Thursday, January 30, 2014

Interview with Linda Cleary.

Full Name:
Linda Patricia Cleary

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you? 
Nope, just Linda…I like spelling my name, Linduh or LinDawg or sometimes my science fiction name Lindar at the end of emails just to throw people off.
Whatever works for you, keep doing it, Lindawg!

Seoul, Korea, but I was born on a military base so I’m a legitimate US Citizen… just in case I run for presidency they won’t question it.

Current hometown:
El Cerrito, CA

Favorite city and why? 
Hard to say… I love Seoul because that’s where I grew up.  I also lived in Tokyo, Japan for some of my childhood and I love the structure of that city and that they have awesome restrooms.  Some of the toilets play music while you poop and have robotic built in bidets.  I also love London.  I was accepted to go to school there but I’ve never been.  It’s been a place that I have imagined myself in my fantasy future.  Maybe I lived there in a past life.
The whole idea of musical toilets weirds me out.   I don’t think my bowel movements need to have a soundtrack.  Unless it’s the Jurassic Park soundtrack.
It works when you’re one of those people who get insecure while pooping in public.  I love the bidets though!

Birthday / Age:
9/11/1978 35, I think.
I stopped keeping track at 30.  Now I just mark the decades.
Yeah, 30 seems to be the point where I lost track too.

How would you describe yourself physically? 
A half Taiwanese short girl.

How would someone else describe you physically? 
A short girl with questionable heritage.

The first thing people notice about you is…
Probably how short I am…geez, I haven’t thought about my height in ages!
That’s three in a row about your height.  How short are you?
Actually, I’m pretty average for my ethnicity.  I’m 5 foot.  I think it’s other people who point it out to me.

Religion, if any? 
If I had to choose, it’d be Buddhism.  I was raised Buddhist by a single Irish/Hungarian father.
You don’t have to choose, or you could even just pick “None of the above.”  But now I have to ask since you were raised by a single Irish/Hungarian father, are you a gypsy?
My dad told me I was half Vulcan, half Human when I was little and I believed him!  My mom wasn’t around to argue with his tall tales!
Live long and prosper!
I’m glad humans are still using our logical phrases.  Your enthusiasm is acceptable under the circumstances.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I’m not really superstitious, maybe along the surface.  I have tons of phobias though.  I am terrified of squirrels and of my own body.  Not sure how to explain the second one…I guess I’m a bit of a hypochondriac.  I’ve been told that I’m never allowed to look at sites like WebMD ever again.  I’m convinced I’m dying of everything.
I’m scared of squirrels and my own body.  I hope the twain shall never meet.  Separately?  AH, I can take the or leave them.  What you’re referring to is Medical Students’ Disease.
Yes, it has a name, so now hopefully you won’t feel so alone in the world.
Thank you!  I feel validated now.

Do you smoke / drink? If so, what? Any bad habits? 
I’ve been in the process of quitting smoking forever.  I smoke very infrequently these days.  I don’t touch alcohol.  I drank a lot while growing up in Korea because of the easy access to bars, but now if I have a drink I’m like, “Goodnight!”
I’m always in the process of quitting smoking forever… one pack at a time.
Don’t be a quitter!
Probably not in this lifetime, or at least not this year.
I’m doing a pretty good job with cutting the bad stuff out.  I haven’t consumed coffee in almost a year…and that one was an accident!  Not that coffee is really bad.  Soda on the other hand…haven’t touched that stuff in years.

