Without telling us what your favorite passage / scene in the book is, can you describe how it felt when you wrote it? Was there anything unique about your writing set-up when you wrote this passage?
I love writing scenes that excite me and offer me room to work with complete artistic control. There are plenty of these in this book! I was inspired by Tom’s own energetic writing style, as well as other writers like Stuart Home, Kathy Acker, and Carlton Mellick III. I like the thought of recreating the anarchy of those writers and the feeling of liberation as a reader stumbling across their writing for the first time – always shocked, always impressed. No apologies. ‘The Church of Latter Day Eugenics’ was a total exercise in creative sovereignty. It’s good to know I can still surprise myself.
Can you briefly describe an experience that played a role in how you wanted to develop Now That We’re Alone?
I read all of Tom Bradley’s books, and Stuart Home’s ‘Cunt’. I couldn’t sleep without dreaming about their gross psycho-sexual situations or their repugnant (but totally fascinating) characters.
If you could ask any deceased artist one question, what would it be?
I’d ask William Burroughs if he really wanted to be in that U2 video.
Do you think fiction has any function or purpose outside of the entertainment realm?
For me it’s utterly therapeutic. Even when a story lacks catharsis, it still provides escapism from the spiraling reality of things. I know that’s basically ‘entertainment’ defined, right? – but the meaning of ‘entertainment’ is so broad. I mean it ‘entertains’ me to astrally-project myself the fuck out of this reality for a wee while, even if it’s just to remind myself that this one isn’t as hellish as the fictional ones.
Which book do you think is overrated?
I find it really hard to criticize books. Maybe it’s because I know the amount of effort that goes into writing one, getting it published, etc. That’s a cop-out answer, I know…
Can anyone be a “good” writer?
Anyone can be a good writer. Anyone can be a terrible writer. Good writers can write terribly, vice versa.
Which book or other piece of art do you think is underappreciated?
Basically anything by Seb Doubinsky or Matthew Stokoe. I have been known to defend the artistic integrity of people like Thomas Moore, Scott Treleaven and Peter Sotos, but that’s another argument for another day. A person’s philosophy might be borderline reprehensible but that doesn’t mean they’re not relevant or interesting.
Kelso is a genre writer, illustrator, editor and journalist. His work has been translated into French and he is the consecutive winner of the Ginger Nuts of Horror Novel of the Year 2016 and 2017 (for Unger House Radicals’ and ‘Shrapnel Apartments’).’The Black Dog Eats the City’ made Weird Fiction Reviews Best of 2014 list. ‘Shrapnel Apartments’ was listed as one of Dennis Cooper ‘Best books of 2017’