From Venus With Love: SPIKE MARLOWE TALKS TO J.W.A.

This interview with Spike Marlowe was conducted this past January(?) 2013 and things change but I didn’t notice any inconsistencies. Some of you may be more observant. 

To the best of my knowledge Little Miss Battle Queen is being worked on and having read a good deal of it in the writers workshop I shared with Miss Marlowe this book is going to be brutally…adorable. Like a custom Hello Kitty Uzi! 

Spike’s prose are gorgeous. In her debut Placenta of Love she paints wistful, lavender dreamscapes, populated with playful childhood symbols.  Placenta of love though, is also terse with eroticism…water-tight, but forbidden because as sexy as JiJi comes across. No matter how many times she wants “spankies” remember JiJi is a cat! And that folks, would be bestiality!

So, check her out!

My future ex-wife 🙂 

Author of Placenta of Love from Eraserhead Press

 Miss Spike Marlowe… 

spiket-shirt

Miss Marlowe, we both know masks are bad ass looking and you took the authors pseudonym to an entirely new level when you decided to don your trademark disguise. Then you went into a grassroots, vigilante-like direction when you donated a month’s profit from your first novel to Planned Parenthood, the image of the domino mask will be an avatar for women’s rights before you’re finished or it should be.
JWA: Do you wear the mask while you write?
 
SPIKE: Thanks so much for inviting me to chat. It’s such a delight to talk to you.
Now, as for whether or not I wear the mask depends on how dangerous the environment is. And writing is a pretty dangerous activity, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
JWA: What inspired the Spike Marlow aesthetic?
 
Spike: Honestly, my aesthetic is what was cooked into me when I was forming. It’s not entirely something I consciously planned. It’s pretty much what came with me when I was hatched.
JWA: What’s your origin story?
 
 SPIKE:  As for my writing origin story, creating, telling stories and writing were things I did when I was a young kid. It’s a natural state for me. But I never thought it was something I could make a living doing. For one thing, I didn’t think there would be a publisher down with the stories I wanted to tell.
As a result, I tried to do other things with my life. But I’ve always returned to writing.
I met Carlton Mellick III about five years ago. He asked if I had any interest in writing bizarro. I was ecstatic–I absolutely was. What we now call bizarro has always been a natural writing state for me, but it wasn’t a type of fiction I was seeing anywhere else–other than in some films–and I had no idea there was a place for me, not until I read and met Carlton.
I attended the first BizarroCon and had an amazing experience. Carlton asked me to sign up for the legendary high concept workshop. I did, and pitched what became *Placenta of Love*. Carlton and Jeremy Robert Johnson were very encouraging and saw a lot of potential in the book. I figured if they saw something in my pitch, there might be something there.
The support and encouragement and constructive feedback I’ve received from Eraserhead Press, especially from Carlton and My editor, the amazing Kevin Shamel, has been instrumental in be becoming Spike Marlowe, bizarro author.
 
JWA:  You live in San Francisco, right?
Every time I think of San Francisco the opening theme from Full House comes to mind, Uncle Bens rice, trolleys, that huge fucking bridge y’all got…
JWA: How long have you been there? I suspect it’s pretty welcoming of writers and artists.
Have you ever been to Height Ashbury?
Ever dropped some L.S.D. and wandered into the desert to find yourself, but instead found a nude Native American, waxing cryptic prophecy, and at first you don’t really understand, until it dawns: Jim Morrison had an Indian spirit guide! Then all around you, the opening riff to Break On Through starts. Unimpressed, you wish for once some Dj would play Soul Kitchen…
 
SPIKE: I adore San Francisco. I’ve only been here for a couple of years, but it’s fantastic.
Culturally, the city is a place where artists are welcome, but thriving is another matter; it’s become so expensive and gentrified it’s hard for artists to make it. I’m lucky. A lot of artists vacated the city to go too more affordable places after the tech boom. I don’t expect to stay here forever. I have plans to head to a cheaper place to live so I can focus on writing once I put my ducks in a row.
I have visited the Haight. Unfortunately, all I got was a couple of tickets to Burning Man and a latte. There was no LSD involved there, or at Burning Man. There were a bunch of naked musicians out in the desert at Burning Man, however. But no Jim Morrison, they do need him at the burn! We should petition the Burning Man org to bring him out!
 Spike and Twain 2
JWA: What is Spike Marlowe’s writing schedule like? Do you have a word count goal?
 
SPIKE: I write pretty much every day. Goals are based on current deadlines or what I want and need to accomplish. Typically, I spend 10 hours a day or more on writing and business details.  I’ve spent almost all my waking hours on writing and business details for the past three months.
JWA: Cigarettes, Coffee, Drugs (don’t worry, we’re cool), booze– do you like having any of these things close by while you write?
 
