1. So, what’s your book all about?
Pert near everything! I tried not to constrain myself to just one genre in Pen and Platen; rather, I included a little bit of everything. Horror, Western, Sci-fi, even a smattering of something closely resembling Lit-fic — it’s all there.
2. What inspired you to write this tale?
Cheryl Lowry, the purveyor of Strikthru.net, published a zine, Silent Type, a few years back, in which she put out the call for typewritten prose and poetry. I submitted the short story, “To Kill a Comedian,” and had so much fun writing it that I went on ahead and wrote a dozen or so more tales on my Olivetti Lettera 32 typewriter.
3. Do you have a favorite quote about creativity/inspiration etc…? What is it?
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” -Hemingway, and all too true.
4. What things do you keep in your “writing space”? Do they inspire you? Confound you? Hold wires in place?
My typewriter, a pile of paper, my Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point fountain pen, and several cans of Diet Coke are all I allow myself. Just the tools and the tale, as it were.
5. What is your perfect “writing space”?
I mainly write in my closet with the door closed. My typewriter does a really crummy job of picking up wifi, so the odds of me getting distracted while I’m in there are pretty slim. Plus, the hanging clothes go a long way towards dulling the racket some. It works pretty well for me, and I can’t see needing anything else.
6. If your car horn could play any song, which would it be? Can’t say Dixie.
7. What would you name the first permanent settlement on mars?
“Earth II: Electric Boogaloo”
8. How tall is the perfect sidekick? Please explain why it even matters.
Shoulder-height. It makes them look vulnerable enough so that villains will see them as a non-threat, plus it leaves them stoppable in a brainwash scenario.
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.”
Sell tickets to the “Let’s All Kill Hitler Extravaganza and Floor Show.” Showing nightly… forever.
10. Let’s say your character has a pet brown bear. What’s the bear’s name?
11. If you had to give an antagonist an annoying trait, what would it be?
Staccato, wet breathing. IT IS THE WORST.
12. What kind of car would your ultimate protagonist drive?
Some hideously huge mid-70’s pimp sedan. Bench front seat, so much trunk space.
13. You’ve got a year to travel anywhere. Where?
Live Oak, California. Penny Candy and Casa Lupe — take that, Paris.
14. You just bought a boat with your book fortune. What are you going to call it?
The White Wave
15. What kind of music, if any, gets you typing the fastest?
Painful, overbearing silence.
16. What’s the punch line to your favorite joke?
“He can’t run! He’s got four balls.”
17. What lyric do you sing poorly, yet loudly?
Anything by Mumford and Sons
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?
“PleaseDon’tPutBananaPeelsInHere-onia.” Oh, and you clean it with ice, salt, and lemon peel.
19. Where can people learn more about you, your work or any pets you have?
It’s super complicated: www.MikeSpeegle.com. Creative, I know.
20. What’s next?
I’m working on a small-town horror novel entitled Good Friday, which will be available for purchase sometime this Summer.