a submission request. A Fanzine! The scrolling brakes took hold. A week later, a brown package is slipped under my door. Paper and Ink, bright white and dangerous with it’s threat of stained fingers and paper cuts. Now, in its third issue, I’m pleased I took a chance to see just what kind of writers, a nerdy punk boxing fan from England had fused.

paper 2So Martin you really love zines?

I do, it’s actually bordering on obsession. I end up buying so many that it’s difficult to find the time to read them all, not to mention a place to store them all. I keep telling my girlfriend that we need to get a bigger place so that I can have my own dedicated zine library, but she’s not so keen on the idea.

Can you remember which fanzine first gave you the paperlust?

I can, and oddly it wasn’t a fanzine but a novel – Tales of a Punk Rock Nothing by Abram Shalom Himelstein and Jamie Schweser. It is about a kid from Tennessee who moves to DC in the early 90’s and hangs out with punks and feminists etc. The story is told through letters, journal entries and fanzines. It’s a brilliant read and inspired me to see if there were any punk zines being produced in the city I lived in at the time. It all escalated from there really.

As a lover of the fanzine as well, I understand the addiction. It was early punk zines that got me hooked. Wish I still had my old boyfriends 48 Thrills and Sniffin Glue, loved them. We had a real zine scene here in Australia. Some are a little too professional looking these days, though, is it my imagination, or does there seem to be a resurgence of them?

(… or maybe they have never gone away and I’m just suddenly noticing the world around me again, ha!)

It’s hard to say really, I tend to lean towards lit zines myself and there seem to be new ones popping up all the time, which is really great. But like you say, I don’t know if that is due to a resurgence or if I just wasn’t paying attention before.

Having dabbled in fanzine culture myself, I understand the thrill of it. The content control, the images and where to distribute. First fanzine, I was involved in was to do with music. We couldn’t afford a computer, we bashed old typewriters and cut out words and images like serial killers from newspapers and made them fit. The layout of fanzines and the finished product felt like a work of art. Something so tactile, when you picked them up they had the most amazing energy. Editorial, music reviews, sweaty frontline descriptions of live gigs, just stupid irreverence. We didn’t care about copyright, or if anyone would like it. Fuck was a punctuation mark and we’d tell it like it is, share the obscure. We also gave them out for free, left them on park benches, buses, libraries, after gigs. It’s a great feeling when punters started to look out for you to make sure they got the next edition. Fanzines have a rich history and rebellious backbone don’t you think?

Oh, absolutely. That’s what I love about them – the complete creative control, you can say what you want, about whatever subject you want. Zines are not sales driven, it’s not about numbers or profit margins, they’re all about the love- about exposing people to new or different ideas and to artists or writers they may otherwise never come across. They are the antithesis of government controlled media and publishing houses that will only ever play it safe.

You’ll find more truth, wisdom and originality in an A5 stapled hand job than anything mainstream media are dishing us, that’s been a constant. We need to be reminded cause they’ll seduce, brainwash and guide your life in a blink.

paper 1

So pleased I discovered your little literary empire. Your Paper and Ink fanzines have been living in my bag this past week, pulled out at all hours and devoured. They have that do-it-yourself edge, hand drawn original cover art and great fonts to differentiate the stories and brighten the eyes.

It is really important to me that each piece has a unique look to it. I think that is what separates us from most other lit zines that I have encountered. They tend to all follow a uniform format, which is fine, but I like to give each piece a different feel. The only downside to doing that is that it takes quite a while to put the whole thing together- lots of time spent trawling through fonts, trying to find one that fits. It’s all worth it in the end though.

How do you distribute your zine? Are you finding more interest out in specialist shops willing to stock your passion?

Currently I mainly distribute it only through websites such as Etsy and Big Cartel. However I am in the process of building my own website so I can sell it completely independently through that. As for specialist shops, I have never really contacted any shops about selling it. I wanted to build up a bit of a back catalogue before I do that. Although I know from speaking to other lit zine editors that getting shops to stock zines is easier said than done, but I’ll give it a go.

You say you also started your zine because of your dislike of e readers. Us page turners and lovers of the physical may very well be a dying breed. Like vinyl, the printed word is a niche market, full of childhood memories, leafing through watching words on a page. Is it purely romanticising, the notion of paper and ink and the aesthetic qualities of it? Why are words on physical paper so important to you?

