Bookings & Recitations:
Featured Poet, Wayne State University Poetry Slam Competition, January 30, 2014, Majestic Café, Detroit, MI.
Cohost/Poet, SPirit SPit Open Mic, featuring Carmel Liburdi, Spirit of Hope Church, January 19, 2014.
Featured Poet, Darnell Kendricks’ Smooth R&B Birthday/Musical Entertainment, Maccabees, January 18, 2014. Detroit, MI.
Poet, ML Liebler Presents Detroit Tonight Live, Metro Jazz Café, January 16, 2014, Detroit, MI.
Featured Poet, Dawgs & Poets Literary Series, M.L Liebler, Joel Martin, Robert B. Jones, and Steve King, December 23, 2013, The Atomic Dawg, Berkley, MI.
Poet, Intro Performance with Sista Otis, November 16, 2013, Paycheck’s Lounge, Hamtramck, MI.
Poet/Emcee/Host, entertainment portion, International People’s Assembly (5th anniversary), October 5, 2013, 1515 Broadway Café, Detroit, MI.
Featured Poet, ML Liebler Presents…., Music Hall/Jazz Café, May 30, 2013, Detroit, MI.
Featured Poet, Fukushima (Fuku2) The Continuing Disaster, a Peace Nick production, March 2013, The Phoenix Café, Hazel Park, MI.
Featured Poet, Musing Series at the Scarab Club – February 2013, Detroit, MI.
Featured Poet, Nandi’s Knowledge Café, Highland Park, MI – January 2013.
Scheduled Speaker/Service Recipient, United Community Housing Coalition, dinner/fund-raiser – November 2012, International Institute, Detroit, MI.
Co-Host/Organizer/Performer, One Hundred Thousand (100,000) Artists For Change, Global Concert – September 2012, Spirit of Hope Church, Detroit, MI.
Co-Emcee/Organizer, Earth Day with Joe Kid & The Sedition World Orchestra – April 2012, Spirit of Hope Church, Detroit, MI.
Featured Poet, Occupy Detroit’s Six-Month Anniversary – April 2012, 5900 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI.
Featured Author, Coffee Arts & Entertainment – April 2012, Biggby Coffee, Detroit, MI.
Guest Host, Musing Poetry Series – March 2012, The Scarab Club, Detroit, MI.
Host/Producer, SPirit SPit (North) – January thru March 2012, AJ’s Music Café, Ferndale, MI.
Featured Poet, Springfed Arts at the Lido Gallery – January 2012, Birmingham, MI.
Op/Ed Column Writer, subject: “Occupy Detroit” – January thru March 2012, MICHIGAN CITIZEN.
Host/Producer, Cultural Event for the MLK Day Rally (2012) – January 2012, Detroit, MI.
Featured Poet, Woodward Line Poetry Series – December 2011, The Scarab Club, Detroit, MI.
Featured Poet, Musing Poetry Series with Ann Holdreith – October 2011, The Scarab Club, Detroit, MI.
Host/Producer, Thistle Crown Affair – August 2011 thru January 2012, Thistle Coffee House, Detroit, MI.
Featured Poet, Wednesday Night Jam Featuring Sky Covington & Friends – July 2011, Hunter House, Detroit, MI.
Featured Poet, Poetic Travelers – June 2011, Lawrence Street Gallery, Royal Oak, MI.
Starring Role as “Todd,” Mocha Monologues 3 – May 2011, Virgil Carr Center, Detroit, MI.
Poetry Judge, Free Flow Poetry/Michigan Spring Book Festival, Poetry Contest – April 2011, Laurel Park Place, Livonia, MI.
Featured Poet, Koinonia Café – March 2011, Detroit, MI.
Slam Poetry Judge, Roses And Revolutions Poetry Slam – February 2011, University of Detroit.
Featured Author, Coffee, Arts & Entertainment (Live Ladies of Literature) – February 2011, Biggby Coffee, Detroit, MI.
