Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Interview with Ian McClellan.

Full Name:
Ian McClellan

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
Just Ian. It’s pretty simple, just the three letters. No need for shortening. Some of my neighbors call me the weird guy with the tattoos and the dogs.
I could see Ian not needing an abbreviation, but maybe people call you by your middle name or by something else for whatever reason. I mean, even though Ian is only three letters long it has two syllables so maybe people came up with something monosyllabic to refer to you by to save time unless they pronounce your first name “een”.
Funny, my dad used to call me something close to een, especially when he was drunk and mad at me, which was most of the time. He had a few nicknames for me. Wanker, little arsehole, and stuff like that. I still love the word wanker, though. We don’t use it enough here in the states. By the way, he was a pretty rough drunk, and my childhood was full of what would probably be considered “abuse” by today’s standards, but I only mention stuff like that as a matter of fact. I’m not all blubbery and resentful about the way I was raised like so many people are these days. Get over it already. Bunch of wankers.
I agree that we don’t use “wankers” enough on this side of the pond. We tend to default to “jerk-offs” which just doesn’t have the same sort of sentimental spin to it. I’m also jealous of the ease with which the Brits toss around the word “cunt”. It’s such a nice word. It starts of crunchy and ends abruptly and warm. But over here it’s the “C-word” and pretty much the limit worst word you can use to refer to a woman. I don’t think that’s fair exactly, considering the long list of derogatory terms that women and society in general has for referring to men. Also it’s just a colloquial term used to refer to the female genitals. The analogue to “dick”. So if you’re allowed to say a man is being a dick, you should certainly be able to say that a woman is being a cunt.
Yeah, the word cunt is really frowned upon in our society. It’s weird how there are all these things you can say on TV now, or even in polite conversation, that were considered over the top vulgarity just a few years ago, but that one has stuck for some reason. Even I don’t say it much, and I curse a lot. I don’t use the term jerk-off as an insult because it’s a verb. I think there should be a campaign to change that to wanker. “If you say jerk-off instead of wanker, then the terrorists have already won.” I’m going to put that on the list of campaigns I want to start, right behind the campaign to make Netflix change queue to line.
You’ve got my support. Let me know how I can do my part to help.

Baltimore, Ireland. It’s pronounced similarly to the Baltimore in Maryland, but with more stress on the a, like someone with a thick Boston accent is saying it. When I was 13 my family moved to Long Island, which is pronounced Lawnguylend.
I lived on Long Island for a while. It wasn’t a bad place to live. The summers and winters were relatively mild for the northeast because it’s an island and the ocean makes a decent thermal barrier. The creepy thing was that there actually people that have never left the island and that creeps me out for whatever reason. Also the fact that it’s mostly one long strip mall and despite the fact that it’s a short train ride from one of the coolest places on the planet it was almost impossible to get anyone from Long Island to go to Manhattan.
It’s still too cold for me there. I always say that if you see me back in New York between October and April someone must have died, and someone I really liked. It is weird the way people cling to that place. I had friends whose families had lived there for generations, and they only left for vacations. They still live there and say they’d never move. I don’t get it. I liked going into NYC back then. I doubt I’d enjoy it now, but I used to go to the tattoo convention every year or see shows at The Hammerstein Ballroom. Of course, there were a million great places to eat, too. I do miss the food.
I live in Rhode Island, which is often mistaken for Long Island, despite the fact that Rhode Island is a state and Long Island is an island. I was born and bred here and always ended up back here. I’ve left a few times and lived other places but the siren call of the ocean state has always summoned me back. I think the appeal of living in a small, controllable area is the appeal of being able to familiarize yourself with the surroundings enough that you’ll never be able to get lost or feel the anxiety and disorientation of not knowing where you are relative to your home.
I understand that appeal, but I also like the excitement and challenge and novelty of just picking up and moving someplace else and living there for a few years. I like going down unfamiliar streets and eating at unfamiliar places and meeting new people that don’t know who I am. That’s the trap of the hometown/birthplace. That warm womb where everyone knows everyone else or knows someone that knows someone else that knows you. It’s easy to get trapped there and stagnate, and I think you have to just go someplace else sometimes and live outside of your comfort zone to be able to evolve into a fully actualized person.
I completely agree, but I’m hoping that I am as actualized a person as I am going to be. I’ve had a couple of huge moves in my life, and I traveled all over the country for a living, and now I just want to stick to my comfort zone with the exception of an occasional cruise or something like that. Is it weird that, at 36 years old, I’m done? I’ve had enough excitement in my life and just want to stay put with the things that make me happy- my dogs, my writing, my little house.
It’s not that weird. I told my last girlfriend that I thought she’d be the last girl I ever dated and so far that’s been true. I wanted to settle down and she wasn’t ready. It’s an old story and we all know how it ends. I’m only 38 but I’m pretty much done. I don’t really want to make new friends, but I like getting acquainted with people doing interesting things because I like working collaboratively and trying to help out people trying to do cool things. I’m quite the enabler. I do think I’ve got a couple more moves in me before I settle down and wait for the end. Mostly I think that I’m stagnating where I am. Everyone knows everyone else and there’s a whole lot of talk and not a lot of shit getting done. I know that the locational cure only fixes so much. You’re still the person you are and wherever you go people are pretty much the same. But living in the northeast there’s about five months out of the year that aren’t worth leaving the house during so I’m thinking about moving to Austin when I get a bankroll built up. I know some people there doing some cool things and I think I could help them along with their endeavors.
Wherever you go, there you are. The geographical cure worked for me because I went somewhere none of my family members lived. Hate to say it, but those people were really dragging me down. It can be a nice little push, something to get you out of a rut, but it’s usually just a temporary solution. If you’re hanging around with a bunch of scumbags and doing stuff you shouldn’t, then you’ll just be doing the same thing someplace else eventually. I’ve seen it with a few people. They needed to change themselves, but all they changed was their location.

Current hometown:
Port Charlotte, Fl. The median age here is like 97. I kind of like it quiet.

Favorite city and why?
I don’t know that I have one. When I lived in New York I’d go to the city for the tattoo convention or to see a show from time to time. I’m getting weird as I get older, though. I don’t like being in big places anymore. I get very tense and almost claustrophobic. I was in Atlanta recently for the Walker Stalker Convention and was really uncomfortable the whole time. I was on the 47th floor of my hotel and had to keep the curtains closed and not think about it.
I think it’s a side effect of aging. I’ve noticed that the older I get the more social anxiety I develop. I never really want to leave the house except to run errands and I definitely don’t want to go to some bar or club and have to interact with people I don’t know or have to risk bumping into someone I’m only casually acquainted with and pretend I care about them and have to ask a bunch of questions that I don’t care about and make small talk about stuff I don’t care about and will promptly forget the answer to. It makes dating difficult because dating sites are nightmare circuses and half the time I feel like deleting my Facebook to avoid the stress of social complication. That’s why I’m working on developing my writing career. If I could just stay home and write and maybe leave the house once a month to do something semi-social for research purposes I would probably be perfectly content. But maybe it’s just an aggregate effect of dealing with other human beings. Most of them are pretty disappointing and will hurt your feelings if you give them half a chance.
Holy shit. What he said. Really, word for word. Especially the dating sites. UGH!