I think in most cases of digital formats replacing physical formats there is an obvious improvement of quality or accessibility – Sound quality on a digital music file (can be) better than that of vinyl, streaming a film in HD is essentially the exact same experience as watching a blu-ray but without the need for a physical item – however with e-readers, where is the improvement? Okay, you can carry 100s of books around with you at any time, but who actually needs that many books with them at all times?! I think it just leads to people starting multiple books and never finishing any of them. 

Yes, totally agree. At least with a physical book you know exactly how much devotion you need to complete it. Digital approximations are frustrating and too much temptation to give up when your attention is waning.20141021_194116

For me personally, so much of my time is spent staring at screens, I don’t feel that my life would benefit from another one. There is a fantastic photograph circling the internet that shows somebody using a kindle as a bookmark, and in my opinion, that is all those grey slabs of plastic are good for. And just as an aside, the smell of brand new books is my favourite smell in the world. All the different types of paper and inks, I love it- sometimes I go into book shops just to have a sniff. Ha!

Equally snortable the dust of years and the freshly pressed. My copies of Paper and Ink are already dog-eared and beaten.

Paper and Ink will NEVER go digital.

Your first issue was over a year ago and centered on Heartbreak – Broken Hearts and Broken Bottles, how did you rally your first batch of writers?

A couple of the writers featured in that first issue are friends of mine (Anthony Macina and Paul Martin) and the rest were just writers that I knew of and liked. I e-mailed them and asked if I could use some of their work and they kindly agreed. With the most recent issues there has been a little bit of reaching out to writers, but it is more a case of putting out the call for submissions on social media and waiting for responses. I am really excited about the next couple of issues actually, I’m getting some really great stuff landing in my inbox.

What triggered your first topic choice?

I have always been a sucker for stories of lost love and crushing heartbreak and the strongest emotions I have experienced in my life have come as a direct result of my heart being crushed. Also, at the time that I decided to create the zine I had just been broken up with so it seemed fitting.

Chris Eng’s Questioningly is a perfect start, completely real, I loved its awkwardness and gestures. Asking when do you start believing that love is real, but even better was where this short story ended, it perfectly answered it’s own title.

Man, I love that story. Chris is such a great writer. That ending hits me like a sledge hammer every single time I read it. I’m not usually one to well up or get teary but that story brings me close.

Akua Mercy is exceptional and beautifully bitter. You’ve chosen writers that have doses of romantic cynicism they seem to have been battered, tormented and burnt by love. I think all of these pieces hurt. William James’ Kids Like Us Will Be Alone Forever and Anthony Macina’s The Breeze was the closest I came to tearing up. These are wonderful writers to get to know.

I am really proud of that first issue, all the writers are fantastic. I always think back on issue #1 as testing the water, so to speak, and that issues #2 and 3 are much better, but then when I actually re-read issue #1 I realise that it was pretty damn good. Kids Like Us Will Be Alone Forever is one of my favourite poems of all time. 

You also use different cover designers, do you look for submissions in cover illustrations as well as words?

I am always on the lookout for submissions of all kinds, the next issue (#4) will even feature some photography which is a first for Paper and Ink. I am lucky enough that I happen to know a lot of very talented artists and illustrators and so far, all but one of the cover illustrations have come from people I know that I have reached out to.

As a fan of the fanzine, what are some of the best literary ones out there, (besides your own of course). That you regularly follow?

There are some really fantastic lit zines out there. Just in the UK alone you have PUSH which actually launched in the same month as Paper and Ink, however they just put out their 13th issue. The work ethic of editor Joe England is incredible. He sells the zines outside football matches, and shifts a bucket load of them! Then there is Hand Job which launched last year as well. It is a real old school cut and paste zine which features some fantastic writers. There is a lot of crossover in the contributors between our three zines and a real community spirit between us. I don’t think it is a coincidence that we all appeared at around the same time- we’re all fighting the same fight.

The second and third issues Home and Destination Unknown are exponentially gaining thickness.

Like I said earlier, I always saw issue #1 as just ‘testing the water’. I knew that if it went well and people responded to it I would go bigger and better, and that philosophy will continue with future issues. Issue #4 is going to be a bumper one! The theme of which is ‘identity’ and I have had some fantastic submissions so far. 

