Thursday, 28 February 2013

Interview with Phantom Bigfoot: Simon O'kill

It has been a week since my last face to face interview with an author and the mysterious vase of red roses and the note from my secret admirer that left the lingering scent of old spice behind and me daydreaming of who he may be.

However, I had to put that mystery aside and prepare for the arrival of my next guest.
Another man(or is it creature?) of mystery: PHANTOM BIGFOOT.

Funny, how I look at the back of the shed gang; Terrance, Jack, Frank(where is Gerard? Weird.) drinking beer and telling off colour jokes, how they were afraid to step anywhere near the shed after the talk of werewolves and vampires, but apparently a creature that is called Phantom Bigfoot does not phase them.

Moments after I made sure all refreshments were prepared and my newly purchased milk crates were in place, a big rap came to the door, shaking the whole shed.

I open the door and welcome, Phantom Bigfoot a.k.a Simon O'kill

Welcome, Simon Okill aka Phantom Bigfoot. Please have a seat, sorry that it is not more comfy, but a poor fishing season has forced me to reduce my furniture to two milk crates, but I have plenty of refreshments, care to have one?

“A crate is a luxury in my cave, Tina ... but a cool beer will help the words flow.” Ffffshhhhh! “Ah that tastes real good.” Slurp! Burp!
Thank you for coming, Simon, or is it Phantom Bigfoot now? 

       "Simon will do just fine, Tina.”

    Though I have known you for only a short time, it seems like years, but these yahoos are unfamiliar with you, so share a little about yourself. 

     "It all started a long, long, long time ago when Twitter was just a twinkle in the internet’s eye. I always had a weird sense of humour and a vivid imagination and as I trudged through the forests of my mind I wondered if there was more to life than just work – work – work.” 
       Slurp! Burp! Clatter of empty beer can on floor. 

    "Then I had an accident that left me disabled. I had more time on my hands than I could have possibly imagined. My wife and I have always enjoyed reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz and thought it would be great to try dabbling with the keyboards. As my depression worsened my writing got better. How weird is that?” 
     Simon grabs another can of beer and opens it. Slurp! Burp

     "Hey b'y, watch it with the beers will ya, they are not cheap!" Frank warned, scowling. 

     Simon did not seem to notice as he sat back a little further and enjoyed his beer, continuing with his life story.

     “And as my writing got better my depression diminished. I love animals and hate hunting and one totally crazy night after watching Twin Peaks – the one where David Duchovny is a transvestite FBI agent – and Super Troopers, it hit me like a thunderbolt. The rest is history as it unfolds.”

I have seen Nobody Loves a Bigfoot Like a Bigfoot Babe on and I would love to pick it up, but before I do, could you tell me a little about it? 

I had to wait as Simon drank more beer. 

Well, Tina, my book is a gross-out sophomoric-style funfest where nothing is as it seems and everything is as it should be.” 

I frowned for a moment and wondered just how bonkers Simon really is. But the back of the shed gang were loving him, must be because he is catering to their maturity level. 

“It’s an adult comedy romance and the lead character, Duane, has millions with nearly every woman in Big Beaver lusting after him, except Sheriff Louise Jessop. He gets free beer and food every day, but all he wants out of life is to look after his tribe of Bigfoot. To keep his beloved Bigfoot friends safe he dresses up as the Phantom Bigfoot to lure hunters, his best friend MB the crypto-zoologist and tourists away from the real deal at the risk of his own life. He has the scars to prove it. Dumbass!”

 Wow, Nobody Loves a Bigfoot Like a Bigfoot Babe sounds intriguing, is there a particular part of the story that you really enjoyed writing? 

“What a difficult question, Tina?” 

Long slurp! Simon grabs another can. Ffffshhhh! Slurp! 

“Possibly the most stupid scene in the entire book is where FBI Agents Johnson and Merlot visit Walt the plumber in his spaceship. They interrogate Walt floating free in a hot tub. They get more than they bargained for. So does the reader.”  

Slurp! “Wooowooowoooo.”

I am starting feel tempted to cut Simon off the cold stuff, he is becoming a little too buzzed. 

 Jack, wanders over, though enjoying Simon's entertaining yarn, is wondering  just where Simon’s marbles are, interjects and asks, 

"Hey dude, tell us who your favourite character is!" 