Birthday / Age:
June 30 1977 which would make me 36. Of course, you’re only as old as you feel. I feel like I’m in my 70’s most days.
I wish I could say it gets better, but it really only gets exponentially worse with each year that passes. I’ve got a two-year head start towards death on you and the other day I realized I was almost 40 and don’t really have anything to show for the four decades I’ve been riding this planet around the sun. That sucked.
It’s the job, too. Whoever said hard work won’t kill you owned some sort of business that profited off the back of the working man.
I always say that anytime find yourself going someplace you’d rather not be going to do something you’d rather not be doing for a set hourly rate to help someone else profit from your time and effort it’s not going to end well.
I keep saying that I’m going to get another job, one where I don’t have to put in so many hours and work as hard. I’m just always so busy with other shit. Although, part of it is complacency, too. I make decent money, I know the job well, I work for good folks that like me. It’s hard to walk away from that.
It really is. I don’t hardly blame you. Making decent money doing something you’re competent at is a tough situation to walk away from. I’ve got a pretty shitty job making survival wages and not a lot of hours. I wore out my vehicle working an hour away from home as a favor for the company for a few months and ended up having to take the bus. I lost that gig over something stupid and wasn’t really surprised when it happened. They forgot about me for a few weeks and now finally lined me up with another gig but it’s only sixteen hours a week which will barely cover the rent. The upside is that only working two nights a week I have five days left to push my writing projects forward. But I have to have the determination to make it happen. Mostly I just want to build up a bankroll so I can get out of here before the snow piles up, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon so it looks like I’ll be bunkering in against another winter. If I’m smart, I’ll use the time off of work and hiding inside away from the cold to finish off and publish the ten books I’m working on. If I’m dumb and frightened of fame there’s always movies and TV shows to watch and a miscellany of ways to waste time instead of working on my writing. I should be applying for other jobs, but I don’t really see my situation improving with another employer. Jobs are hard to find all over these days and even harder here than most places. That’s why I’m trying so hard to get my writing/publishing career off the ground. I can write faster than everyone I know but it’s easy to procrastinate and there’s always that lingering self-doubt that it’s all a waste of time and nobody will care.
Change is scary, man. If I didn’t have someplace to go and punch a clock tomorrow, I’d do what I had to do, but since my bills are getting paid it’s hard to get motivated. Of course, finding another job would take time I don’t have right now, too. That “lingering self-doubt” doesn’t help either. I have it when I’m writing, but it seeps into other aspects of my life, as well. Some days I think that I have all of this potential that I’m wasting. Other days I tell myself that I’m just a high school drop out and a truck driver and I better get used to that.
Hey, you wrote a book. Self-publishing makes it pretty easy for any and every one to publish a book, but give yourself a bit of credit. Writing it’s the difficult part. Not everyone can do that and even fewer can do it well.

How would you describe yourself physically?
I’m usually bald. I’ve never understood why men need hair and haven’t had any most of my life. 5’11 and up to 190. Not sure how that happened since my job is so physical and has kept me in decent shape over the years. I should probably lay off the stouts, but they’re so delicious. I’m not a huge fatass or anything. I just have a little more gut right now than is usual. I have blue eyes and a red goatee that I keep neat for work. Both of my arms are sleeved and that makes me kind of stand out. I wear glasses, which softens me up. I kind of look like a criminal without them.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with hair since as long as I can remember. Lately I just try to keep it short and clean and I use clippers with guides to cut it myself with fairly decent results. Most summers I shear it bald and then let it grow back over the winter to keep my head warm. I started thinning/balding around 25 or so, so nature and genetic predisposition seems to have decided the matter of hairstyle for me.
My hairline receded dramatically like overnight when I was about 18. I figured it would be all gone by now, but it hasn’t changed much since then. Wish it would, it’d save me the trouble of shaving it.
I was kind of hoping that would happen too, but, much like you, I started thinning around 25 fairly noticeably but then the process slowed down around 35. My only concern is that I don’t want to be one of those guys with a shiny bald pate. I want to be one of those guys with the grey stubble of shaved down hair around my head and the landing strip of bald head like a crop circle in the middle of the top of my head. You know, like Bruce Willis. These days I’ve kind of got more of a Gary Oldman in Leon: The Professional thing going and I’m perfectly okay with that.
Oh yeah. There’s nothing wrong with that. Loved that flick, by the way. One of those movies that I always watch when I come across it on TV even though I have it on DVD.
I was rewatching it this week and I realized I pretty much have Gary Oldman’s hairline in that film I just don’t have as much of it or as much volume but it’s nothing not washing it so often and a bit of product wouldn’t fix.
Like the product that Oldman was moving in the movie? I don’t think you want to put that stuff in your hair. I’m really old-school about certain things. Since I don’t have hair I just use soap. I can’t remember the last time I used shampoo. Anyway, my girlfriend keeps trying to get me to use things like lotion and conditioner. She brought me a rock and said I should rub it on my feet in the shower. It’s funny, she always says that she likes that about me, that I don’t have a metro-sexual bone in my body, but then she wants me to use these things and all I can do is shake my head.
I just use soap in the summer months if I keep it close-cropped.
As for the feet rock, I think she’s just trying to hint that you have basilisk scales for feet soles.

How would someone else describe you physically?
Probably about the same. They might throw the word odd in there. I do have kind of a big head.
There we go, now we have a nickname for you, although “Big-headed Ginger” is a bit long.
Oh no, I am not a ginger. I have what I like to refer to as normal person red hair.
If there actually was such a thing I could buy into that.
I have dark red hair, not that bright red stuff. Also, I’m not freckly. Of course, were I a ginger, that could just mean that I’m not good at stealing souls.

The first thing people notice about you is…
The tattoos. Especially here in Port Charlotte. It’s not a common look amongst the geriatrics.
What I like to ask people that mention their tattoos is..
What is your favorite tattoo and what does it mean to you?
I have the American and Irish flags on my right bicep. My father had the same one and it makes me feel connected to him.
That’s pretty sweet. My dad had a faded old prison style ace with a banner across it that said something which I forgot. I always thought that was pretty cool. Someday when I have the cash to spare I’m going to go full-sleeve but first I want to pay off my student loans.
Cursed Male by Porno for Pyros- All the guys that really have the money, are too old to have a good time with it. I may have to dust that one off.

Hair Color / Eye Color / Race?
When I have hair it’s red. Blue eyes. Pasty white Irishman.

