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Interview With Myself

written by: Frank Geiger


INTERVIEWER:   Are you ready for this?
AUTHOR:                Let’s do it.
INTERVIEWER:   So tell me about the book.
AUTHOR:                What kind of inane question is that?
INTERVIEWER:   Here we go.
AUTHOR:                This is exactly the thing I’m trying to avoid.
INTERVIEWER:   You’re getting hostile.
AUTHOR:                I’m not getting hostile. I’m just not going to sit here and talk about the book. That’s lame, as well as self-serving and boring. If you want to ask specific questions, I’ll try to answer them. Otherwise forget the whole thing.
INTERVIEWER:   You’ve got an attitude problem, Pal.
AUTHOR:                Maybe. Did you read the book or not?
INTERVIEWER:   More times than I care to admit.
AUTHOR:                Some of these guys, they want to do an interview; they haven’t even read the thing. It’s embarrassing to them, and insulting to me.
INTERVIEWER:   Just calm down. I’ll ask you specific questions, if that’s what you really want. I just hope you can handle it.
AUTHOR:                That’s why I’m here, Brother.
INTERVIEWER:   If you had to describe the book in one word, what would you call it?
AUTHOR:                Satire.
INTERVIEWER:   Fiction, a novel?
AUTHOR:                278 pages worth.
INTERVIEWER:   What’s the plot?
AUTHOR:                There is no plot, other than revelation.
INTERVIEWER:   That seems rather curious, considering contemporary fiction and screen plays are 99.9 percent plot driven.
AUTHOR:                 You bet.
INTERVIEWER:   So, if there’s no plot, what drives the narrative?
AUTHOR:                Narration. The voice telling the story, the characters, the action. It’s highly unconventional, I admit. However, I like to think it works. You can read the book front to back, back to front, or skip around. It almost doesn’t matter. Some characters reappear in different sections, some don’t. But the narrative voice is the one constant, the driving force.
INTERVIEWER:   That’s taking a pretty big chance.
AUTHOR:                 That’s the best I can do to describe how it works. Sometimes it’s told in the first person, sometimes in the third, but the narrative voice remains the same.
INTERVIEWER:   Next question. You wrote it 13 years ago. What’s up with that?
AUTHOR:                Excuse me?
INTERVIEWER:   What took so long getting it into print?
AUTHOR:                 I was working on other things.
INTERVIEWER:   That’s not what you said in the Author’s Note.
AUTHOR:                Things have happened in the last 13 years which make events in the book seem closer to reality. Right around the corner. It’s like what one poet or writer said about writing sometimes being prophetic, ahead of its time. That’s what I was trying to say in the Author’s Note. Maybe I didn’t say it as well as I intended.
INTERVIEWER:   Fine. But there was something else. You were concerned about problems because of your profession. Your family. And besides, you tried to shop it around and nobody would touch it.
AUTHOR:                That’s partly correct. I showed it to a couple of people. I understand to some folks it’s a disturbing book. There’s probably something in there to rattle just about everybody’s cage.
INTERVIEWER:   Not exactly the Brady Bunch, huh?
AUTHOR:                Not by the wildest stretch of the imagination.
INTERVIEWER:   Is that why you published it yourself?
AUTHOR:                Yes. I was spending more time trying to find somebody to look at it than I was writing. No good. Chances are no agent would touch this book anyway. It’s too controversial.
INTERVIEWER:   That’s putting it mildly.
AUTHOR:                One guy said I should put a label on it. WARNING: DON’T READ THIS BOOK. IT WILL DESTROY YOUR MIND.
AUTHOR:                Or how about this quote from K.G., a graduate college student: “Every time you think it just can’t get any worse, it does.”
INTERVIEWER:   Are you done yet?
AUTHOR:                One last quote from a notorious but vastly unpopular American author: “Hey, did anybody lose an eye, a hand, a leg, a life? It’s only a bunch of words.”
INTERVIEWER:   What’s your point?
AUTHOR:                Back in the day when people were smoking banana peels and thinking they were getting ripped from it, it was the Right telling you what you can and can’t do, what you can and can’t say. Now it’s the Left telling you what you can do and what you can’t do, what you can say and what you can’t say. Either way it’s just another form of censorship, and tyranny. Confucius said, “It’s easy to shoot past the mark, it’s hard to stand firm in the middle.” Meaning, it’s easy to run to excess. Either way, Left or Right, it’s the same thing. You can’t outlaw words. They have a life of their own. They are a product of their time. Banning a book by H.D. Lawrence because you think its words are obscene is no different than banning TOM SAWYER or HUCKLEBERRY FINN because you object to Twain’s use of language. It’s still censorship. And by the way, censorship never leads to anything but control, and control never leads to anything else but more control.