So you’re getting some good feedback and interest in your zine?

The feedback has been incredible. When I released the first issue I was worried that no one would be interested and I’d be stuck with piles of zines that I couldn’t shift but that wasn’t a problem at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly about to give up my day job, but the response has been great. I’m just happy that I can give unknown and up and coming writers a platform to showcase their work, that’s the best feeling in the world.

What is the next submission topic and how does one get involved?

The theme of the next issue is ‘identity’ and the deadline for submissions is 1st December so there is still plenty of time for people to get involved. I’m looking for short stories, flash fiction and poetry of no longer than 1500 words and illustrations in black and white only.

Just send them along to martin-appleby@live.co.uk

New Website! http://www.paperandinkzine.co.uk/

you can connect with martin via Twitter https://twitter.com/PaperAndInkZine and visit his blog http://www.inpursuitofexpression.com/

Interview Zines & Journals

Joseph A. Pinto

 DUSK AND SUMMER by Joseph A. Pinto

Author - Joseph A Pinto

Author – Joseph A Pinto

As an official Damnling – a term of endearment awarded by the authors of the fantastic horror collective Pen of the Damned – I jumped at the chance to read one of the founders’ more meatier pieces. I regularly sip from their glass of fear, reveling in their uneasy tales, shivers often freshen my blood, monsters invigorate my psyche.

Theirs is a beautiful mixed bag of horror. My sweet bedtime stories flash under torch lit chins, curtains blow in midnight’s chill and I have to check under my bed often for nightmares hide easily under mattresses.

Joseph A Pinto has the gift of the dark but there also lurks a soft, sensitive soul – his pen a powerful balm. So how did your eclectic band of blood misfits evolve?

J:Pen of the Damned evolved from a simple dilemma and subsequent solution: in the writing industry, it’s hard enough to brand and market yourself alone, so why not strength in numbers?  Along with Nina D’Arcangela and I, we’ve scoured the fringes of the dark realms for diverse voices.  Pen of the Damned eventually became an exclusive, eclectic group of ten writers from varying backgrounds.  Our goal is to provide readers with free weekly horror and dark prose while developing a platform for ourselves as writers, in addition to our group as a whole.

A: I also admire Nina’s work very much, it sounds like a simple and effective way to introduce readers to some great storytellers. I was so pleased I found your book, Dusk and Summer. I shivered many times reading your words, but for different reasons, a different horror. One reason was the veiled sensations only exquisite writing can conjure. The second, finding a book full of magic, myth and dreams, a search for solace when the real life monster of pancreatic cancer takes over your life. In this particular case it was your fathers. One thing paramount in your novella is the love and respect you have for him. You paint a picture of a very strong man, physically and emotionally. Did he impart his imagination to you as a child, a similar mythological tale that we find in the book or did that come later?

JP: Thank you Abbie and yes, pancreatic cancer is a monster in its own right, something all too real.  My father did not impart his imagination to me but rather his vision; he managed to see things in a different light.  Mostly, he imparted his drive.  He was a very focused man, and whatever he set out to do, he simply did.  He possessed a desire to continually challenge himself and that carried over to many aspects of my own life.  I found my strength and confidence simply by watching him.           

A: So he instilled that by example, and you feel his strength and guidance all through the book and something you touch on with that beautiful quote by Clarence Budington Kellard- “he didn’t tell me how to live, he lived and let me watch him do it”. Was your father a good storyteller?

JP:  My father was actually MacGyver! lol He could fix anything, make anything, craft anything with a piece of gum, a piece of string and a paperclip.  My dad was a mechanical genius but remained low key about it. Honestly, he wasn’t much of a storyteller.  He did, however, read horror novels all the time and because of that, he introduced me to the genre I love.

A: Dusk and Summer’s words are a siren’s call, a fairytale for sailors and lovers of the sea, a homage. Your father battled hard, peacefully succumbing to the waves. Did you start writing this book during those years of his illness or later?

JP: I wrote Dusk and Summer several months after his death.  I had no way to process my grief.  I was completely lost.  Unable to reach out.  Eventually I could think of only one thing: write for him.  So I sat down, and I did just that.