Sexual orientation?
Very straight, but also very accepting of other people. For the life of me, I can not figure out how we’re still discussing who should or should not have certain rights. It’s 2013. Evolve already.
Eye to eye, sir. It seems like there’s been an increasing epidemic of people who think that the ideas that roll around inside their head should have practical value outside of their head. You don’t like homosexuals? Don’t be one. Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one. Don’t like cigarettes? Don’t smoke them. The fact that some people are so delusional that they think that their projected opinions residing in the nonexistent mind of an imaginary man that is everywhere at the same time should be used to draft laws criminalizing other people’s lifestyle choices is annoying. There should be about five things that are illegal. Rape. Murder. Child Molestation. Animal Cruelty and Bank Robbery. Other than that, people should be left alone to do whatever the fuck they want with their lives. The fact that some cop on a power trip can use a vehicle equipped with flashing lights and a noisemaker to inconvenience me whenever they feel the whim is absurd. As long as I’m not raping, murdering, molesting, bank robbing, or being cruel to an animal aside from eating them because they’re delicious, whatever the fuck I’m doing should be nobody’s business but my own. Unfortunately we live in a softcore police state where instead of being relieved when they see a patrol car, people are worried that they’re going to have the power of the police state inflicted upon them.
Why only bank robbery? Is it okay to knock over a 7-11? I honestly can’t believe what is happening in this country in regard to law enforcement, especially when it comes to the drug war. Police forces all over America are becoming more and more militarized, and individual rights are being trampled on a constant basis. We need to stop worrying about such trivial bullshit and take a look around. If two dudes getting married bothers you more than stop and frisk searches, or no-knock raids, or random, warrantless vehicle searches, then you need to go read the constitution and put some thought into what it means.
Alright, any kind of armed robbery. But I think you know what I mean. Any kind of law except the obvious ones are a slippery slope. I’ve always been of the opinion that laws should be interpreted as “Whatever is not forbidden is permitted.” But in our society as of late it’s gradually becoming more like “Whatever is not permitted is forbidden”. It’s a little complicated to wrap your mind around, but I’ve always been a supporter of individual freedom which seems to be a hard commodity to come across these days. What you’ve noticed is the gradual implementation of a police state. Police should be public servants helping to preserve the public peace. When police start stopping private citizens not involved in the active perpetration of a crime to invasively enforce laws that have been created to curtail the constitutional rights of those private citizens, then the system is broken, or at least not working the way it’s supposed to and should be re-evaluated. One of the problems is that our nation lives in relative comfort and is mostly content to go along to get along with most of the unconstitutional activities that the state perpetrates against its citizens. Most people in America could do a better job of listing the Ten Commandments than they could do of listing the ten amendments. I think that when we have a true separation of church and state and the religious delusion is put aside we'll be living in a far more peaceful and just world.
Sadly, what the police should be doing is kind of up in the air right now. In recent years there have been a number of court rulings that have basically determined that the police are under no real obligation to protect people. Kind of makes the old “To protect and serve.” motto seem pretty ridiculous. That’s one of the reasons I’m a big second amendment advocate. If the job of the police is to arrest the people who harm the citizens, and not to protect those citizens from harm, then let the citizens protect themselves. I’m more than fine with a “don’t bother me and I won’t bother you” relationship. When I say, “don’t bother me,” that means that if I want to smoke a joint, then let me smoke a joint, or if I’m driving down the road, don’t stop me at some Nazi checkpoint to see if I had a beer or two. Do you want to catch drunk drivers? Okay, go do some fucking police work that doesn’t involve violating my rights and harassing me.
I know what you’re supposed to do to assert your rights when you find yourself pulling up to an unconstitutional D.U.I. checkpoint but I always end up folding and going along with it in the hopes that they’ll just let me pass since my drinking and driving days are long behind me. But they always end up having me pull over and they check my license and registration and check for outstanding warrants and manage to find something wrong with my vehicle and write me a citation. So although it’s supposedly a D.U.I. checkpoint and I hadn’t had a drink I still drive off with a court date and another fucking thing to worry about. I guess they managed to solve all of the murders and all of the rapists and child molesters are in prison and there isn’t any crime left to keep them busy so maybe we just need less police. If they’re bored enough that they have to set up unconstitutional checkpoints to harass private citizens I think it’s time we divert the funding designated for perpetuating the police to our educational system. With a better education, maybe less people will find themselves in dire enough life situations that they resort to crime.
I think it’s just kind of an effort thing at this point. Why go out and do real police work if the people are going to put up with them sitting around and stopping us without cause? It’s the same reason they want to keep pot illegal. It’s easy to bust a pot growing operation. I know some people that can get you all kinds of shit, but if you ask them for weed, you might as well be asking them for weapon grade plutonium. Why? Because it’s easy to make crack, but it takes time and effort and electricity to grow pot. So it’s easier to catch the guys that are growing weed. Same goes for the prison system. If you owned a prison, would you want to baby-sit a bunch of killers and rapists? I wouldn’t want to be around those crazy fuckers. So we lock up and bunch of non-violent drug offenders and let child molesters and killers go free. All so some scumbag that owns a private prison can get his government check. It’s revolting.

Religion, if any?
I never had religion. Even when I was a kid and was raised in a strict Catholic family, the whole thing just never made sense to me. I don’t know why my mind has always worked that way. I was always a skeptic.
I was also raised in a Catholic family and I was pretty much forced to make my First Communion so that I wouldn’t go to hell but it never made sense to me either.
It wasn’t even the big stuff that tripped me up, it was the minor inconsistencies.
Let me get this straight, the old virgin in a dress says some magic words and he turns bread and wine into flesh and blood and we’re supposed to eat and drink it?
So all Christians are zombie vampires?
As a minor, I’m not allowed to have alcohol, except on Sunday, when I have to have a sip of wine or I’m going to go to an extra dimensional place that’s always just down somewhere underground for some reason and despite the fact that I’m supposed to have a sip of wine every Sunday, I can only have the special wine that the old virgin in the dress mumbled magic words over because the liquor stores are all closed because God hates free commerce and the churches are afraid of the competition?
If you’re going to turn some kind of bread into the flesh of the son of God, why can’t you use Cheez-Its or Pringles or pizza crust? I think you’d get a lot more people in church on Sunday if you gave out free slices of pizza instead of a sliver-thin disc of tasteless cardboard bread. Or even English muffins! What would be better than to hang out in God’s house with a toasted English muffin with melted butter or peanut butter?
But as recent as a few hundred years ago I would have had my fingernails pulled out and my eyes gouged out and been burned at the stake for blasphemy, so at least I guess we’re evolving and advancing philosophically.
Slowly, yes, I mean, we still have religion keeping us from sprinting like a ball and chain but at least we’re limping towards a secular world where we won’t be killing each other because we disagree about the identity of the nonexistent invisible man that lives in the sky.
If God is all powerful, and there can only be one, like he’s The Highlander, then why does God let people believe in different Gods? If there’s only one God, and he’s all-powerful, then why is he jealous of other gods? Should an all-powerful, all-knowing God really have self-esteem problems and an inferiority complex? Does God watch me when I poop? Can he still see me poop if I poop in the dark? Why does God want to watch me while I’m pooping? If God doesn’t want us to be able to perform abortions, then why did he let us figure out how to perform them? If he’s all powerful, then why can’t he just make us all forget about how to perform them? If God doesn’t want anyone masturbating, then why did he make our arms long enough for our hands to reach our genitals? If he doesn’t want us masturbating why didn’t God give us stumpy little T-Rex arms? If “God hates fags” then why does he keep making homosexuals? Or why didn’t he just wire us all so that we’re heterosexual? If God thinks sodomy is a sin, then why did he make assholes capable to be penetrated by a penis, albeit somewhat uncomfortably depending on the relative size of the asshole and the penis?
None of it makes any sense and you want me to respect your crazy belief that if you wish real hard the imaginary man of your choice is going to make things go your way?
Then why did the Boston Red Sox go for so long without winning the World Series? Does God hate Boston as much as I do?