Current occupation / Dream job:
The one I have now.  I make monsters!  I’m the owner of Ghoulie Girls.  I create monsters and make them into functional accessories like purses, fanny packs, journals, wallets, etc.  I used to teach at a Montessori School and one of the parents said that I could probably sew monsters for a living, so I opened up my etsy shop, and quit my teaching job.  I now do shows, consign at shops and have a great time.  I’m also my own boss so I have plenty of time to do the other things I love doing, like write my SF/Fantasy YA novels, perform improv, film my SF puppet show Commander Quacks and paint a painting every day for a year (which is what you are interviewing me for!).
Actually, you can feel free to talk about whatever you want to.  I don’t mind.  You can take it in whatever direction you want to.  It’s your interview, take it where you want it to go.  I stopped by your Etsy and gave it a Favorite, B. T. Dubs.  I love how you model your own stuff.  You looks like a little Asian lady about to be devoured by muppets.
Being devoured by muppets is actually one of my dreams!  You read my mind.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I’m always working…sometimes I like to accidentally buy houses.  Ha!  No, that was just one house this week.  I also write music while I’m not creating monsters, puppets, stories and paintings.
What kind of music?
It’s hard to explain the style.  Electro/Indie/Pop?  My husband and I also played in a band called Fake French… we did shoegazer-esque electronic indie rock type stuff.  Here’s the link to my music on soundcloud.
Followed!  I’m Master_Control.
Thanks!  I’m a total follower.  Well…you know what I mean.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I’m already collecting cans of corned beef hash for the apocalypse.  I think I’ve decided to go straight to Costco.  They have everything to be able to survive for a long time.  I’d rather have an alien apocalypse because it’d be way more appealing in so many ways.  Even if I died, I’d be thinking, “OH MY GOD…ALIENS!!  They’re REAL!”
Aliens are already real.
“I’m not saying it’s aliens…but it’s probably aliens.”  I love that show Ancient Aliens.  It took me about three episodes to decide I was an ancient alien theorist.
Be careful, it’s a slippery slope.  It’s easy to find yourself a lot further down the rabbit hole than you intend to go.
Oh I know…I know.

Weapon of choice:
Emergency axe or machete.
Or emergency machete.  “But aren’t all machetes emergency machetes?”  Well-played, voice inside my head.  Well-played.
Good one.

Do you have any special skills? 
Yes.  For the apocalypse? Or just in general?  A fair amount for both.
Like what?
I sew…so I could sew clothing or flesh.
Alright, you can be on my team.
Great!  Do we have a name yet?
Yes, “Team Fuck Your Stupid Team Name”.  Now we just need t-shirts!
It’s all about marketing.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I went to college for film.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans? 
I didn’t finish so yes…well, my dad paid it off.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names? 
Yes!  Two frankenmutts…Taco and Lexi.

What is your favorite animal?
Pet-wise, dogs.  In general the Tibetan Sand Fox.  Have you seen their faces?  It’s like they’re staring into your soul!
I YouTubed them.  They look pretty rad.  Apparently they have a “curious body shape”.  I can relate.
Now I need to go look at a picture of you.
Here you go.  I’m unphotographable.
Like a vampire?  Or is that just mirrors?
The world is a vampire.
Wereworld… that’s the name of my screenplay for my crappy SyFy movie I’m writing as soon as I’m done with this interview.
That’s amazing!  Let me know if you need a writing partner.  We can bundle it up with the screenplay for Mummy Apocalypse I’m working on.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
Wow, so many.  Bad grammar and spelling…especially on Facebook and In this day and age.  People who litter out of their car windows…really?  I could write a paper on pet peeves.  I’ll stop there though.
I wrote one for you… and then made an animated panda read it to take some of the edge off.  *Don’t take the pet part personally.*
Thank you for doing that!  I feel much better now.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
I have so many favorite foods.  I love sushi and chicken fried steak (I know, weird contrast there).  Least favorite…durian.  That Asian fruit that Mother Nature obviously is telling the world to leave alone.  It’s covered in spikes and when you cut it open it literally smells like two week old rotting garbage or corpses, take your pick.  No offense to durian lovers out there.  Fruit of the Gods my ass.
Yeah, southern-fried skunk assholes might be better than calamari rings but I’ll never know.  It’s like when someone tastes something and makes a horrid face and then offers it to you and says, “Hey, taste this?”  Fuck no!  What do you think I’m stupid?  “Is this milk sour?”  Does it smell sour?  Then don’t use it, but leave me out of it.  I’m not the Hercule Poirot of shelf-life, you can Sherlock that shit for yourself thanks very much!
I know what you mean!  Hey taste this, it tastes like crap!  No, thank you.  I forgot to mention that I don’t like sea urchin either.  Poopoo!
I ordered sea urchin at a sushi restaurant once.   Once…  Never again.
Yeah, I think it’s the texture…I even ate live octopus and squid and didn’t have a problem with those.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying? 
“That which does not kill you makes you stronger.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
And that quote from Frank Herbert’s Dune- “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
“That which does not kill you makes you stronger… except the thing that kills you.  That just kills you.” – Scott Lefebvre
I’ve been getting a lot of Dune answers lately.  Or it could just be because I always filter every interview through my glowing blue Fremen filter.

