Interview Outtakes with Michael Allen Rose
by Spike Marlowe
This is the final interview in my New Bizarro Author Series 2011-2012 interview cycle. For the past two months, I’ve posted interview outtakes on Bizarro Central from each of the interviews I’ve conducted with the seven other New Bizarro Authors, and then posted the rest of the interviews on my website at www.spikemarlowe.wordpress.com.
I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know my fellow NBAers, and sharing these interviews with you. Each of them is a fascinating person who has written an awesome book. Now, for this last interview, I have a little something extra special.
To begin, instead of outtakes from the entire interview, the first half of the interview is below. Secondly, in the past, I’ve conducted my New Bizarro Author Series interviews via email. This time I was lucky enough to sit down with the immensely creative and multi-talented Michael Allen Rose, author ofParty Wolves in Your Skull. During the interview, Michael had several very interesting guests arrive.
Believe me, I’ve learned my lesson about interviewing Bizarro authors in person – you never know if the “characters” from their book might show up.
Allow me to set the scene: Michael Allen Rose arrived at my San Francisco Mission apartment in the late afternoon on Sunday, March 11th. This Sunday was daylight saving’s, and so the sun was still fairly high in the sky. We exchanged pleasantries and talked about the great times we had at BizarroCon in November. Then we sat down on my futon and started chatting.
Spike: Hi Michael, I’m thrilled to get to chat with you today about your New Bizarro Author Series book, Party Wolves in My Skull. I thoroughly enjoyed your book. Entertaining, sweet, witty, hilarious. I had a great time reading it. Now, in addition to being an author, you’re involved with a variety of creative endeavors. Would you tell us a little about all of them?
Michael: Basically if I’m not trying to balance too many things at once, I feel like I’m not doing enough. In addition to writing books, I produce theatre and performance events through my RoShamBo Theatre, there’s my industrial/experimental music project Flood Damage, and recently I’ve been working with Hot and Heavy Productions here in Chicago as a performer. That’s in addition to finishing up the Second City Conservatory this past year, sending out short stories and plays, and editing a friend’s first novel. As I’ve mentioned before, all the things I do kind of cross-pollinate. I never claim to be particularly good at any one thing, but I do a lot of different things, I’m lucky enough to have wonderful people in my life who support my vision. RoShamBo, Flood Damage, and my writing are all just different arms of what I like to do trying to “make art happen.” Whatever that means. Now, I guess I’m also a Party Wolf biographer. You do know this is non-fiction, right?
Spike: Uh, right. Of course it’s non-fiction. Well, in that case, according to your book, pretty much anyone, or anything, can get married in Tagus, ND. If you were to marry in Tagus, who, or what, would you marry?
Michael: Tagus was a lot of fun to write about, because it’s a real town, and it’s really strange. There was a rite of passage where I grew up, wherein teenagers would go out there at night and scare themselves stupid. I am reasonably sure that they’ll marry you there, though, if you can find anyone who isn’t a cannibal or a ghost. Or a cannibal ghost.
Spike: Hey, I’d marry a cannibal ghost.
Michael: That’s very progressive of you. As for your question, I suppose I could marry my cat. She seems to tolerate me. Or maybe I can marry myself. I almost never fight with myself.
Smitty: And you’re always in the mood for love!
Michael: Oh God…
At this point, five coyotes, looking more anthropomorphized than wild, walked in. One of them looked like the Fonz from Happy Days while another carried a massive, six-foot long marbled purple and green “water pipe” that exuded more “fog” than the San Francisco bay.
Spike: Uh, Michael. Why did a bunch of coyotes just walk in, and why does one of them look like a 1950s greaser? And that one – he can talk.
Michael: Coyotes? No, no, Spike, these are Party Wolves. The real genuine article. And they can all talk. In fact, they talk too much. And they win too often at poker. I suspect cheating. Anyway, I hope you don’t mind them tagging along. I asked them to wait outside.
Cooter: We wanted to make sure you told the whole story. The world needs to know the truth, man.
Spike: Um, sure. I mean, any friend of yours is… welcome. And I’m totally down with the truth. Please, make yourselves at home. Would you mind leaving that massive bong outside, though? I’m finding it a little hard to breathe.
The bong-carrying coyote, excuse me, wolf, carefully placed his bong just outside the door where it continued to fill the hall with fog. He then proceeded to light up a huge blunt and sat down.
Spike: So, Michael, how did you meet the party wolves?
Sophie: We actually approached Michael with the idea. Herb has seen a few of his plays.
Sophie: He’s actually quite the theatre buff. We were looking for someone to tell our story, and Mister Rose’s style resonated with us.
Cooter: Plus he works cheap.
Michael: As the world’s leading expert on Party Wolf cranial infestation and migration patterns, it just made sense to get involved in a project like this. It’s not often that a researcher has a real chance to study his field hands-on like this.
Smitty: You didn’t describe my junk enough. It’s much larger than Michael wrote in the book, Spike.
The wolf, whom I assumed to be Smitty, twirled his junk around like a lasso. I tried not to notice. But then he got up from his chair and sat down in between Michael and me on the futon while continuing to twirl his junk. This is also about the same time I started to get high off of whatever Herb the Herb was smoking. Seriously powerful stuff.
Spike: Wow, dude, I can see. I can see. Could you please quit twirling your junk around and put it away? It’s like in 4-D. It’s a little distracting. I’m trying to conduct an–
Rex: We’re still waiting for royalties.
Michael: Rex, I told you, I’m not really making money on this. Being a small press author is hard work, and the payoff is more about fulfilling artistic needs, you know? Passion and soul and—
Rex: Do small press authors run fast?
Check out my blog at www.spikemarlowe.wordpress.com tomorrow, Wednesday, March 14th, for the second half of my interview with Michael Allen Rose and the infamous party wolves.