At what precise moment did you say to yourself, 'I'm an author and I'm going to write stories and that's all there is to it'?
I wrote my first novel when I was 13, but I don’t think I truly thought of myself as an author until I was 18. That’s when I started sending out my work to publishers. That’s also when I started wearing a spork necklace, which had nothing to do with my writing career, so I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it.
How has humor played a role in your writing and life in general?
There are times in my life and in my writing when I gaze into the abyss. And when the abyss gazes back, I think it’s important to laugh. Humor helps people to cope with darkness, and to defend themselves against it. The other reason that I like humor is because I like things that are funny, and humor is probably the funniest thing in the world.
Why do you think so many Horror stories involve clowns?
I wish I could say, “The reason I like writing about clowns is because they look funny and they make me laugh.” But the truth is, there are evil clowns living in my attic, and they force me to write about them under threat of rubber chicken-based force.
Garden Gnomes are strange little creatures, how have they influenced your writing?
There’s nothing quite like sitting on a giant toadstool in garden, gazing at the gnomes as sing show tunes and stab pink flamingos with tiny spears. They are an almost constant inspiration.
What is it about Bizarro fiction that you feel attracts so many readers?
I think so many readers like Bizarro fiction, because there are so many weirdos out there. And I mean that in the best possible way. I’m a weirdo, my cats are weirdos, my cats’ pet humans are weirdos. I love weirdos.
What is the strangest short story you have ever written?
My guess is that “Flapjack” is the strangest story I’ve ever written. The plot is strange, the characters are strange, the use of language is strange. Also, there aren’t any pancakes in the story, so why the heck is it called “Flapjack”?
You have taught online writing classes. How has that helped you as an author and how has the experience been for you teaching others?
Teaching is a fun and challenging and satisfying job. I love helping aspiring writers to hone their craft. Teaching others has helped me to become more conscious about what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to writing, and hopefully I’m a better writer because of it. If anyone reading this is interested in learning more about my Fiction Writing Bootcamp, they can write to me at .
Can you tell us a bit about Fungus of the Heart?
I wrote Fungus of the Heart because I’m a fun guy. Fungus is my newest book, and probably my strangest. The book contains stories about a zombie polar bear, a boy who lives in a cabinet, a monkey bounty hunter, a yard gnome hero and more. These are the sorts of stories that will cause mushrooms to grow in your heart, and that’s good for your health.
Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
I’m working on a few new projects, including an attic clown book and a young adult fantasy novel. There’s also a dramatic musical in the works called Nightmare Man (http://www.facebook.com/nightmaremanmusical), which is inspired by one of my short stories.
Where can people find out more about you?
Here’s my online home:
I can also be found here:
And here’s a photo of me dressed as Pizza Bear: