Cherry Sparkle Burlesque Interview: Introducing the Kickass Kittie Von Carnage

Let’s start this short week off on the right note, with something to give thanks about, the next installment of my interviews with the performers of Cherry Sparkle Burlesque Company. This week I’m talking with the kickass Kitty Von Carnage, a snarky sexpot with a mind as hypnotic as her dark eyes and disarming smile.

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I must say that I love your stage name, Kittie von Carnage. It conjures up the image of a hardcore, hard-edged woman who doesn’t take any shit from anyone. She embraces her sexuality and uses it to empower her, to embolden her and her performances.  Is that far from the truth? What does that moniker mean to you? And does that stage persona carry over into your daily life, once you’re off stage?

Your image of Kittie Von Carnage is exactly what I want to portray. Not only does the name empower me, but I hope to spread that confident and badass energy to anyone and everyone in the audience that needs it. Being a full figured woman I definitely want to embrace my sexuality and that women (and men) of all shapes and sizes have the power to be incredibly sexy. I won’t shy away from saying that  before becoming Kittie Von Carnage I lacked confidence, but I can honestly see a huge change in how I see myself daily and keep her in my mind every day to make sure I stay strong.

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From what I’ve come to know about you and your life, staying strong sounds like what you do best. With your indomitable spirit, strong work ethic, and sense of humor, I’m sure you’ll succeed at whatever you put your mind to in life.

How did you come to join Cherry Sparkle Burlesque? And how long have you been a member?

I was actually watching the movie Burlesque thinking to myself how I wish I could perform in that setting and I coincidentally saw a Facebook post advertising auditions for the company. I almost immediately messaged Kaitie for more information. I ended up not auditioning at that time because of fear that I wouldn’t be accepted being that I am a larger female. I finally decided a few weeks after that to give it a shot and I am so glad I did. I auditioned, got the job, and right off the bat I felt an amazing sense of acceptance and self-worth from this wonderful group of people I like to call my Cherry Sparkle family.

I have been with Cherry Sparkle only a short time now but I look forward to continuing on much longer. My first show was August 30th and it was a most intoxicating feeling to perform.

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With a few notable exceptions like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, I never thought I’d be thankful for a musical, but I can see I’ll have to add Burlesque to the list for inspiring you to perform.

Did you have a background in dance, theater, or performance art before joining?

I performed in a few community theater productions at a very young age, but other than that I have no professional background in it. As far as dance background, I have only taken various classes at my gym for fitness purposes. But I do have an awesome group of people to ask for help if ever I get “dancer’s block.”

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How would you describe your role in CSB and your performance style?

I currently perform vintage burlesque dance, and I love every moment of the art of the strip tease. My performance style has not had a ton of chances to shine yet as I am still new to the company but it surely will soon. My first show I performed to The Dope Show by Marilyn Manson. I will be performing to that type of music mainly. I really like that hard, sexy music and may throw in a little tasteful shock value.

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One of my favorite caveats holds true here, great minds do think alike. Because I love the art of strip tease, especially coupled with hard rock and a sexy, shocking dancer like you.

What’s your favorite part of a burlesque show? What’s your least favorite part?

I love everything about the shows so far. I love the beginning of the process from picking a song and concept, to coming up with a costume and choreographing. On show days it is invigorating to get into hair, makeup, and full costume to perform for an always supportive audience.

I wish I could watch the performances because I know everyone does an incredible job, but I have no least favorite part about the shows.

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Besides burlesque, do you any other creative pursuits or hobbies?

I have a dangerous addiction to Pinterest. If I think I can DIY, I will more than likely attempt it. I love to paint, draw, any number of creative things. I have a love for learning how to do new things so I often find myself looking up tutorial videos. I can also cook the hell out of some food. I have been in chili cook offs most of my life and I often place in the competition. I make some killer pretzels too. It takes a lot of calories to keep my body in this shape so I obviously know how to cook. haha

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Whatever you’re doing, please keep it up. It’s worked to create one helluva Kittie Von Carnage!

You’re not only a self-described Disney fangirl, but you’ve worked for them as well. Given no budgetary or content restrictions, what character and/or scene from the vast Disney archives would you turn into a burlesque performance? And what song would you use while performing this fantasy piece?