Featured Poet, SPirit SPit, February 2011, Spirit of Hope Church, Detroit, MI.
Host of SPirit SPit (Live Acts & Open Mic!) – February 2011 through July 2013 Detroit, MI. Voted Best Venue For Spoken Word & Poetry In Detroit 2012: http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/03/26/best-venues-for-spoken-word-and-poetry-readings-in-detroit/
Contact Writer L. Bush regarding novels, poetry and speaking engagements at: (248) 837-9592, email@example.com or at his websites: http://www.wlbush.com, http://www.facebook.com/spirit.spit http://www.head167.blogspot.com.
"I have done a number of televised and radio interviews over the years, and though I reside in Detroit, Michigan, I see the world as my home." -w.
Original content by WL Bush, copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
We make books (and e-books) from real paper for real people who like real dialogue...in the gritty Motor City with no pity. Our goal is to save the world by ending illiteracy. To do so, we provide you with editorial services as needed and walk you through the entire process from pen to cover as inexpensively as possible.
Those who have a yen to help ferment another's yarn, please contact our Editor, Writer L. Bush, at 248-837-9592, or firstname.lastname@example.org
WL Bush Taglines:
“I speak / Unique / Of times that are bleak / Not for the meek.”
"Saving the world from illiteracy...one SMF at a time.”
"Saving the world...one illiterate mofo at a time."
-WL Bush © 2007-2013
Begin Date: Founded: Launched: January 2007.
We produce books. We turn dreams into paper and we work at below-market prices to do so. But soon, we hope to be able to complete the entire process from pen to paperback at no cost to the author, if we can receive enough funding through private grants and donations.
People. We're people persons (people people?). And we like fish, too. And Rocks. Water...waves. Mostly, we just like to help people. And we really like green grass. And Writing! Did we mention writing?
Valentine Publications Biography:
Well...we started out as an informal gathering of published authors, writers, poets, musicians and fire-eaters now legendarily known as "The Drunken Muse." We inspired each other with our feedback, booze and art, to create better art. Now we are the same...minus the booze. Our company name was taken from our fourth publication, HANNA VALENTINE © 2013.
Buy one get one free; any book we edit or publish!
Write the word "Fidelio" on a piece of paper; hand it to WL Bush at a book-signing or recitation and voila! –w.
Writer L. BUSH
Poet, Author, Activist
Award-winning, internationally published poet, author and activist Writer L. Bush publishes under the pen name WL Bush. He has worked in the literary field for more than fifteen years. He won the Barrett Award® for his seminal work, “The God’s Eye Spider” (1998). Bush is also an essay contributor to Tonja Bagwell’s anthology: Step Into My Shoes: Expressions From The LGBTQ Community (2011).
His novels, KILL SWITCH (2007) and SHADOWS IN THE SUNLIGHT (2008) are featured in the Wayne State University African American Literature Special Collection, and he has released his bestselling novel to-date in May 2013: HANNA VALENTINE. For this, he was selected as one of Detroit’s Top Authors (2013) by CBS NEWS - http://detroit.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-local-authors-in-detroit-2/
Bush posts updates, upcoming appearances and answers readers’ questions at: http://www.wlbush.com
REAL TALK - Q & A With Readers:
Dear readers, fans and friends all around the world,
I love you and thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to do write about Detroit, do charity reading workshops, run poetry/music events like SPirit SPit and The Drunken Muse, and for funding my ability to help other aspiring artists at little or no cost. To show my gratitude, I'm I'm going to answer your damn questions (just two each, please) unedited, while maintaining your anonymity.
(Newer questions are posted at the top; this does not mean they are the best questions so read on!)
Q: I finally finished reading HANNA VALENTINE and loved it! How is your work coming on getting it made into a motion picture? -Martha G.
A: I haven't even booked a proper agent yet. I'm working on LOI's right now (Letters of Inquiry) and will keep you all posted once I've reached the appropriate number of rejections. Thank you for the compliment on HANNA. I just passed 901 autographed copies sold since May 2013, thanks to Tracie Christian.
