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17 Jun

A bucket of love and a mound of dead skin cells, meet Hank Kirton…

 

JR: Tell us about yourself, and how would you describe yourself?

HK: My name is sometimes Hank Kirton and I am a reflection of you. I am what you made me. I am reclusive. I prefer to lock myself up within the borderless, no-man’s-land of my vulgar imagination rather than engage the sordid world on its own terms.  I am 6’2” tall  and relatively free of sciatica.

 

JR: When did you first realise you want to be a writer? Who spotted that talent and what was the first thing you do knowing that?

HK: As Clive Barker once said (paraphrase), “… I knew I wanted to be a professional imaginer…”  not necessarily a writer.  When I was around nine years old I came across a sentence in a book about Unidentified Flying Objects that thrilled me to the core. I recognized that the sentence was written and that maybe, with a lot of practice, I too could write such a sentence. This is a goal I have yet to achieve. As for who first spotted my enormous talent, it was Edgar Rosenfeld.

 

JR: Do you have any formal education in creative writing? Do you think formal education in writing is necessary?

HK: Nah.

 

JR: Are you a full-time author? Do you have other activities as main source of income? How do you organise your schedule and time in writing a book?

HK: Hahahah! Full time author?! Hahahah! No, I have worked manual-labour jobs most of my life. I have yet to work a gig that didn’t make my hands bleed.  Time is overrated (until you start to run out of it).  Write as often as you can.  Schedules are for squares.

 

Leaves from the SmorgasbordJR: What made you decide to start writing something? What or who influences you?

HK: I don’t remember why (or when) I started writing. It was too long ago and I’m clinging (with bleeding ganglia) to a final few brain cells. I don’t like being trapped inside my own skull and writing is a safety valve I squeeze to release pressure. We’re all stranded inside our own minds, and fiction (whatever its form) can help us feel less alone. My influences are many. Too many to type out.

 

JR: What is the greatest lesson you have learned and/or greatest achievement you have reached as a writer?

HK: My greatest achievement was when I read one of my short stories publically. I was scared to death and will never do it again. I learned I am not a performer. But I’m sort of proud that I went through with it.

 

JR: Do you have habits in writing? Any specific time and/or place to write?

HK: I prefer to work in the morning. I am at my most confident then. My confidence plummets as the day wears on. By the time sunlight starts to fade,I grow nervous and depressed and it’s time for my medication.

 

JR: How long do you normally finish writing a book? What is the hardest part in the process?

HK: It depends on the book. Some stories lend themselves to a rushed composition while others benefit from a slow, agonizing process. The hardest part is calling something “done” and spitting it into the world for people to see.

 

JR: Do you have professional editors to furnish your books? If you do, any recommendation you would like to share to fellow authors?

HK: I worked closely with the editor on my novel Conservatory of Death. The editors on my first two collections (The Membranous Lounge & Bleak Holiday) gave me a free hand and didn’t tinker with the results. I am eternally grateful to them.

 

JR: How do you think you have evolved creatively?

HK: My early work was fairly puerile. Now it’s puerile with literary pretensions.

 

JR: Do you ever face Writer’s Block? If you do, how did you overcome the situation?

HK: I’ve never had Writer’s Block. Occasionally I suffer from Writer’s Diarrhea.

 

JR: Do you have professional designer to design the cover and/or interior of your books? If you do, any recommendation you would like to share to fellow authors?

HK: Other people designed the covers and interiors of my first three books. I did everything on my latest book, Leaves from the Smorgasbord.

 

JR: How do you involve in promoting your books? Any marketing technique you can share?

HK: Book promotion causes me despair, nausea and blood-infused stool.

 

JR: Give your thoughts about traditional publishing Vs. self-publishing?

HK: There’s no such thing as a rejection slip in self-publishing.

 

JR: How many books have you written (published and non-published)?

HK: I have written around twenty books (mostly novels). Only five books have been foisted on the public.

 

JR: What genre that you normally write, and what draws you to this genre? Do you always write in the same genre?

HK: Genres are for suckers.  David Kerekes called Conservatory of Death “…perhaps the first *deathpunk* novel…” I would add the word psychedelic, because of my interest in LSD and hallucinations , hence psychedelic deathpunk. Yeah, that sounds cool (until I think of something better).

 

JR: Of all the books that you have written down, which book that you think the best one? And what do you think readers will find most appealing about this book? What’s the “real story” behind this book?

HK: I wouldn’t call anything I wrote “the best.” Just thinking about it gives me the creeps.

 

JR: Any other works in progress?

HK: Yes. I’m working on a toxic, haphazard novel called Cocktails and Cancer (formerly Anosognosia). It’s a Roman a Clef about my love of cancer and chronic alcoholism.

 

JR: What advice would you want to give to an aspiring writer?

HK: Don’t listen to advice.

 

JR: How can readers discover more about you and your works?

HK: I have a blog and an Amazon page:

http://hankkirton.blogspot.com/

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00IWLVLN4

 

 Hank Kirton