You have stumped me with this question for sure. I would probably go with Disney’s darker side and do a villainous performance. I love the villains and it would tie in perfectly with my stage presence. Maleficent is my favorite villain so I think it would be awesome to use her character. I mean, she turns into a dragon so how is that not cool? J Add a little “Disney green” fire to the performance and I am set.

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Judging by our previous conversations, you’re also part of the unofficial lifetime learners club known as Nerdom. Given no budgetary, geographical, or temporal restrictions on your education, where would you go, what would you learn, and why? What would you do with your new found knowledge and credentials?

So many options, but there is no doubt in my mind that I would don a Sherlock Holmes hat and travel the world to solve Earth’s greatest mysteries. I’ve always had an interest in urban legends, myths, and anything unknown or unsolved. I would want to explore things such as Atlantis, and the Nazca lines. Just put me with Sherlock and Indiana Jones and send me on my way to explore. My mind just had a Nerdgasm so I think I’ll move on now.

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Getting back to the topic of burlesque, in my last interview with Phoenix Rose, she mentioned an upcoming Cherry Sparkle calendar. Can you tell us more about it, like what month you’ll be or when it will be available, or is that project top secret for now?

You know about as much as I do. I am super excited to find out what month I will be featured as. I can tell you that from the pictures I have seen, this calendar is absolutely something that people will want to own. We all brought our stage personalities to life in photo form so of course my photos show a dark side. And we have an incredibly talented photographer as well. There really are not enough positive words to describe what he is capable of capturing behind that camera lens.

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Finally, when will we be able to see you onstage with Cherry Sparkle again?

We actually have two shows coming up very soon in December. “Tits for Toys” is one that will be on Friday, December 12th and The Smoking Moose and it is a charity performance so the cover charge will be an unwrapped toy that we will donate. We want people to understand that we have generous and caring hearts to go along with these lovely faces and giving back to the community is a huge interest for the Cherry Sparkle Burlesque Company.

“Can-Can for Cans” is another upcoming show on December 20th at the newly opening Dark Horse Saloon. This place is going to be an amazing venue so I certainly hope plenty of people come to check it out. The cover for this show is either 5 cans of food or $5.00 all to be donated to a local charity.

We appreciate all of our supporters and I hope that people will help us make this a successful form of charitable action by coming to these shows and participating in giving back.

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Tits for Toys? Now there’s a Christmas charity that I can get behind. Or in front of. Hell, as long as I’m within eyesight of the tits or toys I’ll be fine. But in all seriousness, I think it’s a wonderful thing that your organization is reaching out to the community and helping bring joy to the disadvantaged for the holidays. It’s heartwarming.

Thanks for agreeing to the interview, Miss Kittie. I’ve had a great time getting to know you. And I am sure those out there reading this feel the same. The best part about this is making new friends and introducing them to the world. Good luck with your future performances and the rest of your creative, educational, and professional pursuits.

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Author Interview: The Awe-Inspiring Andrea Judy

Today’s interview comes with a disclaimer. Both for legal and ethical reasons.

I met Andrea Judy at the Pro Se Press booth at MidSouthCon 2013 in Memphis, and I was hooked. From her animated personality to her action-packed pulp tales, this author left a lasting impression. And became a good friend in the process. Since then, I have had the privilege of sharing a dinner table as well as a table of contents with the awesome Andi Judy, as she is known in some writing circles. I refer to her respectfully (and with her permission) as the Pixie Princess of New Pulp, because anyone who knows her knows that she, like her characters and stories, is larger than life, despite her elfin appearance. All while being one of the sweetest, most down-to-earth people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting. As she continues to evolve as a writer and storyteller, I look forward to the weird, wild tales that she’ll introduce to me and the rest of the world.

Without further adieu, I give you the awe-inspiring Andrea Judy.

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First of all, could you tell our audience what kind of stories you write and what kind of themes you explore in your writing?

I write stories that I want to read. I’ve had my writing described as colorfully morbid and I think that’s a good description for me. I tend to look towards the dark side of life and try to explore how there’s never really a clear good/evil divide. I also tend to favor writing stories with women protagonists because growing up, I didn’t have many stories that had a woman as the protagonist.