Q: If you could have written one screenplay that is currently a motion picture, which one would it have been? - Martha G.
A:The one that paid me a retainer, a fee, and percentage points off the gross! Uh...Gattica is the first one that comes to mind. I have a novel that is similar but I forgot the name of the MS (manuscript). It deals with growing human beings to use as replacement parts for existing human beings. It's going to be great. it's my second sci-fi MS. I see me moving in that direction, the closer I get to Los Angeles.
Q: I like your sci-fi premise [DREAMER]. Unfortunately it is reminiscent of a favorite b movie... Which of course when fleshed out will be nothing like it, but I'm wondering if you've seen it. I also know that this will seriously annoy you...The Butterfly Effect? -RHA
A: No, this does not annoy me. I like answering questions from readers who have invested in my art. But...The Butterfly Effect was garbotti, and is not what is going on in my still-unreleased MS, DREAMER.
Q: I think you feel a general power over words verging on entitlement. -RHA
A: Quit trying to talk me out of me knickers.
Q: [HANNA VALENTINE] reminded me of Phillip K. Dick. It was very...very... you know, dream-like. -Tobin S.
A: Dick died before he saw any real fame. He had a a massive coronary event before Blade Runner was completed, which was based on his story "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep." I thought Dick was ahead of his time. Turns out he may have been simply time traveling...or schizophrenic. Either way, it's a massively dynamic complimentary kind of question.
Q: What did you want to be when you were in high school? -Earl M.
A: I'm quite sure I wanted to be a reporter/actor/dictator.
Q: When did you decide you were going to do this as a career?-Earl M.
A: I still haven't decided that. Career sounds like work and makes me want to go crawl into the bed and watch The Usual Suspects for the millionth time.Q: How long have you been an artist? -Royal K.
A: I have been writing professionally for fifteen years (sixteen as of January 2014).
Q: You are always an inspiration to others! Why is that? -Royal K.
A: I don't put too much thought into the reason I help people/artists. When I see a need for help, I simply get involved. It's what we would all want as fledgling or faltering artists and humanitarians.
Q: What does it take to be an author? -Monique C.
A: It depends on what the potential artist wants to get out of it. For me, I want to be remembered and paid well. For those things, I need to write well and be represented by someone who knows the industry well enough to find my style of publisher and audience. For that, I need to continue to read and continue to write and be ready to adapt to opportunities as they present themselves.
Q: What genres do you write? -Monique C.
A: I write under the genre of Prose Fiction. I write in categories I call reality-based fiction and suspense-romance.
Q: Share what it's like to be an author - what is life and death to an author? - Syri S.
A: Life for an author must consist of new experiences that can be translated to print. I said print because I don't like e-books. I like real paper and real book covers. Death to an author is the inability change and the inability to sell one's self. There are a million authors; why should anyone read you? Especially if you don't want to write what's new or in formats other than pen and paper.
Q: What equipment do you need to be successful in your career? - Syri S.
A: A printing press would be the ultimate tool. A PC is a basic requirement. Solitude. Crowds. An advertising budget. A marketing strategy. An audience. Outlets like yours who invite us to discuss our craft and thereby help bring us attention and publicity.
Q: Starting on a budget (or nothing at all) how do you build an audience? - Piper M.
A: I can't give away all my secrets or I'll be creating more competition - there will suddenly be TWO million other authors. :) I can suggest that you share your writing with someone you trust before submitting for Print On Demand or vanity publication. Also, enter a few contests but don't pay to enter them. Don't pay for anything until you decide you want to do this as a life-long avocation. Do open mics or other such things until you determine that other people really seem to like your writing. And join free writing classes. Do everything that is free until you discover you have some skill. Then start thinking about how much you are willing to pay to hone that skill.
Q: Do you have any words of wisdom to offer? -Piper M.
A: For my competition? No. Wait...yes "Don't quit your day job."
