Ten Questions for five writers

James Newman

James Newman, writer of Bangkok Express

Fellow writer, James Newman is currently doing a little project in conjunction with writer and publisher, Tom Vater of Crime Wave Press. The idea is do a chain interview with five other writers working in the East. I’ve been asked to participate.

What is the title of your book?

Blubber Island.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A comedic slasher, post modern, metaphysical mind fuck.

What genre does your book fall under?

It fits into the trashy and realty bending genre of “Gutter Surrealism.” Newman has called it “Splatter Punk,” I’d go with that too.

 Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was sick of the virtually absolute grip the US Government’s propaganda has over people. That’s how the idea of “mind stealing” came to me. I wanted to write something that showed how precious our minds are because people seem so willing to surrender it. Dadaism was an anti-art, art movement that ridiculed modern art as the domesticated pet of those behind World War II. Blubber Island follows in the Dadaist spirit as an anti-literature novel.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

It took a little over a month. I hardly left the house during that time.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The book was written for my sister who was going through some very hard times. I wanted to tell her to never submit even under crushing oppression. My brother inspired me with his declaration, “I AM NOT A CORPORATE ROBOT!”

As for books, Stephen King’s On Writing put the fire under my ass to finally write a book. Blubber Island is my work. Since moving to Japan, I’ve been reading more Japanese writers such as Haruki Murakami, Yukio Mishima, and Banana Yoshimoto. I tired to incorporate a non-western feeling. And lastly, there is Wyoming lawyer and writer, Gerry Spence. His views on neo-slavery are profound.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

100% self published.

What other works would you compare this book to within your genre?

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film The Holy Mountain. His film is nontraditional and subversive. It attacks the psyche on multiple fronts with the intention to bring about enlightenment.

John Davies’s film Hobo With a Shotgun, directed by Jason Eisener, is the ultimate underdog film. It lays on the gore with a cheesy style in a fairy tale context.

Again and again my readers have compared my book with the works of William S. Burroughs. To be honest I’ve never finished any of his books.

I tried to make Blubber Island as original as possible. If it started sounding like somebody I’ve read, I changed it.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a
movie rendition?

They’d all be “nobodies.”

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

As offensive as this book is, the primary message is spiritual salvation and a return to harmony.

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