Thursday, January 30, 2014

Interview with Charles Quigley.

Full Name:
Charles “The Hammer” Quigley
Dude, no one calls you that, but for the purposes of this interview I will gladly call you “The Hammer”.

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
Quig, Charlie (women mostly and my dad), asshole.
I just refer to you as “Q”.  Your last name’s a blessing and a curse.
From what I’ve been lead to understand. It’s derived from a Gaelic adjective; which might explain why it’s so fun to mess around with.  Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s of course Tom Selleck played a Cowboy in Australia named Quigley.  Which of course led to lots of “Are you down under Quigley” and crap like that.  Also it led people to believe Quigley was an Australian name.

Providence, Rhode Island

Current hometown:
North Smithfield, Rhode Island

Favorite city and why?
Munich, Germany.  Think of it like a clean, well-organized Boston with fantastic beer.
And legal prostitution too, they have that there too don’t they?
Never pay for sex, drugs or offices supplies.  But yes they do.

Birthday / Age:
1980/ 33
Are you serious?  I thought you were, like, ten years older than I am!
It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.

How would you describe yourself physically?
Average, with various chronic injuries

How would someone else describe you physically?
Average, with a chronic scowl of pain

The first thing people notice about you is…
I dunno, my rapier wit?
You mis-spelled “rapist”.  I’ll fix it in the final edit.

Religion, if any?
Probably a god, doubt he has anything to do with us.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
When I was in combat I was very superstitious and had numerous rituals and things I carried to assure safety.  I don’t think I have anything reaches the level of phobia.  But there’s plenty of things I don’t care for.
Hey, if it works for you, keep doing it.
Well like that beer commercial suggests: It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.

Do you smoke / drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
Early and often.
HA!  You got me with that one, sir!

Current occupation / Dream job:
Fulltime student and security guard is my current positions.  A teaching professor at a university or a novelist would be my “dream” jobs.
What’s the weirdest thing that happened while you were working as a security guard?
Two elderly Hispanic “gentleman” had a kitchen knife fight in front of me.  It was exactly as slow and bizarre as it sounds.  They were completely decked out in old khaki slacks and sweaty wife beaters.
Fight might be a strong word, they mostly swore and circled each other.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Write, read, play video games, historical reenactment, drink, go to metal shows or live hockey games. *chuckle* Flirt with all da purty gurls.
What video games do you play?
I’m Mostly a PC gamer.  I like competitive online games.  For the past year it’s been Mechwarrior Online, which is drawn from the classic Battletech universe and War Thunder, a world war two air plane game.  Very simple mechanics in either, “Push button, load into match with other players, blow shit up.”.
I also have a soft spot for the good ole’ MMORPG and I’ve played most of the major releases in the past ten years for at least the length of a free trial if not longer.  The current interest being: Neverwinter Online, a dungeons and dragons themed game.
The last few years has seen a “Free-to-Play” model rise up in the gaming industry which has been great for the consumer, particularly a poor one like me.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
A carefully planned, mobile task force armed with sharpened long handle shovels and Mossberg 12 gauges.  Secure a location in the country side and systematically attract other survivors to create a new community.  This community will not be blood thirsty nor will it naively think all people are swell.
Once creating a solid defense line and a stabilized food production begin rearming and eventually strike back. After that? Become king of the new world.
This assumes it’s the classic shambling zombie…
That… sir… is why I’m writing you into my post-apocalyptic zombie-epidemic book.
Again, I’m flattered.

Weapon of choice:
As stated above, shotguns.  12 gauge: Cheap, low number of moving parts, light and easy to handle.  Plus ammunition should be plentiful.
I am accomplished with Rapiers and various other hand weapons.  For real.
Again with the typos.  Unless you meant it like the plural of “more rapey”.
You are aware that the Rapier is a 16th century piercing sword typically 30-45 inches in length.  As seen in the Three Musketeers.
I’m assuming you’re actually confused, ‘cause it would be unlike you too use a bad joke twice.
I do a lot of these interviews.  A little recycling is unavoidable.
But at least now I know more about rapiers than I used to.
I aim to educate whenever I can.