Q: Who are your personal Writing influences? - Erik G.
A: In no particular order: Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Stephen King, Ulysses Newkirk, Emily Rose, Jessica Care Moore, Saul Williams, Aurora Harris, Sabrina Nelson, Jesus Christ, Brett Easton Ellis, Frida Kahlo, Lil' Wayne, Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G, Eminem, Nabokov, Shakespeare, Julie Hanna, my family, and my wife, Caitlin Bush.
Q: Can you share how you balance life versus work? -Shinese W.
A: Sorry, no I can't. I can't balance them well at all. Most times, I want to be left alone.
Q: But how can you be famous if you want to be alone? -Shinese W.
A: It has been a pleasure answering your questions...from a distance. :)
Q: Why did you pick the name Hanna Valentine to represent the character of Frida Kahlo? – A.N.
A: I had this idea of a publishing company that would be like a micro-brewery. It would be small and, therefore, make great books. Books that come from the heart! I would call it Valentine Publications. I hung around with other authors whom I hoped and thought would publish their work but only I alone did. Around that time, I met and fell in love with Hanna. We both have an affinity for Frida Kahlo. I noticed the similarities in their suffering and came up with the idea to marry the two together in a novel but I needed a name to identify her and still protect her identity as a private citizen. So I used her last name as her first name in what, in the literary field, is called a roman a clef motif. That is how I came up with the character and the eponymous novel title.
Q: Do you plan to stay in Detroit or will you get famous and move? – A.N.
A: I get this question a lot. I think I will not “get famous and move”; I think I will have to move to get famous and not just out of the city but out of the state. This is unfortunate.
Q: Why did you move out of Detroit? I thought you loved that house and that Maureen Taylor set that up especially for you, I thought? – R.F.
A: It’s hard to talk about that because I was sad to move but I need to travel and felt irresponsible to leaving my wife alone there because of the lack of emergency services, basic services, and the high incidence of violent crime.
There were murders, fires and drug deals too consistently on Faust or on our cross streets. During all this, I had relatives that needed my support and I had the difficult task of deciding to indie-publish or seek representation for my work, first. I think I made the right choice for me in this situation as, to-date, I’ve sold over 500 autographed copies (in just over 90 days of release) and am selling online, even though I encourage everyone to get the novel from my site because online sales with Amazon , et cetera, only gross me 20% per novel! For ordering from my site, www.wlbush.com , I guarantee 2-business-day shipping (1-day in Michigan) and it comes with a personalized autograph. I must be doing something right because I was named by CBS News as one of Detroit’s Best Authors for 2013. I will always write about Detroit. I will always rep my city.
Q: Do you want to have children? – G.P.
A: Yes but not today or tomorrow. I want to tour my way to the coasts, first. I want to disappear for like two years and only sell online. I don’t want to be seen AT ALL from 2014 through 2015.Then I just want to come out swinging with my Poetry/Occupy book in 2016 and move to either San Francisco or New York. There are some poets here who are not yet published or who indie published but are really great and I want to give them a chance to shine with me when I release my poetry book and chronicle Occupy Detroit. After that, I’ll move. Or I should say we’ll move and then we’ll make the decision regarding children. So…about 2018, I think. But what man knows his fate? Only Lincoln and King seemed to have those premonitions. I don’t know if I’ll even write forever or if what I write that is most famous will even bear my name. Ghost writing takes up a lot of my time, also.
Q: What does Xanax high do - Xanax withdrawal pregnancy? –O.Z.
A: I am not a pharmacologist! Go Google that shit! But since I am prescribed it, I can tell you personally that there is no Xanax “high” that cannot naturally be introduced. It's a benzodiazepine. It helps with calming you down and has a tranquil-like effect. It works in about twelve minutes. Consult www.webmd.com for specific information regarding pregnancy. Before I conceive a child, I want to be pill-free. I highly recommend that although I do not know the effects of Xanax on unborn children. Also, I do not know, nor do I think, there have been any generation-long studies on the effects of Xanax. Does it lead to some sort of disease or a shortening of life-expectancy? That’s a question I myself have.