A: It must have felt like it was entering you from another place. I really loved the father and son relationship and I was taken aback by the impact it had on me. For me, it mirrored the father and daughter relationship that I had. To watch someone who was once so strong, invincible in your eye’s grow weaker by the day, so your book was quite cathartic for me. You walk through similar territory, the illness might be different, but the effect that has on those who have to watch by helpless, is no doubt the same. Something I wanted to touch on is how you talk about withholding your emotions, how everyone tiptoes around death so uncomfortably, how everyone is too scared to say goodbye.

JP: I had no choice but to withhold my emotions while my father battled pancreatic cancer.  It became instinctive.  My father was fully aware of the grim survival statistics when it came to the disease.  He told me he had no desire to die.  As a human being, as a son, how do you respond?  You push on and become strong for that person.  I never said goodbye to my father.  I told him that I would see him later.  It stands as a huge difference for me.

A: Well you do see them later, in memories, dreams and faces all around you, you see them in yourself. I found a real gentleness reading your work that I didn’t expect to find. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. The stories I have read on your Pen Of The Damned are dark tales indeed, but this is more heart wrenching and opposite emotionally.

JP: My horror prose, along with some of my poetry, is generally dark and full of angst.  But I do write tender pieces in order to provide myself with some balance.  At my core, I am a very emotive writer.  Dusk and Summer, while part fantasy, part truth, part tribute, is all heart and soul.  It’s a story derived from some common threads we all share: how do we grieve, what do we do with our grief, and what belief or faith do we rely on to get us through.     

A:  Loss cripples us. When your dad was at his weakest I’m sure you saw the father son roles shift, you have no choice then to take charge, to show your father this while he was getting to the end of his life was probably proof to him that you have the “never give up” attributes, the strength to survive the grief of it all. “Grown men don’t show fear, they never panic, remember what I always say…” that’s what your father taught you. But there is ‘no morphine drip for the pain of grief’, writing this story is a wonderful therapy don’t you think?

JP: Writing Dusk and Summer allowed me to recognize the extent to which I had my grief bottled.  It definitely became my therapy; in many ways, I think it saved me.

JosephA: When I read Dusk and Summer, I had thoughts of what my heaven would look like. I think the heaven you chose for your father is perfect. You write about love, family, protection, fear and how we cope with death. If I was going through what you were going through, I think reading Dusk and Summer would give me a lot of comfort, was that an intention of your book also?

JP: I wrote Dusk and Summer personally for my father; our everlasting connection.  I took real elements of his life and transformed it into a fantasy tribute, as I mentioned earlier. Once I completed it and read my initial draft for the very first time, I was stunned at how raw and emotional my story was. Quite frankly, I bled myself into it.  I realized I had crafted a memorial in the guise of fiction.  I had immortalized my father.  But more importantly, I realized my book could eventually be used for a greater good – raising awareness and funding for pancreatic cancer research, as well providing a level of comfort for others.

A: Well I would definitely recommend it as one. Yes, I must mention the fantasy element, it was so beautiful, a place that was a much needed respite between your anguish, it guides the story perfectly your search to find peace for your father. Your adrenalin kicks in immediately in this book, you feel your grief, heart pounding, the intensity of storytelling never stops, that’s why one can’t stop reading Dusk and Summer when you start.

JP:  Thank you very much.  As a writer, you always need to connect with your reader on an emotional level.  I draw you into my novella from its opening line.

A: Between dusk and summer, as simple as the sun sets, season’s change we move on…

JP: You touched on something there, Abbie.  There exists a key element to Dusk and Summer; my character agonizes over writing his father’s eulogy, as did I.  I wanted to do so while I still had a clear head but feared if I did, it would mean I gave up on my dad.  I would never do such a thing.  I cried to my best friend, told him how it was killing me, and he simply said, ‘Joe, I’ve known you for a long time, and I know you’ll know when the time is right.’ When I did finally write my father’s eulogy, I sat at an open window in the month of June, in summer, and watched the dying light of dusk.  I felt a connection.  I couldn’t explain it then, nor can I explain it now.  The next morning, I awoke and spent an hour in bed visualizing my Dad running on the beach.  He was whole again.  Shortly thereafter, I got the call from the hospital that he had passed, and I realized it probably happened during the time I spent visualizing.  So yes, I believe a connection had been made.  Hence my title, Dusk and Summer.