I think that’s a perfect way to describe you and your writing. Somehow you shine like a brilliant gem on a sunny day but still manage to explore the dark side of humanity with that lovely gray matter of yours.

For me, the strong female character has been one of the most striking features about your writing. From Senorita Scorpion to the Pulptress and her archenemy, The Bone Queen, women are kicking ass and taking names from the first page onward. Makes for exciting, empowering stories in my opinion.

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How long have you been writing? And what started you along this path?

I think I’m like most writers in that I always wrote. From a very young age I was a storyteller. I don’t know if I can pinpoint an exact moment that started me along the path of writing but the first moment I considered myself a writer was when I received my very first rejection letter.

Isn’t that the truth. But I agree. You’re not a real writer until you’ve submitted your work and had it rejected. Rejection, like mistakes and often defeats, are learning experiences that build character. And with writing, I find it leads me to closer reading and editing of my own work to find out what went wrong with my story in the opinion of that editor or publisher.

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What writers influenced you along the way?

I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, but I also love Lisa Mannetti, and Margaret Atwood.

If you could sit down and talk to any of those writers, living or dead, who would it be and what would you discuss?

I would love to just shoot the breeze with Margaret Atwood and listen to stories about what’s she seen in her life. I think she would have some wild and awesome tales to tell!

I must admit that that answer surprises me. I would have bet real money on Neil Gaiman. After our close encounter with Neil at his signing in Decatur, Georgia, not to mention him re-tweeting your blog post about it, I figured you’d want to sit down and talk with him again. But then again, I’m sure Margaret Atwood could provide a lot of insight on what it was like for female genre writers forging their way to the top in decades past. I imagine she’s as hard-boiled and iron-willed as any of your pulp heroines.

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What books have stayed with you over the years?

My top ten books over the years:
10. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
9. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
8. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
6. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
5. On Writing by Stephen King
4. The Gentling Box by Lisa Mannetti Author
3. Beloved by Toni Morrison
2. The Book of Men by Dorianne Laux
1. Don’t Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine

Excellent list. There are a few on there I’ll have to add to my reading list. A Wrinkle in Time is one of my all-time favs. And most anything by Gaiman, King, or Morrison makes for a good read.

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What advice would you give someone attempting to write professionally and seeking to be published traditionally?

Finish the book. Don’t get distracted by the shiny, great new idea. Finish the project you’re on and then go after the new idea. I think a lot of people get caught up in trying to write the PERFECT BEST MOST ORIGINAL IDEA EVER and never finish anything. You can’t edit or publish a blank sheet of paper.

You’ve mentioned your recent forays into riding horses on the weekend. And we’ve played Cards Against Humanity on occasion. What other activities or hobbies do you enjoy? And if you’ll pardon the pun, do you find that they help spur your imagination or work their way into your writing?

Honestly I have very few hobbies. Almost all of my free time is devoted to writing. Right now my hobby probably includes playing with my new cat, Kamala, and occasionally playing a video game.

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As I understand it, you handle marketing and promotions as a part of your day job. Has that helped you to promote your own material? And if so, what advice could you give to writers struggling to market their works on their own?

I work in a marketing department and run the social media accounts for my day job so I get to spend all day on Facebook, Twitter, etc. It has been helpful but it also leaves me a bit burned out by the time I get home.
It has helped me learn more about the dos and don’ts of social media, and it lets me experiment and see what works and doesn’t work. The difference is, marketing yourself as a brand is different than marketing a company so there is some crossover but there are still big differences.

I think my best advice for writers is to not try to do everything. You don’t need to be on every social media channel. Find the one or two you like the best and go to town on those. Social media is about building a community, so interact with people and have fun with it.

Thanks for the advice. I’m learning the hard way about stretching myself too thin on social media. Led to me burning out on the whole deal and neglecting all of my social network promotions for books and such. As I move back into the field of book promotions and building a community of dedicated fans, I’ll keep your experiences in mind.

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As part of the New Pulp movement, do you find yourself set free or more limited by the expectations of fans as well as publishers associated with this rising subset of the American fiction market?