Q: Thank you for adding a contact page. Many people do not when they have products that are interesting. –JH
A: That’s not a question but you’re welcome. Thank me by helping to support local art and stamp out illiteracy. Buy or donate a novel to someone. It doesn’t have to be mine, just a well-written one. Perhaps a Hemingway or a Fitzgerald, maybe. Even a Baldwin or an Ellis.
Thank you and congrats on all the good work. Someone asked me about your web site. They liked the clean, simplicity of how it works. I too admired it. It gets to the point quickly - nice. Any chance you'll share your genius with us? We're looking into getting a site for when books come out in print, and we were impressed with whomever did your web design. Would you be a pal and share with me who did it for you, pretty please? – T.M.
A: I did it myself. It has been evolving since my first novel release in 2007. Thank you for the compliment. But the website's job is to drive traffic into sales. If the public doesn’t purchase from your site, it doesn't matter how “clean” it looks. There is no monetary compensation for Cleanest Website. But I will post this question and the answer anonymously on my Q & A page. I like it. And I like YOU.
Q: Dude... The main character of SHADOWS IN THE SUNLIGHT strikes me as a modern, urban hard-boiled detective, down on his luck... or maybe more appropriately I should say the narrative style reminds me of film noir... I just finished Shadows... the end reminded me of American Psycho... I was left wondering if none of the stuff Bill did really happened or if it was done by the narrator? – A.N.
A: Bill was a bad motherfucker and was responsible for his own actions. Bill was created by the United States Military Industrial Complex. However, at some point Bill became a preoccupation of the writer/call-room manager. And then finally an obsession. From that point Bill existed more internally than externally…if even at all.
Q: Who is on the cover of HANNA VALENTINE? Is your five book deal a pyramid scheme? Which one should I read first? – J.Y.
A: That is three questions. The cover is Hanna on a beach. She is building a castle in the sand, while the wind is persistently blowing it away. It’s symbolic of her romantic relationships. The wind and sand also mask her disfigurements, leaving them to the imagination and showing what she would look like if you didn’t see them. For example, her hands are submerged in the sand and her face is covered by wind-swept hair. However, being around her for any great length of time also has the ability to mollify her disfigurements from the fire.
Yes, I have a deal where if you order five of any of my available titles over any amount of time, you get one free. To get a free HANNA, you have to have ordered HANNAs because they are so damned expensive to print and ship. No, it is not a pyramid scheme. A pyramid scheme takes money in and pays out only to a very few. ANYONE can get a free novel from me, after the purchase of five. And no one is being paid except the publisher, the printer and me. …and I wish I could cut out those two but I would need some investors to start up my own printing press. And then I’d never get to write. But in a sense, everything would contain my writing.
Read HANNA VALENTINE first because it is quite different from anything that’s happening in local novels now and shows a marked maturity in my work. The others are graphically violent and full of conspiracies. HANNA is just full of love.
Q: Writer I wore some boots just for YOU! What happened?? [Why were you not at the event you said you were attending?] – N.B.T.
A: I was there; just late as hell. Most people don't know that I suffer from extreme stage fright/panic attacks so at 5 PM I went bike-riding. At 6 PM, I came back home. At 7PM, I had several shots of vodka. At 8 PM Caitlin and I went downtown. At 8:15 PM, Darnell Kendricks was out the door...and I was looking for the band to perform (they were gone, too), and eating a praline and caramel waffle with cream. At 9 PM, we ate pizza with feta cheese at Como's. At 10 PM, I was asleep. Retirement becomes me. The next time you're downtown I'll be there with my expensive camera. And I'm performing Thursday for the last, last time, at Central United Methodist Church. And then the next last time will be with the
Q: 8:15??? I was there at that time and He was there. And you weren't getting on the stage...I don't think....Excuses! 7PM should not have been in the list for the night but there is always tomorrow. –N.B.T.
