I can’t remember where I saw this — maybe it was that arch egotist Jim Morrison who gave me the idea — but in an effort to get to know myself and elucidate some upon my new books, I am interviewing myself in lieu of someone else doing the job.
So, Warchalking, what’s that all about then? Where did the title come from?
Well, I had this collection of science fiction stories and I needed a title so I went to my stumblelog tool bar and started stumbling wiki — it’s a great way to get inspiration and when you find the perfect word you have all the information to hand so you can be inspired and not sound like a dumbass in the process. I also wrote the title story following the discovery of the word to tie it all up nicely and add that extra bit of cohesion.
Cool, so what’s on offer in this collection? what are we getting for our money?
We have nine stories that I hope stretch out and inhabit a few different areas of the genre. Warchalking itself is one of those oh shit the future is waking up in our own backyard and our place in it isn’t as assured as we’d thought. Skinning Reality gives us a situation where the person in charge of Heaven is totally insane and it has infected reality and our hero has to set it straight. I might describe No, Thyself as literary sci-fi — the hero as writer type thing. Pop Tsar is a dig at our current trend for manufactured pop stars with a nice twist. Meating Of Minds is the obligatory fucked up time travel tale — you have to have one don’t you? ad is my stab at a dystopian consumer society. Am I? was designed as a pastiche of AI and is here in the original version, not the rejigged version I worked on for a magazine. Quintessence Of Dust plants us firmly in the post apocalypse, and The Smooth Exit is part of that niche market: Cancer Sci-fi.
So there’s bit of variety, and it sounds like you have some humour in there too.
I hope so. I didn’t want the whole thing to be po-faced — it should be a fun read, an I hope there are enough ideas on display to keep people hooked.
Who inspired you, when it comes to science fiction?
Well, I really like Phillip K Dick; I grew up on Ray Bradbury and I have a real passion for the cyberpunk writers like Gibson and Jeff Noon. I like to blend and bend genres round a bit so if you’re stuck in what your idea of a certain kind of story should have in it I may not be the guy for you You can check out some shorter pieces on http://paulgrimsley.wordpress.com to get an idea of where my head is at at the moment.
That leads me to the question of who you would recommend this to?
I think lovers of fantasy writing; people who want some social commentary in their reading material. You have to have a stomach for bad language a good sense of humour and the occassional dose of ultraviolence.
So what can we expect in the future? What do you have slated for release?
Well, first off is going to be a short story collection of a more literary bent called Proximity Alert.
And what can we look forward to in that?
Well there’s rapists, arseholes, drunks and all kinds of lovely folk that you get to hang out with. From hate to love and all the bollocks in between.
Yeah, I have several poetry collections that are now available: Contact Wounds contains the newest work and if people want an idea of where I am at in my thinking it is probably the best book by which to gauge that. Mote, The Chameleon’s Wardrobe, A Slice Of Water, the subtle tongue, and all flesh is grass date from earlier periods but are still very vital I think and interesting, to me at least, in that they present my vision from a different angle.
Wow, that’s lot of stuff that you have there.
Yeah, that’s not everything either. I have a collection of vampire stories in the works, some crime stories, books of interconnected stories, maybe a flash fiction collection and more poetry which I am in the process of compiling from my archives.
Why so much stuff? Are you not worried that you might flood the market?
Hardly — I am at present an unknown. There are a few thousand people online that follow my exploits through the various sites that I have set up and hopefully that will grow. People can check out samples from these books at the site where they are for sale so they should be able to tell whether or not they’ll like the content from what they ca read there. I have a lot of writing and I am fed up of seeing it sitting there doing nothing. I am giving people a choice. They can buy what they like from me and if there are fifteen people and not one of them has the same book by me, but they do in fact have a book by me, isn’t that cool?
What do you hope to do with your writing?
To explore every single avenue of thought and expression that it is possible to cover in as many ways as possible. I want to touch people — affect them; whether that be to make them nostalgic, horny or horrified. I have been part of several writing communities and I have started a couple of my own and I have had some feedback — I know there are people out there that have read me and felt something …I just want to extend the possibilities. The means of production are there and I intend to use them.
And last but not least, the book covers, who designed those for you?
I designed those myself.