The hardest part was that all of the adults I knew believed in that stupid nonsense and I’d get in trouble if I didn’t pretend to believe in it too and most of them still do and it took decades to develop enough confidence in my own convictions to finally say, “No thanks. I think I’ll take responsibility for my own destiny from here on out.”
From what I can remember, God is kind of a Libertarian. He gives us free will, which is basically enough rope for us to hang ourselves. This is why I will never understand why people who call themselves Christians want to legislate morality. Obviously, some things are a given, murder and stealing and those sort of things have to be against the law, but stuff like drug and alcohol consumption or what happens in a consenting adult’s bedroom is really up to that person. God wants us to be free to make our own bad decisions and live with the consequences of our actions, so if you claim to be one of his followers, why wouldn’t you want the same thing?
Like I said, most people in America could do a better job of listing the Ten Commandments than they could do of listing the ten amendments. I think that when we have a true separation of church and state and the religious delusion is put aside we'll be living in a far more peaceful and just world.
Part of the problem is that the people who know the amendments want to pick and choose which ones they like. It seems like it’s a problem at each end of the political spectrum. I see it all the time in social media. People scream about free speech but want to ban guns, or they complain about government imposing on their religion but want to make everyone’s children pray in school. Either you want America to be a free country or you don’t, but there’s no “let’s have this freedom but not this one.” Sorry, that’s not how it works.
I totally agree. I’m an antitheist, but I don’t want to close the church next door. I mean, I do, but I know that it’s not up to me. They want to gather together and celebrate their shared religious delusion and take up all the parking spots in the neighborhood, then fine, that’s their right and live and let live. That’s the beautiful / terrible thing about the world is that everybody’s got their own opinion on how things should work. If more people were of the mindset that you and I seem to be of, then it would probably be an easier place for everyone to get along in, but it seems that us “live and let live” types are in the minority and there aren’t any of us in positions of power. I think it takes a certain personality to want to be a police officer or a politician. You have to be the kind of person that wants to make other people’s business your business and to impose your will upon other people and tell other people how to live their lives. I’ve never been that kind of person. I’ve been in positions of authority in my life and I’ve never let it go to my head. If there are rules of conduct set and it’s my job to enforce those rules, then I’ve always been of the opinion that if you don’t want to adhere to those rules you’re free to go someplace and do whatever it is you want to do but if you want to stay here, then don’t be an asshole and follow the rules or figure out how to get the rules changed.
The big problem with most, or maybe all, I’m not sure, religions is that they have this built in pyramid scheme aspect to them. You’re supposed to go out and recruit and help people find (fill in the blank) or even force them to accept it. Some people will tell you that having a “live and let live” attitude will send them straight to hell. That’s where it gets annoying. I don’t want to be bothered, because I don’t bother other people. I’ve never knocked on a stranger’s door and asked them how, as an adult, they can really buy into the stuff they hear wherever they go to worship every week. If that makes someone feel happy or complete, I sure wouldn’t want to be the one to take it away from them. I just wish I could get the same consideration. I also wish that the folks who run these things would stop telling their flock that I’m out to get them because I have no beliefs. Like I said, I’ve never tried to proselytize, and I’ve never gotten upset because someone said “God bless you” or “Merry Christmas” to me. The world is a harsh place. I’ll take someone wishing me well anytime I can get it. “Merry Christmas” sure beats the hell out of “go fuck yourself” in my book. I don’t think the people who get offended by that really even exist, or there’s only small pockets of them in places like New York and the left coast. I think it’s an exaggerated boogeyman used to rile people up and fill collection baskets.
I think I am one of those small pockets of people that don’t like being wished a “Merry Christmas” or having a “God Bless You” flipped on me. Sometimes I’ll flip back a “Hail Satan!” if I can extricate myself from the situation with the quickness but most of the time it’s not worth the effort.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
No superstitions. I put those in the same category as religion. I do have these weird, I don’t know that you’d call them phobias, feelings that have come on in the last few years. I don’t like big places, or small ones either. I hate being in a crowd, which never really bothered me before. I kind of shrink around a lot of people. Alcohol helps.
The cause of and solution to most of life’s problems. Cheers!
Homer J. Simpson, the greatest philosopher of our generation.

Do you smoke/drink?   If so, what?   Any bad habits?
Oh yeah, I love to smoke/drink. I can only smoke cigarettes, though. I get randomed at work. Stupid Nazi insurance companies. I used to drink a lot of whiskey, which did bad things to me. Now I only drink beer. I drink copious amounts of coffee and don’t sleep enough.
Well if you ever need drug-free pee let me know and I’ll send you a gallon. You pay the postage though. I don’t smoke pot anymore, but I don’t care if other people do.
That sounds like a lot of trouble, and also really weird. I get enough strange looks from my neighbors without that getting out. I’ll just stick to beer for the time being, but thanks for the offer.
You wouldn’t be the first person to use my urine to pass a drug test. Actually you’d be the third. Sure it’s kind of weird. But it’s also weird that employers can require their employees to surrender the contents of their bladder or risk losing their jobs.
Weird and wrong. Remember, though, it’s not really the employer, it’s the employer’s insurance carrier. People don’t realize how much of their everyday lives is dictated by insurance companies. They have a ton of power.

Current occupation / Dream job:
I drive a delivery truck and bring delicious, delicious beer to the good people of Charlotte County, Florida. My dream job would be just to write for a decent living. I’m a simple guy and don’t want anything fancy. I don’t have any use for a mansion or a Mercedes. Those things wouldn’t be me at all.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I keep trying to write another book. Hopefully, that’ll get done eventually. I also write for a zombie themed e-zine called Zombie Guide Magazine with some of the most awesome people ever. I love to drink beer and watch football, college more than the pros, Go Gators! I play some disc-golf, but haven’t been out there in a while. We had a really wet summer and the course was mostly underwater for a few months. I need to get back out there. I’ve also been doing a piss-poor job of being a boyfriend to a great woman who is somehow able to tolerate me for more than ten minutes. We’ve been dating since May, which makes it the longest relationship I’ve been in since I became single a few years back. I’d like to give her a lot more time, but it’s not a commodity I have an abundance of at the moment. She’s very understanding, though.
Yeah, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help out with Zombie Guide Magazine. I still have that old book I put together and never got around to getting published a few years back I’d be willing to kick in as a free download once I get it dusted off and finish it off and add some illustrations to it. I’m about 95% done with it I just need to finish writing a couple sections and find some illustrations which is easy enough since I have a pretty much complete library of the U.S. Military Field Manuals [FM] as PDFs.
That sounds very cool. You just let me know when it’s ready.
I’m probably going to do that tonight after I get caught up on my interview homework.
I have most of it finished I just have to give it a final pass and brush-up and plug the images in. I figure you can offer it as a free download through ZGM or maybe charge a buck a download and I can put it out through your usual self-publishing outlets.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I wrote an article for ZGM a little while ago called Survival Tips: Using the Foreclosure Crisis to Your Advantage. I talked about how I’d transformed a vacant foreclosed home on my block into a kick-ass zombie apocalypse shelter so I didn’t have to do anything too crazy to my own house. Of course it was all made up. I don’t really have much of a plan. I’ll just hole up in my house until I run out of bullets.
Yeah, as much as I love to daydream about the inevitable zombie apocalypse I don’t really have a solid zombie outbreak plan either. But I know that most of my friends have a zombie outbreak survival plan or at least daydream about the inevitable zombie apocalypse so it’s a fun question to ask. Also this first pass interview survey was adapted from a character survey I wrote up for character level contributors to the crowd-funding campaign I ran for my post-apocalyptic zombie-epidemic novel-length book project to fill out so some most of those questions are still in here, I just took out a few questions and added a few questions to make the survey a bit more generally applicable for the purpose of this interview blog.

