So Peppy, you've published your first novel Prose Home Movie on Dostoyevsky Wannabe ... how do you feel?
I can't describe feelings very accurately. I find feelings say like an interconnected maze. That sounds a bit over the top and meaningless I know. But when I feel something I kind of realise I feel that cos I feel something about something else. Plus I can't find the right words to match them apart from basic ones like happy, sad, apathetic.
You must've felt something seeing the electronic copy of your first novel Prose Home Movie for sale on Amazon ... no?
Well yes. I was excited. But then the most intense feeling that began to build was mild disappointment. Disappointment cos I felt disappointment. It's like when you're watching a sunset on a Moroccan beach with a person you love and you feel sad cos you know that doom is eventual. Doom happened a year later. And besides, what's a novel on Amazon? It's no big thing.
How did it come about Prose Home Movie?
I'd been writing for a few years, just this eternal bullshit thing that changed as I read different writers. Then around 2009 I found myself living alone in a room with lots of books. The people who used to telephone me daily had stopped telephoning me daily. And I went online looking for interesting writers. I was and still am pretty bog-standard in my reading tastes. Since my teens I read Joyce and Beckett and Shakespeare. But from 2009 I found writers like Cormac, Pynchon, Carver, DFW, Lydia Davis and Tao Lin. Reading Mr Lin's Shoplifting and Yates was a big moment. I thought: This guy writes amazingly about his life. He doesn't use big words. There's no philosophy. But his protagonists seem to lead a very seductive lifestyle. Mine is far from seductive. I mean I used to think I should write about my life but then I thought there is no way I'd get published. But then fiction changed. The internet changed. Plus a book called My Struggle was published and I thought: Oh fuck it. But it was more after reading Mr Lin's prose I thought: You've put up with so much shit over the years, now's the time to start writing and blogging about it.
And what then?
It's a longish boringish story. But finally I saw a small English website called Dostoyevsky Wannabe. I sent a draft of two stories that I was in the process of mashing together. And they said: We like it. I'm sure they only read about 20 pages, which is fine. I mean, I wouldn't read me if I was not me. I just like writing it.
Why do you like writing it?
Just, it's the best feeling, sat in a room, editing a chunk of prose that you keep going over in your head, tweaking the syntax. You'll edit a paragraph. And then the day after you read it and it sounds shite. So you change it. It took me ages to get it how I wanted, the style. And even now I'm not totally satisfied. But it's all about teaching yourself to write. I need literature. These past five years have gone from having a full and hectic life to having a graveyard of a life, which is how some might see me. But I need solitude. I get unhappy in small crowds. And I love reading. So doing prose about my life and transforming it into fiction, it's fun. But I find the idea of people reading it, very slightly like someone seeing the gusset of underwear I've worn for a month. I like to reveal secrets in fiction. That's my idea of fun. To not shout about them, but to include the secrets in a subtle way. I say subtle but yeah.
What've your friends and family said about your first novel Prose Home Movie on Dostoyevsky Wannabe?
I've not told them. I told my aunty at Christmas that I was due to publish a novel and she said something about money and bestseller. I didn't have the personality to explain that it is a maggot in the dirt kind of novel. So they're not gonna be appreciating the voice or the flow or the psychobilly references.
As a kind of self-published writer are you going to do any marketing for your first novel Prose Home Movie on Dostoyevsky Wannabe?
Err ... Well I'm happy to do this interview. And I'm happy to post the occasional Tweet saying Prose 99p but I'm lost with marketing. I got a roll of white stickers that I might scribble Prose Home Movie on and then post them around Manchester. Maybe Chris Killen will see it and then google it and then buy it and then read it and enjoy it and then tell everyone on Twitter. But I'm joking of course. Hope is futile in the Ooze universe. The Ooze family blood is not fizzy. Instead it tends to coagulate like it does in lots of melancholics. But yeah, I talk shit. I wish I had a marketing-stunt kind of brain or personality but I don't. I don't inspire like. I rarely share other people's work on social media. A stupid decision I made a couple of months ago was to not RT or Fav or press like. I don't know if I've stuck to that decision. But this whole Press-Like and share content culture messes with my head. I don't know. All I know is that I am in this room today and I'll be in this room tomorrow.
I dunno but I was speaking to a mate and we said how some people would've killed themselves with the shit we've been through. We were laughing about it, not sobbing. Most things are worth having a laugh about I think. I'd like to explore that kind of thing. More about shit-filled life. I said in my novel my memory specialises in shit. And I just wanna mash together things I remember (people) and then add some art and music, what I pretentiously call my zombie music. But I mean the fact I'm talking to you now at 1am on a Sunday morning about a novel that maybe four people will read shows you what a hole I'm in and I need to get out. But I like it in my hole. I got my Joyce and Beckett books. I got smoke. I got opiate pills. I got a laptop. And I've hundreds of memories I'm itching to type about. But I am slow. I relate to the wolf and the sloth.
My art project, about underdogs.