I should use that filter while writing.
I highly recommend it.  Because my name is a killing word.
My name brings people back to life. 

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Meeting my husband and getting back into theater and improvisation.  Oh and buying this house…that’s happening now!  And adopting my dogs.
YOU CAN’T HAVE THREE BEST THINGS!  IT DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF THE CONCEPT OF ANY ONE THING BEING BEST!!!  Okay, for you I’ll make an exception.  You, and you alone, can have three best things.
I’m just a positive person!  I think everything is the best.
I envy you your positivity.
Fake it til’ you believe it.  It works!

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
Getting deathly ill when I was in my mid-twenties and my mother died last year.  2013 sucked.  Lots of friends and family passed away and I’m ready for more life and creation this year.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Hasn’t everyone?  And no, nothing really interview worthy behind that one.
You’d be surprised.  People who have never had their heart broken usually make for boring interviews.  They’re like the people you went to high school that try to add you as a friend on Facebook.  Haven’t you made any friends since high school?  If we really got along that well back then we’d still be in touch.  If I wasn’t really into you back then, I probably won’t be into you now.  You probably didn’t get any more awesome in the past eighteen years.  Unless you’re a girl that used to flirt with me.  I don’t mind playing “coulda-shoulda” every now and then.  Unless you’re married.
You’re funny.
I have my moments…

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
I’m pretty sure I have… nothing interesting.  I’ve stayed friends with almost every single one of my exes.  I’m pretty drama free in that department.  They may disagree and be writing a book on the subject right this second though.
That would probably make for an interesting read.  I always wanted to do a series of interviews with all of the girls I’ve dated and try to write a book about it.  It doesn’t help that most of us have each other blocked on every form of social media.  That kind of throws a spanner in those gears.
Yeah, sometimes I think it’s weird that I get along with my exes… I guess I make it a point not to date someone unless I know we’ll stay friends.  Well, I’m married now so it all doesn’t matter anymore.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done? 
I can’t really pick.  Humanitarian wise, helped my mom while she was sick, been there for family and friends, rescued my dogs.  Creativity wise, I love performing with my performance lab group at the Berkeley School of Theater. 

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done? 
Slapped a hooker…but she kind of deserved it and shoplifted bubblegum when I was nine.
Wait, slow down.  You don’t just get to drop that gem and drift.  Elaborate please.
My friends and I were out drinking in Itaewon (a shopping district in Seoul, Korea) and this prostitute kept following us around all night.  She was high or drunk and kept talking to me and pulling at my clothes.  This went on for hours.  She was showing me some medal she had around her neck and was playing with my hair.  After a time, I lost my cool and slapped her.  I felt horrible, but she finally lost interest and left us alone.  What was weird was that she didn’t seem phased that I had slapped her.  I’m a terrible person.

If you could kill one person, who would it be, and why? 
Kim Jong Un, because someone should.  I would feed him to ravenous dogs…since that’s what he did to his uncle.
I can eat it?
I believe the correct answer is, “Please, sir, no.”
Please, sir…NO!

What do you do?
I paint, write, create creatures, make music, beat up raccoons and eat sandwiches.
…at the same time!
Well, all of those while eating a sandwich maybe.  I can do all of the above (except beat up a raccoon) and watch TV however.

How did you get started doing what you do? 
I started pretty young.  I’ve always known that I wanted to be a “maker” or “creator” of awesome things.  I sometimes get overwhelmed with how much I want to create.  Too many projects, too little time.  That’s probably why I suffer from anxiety.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
You must have motivation.  No one will tell you to keep going except yourself.  I think that’s what people see (besides just talent).  They see the confidence and drive in people.  Whether your dream is to paint, write novels, breed rabbits it doesn’t matter unless you have ambition and set goals and challenges for yourself.  Actually, I take that back.  Not challenges…opportunities!
This Day of the Artist project is teaching me discipline and motivation.  It all comes from within.
Tell us a bit more about this “Day of the Artist” project you speak of.
Last year, after seeing my friend Josiah’s painting a day project, I decided I would do that starting this year.  Then I was inspired to not only do a painting a day, but do one in the style of a different artist a day.  My OCD kicked in and I got pretty excited.  I told my ever-encouraging husband about the project and he actually said, “I don’t know…that seems kind of crazy.”  The fact that it seemed a little impossible and challenging is what pushed me to do it.  And now I’m on day eighteen!  We’ll see how things go when I have to start packing and moving into my new house.  I am NOT looking forward to that.  The paints and canvases will be the last to go.  

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past?
Give us a little history if you will.
I’ve written a number of books and am in the process of work-shopping them with my writing group.  They’ll probably get published in 2476, which is when one of series is set in.
I look forward to reading them.   You’re allowed to set the alarm on my cryogenic tube for the release date.  Because then they’ll have a cure for everything… and I can have my own air chariot.
I’ll unlock your cryogenic tube after I get released from mine.  They’ll be present day novels by then.  Really bad present day novels.  Kind of like when you watch futuristic movies from the 80’s.  I just watched Robocop the other night and it was hilarious.  It’s still a great movie (to me), but I think it’s hilarious that they are wearing Cosby sweaters and have feathered hair.  Total Recall is another great example.  Oh and Babylon 5!
My friends (and husband) and I made an entire 13 episode season of a puppet science fiction show called, Commander Quacks Protector of the Future.  It’s very campy, fun and genuine.  We improvised the first few episodes and really knew nothing about filming in front of a green screen and doing special effects… it gradually got better as we went along.  I like that we wrote a serious story arc for the series, but it could never be taken that seriously since all the actors are puppets.  We are currently preparing for Season 2…the first episode is a musical!
You can view Season 1 here:
Thank you for introducing me to my new favorite thing.
Yay, that means we have a whole ten fans now.  The tumblr blog is new, thanks for following us!  We’re revving up for Season 2.  It’s going to be awesome.
I’m constantly sewing monsters for Ghoulie Girls.
I like to follow blogs on Tumblr.  Mostly because I’m not exactly sure what Tumblr is for yet and I’m hoping someone will help me figure it out.  Because as far as I can tell it’s mostly an online digital scrapbook for awkward teenaged girls… and me.
I feel the same way.  I have some things on tumblr, but then decided to grow up and move to wordpress.  That was mean sounding…I apologize.  I still have Quacks and Ghoulie Girls tumblr sites, but for more advanced blogging it doesn’t serve my purposes. 

What projects are you working on now?
I’m currently painting a painting a day in the style of various artists.  I’m doing it every day for a year.  I’m hoping that by the end of the year that I can put together an art show…I’m not sure at this point yet.  I’ve been at it for two whole weeks so far and I hope I don’t have a nervous breakdown.  It’s really teaching me to be disciplined with my artwork.  It’s also been teaching me about success and failure.  I’ve had to stifle the perfectionist in myself and say, “Hey, it’s okay. There are going to be paintings that turn out awesome and some that are going to be epic failures, but it’s the process that’s important.”  This project and improvisation teaches me to fail graciously and be okay with not being okay.  It’s been an artistic journey as well as a psychological one!  I can’t wait for Bob Ross day.  I’m going to dress like him and wear a fro-wig and have my friend film an entire episode in the style of his show.  I’m pretty excited.
I perform every few weeks with my improvisation class, The Bakery Badasses at The Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre.  And am forming a comedy/sketch/improv duo with my friend from the class.  Hopefully, we get some material together and can perform live shows sometime soon.
I’m also wanting to direct/film some shorts that are improvised.  Other than that, just sewing monsters and writing my books that will be published in space.
If you’re looking for artists for the roster, you can add me to the list.  You’re going to have to smoke a lot and listen to black metal and hate everything while you paint though.  It might be the one that breaks you.

Ooooh!  I’m totally adding you.  Also, I’m going to have no problem listening to Black Metal.  I went through that phase.  I’ll just throw on some Burzum and Dimmu Borgir and go crazy.
Black metal is NOT a phase!  It’s a way of life!  Now go wash that corpse paint off unless you’re on your way to burn down a church!  And this…
You’re right.  My love for black metal is still pumping deep down inside my soul… pulling at my heart with flesh hooks.  I’ve always wanted to play keyboards for a Black Metal band.  Maybe we can do a long-distance collaboration.  Ha!
I think you’re onto something, but what will our band name be?
Anything in Norwegian or Icelandic would work. Heimurinn er vampire?  The world is a vampire (in Icelandic).
I looked up “Heimurinn – Band” on the Googles and nothing came up so it looks like we’re in the clear. 
I'll put together a bunch of samples from my Black Metal music and we can do an electronic Black Metal music EP. You know, because we both have so much spare time and aren't busy working on anything else. *laughs*

What are you watching?
I’m a TV junkie.  I watch almost every science fiction/paranormal/fantasy show out there…including the really crappy ones.  I just finished re-watching Farscape.  I can safely say that show was made just for me.  Puppets in space!