A: I always feel like I'm on stage when I'm around people that know me or have seen me. They have me at a distinct disadvantage and I always feel some overwhelming pressure to be what they expect me to be. I can't just chill in the background, like I want to do, and take pictures of shoes.
Q: In today's society, domestic violence against women is constantly blared in the media. Does the type of treatment G endured from Hannah count as domestic violence against men? - C.M.
A: It depends on how you look at it. He could have been asking for it by the way he dressed. Maybe he had a smart mouth or got out of line too much. Maybe he liked it. Maybe all men like it, even in cases of rape or incest.
Q: At G's first book signing, he was asked how he is "giving back" (pg. 272-273). When G honestly offered legitimate ways in which the city could actually be "taken back", he was taunted with "You ain't shit!" Why do you think the public responded to him in this manner? - C.M.
A: If the messenger is not liked, the message is not heard. I feel like it’s too late to take the city back. It’s bankrupt. And those illegally in charge are claiming to solve it by selling it ass-sets off, one at a time, like pimps in platform shoes and hats with long feathers. We legalized an ounce of weed and it has become the opiate of our masses. The powerful have always used drugs to mollify the inner-city. And then it prosecutes them for crimes that occur as a result of those same drugs. G is telling them to stop wallowing and bitching; either take the city back or go get high…while Lorenzo is saying: too many minds closed, not enough legs closed.
Q: Do you find yourself writing to an audience and does that help or hinder your creativity? -H.D.
A: I write firstly what I feel or dreamt or overheard. Secondly I rewrite until I’m certain that the art is well-crafted. Thirdly, I write with an eye to my buying audience’s enjoyment. And fourthly, I combine all those elements as I go through numerous editions. HANNA VALENTINE took forty-two. Having OCD helps me, in this case and only in this case. It’s wreaks havoc upon daily life and all relationships.
Q: Where's the Mexican part of Detroit? Where they be? Do they really smell like cumin? -R.H.A.
A: Mexican Town is by Bagley and Vernor and basically anything on the other side of Michigan Avenue behind the old train station and anything next to Michigan Avenue from the I-94 Ford Road exit to the Livernois exit. If a person fires chicken before they leave the house, they will come out of the house smelling like fried chicken. Same with fish. Same with things cooked with cumin, and most things Mexican have either cumin or pepper in them. It is not to say that they all do; it has more to do with Lorenzo’s seeming hatred for Hanna that he reminds us she loves to cook and loves to do it with cumin and, therefore, reeks of it.
Q: And what about that English/writing teacher you adored at Cooley High? I'm sure she must be happy and proud for you. -R.H.A.
A: Those fast times at Cooley High School are all covered in my first novel/second story: KILL SWITCH. It chronicles forty years of life in tha D. I hope she is proud of me but HANNA VALNETINE is the only novel I would suggest she read because of her gentility and sensitivity to vulgarity. I see her often saying, “We are not amused.” But it is my fondest hope that HANNA would amuse her. I’ll look for her number when I unpack and tell her about it. She scribbled it inside the paperback cover of ALL’S QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.
Q: I'm guessing Hanna is based on the chick you were fucking in SF when I was still obsessed with you. I remember you paying weekly rent and the pay phones. And your dissipated attention. Don't fret, I'm cool now, just curious Was that her? - R.H.A.
A: HANNA is based on conversations and the accurate experiences I have had dating two burn survivors over the past six years in Detroit. I super-imposed the larger persona of Frida Kahlo over them because all three of them dealt with unbearable pain, shame, overcompensation and inferiority in similar ways. Money can make you beautiful…but beauty has to be more than skin deep. We are a judgmental, leering, gossiping society, with no respect for people’s pain. These women were asked “What happened to you?” for the rest of their lives, never being allowed to forget. Or perhaps even to forgive.
“The chick you were fucking in SF” appears in KILL SWITCH.
