20 Questions with Gary Morton

Gary’s answers may get a little rough with the language. But who am I to censor anyone.

1. So, what’s your book all about?
I can never think of an inoffensive, unpretentious way of saying this. It’s basically a collection of inter-related stories that deal with issues such as: loss, despair, betrayal, love, hatred….you know the really cheery stuff. There is no linear narrative but each section has its own self-contained theme. I can’t even explain it properly and I wrote the fu*king thing: just read it and you will find out.

2. What inspired you to write this tale?
It’s not necessarily a ‘tale’ because that implies a continuing narrative; each section is kind of its own little tale! Each section of the book has been inspired by true events in my life; so you could say it’s semi-autobiographical, but fictionalized and taken to extremes. So, I guess just living has inspired me. I tend to be an observer and this gives me a lot of ideas. Someone described my book as ‘observing from a darkened corner’ and I quite like that description.

3. Do you have a favorite quote about creativity/inspiration etc…? What is it?
“If now and then we encounter pages that explode, pages that wound and sear, that wring groans and tears and curses, know that they come from a man with his back up, a man whose only defences left are his words and his words are always stronger than the lying, crushing weight of the world, stronger than all the racks and wheels which the cowardly invent to crush out the miracle of personality” – Henry Miller. Tropic of Cancer.

4. What things do you keep in your “writing space”? Do they inspire you? Confound you? Hold wires in place?
I don’t really have a specific ‘writing space’, but wherever I tend to write there are a lot of books surrounding me. It makes me realise the importance of what I’m doing. It underlines the fact that millions of incredibly talented people have tried to do this before me and there is a responsibility in being a writer. You can’t just write meaningless shit and expect it to be swallowed; you always have to strive to be better. It’s like the weight and pressure of all those scribbled on trees is pushing down on me: I don’t want to waste any more paper with pointless drivel. Conversely, being around books also reassures me and pushes me to write to the best of my ability. Even the smell of books is inspiring and gave me the desire to get my own words printed on paper, just so I could touch them and feel them and have other people read them: I don’t think there’s anything more exciting than that. I still think printed books are the most inspiring item a writer can ever have near them and technology will never replace them.

5. What is your perfect “writing space”?
As I’ve said I don’t really have one. I am really forgetful so whenever I have ideas I have to write them down, otherwise I will forget. I have notes and bits of paper everywhere, most of which I find later and I have absolutely no idea what they mean. Hopefully there are some good ideas amongst the disorganised chaos.

6. If your car horn could play any song, which would it be? Can’t say Dixie.
Meatloaf ‘Bat Out of Hell’ would be funny just to sneak up on unassuming pedestrians and terrify them. I guess it needs to be something loud and obnoxious: I will go for ‘The Flight of the Valkyries’ so I could pretend I was in Apocalypse Now.

7. What would you name the first permanent settlement on mars?
Ruddiger.

8. How tall is the perfect sidekick? Please explain why it even matters.
It absolutely matters! I would say they definitely need to be shorter than you and less impressive in stature and build. After all you don’t want them showing you up since they are effectively your bitch. I’m 6 foot 3 so I would say approximately half that. A little person (I don’t know if that is the appropriate term, or whether they prefer freaky little midget dudes) would be so much more fun as well for comedy-related eventualities, particularly if Lycra was involved. The fact they could be easily placed in over-head storage compartments would also facilitate transportation.

9. If you were to mess with the time stream, what would you change? Let’s assume a hundred other people already took care of Hitler so you don’t have to say, “Kill Hitler.”
I was tempted to write “Kill Hitler” just for a laugh. I’d go back and fuck with Einstein’s head by appearing in front of him wearing a wedding dress and covered in motor oil and shout ‘THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM!!’ just as he finished writing the Theory of Relativity on the blackboard. I would also ensure that Justin Bieber, the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, and George Osborne (and many many more) were never born. The world would be such a better and happier place without them.

10. Let’s say your character has a pet brown bear. What’s the bear’s name?
Ruddiger the Second.

11. If you had to give an antagonist an annoying trait, what would it be?
I can’t stand unjustified arrogance, so probably that. I also hate people that breathe loudly, or move too much. I generally find everything about people irritating.

12. What kind of car would your ultimate protagonist drive?
Something really crappy like a Citroen 2CV. Just to be funny. Failing that, a rocketship.

13. You’ve got a year to travel anywhere. Where?
I’d love to either visit Asia or Russia. I’ve also heard Bishopton is lovely at this time of year.

14. You just bought a boat with your book fortune. What are you going to call it?
Ruddiger: The Revenge. I also wouldn’t waste my money on a boat I would buy a Taiwanese houseboy called ‘Juanjo’ and I would pay him to dance, do cardtricks and generally entertain me when I was bored. I would also purchase a life-size, solid gold statue of Keith Chegwin with his wee walliper out.

15. What kind of music, if any, gets you typing the fastest?
I tend to listen to quite somber, depressing music when I write. I listen to bands like Frightened Rabbit, Radiohead, Arab Strap etc or the complete opposite if I’m pissed off I listen to heavy bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, Deftones or A Day to Remember. If I’m pretending I’m Charles Bukowski I tend to listen to classical as well: usually Rachmaninov. Music influences me a lot when I’m writing and I feel whatever I listen to reflects my mood/frame of mind at the time. This usually comes out in my writing.

16. What’s the punch line to your favorite joke?
A Flat Minor.

17. What lyric do you sing poorly, yet loudly?
Pretty much all of them! I have the tendency to get song lyrics wrong all the time, but I nevertheless sing them loud, proud and repeatedly until I believe that my version is the correct one.

18. You find a portal to another world in your sink’s drain. What is this other world called? And what is the best way to clean the portal so it doesn’t smell like old food?
I think I’ve ripped the arse out of the ‘Ruddiger’ thing so I would call it: ‘Noc*ntland’ there are a lot of c*nts in this world, so I would want the portal to the other world provide me with a land of people that are decent and most importantly not c*nts. I would train an eagle to lick it clean- I don’t know if eagles even have a tongue, but it could persevere. Perhaps I could attach brillo pads to its talons. The possibilities are endless.

19. Where can people learn more about you, your work or any pets you have?
I’m not allowed pets after the court order (just joking animal lovers, your little fluffikins is safe). You can find me on Facebook: http:///www.facebook.com/thelitbeast or Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/thelitbeast I also write for Sick Chirpse Magazine: http://www.sickchirpse.com/author/gary-danger-morton and my book CHOP SHOP is available on I Tunes and Kindle from Over The Edge Books.

20. What’s next?
I’m gonna put some trousers on and start another relentlessly dreary and generic day.

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