Sunday, January 5, 2014
Interview with John Rose.
Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
The Mad Doctor.
That sounds like a self-applied nickname. Did you come up with and start using it and people picked it up? Or did people start calling you that and it stuck?
It is self-applied, but friends tell me that I do have a touch of the mad scientist in me. When I cook, I am very open about experimenting and trying new recipes.
That first line sounds like you set me up for a “That’s what she said!”
The second line sounds like it should have the often-used fortune cookie addendum “…in bed.” added to the end of it.
A friend of mine told me about the fortune cookie thing when we had Chinese last night. She also said that you could say “naked” at the beginning.
Favorite city and why?
New Orleans, because there’s an enormous amount of old and new living side by side. I also like New York and Chicago for the same reason.
Birthday / Age:
May 5, 1968. I am 45 years old.
How would you describe yourself physically?
Tallish, highly trained rock.
What does “highly trained rock” mean?
I was one of the “big kids” when I was growing up, and I did have a problem with clumsiness. I was forced to play junior high football against my will because I was bigger than any other kid in my class. To this day, I see myself as oversized and tend to buy clothes accordingly. Also, I am not exactly a “team player.”
Well I appreciate you playing along for the purposes of this interview.
How would someone else describe you physically?
Someone else would really reply if asked, “So, what’s John Rose like?” with “…Him.”?
Well, there are a few girls who would… *laughs*
The first thing people notice about you is…
Hmmm. I don’t really know. A lot of people tell me I have nice eyes, so it may be that.
Religion, if any?
Christian Methodist. I refer to myself as a lapsed Baptist on occasion.
Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I do throw salt over my left shoulder when I spill it. I don’t know that I would describe myself as superstitious, but I believe anything is possible. As for phobias, I do not like needles and have to close my eyes when I get a shot, otherwise I will go to jail for attacking the nurse.
I’m the same way with needles. It always goes the same way.
Nurse: “Okay. We’re going to need to take a blood sample.”
Me: “Okay. But I’m going to have to look away, so just let me know when you’re done.” *rolls up sleeve*
Nurse: *rolls eyes when she sees my tattoos and sticks me with the syringe and draws blood* “Okay… we’re finished.”
Me: “Can I see that vial for a second?”
Nurse: “Uh… sure…”
Me: *tilts the vial, watching the blood ooze around in the vial* “Cool!”
Nurse: *takes back the vial and leaves the room looking over her shoulder to make sure I’m not following her*
I know exactly what you’re talking about. *smiles*
Do you smoke / drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
I don’t smoke or drink. My one vice is Diet Coke.
Current occupation / Dream job:
Teacher of art at the local middle school. (It’s combat pay.) My dream job involves me being at home and not having to deal with anything resembling the general public.
Mine too. If I don’t have to leave the house for weeks at a time I’d be a happy man.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Work on projects, watch genre television, read, draw, make models, and plan eventual world domination.
What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I see zombie outbreak as less of a crisis situation and more as an opportunity to get rid of everyone I ever wanted to be rid of, whether they are zombie or not.
I wrote a short story like that under my pen name for an anthology once. It’s not posted online anywhere, but if you’re interested in reading it I’ll send it to you.
Weapon of choice:
Do you have any special skills?
I cook very well.
Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I went to college to study art and learn my craft. This all happened after I left college, of course, but I doubt I would have a job at all if I had not gotten a degree.
Gotta have experience to get work and gotta get a job to get experience. It’s a vicious circle.
Yes, it is. I could not even get a job working in a fast-food joint when I was a kid. So I ended up taking the first job I was hired at after college. It’s been 20 years of teaching, but I can now run any zoo in the Western Hemisphere you care to name. *laughs*
If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
Yep. It was hard going, but I did.
Any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?
I have a very personable cat named Igor.
What is your favorite animal?
I love dinosaurs.
Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
I despise people who double-park. It is the height of rudeness.
Favorite / Least favorite Food:
Anything Italian. / Turnip greens.
What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
“I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.” - Jonathan Winters.
What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Probably getting left in Greenwood to survive.
What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
Probably getting left in Greenwood to survive.
What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Having the balls to start writing.
What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
At some point someone’s probably going to say it was buying my new Roku.
If you could kill one person, who would it be, and why?
I don’t know that I could kill anyone, but if I could find the person who created reality TV, I would like to make him wish he was dead.
What do you do?
I write a book series called The MonsterGrrls, about the adventures of four teenage monsterkind who attend high school with humans.
That sound adorable! Kind of sounds like Monster High. Do you get that a lot?