Do you have any special skills?
I can be really sarcastic. I can do math in my head, but not like freaky Good Will Hunting stuff. Just regular person math. I can drive a truck, tap a keg, and pick up moderately heavy things repeatedly over a prolonged period of time. I can say ridiculous things and keep a straight face. I can eat a tremendous amount of food for a man my size. Clap with one hand. I have this odd, useless ability to identify most songs within the first couple of notes. I think that’s everything.
So pretty much if Name That Tune was still on the air you’d be set for life.
I wish. I would so kick ass at Name that Tune. When a song starts, I like to ask people weird questions that don’t make any sense, but are answered by the opening line of the song. It’s an endless source of amusement for me. The more awful and obscure the song, the better.
“Hey, do you know how much love it’s gonna take?”
Singing, “It’s gonna take a lot of lo-ove.”
I like to do that with film dialogue.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
No fancy learnin’ schools for me. I never finished high school.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
I have three dogs. I had four, but I lost my girl, Sheena, back in April. Homer, Sputnik, and Riff-Raff are all boys and all mutts. Homer is my boy. He may be the best friend I’ve ever had.
I’m just rereading that in my fourth pass of this interview. I love that dog, but that’s kind of offensive toward some people who have really been there for me. I don’t have a ton of friends, but the ones I have are irreplaceable. Everything that has happened for me in the last year and a half or so could not have happened without a few of my friends. Hell, I might not have my house, or even my life, if it wasn’t for a couple of them. They know who they are.

What is your favorite animal?
I’m obviously a dog person. Beside the canines I’d have to say cows, because they’re delicious and go well with beer.
They are SO delicious! Chickens aren’t half bad either. And lobsters? Don’t get me started on lobsters and sushi!
I just plain don’t get vegetarians and vegans.
I spent a couple years as a vegetarian when I had a conscience.
But, then again, I also spent a few years practicing witchcraft and at least a year or two as a full-blown card-carrying Satanist, so I chalk all of the preceding up to capricious youth.
I wish I could be a vegetarian. Not because I think it’s morally wrong to eat animals, but because it’s reprehensible the way animals are farmed and slaughtered now. I’m not huge on lobster. It’s good, but it’s too much work.
I was a vegetarian for a couple years for those exact reasons, but it ended up being too much of a hassle. For the most part I won’t go out of my way to order something meat-based off the menu but I do enjoy an order of General Gao’s chicken and crab rangoons. I’ve dated vegetarian girls, which as Sam Jackson said in Pulp Fiction, pretty much means I was a vegetarian while dating them but if we go to a Chinese food buffet I’m definitely going to have some crab rangoons and beef teriyaki regardless of whether or not it disgusts the, and they decide they’re not going to let me fuck them that night as a form of revenge. If they’re that kind of girl they’re going to find some reason to withhold sex as a form of manipulation anyway so I’ll eat the meat.
I don’t really have that problem. Women generally find me pretty irresistible, and if there’s anyone withholding sex as a form of manipulation, it’s me. I know it’s wrong and I should stop, but sometimes I feel that I’m just using what the good Lord saw fit to provide me with to get what I want. Is that really so wrong? Wasn’t the question about my favorite animal? How did we wind up here?
Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
I abhor rude people. Our society is becoming so rude and I find it really sad. Unfortunately, there are a lot of rude people raising a lot of very rude children these days, so I don’t see this epidemic coming under control anytime soon.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
I love a good burger. Steak is great, but a burger, done just right on the grill, is heaven. Don’t get too fancy, either. Keep all that oregano and bread crumbs and crap like that in the kitchen. Get some good, fatty meat, cook it over a fire, and slap a piece of cheese on it. Perfect. My least favorite would have to be food from McDonald’s. I don’t eat fast food much, but I never eat there. The last time I did, it occurred to me that the food I was eating tasted good, but didn’t really taste like anything else I’d ever eaten. The burgers taste good, but they don’t taste like burgers to me. The thought of eating whatever that stuff is just turns my stomach now.
I’m okay with eating whatever.
I used to do a fair amount of long-distance driving so I’ll pretty much eat a burger or three from wherever. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Arby’s I don’t care. It’s all just food to me. I usually only do that diet when I’m on the road. I had a rule that when I was on the road all the rules were off because I was up all the time and burning so many calories that it didn’t matter what variety of awful I threw down my food tube.
I don’t know what you were on the road for, but I drove a truck over the road for a little while and had the opposite result. Driving OTR is one of the most unhealthy jobs you can have. You’re basically sitting on your ass for fourteen hours a day (if you know how to cook the books. The DOT says you can’t drive more than eleven) and the food that you have access to is almost all really unhealthy. I looked like crap by the time I quit that job. I went on a diet and did the p90x workout and was looking alright for a while there. Really need to break out those DVD’s again. Maybe I’ll try the Zombie Fighter Jango workout. It looks intense.
Well, you know that you could’ve opted for the salad whenever you stopped by a fast food place. They usually have them in stock and they’re not half bad. You just have to have the discipline to make healthy food choices but it’s hard to stay disciplined after a fourteen hour drive. Your body develops cravings and you eat high fat / high sugar food to comfort yourself and eat away the damage that the driving does to a man.
The problem with salad, and I’m talking about a real salad- a healthy one, is that it doesn’t satisfy hunger for very long at all. Now, I’ve had salads that have filled me up, but they weren’t any healthier than a bacon cheeseburger and a side of onion rings. I eat a real salad and I’m starving in 20 minutes. That’s me, though. I have a pretty serious appetite.
On a quick side note, one of the reasons we have this obesity epidemic in America is that people don’t know what’s good for them. They think it’s all about calories and fat content, but it’s not. You gain more weight eating processed food than you do by eating fat. Your body knows what to do with fat, but it gets confused by processed food and your whole system is thrown off. We’re really ignorant in regard to our diets because there are almost no laws anymore when it comes to advertising. It starts in childhood. You watch your favorite show and some cartoon character comes on in the middle of it and tells you how a big bowl of marshmallows and sugar-coated cookies is a healthy breakfast choice. It’s no wonder that people think they’ll lose weight by eating fast-food sandwiches because they’re low in fat even though they’re closer to being plastic than they are to being food. Another big thing now is flavored water. People think they’re being healthy because they’re drinking bottles of water and chemicals because the label has a picture of fruit on it. Funny, those same people tell me that smoking is bad for me.
I agree, but I think you’ll also agree that almost anything you choose that’s marketed as “food” at a truck stop is more preservative than nutrients but that’s the price you pay making your money by being on the road. It’s tough to find someplace that’s open at two in the morning that’s a quick easy stop off the highway that will cook you up a decent healthy meal. Especially when you’re out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a bunch of nowhere towns that I like to refer to as “Population: Cow.”  That’s why I love the SHEETZ chain so much. It’s like a smaller version of the mega truck stops like Love’s and Pilot and Flying J where you can get your energy drinks and beef jerky and cupcakes and candy bars, but they also figured out how to assembly-line produce food worth eating. The ingredients are fresh for the most part and I’ll usually hold off stopping at a truck stop with a chain restaurant in it if I know that there’s a SHEETZ up ahead. I’m surprised that they haven’t really caught on nationwide because they beat every other road food pit stop hands down.
As for the Zombie Fighter Jango workout I think it would be the end of me.
When I interviewed Cedric Nye, I mentioned that he ended his YouTube excerpt read video shadow-boxing with the viewer while telling them he loved them unconditionally and that it wasn’t for everyone. But he’s a solid fella, and if I ever started up a gang of zombie-genre writers you’d both be on my short list. Now we just have to figure out what the design for our jacket patches will be.
Design is not really my thing. Maybe something simple like the Public Enemy logo but with a zombie. Maybe someone stabbing a zombie with a pen, since we’re writers. Yeah, no one really writes with a pen anymore, but I’m not sure that bashing a zombie with a computer would get the message across.
I’ll do some mock-ups and see what I can come up with.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
I don’t know where it comes from, but my dad used to say, “Do something, even if it’s wrong,” all the time. I think it’s a great saying. I use it all the time when I train new guys at work. I’d rather hear them explain how they fucked up than hear some excuse about why they were sitting around holding their peckers.
That’s just about the worst advice I have ever heard.
The Police: “So, Mr. McClellan, would you care to explain why you set the neighbor’s dog on fire, shit in your hat and ran around the parking lot of the Chuck E. Cheese with your dick in your hand screaming ‘EVER SEEN A GROWN MAN NAKED? WELL NOW YOU HAVE!’?”
You: “Well, my dad used to say…”
Well, you have to use a little common sense. If you don’t have any, it may not be a great motto for you. Also, I would never shit in my hat. Having an unusually large head makes it hard for me to find hats that fit well, so I take care of the ones I have.
I’m a 7 3/8 brim, 7 ½ when I have hair, so I feel your pain.
Every time I see a one size fits all label on a hat I think, “LIAR!”
I like to think “big head = big brain” but there are some real idiots out there with big heads that are fucking up the curve.
That reminds me of President Clinton giving that Professor an award and he couldn’t get it around his head. He turns to the crowd and says, “His brain is simply too big.” It was really funny. I’d say that guy is helping our average, but I think he’s dead.
Of course he is, but big-headed mush-brained tits like George Bush will walk the earth.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
I married a woman who was absolutely perfect for me in every way. My soul mate, if you believe in that sort of thing.
I don’t but I’m glad that you do and it worked out for you. Sincerely I am.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
She passed away. I never talk about it. Not even with my closest friends. A lot of people assume I’m divorced, because I speak pretty vaguely about being married. That’s fine with me.
Great. Now I feel bad for changing my Relationship Status to “Widowed” after my last bad break up. No matter how bad you think you got it, there’s always someone that’s got it worse I guess.
All good. No worries.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Yes. When I was the head of a mafia family, my brother, Fredo, set me up to be assassinated by some rival gangsters.
I hate it when that happens.
I knew it was him. He broke my heart. He broke my heart.

