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Friday, 15 March 2013

A Purrfect storm - Kitty Glitter Interview

There was a time when writers who self published were scoffed at - vanity publishing it was called and the implication was that if a writer was worth the paper needed to print his/her book then one of the traditional publishers would foot the bill. It seemed that only those who were unable to get their work published would turn to vanity, or self publishing.

However that was then and this is now.

The rise of eBooks and particularly the Kindle and Amazon's KDP program have made it cheaper and easier than ever for writers to take over publishing and get their work to an appreciative audience. At first self published eBooks were looked down upon,  often still are, but there have been too many big successes coming from the self publishing field for traditional publishers to ignore self publishing. Titles like The Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Grey and current sensation, Wool, came from the self publishing field. And it is to self publishing that the traditional publishers are now looking for the next bestseller.

All the elements are now in place - eBooks have gone mainstream, writers can easily publish using companies such as Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble. In fact the conditions are now right for the emergence of new writers who with luck could soon become household names -and from this perfect storm - or rather a purrfect storm of creativity comes Kitty Glitter, a writer who is challenging the norm and building up a loyal and appreciative audience.

With titles like Michael Jackson: The Sequel,  Wesley Crusher: Teenage Fuck Machine and Zombie 69, author Kitty Glitter's bizarre books are starting to get noticed. Often hitting the higher sections of the Amazon bestseller charts the books are zany, corny and often quite hilarious.

Kitty often uses elements of popular culture to fuel her plots, and I wondered if Kitty herself was a geek, a nerd?

"I follow pop culture to some degree.  I definitely keep up on artists I love, like Katy Perry and Ke$ha.  I am an active member of Ke$ha's fan club and hope to be able to follow her on tour someday if I ever have the financial means to do that.  I guess I could be described as geeky, as I am fairly skinny and wear big glasses, I'd definitely come across as a geek on some purely superficial level.  Like some character in "Revenge of the Nerds".  I would refer to myself as a Katycat definitely as I am probably her biggest fan.  I would probably kill myself if she died.  

Besides that I am a huge fan of The Donnas and I actually have a tattoo of their logo on my arm.  I think they are really underrated, probably the best girl rock band ever."

Given that Kitty is such a student of pop culture I wondered what TV shows, movies and books get Kitty purring.

"I have several favorite books.  My favorite author is Patricia Highsmith and This Sweet Sickness is my favorite novel ever by far.  I've read it several times.    I also really love Flannery O'Connor.  I love Christa Faust and I am currently taking a class from her on Litreactor and also reading her novel "Snakes On A Plane".  If you want to read a really good story you should definitely check out her book "Butch Fatale".

My favorite recent movie is "Stoker", and besides that I would say my favorite movie all time is "Mysterious Skin" or maybe "The Doom Generation".  "The Doom Generation" is a huge influence on everything I have written so far.

My favorite TV shows are probably "Mama's Family" and "Smallville", my son was actually named after the main character on Smallville.   For recent television I'd have to say "Breaking Bad", I think it's perfect noir.  I also really love "Eagleheart" with Chris Elliot, I think that show is just brilliant.  Chris Elliot is a cool guy also.  I worked at the Letterman show for a while and would often see him in the elevator.  He'd always make a point to say hi and ask how I was doing."
Some of the events in Kitty's books can be unsettling - Is there any place the Kitty's pen fears to go?
"I would never write anything that attacked the Catholic church or presented them in a bad light.  Not so much because it's offensive but because it's such a cliche to have the pervy priest or corrupt Pope.  I would hope to avoid easy targets in general.    I would also not write anything anti-American.   I am pretty patriotic and find that sort of thing annoying.  I hate people like Lars Van Trier and all his films that are pretentious critiques of American culture.   But I would not really avoid writing about anything if I felt it fit the story I had in mind.  I only ever want to write about emotionally disturbed people, never about anyone normal or stable.  My protagonists will always be deranged !"
And the audience seems to enjoy Kitty's books. I wonder if the author sees an audience in mind before setting out to write her books.
"I have no set audience in mind.  I always liked writing fiction and tended to use anthropomorphic animals.  My favorite show growing up was "Alvin & The Chipmunks" and I would tend to read a lot into the show and project my own adult themes on it.  Like assuming that the Chipettes would have sex with the Chipmunks offscreen.  There was one episode where they adopt a kitten and it ends up getting killed by a car.  It was very tragic.  Almost like a roman noir, except they end up getting a puppy to replace the kitten.