Sometimes I do, but when people read the books they see it as a different thing, plus my characters are not very hip. I did not really care for Monster High, because the woman who writes it didn’t seem to know anything about monsters. It was a bit like she was taking characters from her other series and dressing them in Halloween costumes. One person compared it in the early days to the old cartoon series Gravedale High, which I appreciated. Another reviewer said it was like Sweet Valley High, but with monsters, and I appreciated that too. The SVH books were well-written, and that comparison made me feel I was on the right track.
I’m sure I’ll feel the same way once I read the books. That was just the first thing that came to mind.
How did you get started doing what you do?
I had the idea to write MonsterGrrls in 1990, and it wouldn’t let me alone. I just started writing it and went from there.
What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Do not be afraid. Yes, it is like walking a tightrope in the dark, but if you stop, you’ll just be there. You have to move forward. You have to.
What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past?
Give us a little history if you will.
The MonsterGrrls have two books, Out From The Shadows and Full Moon Fever. At the moment I am working on the third book, Season Of The Witch (working title) and plan to continue from there. I want to write quite a few of these.
Are you worried that the third book will be confused with the Halloween film of the same name or was it intentional and you’re hoping to capitalize on that?
No. It’s called that because in that book, Punkin Nightshade (the witch character) will be taking center stage, and some of it will be her back story.
It’s just a weird coincidence that your third book in the series and the third film in the Halloween series will share a title. Ah well, it happens. Synchronicity & coincidence.
What projects are you working on now?
I have two other projects I eventually want to do called Raven Street and Madders’ House. Raven Street is another monster-related story and Madders’ House is a fantasy.
What are you watching?
Dark Shadows, mostly.
What are you listening to?
I listen to a steady diet of the Ramones, the Misfits, the Ghastly Ones, Grave Robber and Scallywag Mutiny. Scallywag Mutiny is an offshoot of the Orange County Fire Department’s Fife And Drum Corps that does more of a Celtic rock sound. But I listen to pretty much anything from score music to rock when I’m writing.
What are you reading?
Right now I’m reading Stephen King’s Duma Key and Joseph Delaney’s The Last Apprentice series. Both are great books. I also just got through reading John Connolly’s The Creeps, the third in his Samuel Johnson trilogy. Also a great book. I have been known to keep three books going at once.
Favorite author / book?
Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time.
Favorite band / song?
Grave Robber, “Haunted House.”
Least favorite band / song?
The White Stripes. Period.
If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
I don’t know. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d probably take a trip somewhere for awhile, then come back and put some of the money into my books and live off the rest.
Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?
You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Alive: I think I’d like to meet Joss Whedon, just to talk to him and pick his brain about writing.
Dead: Boris Karloff, just to shake hands with him and tell him thanks.
Fictional: Barnabas Collins. Maybe. I would not want to be in Willie Loomis’ shoes right now, but I would like to meet him.
What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
The one I have right now, as a teacher.
Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
None that I can think of.
Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
You do realize that I just posted an interview with Tonia Brown, and she’s the one that recommended that you contact me about being interviewed, right?
I do, but she was the only one that I could think of at the moment. Sorry.
You’re fired. But don’t leave just yet. You’ll have to train your replacement.
Got any questions for me?
What is YAETMO?
You Are Entitled To My Opinion
Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote. All of them.
About the Interviewee:
John Rose teaches art at a middle school in Greenwood, MS. He is the writer, creator and Mad Doctor of The MonsterGrrls, a book series for readers. He reads voraciously, is a lifelong classic horror fan and lives in Greenwood with a cat named Igor and a brain in a jar named Alfred.
About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island, and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
He is currently working on ten novel-length book projects which will be released in 2014.
He also publishes themed collections of interviews from his interview blog You Are Entitled To My Opinion.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces electronic music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here: theendoftheworldisnighbook.blogspot.com
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here: www.facebook.com/TheEndOfTheWorldIsNighBook
Check his author profile at: www.amazon.com/Scott-Lefebvre/e/B001TQ2W9G
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And here: http://burntofferingsbooks.blogspot.com/
Check out his electronic music here: soundcloud.com/master_control
And here: master-control.bandcamp.com
Check out his videos at: www.youtube.com/user/doctornapoleon
Check out his IMDB profile here: www.imdb.com/name/nm3678959
Follow his Twitter here: twitter.com/TheLefebvre or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here: thelefebvre.tumblr.com
Check out his Etsy here: www.etsy.com/shop/ScottLefebvreArt
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheLefebvre
E-mail him at: Scott_Lefebvre@hotmail.com