Q: How did you have the nerve to romanticize rape? -R.H..A
A: I keep answering this question but I’m not sure from whose P.O.V. you are asking. In this case, the woman in Guillermo is drawn to the man in Hanna. It is oddly attractive to him – her coarseness, her roughness, her mastery in the bedroom. If it was rape, he liked it. If he didn’t like it, according to Sharia Law, he would need four male witnesses to prove that it was nonconsensual; otherwise he would be jailed and fined for filing a false police report and perhaps raped again while in police custody. You have surpassed the two question limit, by the way.
Q: Why did you decide to not resolve the duplicity presented between G and Lo? -R.H.A.
A: I can only dance around this question without spoiling the novel. Suffice it to say, a person does not become sane just because they have been shot. Otherwise, we'd have more sane people in the world. What a person with D.I.D will do is try to make sense of it within the boundaries of their own fragile reality. And I suppose you meant duality, not “duplicity”.
Q: Do you make any kind of plan or outlines before beginning a novel? - H.D.
A: I dream them and then I wake up and write a synopsis of that dream, such as with my latest dream from May 2013, A HISTORY OF EARTH ANGELS. It’s about a man who discovers he had been protected by an angel his whole life. Yet, as if with all my novels, there will be several suspenseful twists.Q: Why do you call your work "reality-based fiction"? What does that mean? -J.H.
A: Good question. I look at people around me and their stories – like Dstoyevsky did in POOR FOLK (1846) – and then I craft a novel rooted in this Aristotelian Unities. That leaves me with a 90% pure story consisting of real conversations and situations but...with a plot that takes place in a defined period of time and has a beginning, a middle, and a definite end. I change the names of characters, of course, unless I know that person would dig being in a novel. And I omit some things that would too deeply embarrass people, unless I deem it germane to the plot or a subplot.
Q: How long were you in the US Navy? –D.F.
A: I never said I was in tha damn US Navy, neither have I mentioned them in any published work. But…I was in the Navy from 1993 to 2001 – Honorably discharged.
Q: Why do you like cougars over kittens? –K.W.
A: I hate the smell of the zoo and don’t like to clean up after animals or people. Therefore, I must assume that you are referring to women of two vastly different age groups. I prefer cougars; it’s true. I prefer older women because they have more to talk about, put up with more crap because they have fewer options, create less drama because they became bored with it over the last few decades, and tend to eat very healthy. Conversations with them always drift toward mortality or spirituality, which can be a downer, but damned if they haven’t seen every movie I ever have! They also know how to be ladies in public and are only privately freaks. If you can get one that doesn’t have gingivitis or herpes, keep her! But get some life insurance on her. Actually, get policies for both of you; that will probably go over better. Remember…accidents do happen!
Q: How did you develop this deep interest in the political impact of your poems – cause that’s huge. ‘Cause you’re into grassroots stuff. And you use some deadpan stuff and it takes a very high level of intelligence to use humor appropriately. I read that somewhere; that it’s the highest form of intelligence to use humor appropriately. –D.V.
A: Well, thank you very much! I developed a deep interest in “grassroots politics” because I grew up poor. And the only part I got of anything, was the bottom of it. Hence: grassroots. I graduated from college with honors…but it was a community college; the grassroots of colleges. I was an All USA TODAY Academic Scholar, a member of Phi Theta Kapa (not Beta) and a Cum Laude graduate. Somewhere in there, they taught me ethics and philosophy and so I gravitated to politics because I saw no ethics there. It's osmosis; ethics always goes from an area of greater concentration to an area of lesser concentration. And I use humor like every other guy I know...on the bathroom wall at the Cass Café.