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
I don’t think so. I couldn’t see anyone crying over losing me. Not that they were serious relationships, but there have been a few women that I broke up with a little harshly. One was a racist and a homophobe. I literally just stopped talking, paid the check in the middle of dinner, and left her and the food in a restaurant. I don’t feel too badly about that. Another was abusing prescription drugs. Serious ones. I don’t need that shit in my life and have no use for junkies.
Sounds like you’ve been playing fair by the rules of the game.
I once put a car in park in traffic and got out because my girlfriend wouldn’t stop arguing with me. Granted it was her car, but I was playing chauffer. I’d rather park the car and get out and walk home than purchase her silence with my fists of death. I’ve never hit a woman with a closed fist outside of the bedroom but her screaming at me because she’s pissed off at someone/something else was a bit much to bear and I was sorely tempted so I removed myself from the situation. I don’t like to argue with girls. Playful debate I thoroughly enjoy as well as verbal swordplay but when a girl is just being mean for the sake of being mean or out of spite I’m all the way done. I can get any asshole off the street to be rude to me and try to hurt my feelings for free. I’m not going to take you out to a restaurant and pay for your meal for the same treatment. If you can’t at least be a decent human being then fuck right off.
I always say that I’m horrible at being single, but maybe that’s not true. It could be that I just don’t mesh well with people in the fucked up world I live in. I don’t have a lot of friends, either, so it kind of makes sense.
I think we’d get along just fine in person but it’s a bit of a commute to hang out.
I’ll holler at you if I’m ever in Rhode Island, which will probably be never. Let me know if you’re ever in the sunshine state.
I may very well be someday. If I manage to get my writing/publishing career up and running I plan on doing the convention circuit and Spooky Empire is on my short list of shows I’d have on my convention tour calendar. Plus while I’m down there I’ll probably hit up Stephen Biro and Armand Rosamilia although I don’t think that the universe can handle that much awesome in one spot and we’d create a singularity that would suck us into an alternate universe like the one in Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards or Thundarr the Barbarian where we would have to fight an evil wizard and bridle train fire-breathing dragons to fly around on so I’d better measure myself for a displacer beast hide loincloth before I head south. But that’s another story for another time.
Not sure how Stephen Biro and Armand Rosamilia would feel about me tagging along, but that would be epic for me, so definitely keep me informed. By the way, I just looked up this Thundarr the Barbarian and want to know why I’ve never seen it. That looks freaking awesome! Something new on the list of things to catch up on.
The carton itself is a bit of a let-down after the title sequence, but I used to watch it when I was a kid. There’s a four-disc boxed set out. One disc for each season, so someone probably uploaded a rip to one of those terrible illegal torrent sites I’m always hearing about.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Taking in Sheena. She was kind of a nut who belonged to another family in my neighborhood. They didn’t know what to do with her at all. She had a lot of health problems, which was the cause of some of her issues, but she was still a handful even after they were addressed. I know she had good years in my home that she wouldn’t have had otherwise.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. I did beat a guy pretty badly in a bar fight years ago. The guy was a dick and had a beating coming to him, but not like the one I gave him. I’ve never started a fight in my life, but I’ve finished a few. I finished that one way too much. This was back when I drank a lot of whiskey, of course.
Yeah, I can’t remember ever starting a fight either. Unless the person really had a beating coming to them and they spent the better part of a while stoking the fire with verbal provocation. I believe in the right to free speech, but I also believe that every couple years a person needs to have their attitude adjusted and a firm but fair ass-kicking tends to set everyone’s sense of entitlement back to zero for a few days. I’m also in the habit of giving a verbal warning. You get one warning to fuck right off, and if that doesn’t work for you then you deserve whatever happens next.
Free speech is such a misunderstood concept. Yes, you can say what you want, but there are consequences to what you say. You shouldn’t get arrested for what you say, but you might get an ass kicking if you say the wrong thing to the wrong person.
True that.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
Picking just one would be too hard. I could pick huge groups of people pretty easily, but one single person is tough. All the people who are destroying this great country deserve to go. Some of the politicians, CEO’s, and bankers here deserve it as much as anyone sitting on death row. People who abuse the system and make it hard for decent folks who are just going through a rough patch would be on my list. Rude people. If you can’t put forth the slight effort it takes to say thank you when someone holds a door open for you than you are a useless human being in my eyes. Anyone who abuses animals or children. How is it that child molesters aren’t given the death penalty? Who is against that?
I’ve been pretty liberal lately with the interpretation of this question, but I think in the future I’m going to dial it back. Let me put it this way. Imagine that the government announces that everyone can kill one person of their choice, without legal prosecution. Who do you kill?
I’d say Dick Cheney. A lot of American soldiers died or suffered horrific mental and physical injury because he and his friends simply wanted to go to war with Iraq, so they just made some shit up and started a war. I know that W was president at the time, and he’s definitely culpable, but I think that was more his call. In a sane world, they would have all swung at the Haig.