I think that there are limitations with the pulp market, and that the audience wants a certain type of story. I like the pulp style of a lot of action and adventure, and I’ve enjoyed writing in it, but I’m looking forward to starting to explore other styles in the future.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. And I have had similar experiences while trying to meet the expectations of fans as well as publishers of this sort of material. In the end, I think we have to do what you advised and write what we want to read. Then even if no one else reads it, at least we enjoy the process and our final product.

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From what I understand, you were a finalist in a contest that involved writing a sequel to The Dark Crystal. Could you tell us more about that experience and the upcoming trip you will be taking thanks to it?

Well, The Dark Crystal was one of my favorite movies growing up. A friend told me that there was a contest for a prequel novel in the world of The Dark Crystal. I dove totally into it and worked really hard on my entry. I did not win, but I was in the top 25, and an editor’s choice. This September I received an email inviting me to a reception with the winner of the contest, and representatives from the contest, a small reception to acknowledge the hard work put into the stories. So, I’ll be heading off to New York to attend that reception, and to meet a friend or two who lives that way as well. I’m really excited about the trip and the entire Dark Crystal experience.

You should have a great time in NYC. Really sounds like a once in a lifetime experience. And who knows? If they do more Dark Crystal books, which is likely with the success of a prequel or sequel, the editor who liked your work might recommend you for the job. I’d second that recommendation in a heartbeat. 🙂

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What writing project are you working on currently? And can you provide a snippet from it?

I am currently edited the second Bone Queen novel, and working on an essay about fandom. The only snippet I’ve got is from my fandom essay.

“As I supervised the towering pile of tentacle hentai, my boss started cursing behind me. “Dammit, dammit! Sell it all, sell it all! They’re going out of business.” It was the first time I ever realized that conventions were more than costumes, and fun; an entire industry ran on the backs of the fans.”

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Last but not least, what is your latest release? And where can readers find it?

My most recent release is the short story, “Catching Steam”, in Capes and Clockwork which you can find on Amazon. I’m also working to get the second Bone Queen novel out before 2015.

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Thanks again, Andrea. I appreciate you taking the time for this interview. It’s always a pleasure when I have the chance to learn more about you and your writing. Happy to have had the chance to share you and your creative endeavors with the world. I hope the readers out there who haven’t experienced your storytelling prowess yet will feel the impact of your stories as deeply as I have. Because I’m not only a lifelong friend but a lifelong fan.

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To find out more about this super author and her amazing stories, check out Andrea Judy at the following links:

Judy Black Cloud WordPress Blog

JudyBlackCloud.com Blog

Andrea Judy’s Facebook Author Page

Andrea Judy’s Pro Se Author Page

Digging up Dirt on Author Paul Stansfield

When I’m not writing or procrastinating, I am an archaeologist by trade. I’ve worked for a number of companies all over the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region; most recently, I’ve been employed by Louis Berger, a major infrastructure company with offices in dozens of countries around the world. This job brought me into contact with another archaeologist who spends his nights turning his fevered thoughts into fiction. This gentleman with the mad muttonchops, Paul Stansfield, is a veteran field archaeologist, a serious sports enthusiast, a top-notch beer pong partner, and a good friend.

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This Rutgers graduate and diehard fan is also a talented horror writer. In fact, the first story he told me about features overzealous camper kids who mistake the actors in a low budget zombie film for real undead. When I heard that pitch on the slow, sleepy ride to work in the Ocoee River Basin of Tennessee, I knew I’d have to read it. And maybe one day, I could talk Paul into letting me turn it into a screenplay. For now, I’ll settle for an interview with this new face in horror fiction.

How long have you been writing fiction? And what genre(s) do you prefer?

Somewhere I still have an incomplete science fiction-ish story based on my Legos that I wrote when I was about 10. I completed my first stories at about age 14 or 15. But I really started writing in earnest, and submitting, in my mid 20’s, so it’s been about 20 years total. Horror is my strong genre preference. Some of my stories are hybrids, say action/horror, fantasy/horror, or scifi/horror, but they’re usually at least horror-related in some form.

When writing fiction, do you prefer short stories, novellas, or novels? Why?