Later on when I was into Patricia Highsmith I was just trying to write like her and I was used to writing about animals so my goal was to do Patricia Highsmith stories with talking animals, which she actually did herself in "The Animal Lover's Guide To Beastly Murders".   Although her animals didn't talk out loud, they though like humans.  One was about a snobby roach lamenting the decline of the shabby hotel he lived in.  Another was about a horse getting revenge for the death of a kitten he loved.  So the only audience I ever wrote for was myself I guess.

The Wesley Crusher story was just written as a joke one time while on break at work and my friends found it funny.  Then when I found out how easy it was to publish on Kindle I posted it up as a joke, I never expected anyone to buy it.  I assumed it would be removed right away.  I was never actually a fan of Star Trek: TNG and only knew about the characters second-hand from being around nerds.  I was a fan of the original series though.  Besides Wesley Crusher, the majority of the characters in my story were my own invention.  Like Meow Solo, the feline space pilot."
Given the subjects of the books I wondered how heavily Kitty uses social media such as Facebook and Twitter to find readers.
"I think social media is useless.  I don't ever bother reading someone's work based on a social media interaction.  It's more based on the story they are writing.  I no longer keep a Facebook account, as that mainly led to weird, creepy guys hitting on me.  I keep Twitter but it's useless as far as promotion goes.  I only use that to keep track of Katy Perry.  Her tweets are always so charming and they make me happy.  

Writing interesting stuff is way more important than promotion or social media in general.  The more time you spend posting on Facebook and Twitter, the less time you spend writing or coming up with ideas.  I find social media is the same as praying, you're sending random words into outer space, hoping that some life form might hear them.  But for all you know, this life form does not exist.  And you are better off assuming they don't.  

In the end, the writing itself should be the reward.  You should have your own standards, and satisfy them.  That will bring you great pleasure.  I might write a scene about a fat kitty with chewed up Twinkies running out his mouth, and it will make me laugh or smile.   That's all you can ask for in life.  I don't care if anybody else finds it funny or buys that book.  I already reaped the reward when I laughed.  If only one other person laughs at that, it just multiplies that reward." 

And so to wrap up and ask Kitty  what  new readers can expect from one of her books?
"That they will read something really over the top and strange.  Like in my story "The Blob Unbound" it's about this blob monster who sacrifices himself to stop a cat from molesting these children.  Most of my protagonists are mentally ill to some degree.  This psychiatrist who read my story "American Psycho 3" said that I gave a perfect depiction of the thought processes of a psychotic person.  To expect easy reading for the most part, I try to write in a simplistic way and not go overboard on descriptions.  I think that my work is better than a lot of people give me credit for, and that it's definitely more entertaining and original than most of the self-published stuff you'll find on Kindle.  I would not suggest reading my longest work, "The Puerto Rican Chronicles of Narnia" as I wrote that for National Novel Writing Month and it's fairly incoherent.  But it does has some interesting passages and references to Michael Landon and "Highway To Heaven" and it's probably less boring to read than "Naked Lunch".

Find Kitty's blog HERE


Sean Patrick Reardon said...

This was awesome!

Kitty Glitter said...

Thanks Sean. And thanks Gary for doing the interview. Make sure to check out my new book "The Death of Jack The Ripper: Whitechapel Kittehs 2". It's free for the next week.

Anna said...

Apparently this author has passed away. Or at least according to a blog I read. For all I know it could be some kind of stupid joke.