A: Joe is currently working on a new blog to launch soon for the pancan community.  It will be a place for people to write and share tributes about their own loved ones, share articles of awareness as well updates on breakthroughs in the medical field, fundraising news from groups, all the while promoting positivity and hope.

A: So Joe, I have to ask, do you really believe in Mermaids?

JP: Do I believe in Mermaids?  Interesting question.  Yes, of course I do.  With faith, anything is possible.  With belief, anything becomes real.  Thank you for having me aboard, Abbie.  Your support is dearly appreciated!

You can purchase Joseph A Pinto’s Dusk and Summer via

US paperback/Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JCHFWK0

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00JCHFWK0

Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00JCHFWK0

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/4678832

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/423896

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dusk-and-summer-joseph-a-pinto/1015138558?ean=9780615974651

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Joe’s book will be donated to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer research. This organisation promotes the advancement of scientific and medical research related to diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of pancreatic cancer. Joe is an avid supporter. By purchasing Dusk and Summer, you will be supporting a wonderful cause and a brilliant storyteller. You can find Joe’s tortured tales and compelling poetry on his website: josephpinto.com You can also link up with him on twitter @JosephAPinto, @penofthedamned and facebook. If you want more information on pancreatic cancer or The Lustgarten Foundation go to http://www.lustgarten.org/.

 