SPIKE: I have been known to slurp lots of caffeine, often in the dubious form of Diet Mt. Dew when dealing with major deadlines. My veins are filled with the stuff from the previously mentioned last three months. Typically, I try to drink lots of water and herbal tea. I’m not one of the lucky ones who can do drugs or drink when writing. I need to be clear and unencumbered when I write. And  I’m actually allergic to cigarette smoke, so no smoking, either.
 
JWA:  How long have you been publishing?
SPIKE: My first sale was Placenta of Love, so since October of 2011. I’m a total publishing newbie.
JWA:  You and I were classmates in Garrett Cook’s January 2013 Writers Workshop with guest host J.David Osborne.  I had finished my second reading of By The Time We Leave Here We’ll Be Friends by Osborne, which floored me. An amazing book by such a young talent, and I was a little nervous opening up the forum, and when I did, I see your pretty, feline face at the top of the page…I told my sister, “This is too much, these guys are going to eat me alive!
 
JWA: Have you attended a lot of workshops?
You know, not really. Mostly workshops at BizarroCon and Garrett’s, but I’ll tell you–they’ve all been fantastic. I encourage everyone interested in writing bizarro to check out the con’s workshops and Garrett’s offerings.
 
JWA:  Do you have any formal education in writing?

Spike looks away and at the danger ahead!

Spike observes danger ahead!

 
SPIKE: Just the English classes we’re all required to take. The rest has been practice and asking for insight from peers with the occasional workshop.
 
JWA:  The death of Zampano’ in Placenta of Love and Captain Carl’s reaction was my favorite part of the book…the ignorance and naivety of Carl’s reaction was moving: “Oh” Captain Carl said. “He should have backed himself up.”
“An important lesson for us all,” JiJi said.
JWA:  Could you explain Jiji’s reply? How you meant it?
 
SPIKE: In this statement, Jiji was talking about how we, whether we’re robo or human, can cease to exist at any time. This is something to remember and to prepare for in whatever way necessary. For robos, this may mean backing themselves up in preparation to be reincarnated. It also gives Carl something to think about later in the book when he has to figure out what to do with Helen.
JWA:  Okay. Self-Publishing.  Kindle and eBooks in general, what is your opinion?
 
SPIKE: I’m excited that there are so many options for writers these days. It’s wonderful and exciting. I also think, however, it’s absolutely essential to remember if you’re going to go indie and publish yourself, it’s a business. Your product needs to be a *quality* product. This’ll mean investing in editing, copy editing, art and layout services. It also means you need to be sure you have the chops to write a good book. If you want success as an indie author, you’ve got to be able to compete with those more traditionally published books.
I also love the idea of authors diversifying–going indie and traditional and making the most of both. It’s a mistake for artists to put their eggs all in one basket.
JWA: So, as a Busker what exactly do you do?
 
SPIKE:I can play some instruments, but only ok these days. Typically, I read stuff I’ve written. And people dig it.
JWA: Will you be at Bizarrocon in 2013? I missed last years, something came up, and I let someone have my pass– not this year! If I have to hitchhike I’m there, I will be at Bizarrocon.
 
SPIKE: Good! You should so go!
I am totally planning on hitting it. Best con ever.
 
JWA: So give us an idea of what to expect from Spike Marlowe in 2013!
 
SPIKE: I *just* turned in a book called *Little Miss Battle Queen* to an editor. I’m waiting to hear if he likes it. My fingers are so crossed! The book is basically *Battle Royale* with tiny beauty queens. I’m so excited about this project.
I’m also finishing up a story for a certain JWA’s queefrotica anthology. I think this story is really fine, strange and lovely. I can’t wait to see what you think. This is a special anthology. Some fantastic writers are involved and the proceeds go to charity.
Finally, I’m involved with Annetta Ribken’s *Allegories of the Tarot* anthology. A lot of awesome writers are involved, and I’m really excited to see this project succeed. There’s an Indiegogo page for it here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/allegories-of-the-tarot
 
SPIKE: Thanks so much, Jason. I so appreciate you taking the time to visit with me.
 
Go buy Placenta of Love by Spike Malowe at Amazon.com 
http://www.amazon.com/Placenta-of-Love-ebook/dp/B00676FYS4/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1369892885&sr=8-14&keywords=spike+marlowe
 

*Spike’s story in 50 Secret Tales Of The Whispering Gash: A Queefrotica is called The Musician  and it is awesome.*

Top photo of Spike came from http://bizarrocentral.com/312-2/spike-marlowe/

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