Do you have any special skills?
Combat Infantry Training, to include the creation of fighting positions, training of the untrained, first aid, land navigation operation  and maintenance of most common US Army small arms and some soviet made, familiarity with explosives.  Ability to operate and maintain the M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and HMMWV.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I am currently a junior at RIC for History.  I am specializing in Colonial North American History.
Because when they invent a time machine you want to go back in time and fight in the Revolutionary War.  You’ve already got the costume and the musket.  Now we just have to get you fitted with some wooden teeth.
Ha!  After studying the time period no amount of money could make me go back.  I only study up to just before the revolution though.  The revolution is its own field of study.
My interest in the time period is the lack of recent scholarship on it.  This is an oversight, since it’s literally the origins of our country.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
I’m getting a full ride from the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
2 Dogs, 1 cat: Dodger, a Australian Cattle Dog / Pit Bull mix.  Tank, a German Shepard/ Labrador mix, and Chubbs Magee, a fat black domestic long hair cat.
To be fair, Tank belongs to one roommate and the cat another.  But I love them like my own.

What is your favorite animal?
Exotic wise?  Penguins are pretty sweet.
I would’ve never figured you for a penguin guy.
Well-dressed all the time. And Cool.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
Willful-ignorance, it’s one thing not to know something because you weren’t exposed to it.  It’s another to have access to knowledge and for whatever reason decide not to enrich yourself.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
Bacon/ rotten bacon? I’m not remotely a foodie, so for the most part I don’t have strong feelings about food.
What do you have strong feelings about?
Normal stuff I suppose: personal liberty, government oppression and spying, the economy, foreign threats, the next Fall Out release.
Food is important to me, I need it… to live.  Also if you made me some good food, I’d notice it was good and appreciate it and at the same time I don’t like bad food.  But when I wake up in the morning I seldom think “I hope my food is good today.”, because ultimately “blah” food gets the job done.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
You’re getting more than one, ‘cause I can’t just pick one:
“Take what you want, and pay for it” –Spanish Proverb
“Progress is making the world safe for short round people” – George Orwell, “Road to Wigan Pier”
“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”  –Mark Twain
“We have one mouth, and two ears. This means we should listen twice as much as we speak.” –I don’t know.  I do know it wasn’t me.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
I was born.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
I was born.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
As I suspect most people have, yes I have.  But it was nothing dramatic (to anyone other than me).  It was simply a relationship not going the way I would have liked.  It sucked, it hurt, I lived to love again.

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
I suspect I have.  But that’s really no one’s business except the two of us who were involved.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
I guess served 8 years in the military and survived two tours in combat?  That’s not to suggest it’s the most moral thing I’ve ever done.  But it’s certainly the biggest accomplishment.
You know what?  Usually I don’t get behind the whole “Thank you for your selfless service.” train and push, but you?  You’re okay in my book.  I thank you for your service.
Awww shucks, thank you for paying your taxes.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
See the last answer.
I’d ask follow-up questions, but the last time I tried to ask you questions about it in person you tried to give me your dead-man’s stare and looked like you wanted to take me outside and do the man-dance with me so I’ll abstain.
Someday, maybe. Perhaps I’ll write a book.

If you could kill one person, who would it be, and why?
No one, you only need to see how final killing is once to realize it should only be done out of absolute necessity.  As for beating the crap out of people….the list is long.

What do you do?
Crush my enemies, see them driven before me, hear the lamentations of their women.
Always a solid course of action.

How did you get started doing what you do?
I pushed a giant wheel around by myself for like twenty years.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Don’t let others tell you what can and can’t do, cliché I know, but no less true.  But here’s the important part: When you do strike your own trail, and, say, leave a 60k a year job with benefits to go get a degree in the humanities, be prepared for things to possibly not work out, and don’t whine about it like a bitch.

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 three novellas about modern crime/noir set in Providence.
Pseudo edited, I was unable to find a market for novellas at the time (the digital self-publish thing wasn’t around then).
I’m a writer for Hull Breach! a tactical card game that just was released.  I helped create the lore for the game.  I’ve written articles about the universe, parts of the “fictional supplement” that comes with the box set.  One short story and have a few more stewing on the stove.
I have a Creative Non-fiction piece about Iraq that’s ready to publish.  But I’m determined to the literary magazine traditional route with it once.  ‘Cause I’m old school like that that.
I started writing in the 3rd grade when I was dissatisfied with how cartoons ended. In the 8th grade I won the Rhode Island Young Authors competition for a story about Knights that I illustrated myself.  I still have it, it’s terrible and I never could draw.  The main character in the story was “Sir Quigley”….so bad.  But I was like 12 right?
Everyone’s got to start somewhere.  I started with awful gothic poetry that thankfully no longer exists to come back and haunt me.  We should break out and dust-off those crime/noir novellas and put them out.  I’m a decent editor.  I punched up Anthony’s Providence Noir serial a bit.  And I’ve been self-publishing like a motherfucker as of late.  Let me know if you’re interested.  You provide the alcohol and I’ll provide the criticism.
I do like that idea.  But for the time being school must come first.  We’ll see though, seriously.
Fair enough.  Keep me posted.

What projects are you working on now?
I have various other ideas and concepts cooking right now, too numerous to mention.  I want to do a graphic novel thing maybe, about paranormal investigators.  Like not TAP’s but Interpol agents.  With a touch of the Lovecraftian and vampires that actually do vampire shit.  The thematic feel would be: Man is always overpowered by these things.  Vampires are in fact evil and should be Van Helsinged on sight.
Interesting.  I mean, it’s close to a lot of stuff that’s out there, but if you put your own spin on it I think you could pull it off.
I do gritty and fake history very well.  I also try not to focus on “new or innovative”.  That will happen sooner or later.  I focus on my characters and enjoying what I write.  I find readers respond to that, that’s what could possibly set my very standard “humans vs. monsters” story apart.  That’s what made Gibson and Heinlien stand out in their times.
As a note, in the last few days I started writing a Fantasy piece about a group of heroes on a mission.  They’re all different races, with different skill sets.  I’m very excited, I’ve never heard of someone doing something like this before.  They’re going to face a series of escalating challenges on the way to their final foe.
But seriously, I am taking a crack at Fantasy because I don’t care for how so much of it is written.  I am actually using the “Adventuring party” troupe, but hopefully I can breathe life into it.  These days coming with up something truly innovative is damn near impossible.  Especially since self and digital publishing has removed some of the last hurdles that just decent or even bad writing had to get through to see day light before; if that’s a positive or negative for literature and writing as whole remains to be seen.
My best advice is to write what you know and make it interesting.  If you ever decided to write a book about your experiences at war, it would probably read much more true.  If you decided to do something like that I can help you with the outline and edit and help with the self-publishing of it, but the actual writing of it would be up to you.
Thanks for the offer, but if I write about Iraq I’ll pursue traditionally publishing avenues. Other stuff however, I may very well pursue a self-publishing route and for that I will look to you, if you allow me.
The offer stands.

What are you watching?
Disclaimer: I have weakness for shit TV.  Arrow, Blacklist, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Parks and Rec, Revolution, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, True Crime (the second that shit starts), Low winter sun (if you like noir, go watch this shit…right now). Superhero Movies (I could never write like that but I enjoy the simplistic good guy punch bad guy type thing.   Agents of Shield.

What are you listening to?
Metal (I co-host a Metal show at RIC…. when we manage to show up and do it).
Nick Cave and his various bands.  The Clash.