What are you listening to? 

These days I’ve been listening to folky stuff like Iron & Wine and Bon Iver with a little Magma and Bjork thrown in.

What are you reading?
Some teenage cyborg apocalypse love story… I can’t remember the series name.  I read tons of YA fantasy and science fiction since that’s what I write.

Favorite author / book? 
Way too many!  Frank Herbert, Ursula LeGuin, Haruki Murakami, Walter Moers, Michael J. Sullivan…seriously, I could go on for days.
Go on for days!  I dare you!  On second thought… this will do.

Favorite band / song? 
I really go back and forth on this one.  Maybe I’m too old for this question.
If you’re too old for this question, then I should probably be too dead for this question.
Yeah, it’s always a hard question for me to answer.  I guess I don’t have an ultimate answer.  It always changes.
This is my favorite band / song.
Nice… still can’t think of one.

Least favorite band / song? 
Anything by the Insane Clown Posse?  I don’t spend a lot of time even thinking about bad music…I just avoid it.  Also, I don’t think it’s the music that I hate, but the intentions behind the music.
Good choice nonetheless.  Thanks for playing along.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Become a playwright and live in England or perform in plays in England.  And wear awesome coats.
It’s never too late.  Until it’s too late.  Then it’s too late.
I can also just live where I live and wear awesome coats and put on plays.
That’s a decent compromise… for now.
Thanks… I’d also like to be a space-ship science officer.  I was going to say captain, but that seems too stressful.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?
You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Alive- Patrick Stewart (Almost did when I went to go see No Man’s Land)
Dead- Edgar Allen Poe
Fictional- Captain Jean Luc Picard…wait, does Patrick Stewart count?
No, Patrick Stewart isn’t a fictional character.  If you met Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean Luc Picard as your fictional wish he’d have to stay in character and pretend he expected to get teleported back up to the Enterprise at any moment and keep asking you “What have you done with my ship?”
That would be dreamy.  Then I would calm him down, put him in some Enterprise-futuristic pajamas and make him a cup of Earl Grey tea, hot.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Best job: What I do now.
Worst: I worked at a retail shop called Headlines (Headliners?) in San Francisco when I was 19.  I worked in the head/sex shop downstairs.  I worked with an entire staff of drag queens (which I loved). I was usually high on pot rice crispy treats and covered in glitter from some rave I had been to in some derelict warehouse in Oakland the night before.
I’m not quite sure you understand the meaning of the word “worst” because that sounds like a pretty awesome job.
I may have enjoyed it back then…but now it sounds like a nightmare.  I don’t think I can go back to retail anymore even if I could work with drag queens.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
Not really, but please ask more if you want.  You were pretty thorough.

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Michael Kupperman… he’s a genius and my friend.  Look him up and if you’re interested I can connect you on Facebook.
I appreciate the offer!  You make the introduction and I’ll handle the follow-through.
Sounds good.

Got any questions for me?
If you could kill anyone who would it be?
Anyone?  Everyone.  I’d pull the plug on the human experiment.  I’d like to see what the planet would look like without us smart monkeys ruining everything.
Earth makes oil and we make weapons to kill each other over it.  The planet makes plutonium and we make nuclear bombs.  Hopefully house cats will develop opposable thumbs and enslave the human race, and woe to canine-kind on that fateful day!
Just like in Red Dwarf!
Another one of my favorite things!

Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.
Ghoulie Girls:
Ghoulie Girls Etsy Shop:
Commander Quacks:
Day of the Artist:

About the Interviewee:
I’m Linda P. Cleary, artist, monster maker, crafter, puppeteer, musician, improviser, writer, doggie mama, bath-taker and sandwich lover.  I’m afraid of squirrels.
(Please email me if you want me to elaborate on my bio…I’m horrible at writing my own bio, so I usually just use something like this.)
(I’m going to leave it exactly like that, parenthetical and all.)

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:
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
Check his author profile at:
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And here:
Check out his electronic music here:
And here:
Check out his videos at:
Check out his IMDB profile here:
Follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here:
Check out his Etsy here:
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at:
E-mail him at:

No comments:

Post a Comment