Q: I’d like to know a couple of incidents in your background that helped to form the type of person you are politically and intellectually. –DV
A: I was one of 10 or 12 people who sat in a Socialist headquarters one day in October 2011 and mapped out Occupy Detroit. That took a year away from HANNA VALENTINE. I marched and knocked door-to-door for Michigan Welfare rights. That got me a house for a dollar. A damn fine one. I can’t sell it because of the neighborhood it's in but it’s a damn fine house. I worked for SEIU until I stopped believing in them. I worked for Acorn until they stopped paying us. At the end, we could only get paid if we turned in voter registrations, daily. It led to Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck being registered multiple times in multiple states. ACORN was eventually brought down (as in no longer funded by The Left) because a worker in Louisiana was caught on video helping a pimp and his “employee” launder their money through paying taxes. It was a Right Wing set-up and an idiot worker.Q: You seem to have a real feel for the Detroit people and the area as well; how did that happen? –D.V.
A: That came from living just enough (just enough) for the city.
Q: You say you write about Detroit. What is your creative vision of Detroit that is or is expected to be manifested through your work? –K.F.
A: I…what? What kind of fucking question is that? Big words are unimpressive in the mouths of the illiterate.
Q: How does your work stand up against the writing of other Detroit artists? –K.F.
A: I don’t write about pimps and whores or Christians or jailbirds or dealers or crooked cops or Black girls banging White guys to get ahead, or bald brawny-chested Black men who are rich and will treat you right, so I guess…I guess I’m writing about a different Detroit. My writing is like the Packard Plant – glorious in all its present debauchery. A once great thing, now an ordinary catastrophe. So my work doesn’t stand up to theirs at all. Mine crumbles, like the train station. Mine is sold out and sold off, like the State Fair.
Q: How would you say your writing has developed so far? –K.F.
A: I’m going to give you this third questions since I really didn’t answer your first one and you’re such a good sport about it – meaning you haven’t shot me. I think my writing is getting better. I’m going to re-release the short story I won The Barrett Award for but I’m sure I will revise it because when I see it next, I will think that it sucks, having written it so long ago. Let’s be honest; KILL SWITCH outsells SHADOWS because there’s more grime and smut and depravity in it. It outsells it 5 to 1. But SHADOWS is the better book to me. It’s like a long poem that looks you right in the eye, and in the end, stabs you in it.Q: What impact has your writing had on the community it represents? –K.F.
A: Are you high? Do you not understand two questions per person? Just because Detroit legalized weed, it doesn’t mean you have to smoke it! If they legalized lead, would you go back to eating paint chips? My writing has no damn impact on the community because we still don’t have a mayor. We are the yellow bus-riders of Michigan. We have an EM. We have taxation without representation. And until that changes, my writing doesn’t mean a damn thing.
Q: Hello my friend! From one to another, where do you write your best? Set the scene for us babe. Luv you always, Muah! You know we have to colaborate one day soon, ok? –F.A.
A: Okay; just as soon as you learn how to spell collaborate. I write best…in Cape Town. And I’m going to prove it when I retire and move my ass back there (with my wife of course, if she hasn't left me by then. They all do). Every person had a story, there. A hard story. Life could change or evaporate horribly in less than a second over there. Rape happened every two minutes. But they charge you for grocery bags. Can you imagine how much cleaner our streets and landfills would be if we charged everyone for those damn plastic grocery bags? Plastic is bad for the Earth. Not during my generation but I don’t just want to think about my generation. Yeah…I write best there. With a view of Table Mountain. And Fire Hill. And the ocean.
Q: What do you like to write the most? I mean, if you could get paid to do it every day, what would you write? –W.B.
A: What I always write: I write prose fiction and poetry that include characters and contemporary themes relevant to Detroit, yet universal. I have done one suspense-romance novel, one psychological thriller and one coming-of-age short story. The work I just published – HANNA VALENTINE – is a dark comedy-romance, within the same genre. My work is known for its realty-based situations and dialogue. Most people have either had or can relate to the conversations that take place in them, even though the story-vehicles themselves can have gothic, gory or surreal natures to them. My work is influenced by the literary Lost Generation, Romanticism, and the Beat Generation. Thank you.
Hey…Detroit… Keep the questions coming to email@example.com