I don’t have a preference here. I come up with the story idea, and take it as far as it goes. My output has been mostly short stories, but I have written a few novellas, and three novels that I’m still shopping around.

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What writer(s) has/have influenced your writing the most?

Probably Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and H.P. Lovecraft. And readers have compared stories I’ve written to Edward Lee and Joseph Heller.

Is there a work of fiction that you keep coming back to, one that you can read over and over again? If so, why?

Yes, many. Basically if I really like a novel (or nonfiction book), I’ll almost always reread it, occasionally many times. Obviously I don’t usually forget the major plot points, but I do forget some minor ones, so it’s still entertaining and thought-provoking the second, third, etc. time around. Some examples would be King’s “The Shining,” Scott Smith’s “A Simple Plan,” Thomas Berger’s “Little Big Man,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune,” and William Peter Blatty’s “The Exorcist.”

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As a writer, are there common themes or topics that you like to explore?

I don’t intentionally set out to do so—I usually just come up with the story idea and start writing. But looking back, I do see some common themes and topics. Obsession, frustration, guilt (and I’m not even Catholic!), greed, revenge, and finding one’s self, to name a few. Also a fair bit of “body horror” explorations.

Where do you find inspiration for your writing, especially your newest release?

From many things. From movies (“Pink Flamingos,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”), books (the folklore encyclopedias called “Man, Myth, and Magic”), real life events (the Winchester House, Genghis Khan, various serial killers, seeing calves’ brains for sale in an Iowa supermarket), and even an educational filmstrip called “Hemo the Magnificent.” For my latest, “Unholy Spirit,” the inspiration was Dalton Trumbo’s great anti-war novel, “Johnny Got His Gun.”

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I don’t want to get us in trouble with our bosses here, but during your day job as an archaeologist, do you find yourself creating plotlines in your head or working out story problems as you survey an area or excavate a test unit?

No, not really. Most often, solutions to story problems occur to me while I’m driving, taking a long walk, in the shower, or when I’m falling asleep. Maybe at work I’m too distracted by the ticks, poison ivy, venomous snakes, and even the rare rabid fox!

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What can you tell us about your newest release? And where can we find it?

I wrote “Unholy Spirit” right after finishing a novel length manuscript in which the main character was good, and stricken with terrible guilt. So it was a nice change of pace, and quite fun, to write about an unrepentantly evil character like Keisha Cartwright. It was also a cool compliment to hear from a prior magazine editor that this story had freaked out his staff! This story is out in the current issue (July, Volume 2, No. 10) of “Under the Bed” Magazine. The site address is: http://www.fictionmagazines.com. And more information on the story is included below.

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Finally, where can we find out more about you and your other works of fiction?

My blog address is: http://paulstansfield.blogspot.com , where I talk about writing, sports, underrated movies and books, random thoughts, and mostly, weird and gross foods I’ve eaten. My two ebooks (“Dead Reckoning” and “Kaishaku”) can be found at Musa Publishing (www.musapublishing.com). I also have a story (“Responsibility”) in Sunbury Press’s “Undead Living” anthology, which can be found at: http://www.sunburypress.com

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Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and tell the readers here more about your work. I look forward to reading all of it. Keep on disturbing publishers and editors and hopefully one day you’ll be scaring the hell out of millions of readers around the world.

Author Interview: The Priceless Konstantine Paradias

Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing a fellow speculative fiction author, a native of Greece named Konstantine Paradias. Some of you may remember that he interviewed me for his blog Shapescapes earlier this year, before the release of Capes & Clockwork, an anthology from Dark Oak Press that features a story from each of us. In addition writing fiction, Konstantine is an essayist and professional jeweler. He’s also a helluva nice guy who makes for an enjoyable interview subject. But I’ll let you be the final judge of that.

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How long have you been writing fiction? And what genre(s) do you prefer?

If you want to be specific, I started writing fiction since I was eight years old, scribbling the adventures of Sir Kittenchild, the richest kitten in the world. I used to jot down ideas for his adventures when I was bored in class and then play out those ideas with my brother. The stories might not have been stellar, but we got Kitten child under constant threat of assassination by ninjas, turned into a cyborg, got him to built a town made out of gold and then blow it up because he realized he’d have to let people live in it. Looking back, I think that the genre I was working with could be called absurdist fiction, but I grew out of it when I was 13 and discovered the joys of science fiction through the works of Alfred Bester and H.G. Wells.

