Friday, January 11, 2013

Interview with AB Bard, author of 'The Killer Poet's Guide to Immortality'


ABOUT AB BARD

Reclusive Seattle author AB Bard’s poetry has twice been nominated for the Pushcart. He is the author under a pseudonym of two other hysterical novels, or perhaps historical novels, neither of which is funny. Mr. Bard is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of the Republican Party. Mr. Bard does not Tweet. He was awarded a sheepskin (BAaa) from Reed College Sleeper Cell. His one super power is the ability to repel all conventional measures of literary success. Mr. Bard is lap to a cat, pal to a girl, God to a dog, & dog to the Man.
To find out more, please visit him at http://www.abbard.com
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Bard. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing? 

A:I am a Gen-Y-not with the mind of a boomer and the career prospects of a Millenial. I don’t believe in technology but I love my phone. I haven’t made an actual phone call in seven months. I am unfriendly because friends are no longer people we actually know. I wish there was a word like “misanthrope” or “misogynist” that only applied to celebrities. How about “misancelebrite”? This business of asking writers about themselves is part of the celebrication of the intellectual process, and it is destructive to art. I’ve been writing since I could write. How could I not write? Now that selfpub is so widely available, we see that almost everybody cannot not write. Even Uncle Boris has a new novel called Cute Kittens at the Apocalypse. What’s interesting is not the act of writing, but what the writer writes. Yet it is often the last thing writers are asked about – sometimes not at all!

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it? 

A: Bingo – you seem to have asked about it! Good for you! In the simplest sense, The Killer Poet’s Guide to Immortality is the story of a frustrated poet who becomes a serial killer in order to get read. Yet it is a book about life, not death. There is ultimately a mystery as to whether he ever killed, or whether he simply wrote about killing – killed off literary characters – to shine a light on the corrosive influence of violence in American society. But in the meantime, the Killer Poet has a helluva lot of fun, and so will the reader. One other important point: The Killer Poet’s Guide to Immortality is the first BARDIC NOVEL. This is an original genre, in which a lively work of fiction is meshed seamlessly with a poetry collection. No more boring poem after poem, folks! No interminable prose! Action! Romance! Jokes! Absurdity! “Pure blasphemy,” said Pope “Eggs” Benedict XVII. “I’d like to hang AB Bard next to Galileo.”

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: I believe that the purpose of art is to transcend the hypocrisy of society, and to awaken people to the beauty of their genuine existence apart from the commodification of experience. The challenge is to do it in such a way that people want to jump on board and are not turned off. I do this with humor. Humor is necessary to write about immortality, because of course the book is really about mortality. There was no challenge to write this book – I simply opened myself to the universe and channeled it direct from Spiritus Mundi – the one cosmic consciousness we all share. Some may call it Satan, but please allow him to introduce himself, he’s a man of wealth and taste . . .

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it? 

A: No. No. No. Yes. The commodification and selling of the writer and his book-widget is one of the things The Killer Poet’s Guide to Immortality parodies. So we could be hipsters and design a really cute tongue-so-deep-in-cheek-that-it’s-swallowed kind of press kit, but it was easier just to relax and watch the sparkle off Puget Sound, which the Salish Natives called Whulge. Let’s say that the indescribable ever-shifting sparkle off any large body of water is my press kit. You can find it wherever nature is not sold.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so? 

A: Yes, I’ve appeared in bookstores as part of a lovely tour put together by my publisher, and also on the radio. I even went to Sumner! I’m planning to do the Colbert Report, but I’m not sure Steven knows yet. Also, Fres Hair and the FarmWriters’ Almanac. I long to have Garrison Keillor lick my iambs.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one? 

A: I had the agent from Hell who lost my file after sending out the manuscript so she didn’t even track responses. Before that I had a lovely gay man who liked it when I paid for his dinner. While I do know writers who’ve found just the right agent and prospered from it, I think it is rather hit-and-miss. Fortunately both Bennett & Hastings (publisher of my historicals) and Wry Ink (The Killer Poet’s Guide to Immortality) take unagented work. Stick with this impossible business long enough, and jargon like “unagented” slips right off your keyboard. Pretty scary.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it? 

A: Yes. & No.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Of course. I’m working on one now featuring an existential detective who can’t work his cell phone. But who knows? Like all writers, I’ve started more books than I’ve finished and finished more books than I’ve sold. Mostly, I don’t “plan” books, I just let interesting characters lead me around. Fortunately, the voices in my head command my keyboard, not my actions in the world. That is the thin line between inspired writing and serial miming.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Bard. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book? 

A: I’m at www.abbard.com. I don’t use Faceless Book, and I don’t tweet, although my publisher does, @wryink. The Killer Poet’s Guide to Immortality is available in most Pacific NW bookstores, on Amazon (paperback & Kindle), and on KOBO, the Indie e-reader. It is not on the iTunes store because Apple sucks, and if they want me to stop saying that they’ll have to pay me a million bucks or at least send me a new password.

The Killer Poet'sABOUT THE KILLER POET’S GUIDE TO IMMORTALITY

The Killer Poet’s Guide to Immortality is the riveting tale of a frustrated poet who decides that the best way to get his work read is by pinning it to corpses with a dagger. Alternately profound and hilarious, this novel chronicles in rapid-fire succession AB Bard’s obsessive murder spree, rise to media notoriety, capture, trial, and execution by lethal injection.
Then it presses further, into the future . . .

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