INTERVIEWER:   How long have you been writing?
AUTHOR:                I’m embarrassed to say. People will wonder, is this all you’ve got? One book? But there’s more on the way, I promise.
INTERVIEWER:   How long did it take to write?
AUTHOR:                I really don’t remember how long. With the editing, maybe a couple of years. I remember where I wrote it, what part of the house. But that’s about it.
INTERVIEWER:   You called it satire.
AUTHOR:                No, you asked me to describe the book in one word. Obviously satire is a gross over-simplification.
INTERVIEWER:   Don’t start.
AUTHOR:                Try this. It’s satire emerging from the classical tradition, as opposed to a romantic one. Classical as in containing all the traditional elements of satire. It’s Chaucer’s wife farting in the face of her lover as he attempts to enter her bedroom window. It’s Swift’s third world of Gulliver, where horses are the intelligent creatures and men live in the trees and crap on each other’s heads. It’s Burroughs’ talking asshole. And like all good satire, it contains humor cover to cover. I still laugh out loud at certain parts. This may sound strange, but OUT OF CONTROL is a very moralistic novel. In order to lampoon a person or institution or philosophy, you have to make a moral judgment. Something is funny because it’s exposed as phony or absurd or brutal or corrupt. The humor is at once sly and outrageous.
INTERVIEWER:   I get the picture. The book is hilarious.
AUTHOR:                It has its moments.
INTERVIEWER:   Definitely not in the romantic tradition.
AUTHOR:                Not that I can see. One thing I can say with certainty is that it’s one of the few books you’ll ever read completely devoid of sentimentality.
INTERVIEWER:   I don’t suppose you’re going to tell us anything about your personal life?
AUTHOR:                No. That’s off limits.
INTERVIEWER:   Any particular reason?
AUTHOR:                After reading OUT OF CONTROL, some people will no doubt consider me vile, dirty, and crazy, and I don’t want that to interfere with my private life, or the private lives of my family.
INTERVIEWER:   Would you publish again with an Internet publisher?
AUTHOR:                Absolutely. I would like to find an agent, though if nobody will represent me, what other option do I have? I’m like a fighter without a manager. It’s a tough road, but I’ll take that route if I have to. I plan to publish a novel or novella every year for the next ten or twelve years, if I live that long. Like dear old Henry Miller, I’m going to erupt in a fountain of words.
INTERVIEWER:   Whatever. You know what they say about self-publishing?
AUTHOR:                Most of it's crap.
INTERVIEWER:   You got it, Pal.
AUTHOR:                Most of it is crap. But I’m willing to take that chance. I spent the last 25 years of my life in a regular job. I have absolutely no connections in the publishing world. Probably nobody would publish OUT OF CONTROL anyway. Besides, a lot of stuff published by the big companies is crap, too.
INTERVIEWER:   Yeah. But it sells.
AUTHOR:                Sometimes. In the few bookstores the book has been offered to the public, it has sold out and then reordered. Twice. The problem is I have no marketing, no distribution. If I keep publishing new stuff, I figure sooner or later somebody’s going to say, “Who is this guy? What the hell is he doing?”
INTERVIEWER:   You hope.
AUTHOR:                “Here error is all in the not done, all in the diffidence that faltered . . .” That’s Ezra Pound.
INTERVIEWER:   Yeah. I know. Anything else?
AUTHOR:                Sayonara, fucker.
INTERVIEWER:   Clever. The title of the last section of OUT OF CONTROL.
AUTHOR:                Very good. You did read it.
INTERVIEWER:   I guess it could have been a lot worse.
AUTHOR:                What a coincidence. That’s the title of one of my new novels.
INTERVIEWER:   That was a shameless plug.
AUTHOR:                I thought that’s what this interview was all about?
INTERVIEWER:   Good luck. You’re going to need it.

Frank Geiger

Frank Geiger

I am a long time resident of New Jersey and am very familiar with many of the small towns and hamlets around the state because of my love of taking the less traveled road. I spent 25 years as a Probation Officer which honed the sense of irony, humor, and compassion permeating the tale.
Frank Geiger

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