While I like science fiction, I prefer mine to be rubbery, but not too chewy. Space opera is the poison of my choice, with some of the greatest fiction works under its belt (including, but not limited to Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light which has been consistently blowing my mind even after the 12th read). While I love me some hard sf, I always find it very hard to find an author who can tread the line between establishing an outlandish technology with theoretical science and writing a good story. Greg Egan and Neal Stephenson belong to these chosen few.

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When writing fiction, do you prefer short stories, novellas, or novels? Why?

I prefer short stories, as I always had a very poor attention span and found it very hard on writing longer form fiction back when I was young. My brain, unfortunately, tends to jump between ideas and starts bugging me constantly when I try to keep it in line. Shot stories allow me to build a world and tear it down if I choose in as few words as possible, presenting snippets of history from that Universe for the reader to go through.
I also prefer short stories because, to me, they have always felt like a writer’s ultimatum. Spinrad’s Carcinoma Angles always felt like a punch to the face and I have No Mouth And I must Scream felt to me (when I was 14 and clueless) like waking up from a nightmare only to find myself trapped in a fever dream. Furthermore, short stories allow for greater experimentation. Fredric Brown’s story Answer is the best AI-gone-bad story ever and it’s only 150 words long. Silverberg’s When The Legends came home is distilled awesome and Kadrey’s still life with apocalypse is a silent parade of horror set against a burning skyline.

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What writer(s) has/have influenced your writing the most?

Well that’s a doozy. Let’s see: Michael Moorcock (because if it’s weird and awesome, it’s good for you), Chuck Pallanhiuk (like stepping into a freezer stacked to the top with nothing but jar full of human eyeballs in brine), Harlan Elisson (because the man is a typerwriter goblin that reverse-grants wishes), Maya Angelou (because I Rise is my favorite poem and I don’t even like poetry), Kurt Vonnegut (because cynicism ALWAYS works), Aldous Huxley (utopia sucks) and George Orwell (dystopia is pretty terrible, too), Ward Moore (because the end of the world is always good for a laugh) and Philip K. Dick (who is grimmer than gangrene and more bitter than arrow frog venom).

As a writer, are there common themes or tropes that you prefer to use in your work?

People tell me I always like to do this ‘fish out of water’ thing and how pretty much everyone in my stories is ‘always angry all the time’. I think this is a miscommunication, mostly on my part. See, I don’t really believe that being angry or eschewing responsibility solves anything. Going postal only serves to turn you into the butt of everyone’s jokes.

Whether it’s the end of the world or just the end of your own little bubble of reality, the only choise is to buckle down, get up on your feet and get your ass walking. I have always tried to make a point of this in my stories, especially when I deal with time travel. Anything that is even remotely a ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ card is anathema to me, when I write my stories. There is no magic sword that will kill the bad guy. Going back in time to make yourself rich will only make things worse for you. Machine immortality? Yeah right. R’Lyeh rises from the deep? Surprise, fart-face, deep one illegal immigrants!

Nothing can solve your problems for you. No-one can help you. You are alone against a cold and cruel and uncaring universe and the best you can hope for is for some good company everyonce in a while.

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Where do you find inspiration for your writing, especially your Capes & Clockwork story?

You know, I have no idea. Used to be, I would say it was other peoples’ stories, until I started writing in earnest and those things lost their luster as they were buried under the muck and grime of everyday cynicism. I’d like to say it’s music, but that doesn’t help anymore. Electroswing sounds like diesel-powered rocketships and people wearing power armor built out of old Cadillac parts. Movies? Comic Books? I wouldn’t dare change an iota of anything that I like. People? Maybe. I guess they are crazy enough and weird and kind and mad and cruel and loving enough to fit the bill. All the weirdos (myself included) and the mad, we each have a story to tell, if only we could have the proper backdrop.