Simon stares at Jack for a long time, frowning. “Where did he come from?” 
Simon tosses a can to Jack. 

“Duane-o the no-brain-o is my favourite guy. He loves animals to the point he’d die saving them. He’s every woman’s dream in bed.” 

Simon winked at me. I giggled

“He doesn’t care how he looks or what Beaverite’s think of him and is the perfect guy to have a beer with and shoot the breeze.”

Sorry about this, but Jack's question brought another question to light, If Nobody Loves a Bigfoot Like a Bigfoot Babe were to be optioned for a movie, who do you see playing your main characters? 

 “Duane would be either Matthew McConaughey or James Roday – Sheriff Louise Jessop would be either Kate Hudson or Maggie Lawson. Agent Willis Johnson would be Timothy Olyphant and Chief Mockingbird aka MB would be Joseph Gordon-Levitt.”

They would be perfect, Simon, I could really see those actors playing those parts. I was wondering, as a person who writes on the side, during my down time, my writing process starts with forming the story in my head before I put pen to paper, what is your writing process like?

 I waited as Simon finished off another can. Burp! 

“Pretty weird really, Tina. I start off writing a screenplay – all visuals. Then I’ll go off on a tangent and just change everything after a dream showed another way. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, rush downstairs and rewrite it. The next morning it often looks as though an alien has been at my computer. Somehow I manage to get through the turmoil and anguish and complete the book.”

 I will not call that weird, Simon, just, ah, unique. 

 Terrance staggers over to us from a dark shadow, nearly falling into Simon’s lap, spilling some of his lager on him

Simon laughs 

“I never mix my drinks. Where’s the beer. More beer!” 

Terrance asks, “All of this sounds fascinating but I heard writing is a hell of a lot of work, why do you do it, what do you get out of it?" 

Simon drinks from another can with a smack of his lips. 

“I do it because I love it ... because it stops me going all-the-way nuts ... it helps keep my depression at bay by stepping into another world of my own creation.”

 Thanks for the awkward segue, Terrance, now go over with the rest of the b'ys and let me and Simon have our yarn. Terrance asked you why you like to write, now I want to ask you, is there anything about writing you don't like? 

“The years of rejection were pretty hard to swallow, but deep down I knew I’d get there if I kept at it and I did. Marketing is very hard work and needs so much attention that it forces a compromise on the writing schedule. At first marketing was way out of my comfort zone and upset me ... but then I wouldn’t have met you Tina.” 

I blushed.

When you write, what is it that you hope your readers take away from your story? 

“I guess a little piece of me, my sense of humour, my different style of writing, the hidden messages and hopefully my readers will enjoy my work so much they’ll pass that on to their friends.”

 Do you have any other stories you are currently writing or are planning to write? 

“My work in progress is Eternally Yours, a different kind of romantic vampire book as it is mostly set in an asylum in rural France, 1925. A woman is traumatised by a shocking mass murder. She wakes up in a prison-like room with no idea who or where she is. A young psychiatrist slowly wrenches her memories to the surface with devastating results. Then there’s SSteppenwolf based on real life events of WWII. Oh and I’ve started Bigfoot 2 as part of an ongoing serial.”

 Thanks a million for answering all my questions…and the others, Simon, it has been a real pleasure. As I said before, I have seen Nobody Loves a Bigfoot Like a Bigfoot Babe online at is there anywhere else your book is available and what formats?

Other sites where my book can be found are:

You must be frozen solid by now, Simon, my mates have been pretty greedy with the heat, so I am going to let you go so you can toddle on home and warm up, but before you go is there anything else you want to add?

“I thoroughly enjoyed this chat, Tina. And yes the cold is creeping into these old bones, but my body hair helps. The beer has had an effect too, so I’ll rush this last bit if you don’t mind. My book has also been voted top of three Goodreads lists – British Fantasy Authors – Amazon Breakthrough Novels – Fantasy Creature Feature Books and has had two 5* reviews on Amazon. Oh one last thing.”

I got a big Bigfoot hugnkiss from Simon. As Simon left the shed he turned, "we’ll have to do this again, some time, Tina.” The Phantom Bigfoot has left the building.


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