What do you do?
I drive a truck and write.

How did you get started doing what you do?
Writing I always did. I got away from it for a little while, but started again when I drove over the road. It was sort of like therapy. Too much time alone with my thoughts was not good for me. As far as driving a truck goes, I was out of work and having a hard time getting a job, so I got my license.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
If you want to drive a truck go get a commercial driver’s license. If you want to write, they say writers write, which is right, so go write, alright.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
My single book is called Zombie Apocalypse 2012: A Political Horror Story. I self-published it last year. There is a lot of political satire in the book, but probably not as much as the name implies. When I started writing, it was supposed to just be a short story. The idea of writing an entire book seemed like an unattainable goal to me at the time. Anyway, the story was supposed to mostly be about how political figures and the news media handled the dead coming back to life, but the main character had more of a story to tell. I was like 15,000 words in and way off track when I realized that I might be writing an actual book. I think I should have changed the name. Rookie mistake.                                                                  One of my favorite things I’ve ever written was a short story called My Father’s Funeral. It was a semi-biographical look into just how screwed up my family is. The part that is fiction starts about halfway in and came from this idea I had on the plane ride back to New York when my father passed away. I was a few months away from my wedding and my brothers were trying to throw me a bachelor party, but it just wasn’t coming together because of money issues and the distance we all lived from each other. I wondered if the whole thing was a ruse to get me up there for a party. It wasn’t, thankfully.
I often find that a story has a tendency to get away from me unless I keep a pretty tight leash on it. This is going to sound crazy, but it wasn’t until about a month ago that I bothered to look up what the generally accepted word count guidelines were for the different levels of writing length. You know, short story versus novella versus novel.
I wrote what I thought was a short sample story as a proof of concept for the post-apocalyptic zombie epidemic book project I’m working on to show contributors the caliber of writing they’d be receiving if they bought in as a character. The sample story ended up being 15,000 words, which was just how long I needed to tell the story the way I wanted to tell it. I looked up suggested page count guidelines and realized I had already written a novella and about a quarter of a novel with just one “short story” that I thought was just a blow off sample to use as a proof of concept, so it looks like by the time I finish with this monster it’s going to be a real doorstop, around as thick as Stephen King’s The Stand. Let’s just hope it’s half as good! *laughs*
How many words did Zombie Apocalypse 2012: A Political Horror Story end up clocking in at when you decided to release it?
Just over 50k, which is about the minimum for something to be considered a novel. I have read conflicting opinions on that and have seen numbers between 40 and 60 thousand used as a minimum, so I was happy with 50 for my first book. You have to learn to walk and all that. I just hit 70 on my second and that one is about wrapping up. On a side note, I really wish that Amazon would set some sort of standard for what they will call a book. I’ve seen 10 or 20 page stories being sold as novels. C’mon man.
That’s the good/bad thing about self-publishing. Anyone can publish anything as long as it’s vaguely book-like and has a cover with words inside.

What projects are you working on now?
I try to get a couple of articles in for ZGM every week, but I’m running out of ideas. It’s hard to come up with new stuff all the time. Any suggestions? I’m working on another book, too. Finishing it seems to be taking forever, though. It’s called One Undead Step. It’s the story of how the United States faked the moon landing to avert the zombie apocalypse.
My suggestion for ZGM is to let other people do the work for you. Fade back into an editorial capacity and let other writers trying to establish their byline submit content and you can just edit their stuff and have content for free or cheap if you pay an honorarium.
You don’t even have to pay much, it’s just nice to get paid for your work so you could offer a buck a page or a penny a word or whatever. You won’t go broke, your writers get paid for their time and effort, and they’ll be motivated to go long, and you can recoup your expenditure by enrolling your site in a targeted banner ad program. Those are my suggestions for what they’re worth and if you make a ton of money let me know.
I’m interested in taking a look at One Undead Step when you finish it.
Keep me posted and if I can make the time and space in my review queue I’ll give it a spin.

Thanks, I appreciate that. As far as paying writers, I’ll suggest it to Frank, who runs ZGM. I just work there. If he wants to start sending me checks, my artistic integrity would not be offended.

What are you watching?
On the idiot box? Not much. The Walking Dead, football, and some cartoons.

What are you listening to?
A lot of stuff. Classic country, not the pop garbage they play on the radio these days and call country. Slayer never gets old. Hatebreed, Todd Snyder, Led Zeppelin, Public Enemy, The Allman Brothers Band, Rage Against the Machine. I recently dusted off some old Dead Milkmen CD’s and can’t get enough of them.
Okay, this is an excellent opportunity.
I was having a conversation with my room-mate the other day and he said something like, “I want to meet the kind of people that are into real country music, not the kind of people that into the kind of over-produced country music that they play on the radio.”
To which I replied, “Dude. You pretty much do already know those people. Pretty much if you like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Sr., you like old school country. After that it either gets hokey like Gene Autry and yodeling cowboys and what have you, or it gets cross-over like Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline.” Do you think that was a pretty fair assessment? Or can you suggest a few country artists for fans of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Sr. like myself?
That sounds about right. To be fair, there always was pop country, but it just seems like that’s all there is these days. There are a few artists that are still making real country music. Kacey Musgraves and The Zach Brown Band are making good music, but I mostly stick with classic artists like Waylon Jennings, David Allen Coe, and Merle Haggard. I dig the cowpunk, too, Nine Pound Hammer and Hank Williams III. I do not dig the country-rap. I like tuna, and I like ketchup, but I don’t like tuna and ketchup. Country-rap is a big tuna and ketchup sandwich with shit sprinkles.
There’s a reason why there isn’t an “urban country” genre and shouldn’t be a “country rap” genre. I think you just nailed it.

What are you reading?
Beside word of the day toilet paper? Zombie Youth by H.E. Goodhue. I’m about a third of the way through it and really enjoying it so far.
Do you really have word of the day toilet paper?
No. Do you think it would help? Couldn’t hurt, right?
It think it’s a shitty idea. See what I did there? *laughs*
You got a chuckle on that one.
I aim to please and if not please, then at least amuse.

Favorite author / book?
I kind of hate to say Stephen King. It’s almost cliché at this point, but he’s the master. The Stand is still the gold standard in apocalyptic storytelling in my opinion.
Don’t be embarrassed. About 90% of the time he at least makes it into everyone’s Desert Island books. There’s no reason to be embarrassed. He’s a great writer. Not the greatest, but as far as worldwide popularity you could do much worse.
You’d probably love a lot of the noir authors if you gave them a chance.
Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Jim Thompson.
Those guys use words like bricks.

Favorite band / song?
Led Zeppelin. Those guys were epic. They have a song for every mood for me. My favorite song would be Nothing to Lose from Todd Snyder. “Gonna make my last stand and this time I can’t be bought. Then again, on the other hand, how much have you got?” That song is all about internal struggle and trying to do the right thing in a world gone crazy. Love that guy’s work.

Least favorite band / song?
Fergie. Who let her go solo? While her song My Humps is a close second, my least favorite song ever is that umbrella-ella-ella song by Rhianna. You’re supposed to sing a song, not say a song.
I totally agree with the last part.
I’ve never been impressed with people whose main talent is just belting out a song in a forceful midtone push.
I got into a huge argument with a guy at work when Whitney Houston died.
I said it was no great loss to the world of music and he lost it and I spent most of the morning explaining to him that anyone can do what Whitney Houston did.
Well, maybe not anyone, but a whole lot more people can do what Whitney Houston and Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift and any other pop diva does than, say, Maria Callas can do when she sang Un Bel Di Vedremo from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
I don’t know about you, but nothing any of those other “singers” ever sang gave me chills like this does.
I don’t mention this much, but I do love opera, too. It’s not an everyday thing for me, but every once in a while I get in the mood and throw some on.
Whitney Houston was pretty talented. No, she was no Maria Callas, but I wouldn’t put her in the Miley Cyrus category, either. I’d throw her in with Christina what’s her name. Something with an A. Anyway, decent pipes, but not really putting out anything that’s all that memorable.

Desert Island Music / Movies / Books: You know the deal. Five of each.                  Music- Reign in Blood by Slayer, Near Truths and Hotel Rooms by Todd Snyder, In Through the Out Door by Zeppelin, American IV: The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash, and the Brown Album by Primus.
Movies- Night of the Living Dead, The Shawshank Redemption, Super Troopers, Talladega Nights, and The Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn. I’ll be honest here and say that, if I’m by myself, I’ll trade Super Troopers in for some porn. Nothing too weird.                                                                                                                        Books- Is there a How to Get Off a Deserted Island for Dummies? Assuming there isn’t, I’d take The Stand by Stephen King, A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey, and a Photo Album I have.
Why The Brown Album? Is that really your favorite Primus album?
Oh yeah. It’s so bass heavy. I love it. Pork Soda is an awesome album, too. It would be close.
I’m more of a Frizzle Fry / Sailing The Seas Of Cheese kind of guy.
I’d really be happy with any of their albums. Tales from the Punch Bowl, Rhinoplasty, they’re all pretty awesome. I do love their cover of Jerry Reed’s Amos Moses on Rhinoplasty.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Not sure if this counts, because it’s still writing, but I’d love to do those op-ed pieces in the newspaper. I’m kind of a political junkie and have a lot of opinions on everything.
Why don’t you do some of that then? I’m sure that the newspapers are always looking for promising new talent. Ask around, send a couple e-mails. You never know what might happen.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Alive- This one is way too easy. It would be George Romero in a landslide.
Dead- Sir William Wallace. There’s a guy that every American could take a lesson from. We could use a few homo indomitus like him.                                                        Fictional- Tyler Durden. That dude had a great perspective. Really knew how to make people realize they’re insignificance in the big picture.
I’ve actually met George Romero a few times.
He’s a big smiling gentle bear of a man and very kind to his fans.
Also, I shot this. The first time that Elvira met George Romero.
They were both like little shy kids. It was adorable!
Very cool. Thanks for sharing. I’m not big on celebrities, but I would love to meet Romero. He’s one of the few people that would get me star-struck.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
I’m not sure that it’s really a job, but writing for ZGM has been epic. Not only is it tons of fun, but it’s opened some doors for me and put me in touch with some awesome people. I get friend requests on Facebook from other authors who are like rock stars in my eyes. The worst was working overnights in a convenience store. I was out of work and needed a job and I did it because it was what I had to do to take care of my responsibilities. If you’re worth your salt, then you do what you have to do. That was just awful. Crazy people in those places at 3 A.M. I wasn’t supposed to be armed, but I always carried a gun anyway.
That’s the great thing about doing this interview blog. I’ve made a lot of new imaginary friends and had the opportunity to get to know them better. There’s no money in it, but it’s not always about monetary compensation.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
No. I’d say that was very thorough. Good job, buddy.
Well thank you.

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Can I give you two, or is that against the rules? J. Cornell Michel, author of Jordan’s Brains: A Zombie Evolution. She’s a fascinating person if you can crack that nut, and I think you can. The other would be Tony Baker. He’s an amazing guy. His first book, Survivors of the Dead, won’t even be out for a couple of months and he’s already become a huge part of the zombie community.
You can give me as many as you think would be interested in being subjected to being interviewed. I’m not really soliciting interviews as I already have about a hundred or so that are out there and come trickling back in every now and then, but anyone that asks will be interviewed. Just put them in touch with me through Facebook or e-mail and I’ll follow through from there.

Got any questions for me?
Do people really miss the About the Interviewee section? It seems clear as day.
It does, doesn’t it? But about half the time people miss it.
So, despite the big notification at the top of the interview I have to ask them a second time to provide a bio blurb at the end of the interview in the “About the Interviewee” section. To be perfectly honest, it’s pretty annoying, but no one’s making me do this.
I think they’re just exhausted by the number and depth of the questions and by the end of it they just stop paying attention. But at least you filled it out, and I appreciate that.

Follow-up questions and thanks:
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.

About the Interviewee:
Here’s the official bio: I was born in a small harbor town in southwest Ireland. In an effort to be cliché my parents moved the family to New York when I was thirteen. Once a promising up-and-comer in the world of competitive eating, my career was cut short by an ACL injury. I now reside in Florida with my dogs and drive a truck for a living, but I’m crossing my fingers and hoping my first novel, Zombie/Apocalypse 2012: A Political Horror Story, will earn me enough money that I can tell my boss where to stick it. 

Aside from that, the real Ian, if you will, rarely takes anything very seriously. Every pair of underwear that I own has a cartoon character on it, mostly from The Simpsons. Life is way too short to wear silk, paisley boxers. I’m kind of emotionally retarded and have a hard time talking about my feelings. Even my closest friends can’t get much out of me in that department. I always vote, usually for a third party. I regret every time I’ve ever pulled the lever for a Democrat or a Republican. I’m great with kids, but don’t have or want any.

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and 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.
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:
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Follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
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