Welcome to the seventieth edition of 10 Questions With…
Today is the very first Readers’ Choice Interview. You voted on whom I should interview and you voted for:
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Forbes West and what I do is I write books and screenplays. I’ve produced a couple of short films (one, On the Border, a revisionist western directed by Guillermo Polo, has been accepted into 21 different festivals in 11 different countries). I’m putting together a feature film project called Riddle Horse right now and working on selling one book and completing another. And ever since I was little I wanted to be famous because I’m very needy.
I also host a podcast called Live at the Benbow Inn. It’s one-part science fiction writers yelling at each other because they are inebriated, and one-part panel discussions about, well, everything connected to science fiction.
1.) What is something that many people might not know about you?
Here’s SOMETHINGS. Pal. Somethings.
I hate talking to strangers. I really do. I’m instantly annoyed and become hyper-vigilant. I never understood the point-unless it’s something pertinent like “there’s a man waving a gun down the block”. You don’t talk to me, I’ll talk to you. Don’t make eye contact with me. Don’t make a remark about the weather. I don’t care. I’m outside already and have the ability to understand the weather instantly. Don’t ask me about my shirt. I’m buying coconut water and you’re the cashier and you ask me about my t-shirt with Chong Li from Bloodsport on it? Why? Why? So I can spend another five minutes in Whole Foods explaining how to use the Internet to buy said t-shirt? No, I don’t have to do that. There’s a good reason why you’re a stranger to me. The universe has made it so.
I don’t know, I like people in theory… Maybe I hate small talk more? Maybe I have repressed childhood issues?
I kicked the crap out of this kid on a city bus back in High School. Really gave him a beating after he started in on me. I don’t remember why. I still have his library card. True story.
Children can go away. I don’t like them.
I plan to blow money on an extremely dangerous and flashy car one day that I’ll probably pull a James Dean in.
2.) What inspired you to write your first book?
Money. My wife saying that being a writer was a helluva lot more interesting that trying to work in politics.
3.) Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have to say Stephen King. There’s a wide amount of range in Stephen King’s writings and there’s always a good bit of character development and detectable atmosphere in each book. There’s also a reality and Americana soaking through the pages and something that makes you want to go back and re-read one of his books for the seventeenth time. I definitely can say that he’s written my favorite science fiction novel (The Running Man, during his Bachman phase, and nothing like that Schwarzenegger abomination of a film) my favorite post-apocalyptic book (The Stand) and my favorite “serious” novella (Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption).
He also directed Maximum Overdrive while coked out of his mind (his words, not mine). I appreciate the sort of auteur who says, “You know out of everything I ever wrote up to this point, and I mean everything, you know what I would like to film and direct? The one where the trucks come alive and run over people for no reason… Screw you is the reason why.”
Hunter S. Thompson. Who, from what they would tell you, is dead. You see, I could have picked Hemingway (he’s dead too) but that sounds like an evening of someone talking to you for four hours about the time he was fishing in the Basque Country and he keeps waving off the waitress because he wasn’t finished with his story yet damn it and to keep the wine flowing, sweetie and I’m sorry I yelled. Which would be fine, because Hemingway could be incredibly interesting and descriptive, but it doesn’t sound like a nice dinner date at all and it would probably mean zero interaction between us. It’d be like sitting in front of a live one-man play, like some sort of better than expected community theater show where a 30-year-old man dresses up as 70-year-old Mark Twain and prattles at the crowd about jumping frogs and laughing heartily at his mild double entendre. No sir.
Now with Hunter S. Thompson, he’d burst into the restaurant with a Taser and a cattle prod, screaming obscenities, ask to go to another restaurant that serves Mexican food, order way too much food, start a small fire in the men’s room, steal his friend’s corvette, and then mumble to you that all writers are full of you know what and that there’s a guy over on Madison with some killer blow and let’s go shoot rifles at the moon because it’s only three in the morning. That sounds like an evening and an adventure and a true memory. Hanging out with a human rattlesnake with the I.Q. of a rocket scientist sounds like my cup of tea. Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs and Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72 are two of my favorite non-fiction books, and I could talk to him about it until the police came.
5.) What book are you reading now?
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Not as funny as I envisioned, but so far I’m still with it. Definitely not as good as any book in the Goosebumps series, so I’m a little pissed.
6.) Are there any new authors that have captured your interest?
Eamon Ambrose. Irish blogger that decided to take a turn at writing. His Zero Hour serial is something else and something good. And that’s it. Eamon Ambrose owes me a drink. If I didn’t mention anyone else it’s either because I have a beef with them and I’m a vicious snob.
7.) If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?
No. That’s sort of like asking if you wish you had prettier children. How dare you, sir.
8.) Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Completed a novel with a good friend of mine that’s about a retired superhero from the Cold War. All I’m going to say about that as I’m shopping it around at the moment and for the love of god if you are an agent/publisher send me an email we’ll make all the money together. Please. We’ll live like petty god-emperors on a hill made out of pure platinum and shower daily in petty cash.
9.) What song best describes you and why?
Frolic by Luciano Michelini…
because my writing career is one long unfunny episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm mixed with desperate alcoholism.
10.) A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
“I am here to chew ass and kick bubble gum and I’m all out of ass. Wait. I messed that up. Time out. Wait.” The Penguin would mutter and I would throw my pool stick onto the sawdust covered floor and go “Oh, if it isn’t Porter the Misogynist Penguin, the sombrero wearing penguin, well you just waltzed into the wrong pool hall, companero.” And then I would suplex him into a table, put him in the camel clutch, break his back and make him humble just as the Iron Sheik taught me. That’s what would happen.
It is prophecy.
Go ahead, pimp whatever book you want:
THIS IS WHAT I PIMP OUT.
Nighthawks at the Mission for 99 cents this week!
In today’s universe, The Oberon is the last place a settler from the USA can find the American dream alive and well. Thousands of settlers have come to live in this mysterious land on another world accessed only by an energy portal in the South Pacific. Facing a hopeless future and betrayed by her long-time boyfriend, Sarah Orange is one of those who leave the Earth. Quickly she falls in with a group of illegal salvagers that operate at night in the empty ruins. Sarah risks death from both The Oberon’s corporate overseers as well as the indigenous beings who hate the settlers. With her life spinning out of control from drug addiction, Sarah searches for love and money in a world so close to – and yet so different from- our very own. But first, she must survive a terrorist threat that slowly begins to destroy her new homeland.
GIVEAWAY: Forbes West would like to give one lucky winner an ebook copy of Day For Night and T.K.: Once Upon A Time In Temecula… Part One & Part Two. Answer the following question in the comment section in order to be registered for the giveaway.
Forbes West has one of the few podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis. What is one of your favorite podcasts? If you don’t listen to podcasts, what is one that you would listen to?
This giveaway will run until Friday, April 29, 2016, at 8:00 am EDT. But that isn’t all! EVERYONE who can get a Kindle version of Medium Talent: An Apocalypse Weird Book (The Dead Keys 1). It is free until Friday on Amazon. Click here to get your copy of Medium Talent.
I want to thank Forbes West for joining us today for this edition of 10 Questions With…
I hope you enjoyed learning about him as much as I did.
If you want to more about West or his books you can visit his website.
Don’t forget to sign up for his newsletter for news & free stuff.
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