Beneath Familiar Suns was such a story. I decided tow rite it after discovering that Isaac Newton wasted his entire life trying to prove the existence of the substance known as phlogiston, when gravity (whicvh he considered a side project) was the thing that ensured his place in the scientific pantheon. I always thought what sort of world we would live in, if Newton’s phlogiston theory had come true. If one of the things we call the fundamental forces of the universe turned out to be considered new-age hogwash. And when I thought of what sort of world that would be, I made them fight.

Is there a work of fiction that you keep coming back to, one that you can read over and over again? If so, why?

From the top of my head, I can think of three books:
-The Elric Saga, bY Michael Moorcock which was the first fantasy book I ever read, before Lord Of the Rings and Harry Potter. As to why I go back to it? Well, do you know many books that tell the tale of a sickly albino elf-prince who uses an evil balck sword and melds with his past and future selves to save the Multiverse?

-Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. Bastards getting what’s coming to them, by virtue of cosmic meddling, topped with the bitter-sweetest ending I’ve read so far.

-Choke, by Chuck Pallanhiuk. The scamming adventures of a sex addict who thinks he could ever be loved so much, he would never need to be loved again. Also, time travel (in a fashion) and Jesus-clones. Or something. Just read the damn book.

Shapescapes logo

When Capes & Clockwork was published, you interviewed me for Shapescapes, your blog located at the following URL: http://shapescapes.blogspot.com/2013/10/what-i-think-about-stuff-capes.html. What other content can visitors find on your website? Can any of your short fiction be found there? If not, where can they find it?

Well the blog is filled with articles on roleplaying, comic book reviews, the first pages of a webcomic that was not meant to be, the occasional rant about the state of pop culture and yes, some of my short stories, filed under ‘Fairy Tales From Far Away’. As for where you can find my stories. Fiction Vortex has published ‘Nth Chance’ and ‘The Vilkacis’; Black Denim Literary recently went online with ‘Crucible Invictus’; Aphelion Online still keeps a copy of ‘The Gears that Ground The Hearts of Children’ in an online back issue. You can find UnFortunate, on DarkFire publishing’s website and the list goes on and on. But for a full list, then just click Here (http://www.doyoubuzz.com/konstantine-paradias_1) and you can find my complete list of published short stories.

Besides Shapescapes, where can we find out more about you and your work online?

I am currently employed as a book reviewer for Albedo One, where I post some of my work. A number of my stories are available for free on other websites but my personal favorite is Chris Boyle’s audio rendition of my short story ‘Echoes in Porcelain’ on ep 33 of Bizarrocast.

But if you are looking for a flash fiction fix, then why not try the page that I am maintaining with a few other indie writers, titled Augmentations on Facebook? There you can get your weekly cyberpunk fix in 250 words or less, with an awesome bit of art by independent artists to seal the deal! https://www.facebook.com/Augmentations?fref=ts

Battle Royale Slambook cover

As far as your own work goes, what are you working on currently?

At the moment, I am pitching a serial, trying to get a comic book going and trying my hand at a Young Adult novel. One is about a magical product reviewer in a world where science has discovered magic, the other is about serial killers trying to stop the world from ending and the third, about a young girl monster Hunter, struggling to live a normal life in the worst place in the world.

I don’t honestly know when these are going to be done, but I am guessing sometime within the year, before the advent of Tezcatlipoca’s wrath.

Science Fiction Sampler 2014 cover

What will be coming out next for you? And where can we find it?

At the moment, my work has been published in the 2014 Science Fiction Writer’s Sampler, which is available on Amazon, free for a limited time. My essay on Battle Royale has been published by Haikasoru, in the BR SLAM BOOK and my short story ‘Oi, Robot!’ is coming out in Third FlatIron’s Master Minds anthology, all of which is available on Amazon.com

Thanks for sitting with me today and telling me a bit about you and your work, Konstantine. It’s been enlightening and quite entertaining. Hopefully, we’ve helped to connect you with more readers. Best of luck with your creative endeavors. Look forward to reading them.

You can click any of the cover images in this interview to find out where to buy Konstantine’s various works, and the Shapescapes banner should take you right to his blog.

You can find him on Facebook at the following URL: https://www.facebook.com/konstantine.paradias?fref=ts

Follow him on Twitter @KonstantineP