What are you reading?
Lately: William Gibson, The History of Colonial South America 8th Edition.
To clarify I’m reading Gibson novels and another book not written by him called “The History of Colonial South America”

Favorite author / book?
I hate this question.  It’s like asking: what’s your favorite air molecule.
Damn it!  Top ten then!  I used to have the usual “Dessert Island” question but I got too many snarky “Dessert Island” puns.  Everyone’s a fucking comedian.
Okay.  To understand, my “top” books change with time and circumstance.  For example I thought Lovecraft and Kafka were amazing in high school.  I still think they’re amazing, but they’re not currently on my top list.  It’s more of a list of what’s striking my fancy or resonating with me at the moment.  No particular order
Neal Stephenson: in particular “Snow Crash” a brilliant and funny homage to the cyberpunk of the 80’s, best appreciated by people who grew up in the 90’s.
William Gibson: One of the writers who consistently is a favorite.  While his more recent “Spook Country” was lacking, most of his works over his almost forty year career have been great.  He writes very believable Sci-fi particularly due to how human his characters feel.  Plus: cyberspace?  He coined that term, wrist video phones?  Him again.
George Orwell: a better observer than he actually was a writer.  He did in fact write a lot of books outside of “1984” and “Animal Farm”.  “Down and Out in Paris and London” is a great book if you want to read about being a poor writer.
Charles Bukowski: I haven’t read a book of his in almost 15 years.  But being loaned “Tales of Ordinary Madness” when I was about 16 blew me away, and was my first introduction to writing that wasn’t Sci-Fi or Fantasy.  It revitalized my interest in writing and got me reading a lot of the other “American Greats” from the early and mid-20th century.
James Ellroy: This man’s life is like a crime novel in and of itself.  His books are hands down the best noir being produced out there right now.  On top of it, the English is this man’s bitch.  Oh, in his free time he works on solving cold cases with a retired sheriff.
Other notables: Anthony Burgess, Dan Abnett, C.S. Forester, Dashiell Hammett, Tim O’Brien.
There’s more, but that’ll do for now.
Since you seem to have a thing for sci-fi, I recommend Mike Resnick’s Galactic Midway Tetralogy.  I had a copy of The Wild Alien Tamer when I was a kid and I read it so many times it fell apart.
Also if you like Hammett, and I like Hammett, you’d probably like Raymond Chandler and Kim Thompson and especially like Paul Malmont’s “The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril”.
Got most of if not all of Chandler and a lot of Spillane.  I don’t read pulp as much as I used too.  Except “The Maltese Falcon”, which I read about once a year. I’ll check out the other stuff.  Sci-Fi is a lot of like Fantasy for me, I like very few of the authors, but the ones I do like I love.  But I’ll give Resnick a look when I can.
I recommend you do.  One taste and you’ll be hooked.

Favorite band / song?
Metal: Iron Maiden
Classic Rock: Cream
Neo-Folk: The Decemberists
Punk: The Dead Kennedys
No-wave: Sonic Youth
Jazz: Charles Mingus
Mingus over Coltrane?  Really?
I played Bass in Jazz band in high school.  Plus Mingus was a pimp in his early career. Like, literally ran a group of prostitutes.

Least favorite band / song?
Eh, I don’t dwell on the things I don’t like in consumer media.  It gains me nothing.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Get paid to write, travel, drink and game.
Let’s work on that.   We need to have a con-fab.
What the fuck is a “con-fab”?   /

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?
You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.
George Orwell, Charles Martel, and Sally Shears/Molly Millions.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
The Army / The Army
Well, it is marketed as “The toughest job you’ll ever love.”
Something like that I guess.  It was definitely a thing of extremes.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Possible, let me get back to you.
That’s fair.

Got any questions for me?
Why do men have nipples?
The next stop from an oversized clit is an undersized dick.

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.
Twitter: @charles_quigley
Blog: none I want others to find right now

About the Interviewee:
Charles Quigley is a rumpled pulp detective looking for a clue in the mean streets of Rhode Island.  While his writing has been well received by family he has yet to find any commercial success.  You can find him at any dirty gin joint on any foggy night, or in front of his computer.

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:
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Check out his IMDB profile here:
Follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here:
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Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
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