Book Review Interview

Max Frick

MAX FRICK

Music obsession can be a blessing and a curse. I’m somewhat pleased that technology saved me from my fate. The scenario where I live in a five room apartment, behind each door and through hallways, mountains of CD’s and piles of vinyl threatening imminent collapse. The thought of being buried alive under books a very likely event.
Downloads seem to be a different investment, no real sense of possession as one experiences with something tactile in their hands. No moods or textures to stimulate, holograms, picture discs, gatefolds, images, colours and tracklists read on the bus on the way home from the record shop.
I take my music seriously. My youth was loaded with anarchic sounds. Indie was my main bag, still is. Escaping through windows every weekend to sneak into pubs with older boys with more than music on their minds. I craved the sheer rawness of live performance, I wanted to see the spray of saliva through light haze, watch smoke rise from heated bodies, experience the ancient heartbeat and voyeuristic pull of performance.
I wanted something different, I wanted the real thing, sniffing out the fakers was easy.
The mere suggestion of one of my favourite songs had me purchasing yet another Indie author. A 99c offer on Smashwords – obscene really. It amazes me to see such a great read practically given away, but this is yet another phenomenon for artists these days.
I recently scored a rare moment with Scottish born author Max Frick. I was so entertained by his debut novella Debaser, I wanted to find out how this slice of suburban mania came about. It’s discordant scenes at times mirroring The Pixies vocal frenzy. Max is an extravagant communicator of words and feelings. d4cd3626dd5cc88daa494f65b06dac4717bf20c6-thumbProse rich in the minutiae, making this pernicious story blaze behind your eyes. It reads like PG Wodehouse meets Irvine Welsh without the locution. It’s a totally mashed murder mystery, a dark spiral of mind altering madness between a sadomasochistic odd couple.  Mates, Tony Drake and Billy Wilson kickin’ it into trouble that leads to  an unfortunate revenge bender with rockstar Ryan Watson.
Max Frick knows the angst and bitterness that his protagonist Tony Drake spits.
I grew up in a town not dissimilar to the one depicted in the book. I’ve sat by that river, and skated that skate park, and I still occasionally shop in that shopping centre. And, believe it or not, Take That (one of the first boy bands; the beginning of the end) actually gave an early performance (you couldn’t possibly call it a gig) in that very night club. I was there that night, at the club. It was just an ordinary night to begin with. It’s the type of club that plays something for everyone: some pop, some rock, some indie, some oldies, a couple of slow songs at the end before the lights come up. In the middle of all of this the DJ made some announcement and these five young guys came on and began doing their synchronized dance moves to a backing track or two. Nobody quite knew what was going on, or who they were, and we could all have cared less (I remember a friend of a friend briefly toyed with the idea of throwing his beer bottle at them). And then they went off and things got back to normal. It was only much later I realised I had witnessed the birth of the apocalypse”.
Tony Drake is obsessed with music. He’s also fuckin’ mental.brimming with the fury of the unjustly oppressed‘. ‘Drako’ feels hard done by, his jealousy eats him up. The rise of the corporate boy bands of the 90’s didn’t annoy nor stimulate me. I just chose to ignore those groups, cattle called sending talentless wannabees with a look and lure for every girls purse, wall and sticky dreams. In this book, Frick studies the ‘cult of celebrity laid bare’. The untalented rise of the mediocre and zed graders. The difference between those who merely want fame and those whose art is a natural extension of self. He has other well thought out characters, the mindless consumers and the perpetrators of envy – the media, advertisers and record executives. Tony is super drug addled, which becomes a contributing factor to his erratic mind and simmering rage. ‘Fame comes at a price, they say, but the price has never been so low’.
There are people these days with no discernible talent who are not about to let such a minor inconvenience get in the way of their becoming famous. And they do! Become famous, I mean. It’s baffling. Do they employ publicists, or what? These people have massive egos and very little shame. They no longer even pretend to have a product to sell. They are merely pretty packaging. There’s nothing inside
Other characters reveal themselves to be leeches. Knowing that fifteen minutes is there for the taking. Those that hang, ride and encourage the delusional. Max doesn’t hold back, he really gets stuck into these life maggots
Yeah, fucking cunts“.
Tony Drake speaks his mind, he is a wonderfully depicted character,
I love the guy. I love his passion. I enjoy him the most when he’s venting his spleen, because it’s also me venting mine, up to a point. But he is a bit of a fool. Tony wouldn’t understand the concept of ‘dignified silence’. If you tried to explain it to him he’d probably call you a shiter (a coward in Scottish parlance) and tell you to shut the fuck up”.
This book is full of anarchy and disruptive personalities a familiar reflection of misspent youth and Britain in general.
I think everybody’s youth is to some degree misspent, and that’s probably as it should be. The problem nowadays seems to be, in Britain at least, that that mis-spending continues into middle age and beyond. Nobody wants to grow up. So, yeah, characters like these are ten a penny where I come from. But also bear in mind that the anarchy in this book is confined to one weekend, more or less. And we’ve all had weekends like that. Haven’t we? Minus the dead superstar, of course”.
KIDNAPPED! BEATEN! RAPED! KILLED! EATEN! Max fills you in early with what to expect from this cathartic memoir of the 80’s and 90’s.’Cathartic’ in that his character Tony, seems fed up with being duped. Watching punters force fed what to think, what to buy and how to behave. This just really gets him reeling, and something Max can relate to?
Absolutely. I don’t rant and rave at the telly like Tony might, but I do think it’s a cause for some concern. Billy Bob Thornton said a while back that marketing is the devil (at least according to Brainy Quotes he did) and it’s worse now than ever it was. We’re all being seduced into wanting that perfect lifestyle that’s promised to us in advertisements for everything from cars to toilet paper. But my real beef, I think, is with the weak-minded individuals who actually do buy into it; who would never even consider having any other brand of toilet paper in the house – good God, no! Life no longer imitates art (if indeed it ever did). It now imitates adverts.”
Max Frick writes about the music industry like he’s been on the front line, but it’s not a case of writing what you know. 0193fe95c4769554b79e3b828e6c8c2e7162a43c-thumb
Not at all, in fact. I have no more knowledge of the music industry than the next guy (but I am very glad you thought that). My music mogul, Steve Steve, is a composite of the businessmen I’ve come into contact with over the years, simply transposed into musical surroundings, if you like. The rest is pure fabrication. I do like to think I know music though”.
Tony is a ball of negative energy, charged for trouble and confrontation. The antics with a constantly scene stealing howling wolfhound with his saliva enriched doggy dialogue had me in stitches. Does Dooley exist?
No. I made him up. He represents a certain simplicity, I think. Animals possess none of the artfulness that humans do. They are always genuine. In my wildest imaginings, though, I sell enough books to buy a house with a garden, and a dog just like him. Or maybe even rescue one from the dog’s home. So, yeah, ultimately what I think I’m saying to the readers of this interview is: buy this book and you might just save a dog’s life. It’s entirely up to you”.
You can now find Debaser and his short story Old Mr Bitterman – Criminally Insane for free on Smashwords.
You can find Max Frick on Twitter 

 

Interview Max Frick