December 19, 2012

Interview with Laramore Black Part 2

I think we can all agree, Part 1 of the Laramore Black interview here on my blog was honest, insightful, and engrossing. (At least it was for me!!)

So now we're back with Part 2. Read on to learn more about Laramore, his favorite books and music, and various other points of fun.

And hey - if you have any questions, leave him a comment and I'm sure he'd be happy to respond!


LR: Ok, back to you – what got you into writing? Have you always written, or is it something you discovered once you reached adulthood-ish-ness?

LB: I still have a long way until I’m an adult, I’d say. I am after all only twenty-one years old. But to be honest, I started writing poem-like stuff in the fourth grade because I wanted to be a rock star. It’s unfortunate I now have stage fright and never learned a single instrument. 

Being even more honest, I didn’t start taking it seriously until about two years ago to impress a girl. Not like people reading are thinking that though, I’m sure. I’ve always kind of liked reading since I was a young boy; I remember reading the entire Necroscope series by Brian Lumley in the 5th grade and even before then, having an obsession with those Goosebumps stories. 

But my life really changed at eighteen when a girl gave me a copy of The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger to read. I felt there were words in the literature speaking out to me and to this very day, I still go back and reread bits of it. I read it during a time of my life where I had everything set up to go to college, but everything else in my life was pulling me down into my old punky ways. Some of the words in that novel are the only thing that made up my mind.

I cut my ridiculous Mohawk off, I threw out my stupid band patch covered clothes, I stopped drinking every night, and I moved into the local college’s dormitory. Not long after that, I proposed to that girl. Life brought me my first long-term menial job, a car, and a nice apartment as well.

That was it, my fairy-tale happy ending. 

But after the boredom of married life began to set in, she drifted away from me. 

I scrambled for a way to bring her back, but always came up short. Mostly I became a good liar, always trying to find something clinically wrong with myself that could be fixed, like some non-existent thing is to blame. It worked for a short while, but the novelty of that faded for her, too.

So I began to think if I could resemble any of her heroes she could love me more. Maybe it could fix this divide, but it turns out writing takes much longer than I thought; and the good writing, even longer.

Time tore that dream away, but by the time I came to my senses of how stupidly love-drunk I was behaving – I was hooked! I looked around and I had two novel drafts, a few short stories, and many ideas for more from an entire year of brooding with a pen. So, I guess what I’m saying is I became who I am today for the wrong reasons, but I stayed this way for the right ones. Someday something better will come my way and if not, the least I can do, is make you, the reader, love her too.

LR: Most writers I know consume books….and movies…and music.  So with that in mind:
What books make your head spin and your heart bleed?

LB: Obviously after my last answer, The Catcher in the Rye has a sentimental value. I also like Salinger’s Franny & Zooey story because I feel like what happened to Franny in the story correlates with my life while in college. I feel the campus lifestyle is set up to make outcasts and the intelligent feel unwelcome. Most colleges breed average and seek nothing but average, so that is just the way it is now and much like Franny, I grew to hate everything about it. All while I was reading more from these writers and philosophers who invaded my psyche, much like Franny was reading her brother, Seymour’s books of philosophy. 

I guess you could say Salinger and Hemingway were becoming my big brothers in a literal sense. I was relating characters to everyone in my life. I wanted to do everything they did in their lives, but I wanted to do it better. Books like The Catcher and the Rye, Franny & Zooey, The Old Man and the Sea, and A Farewell to Arms were not entertainment to me – they were maps and guidelines.

Those were the big two for me. They changed everything for me and I always recommend them first.

After their bibliography was thumbed through, I moved on to the beatnik generation. I learned experimentation and rebellion in writing from William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch), Charles Bukowski (Women), Allen Ginsberg (Howl), and Jack Kerouac (On the Road). 

It was when I went looking for ways to begin improving myself as a writer I came across more modern authors, like David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest), Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), Etgar Keret (Kneller’s Happy Campers), Will Christopher Baer (Kiss Me, Judas), and Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho).

It was finding the modern authors that led me to find other people, who just like me, have or want to make an imprint in the world of literature. People like Richard Thomas (Transubstantiate), Phil Jourdan (Praise of Motherhood), Caleb J. Ross (I Didn’t Mean To be Kevin), Jonny Gibbings (Malice in Blunderland), Janden Daniel Hale (The Everwind series), and Bradley Sands (TV Snorted My Brain) have become my mentors, helped me on my way and some of them I would even call my friends.

LR: How about movies? Name a movie that changed your life.

LB: I can’t say I’ve ever had a movie change my life in the same way fiction has, but I do have a favorite. It’s called Wristcutters: A Love Story and it is based off Etgar Keret’s Kneller’s Happy Campers. It’s a movie without laughter that can make you smile every time you watch it and is filled with prizes of its own. Both the cast and soundtrack are filled with things everyone should know about.

LR: What’s one moment in music that you think changed the world?

LB: If the kids are united, they will never be divided.

I believe the introduction of punk began changing the face of the planet. It was a conduit for the youth of the world to be heard by all those people in charge and if anyone else out there is like me, it plants the seed of progressive thinking faster than education does. I think you can see an example of this in the United States, I’m not saying it is all due to punk, but the progress in evolutionary thoughts along the coasts definitely outnumber the amount in the Midwest. I’m sure this is due to more sociological factors, such as there simply being more youth in the area.

Punk did teach me things. Everything from learning the cultures of the countries some people are more than happy to be invading. The degradation of nutrition in the food industries. The pharmaceutical companies throwing out probable treatments for profits.  Those bits of fine print bills hide that our government seems hell bent on passing in the pursuit of more power. The rising pollution and how it is in every country’s capability to switch to cleaner energy, just simply not the corporations who profit from fossil fuel. All this knowledge began for me in punk lyrics and it’s stuff everyone should know. 

You want to know how as a species we should change the world? Go to Youtube and watch everything with the name Jaques Fresco attached to it. That is the world I believe in and it is what punk stands for

LR: Alright – tell me one more thing. It can be about anything. Just something you’d like to share with readers, something you wish I’d asked but didn’t, whatever. This is your free time.

LB: Usually this is where I would ramble about my other projects, but nothing is quite set in stone with any of them yet.  So, I have to leave you all, hopefully wanting more. 

I’ve enjoyed this interview and really like having the opportunity to let random people get to know me. I’d like to remind people to pick up Shock & Appall when it releases and if they haven’t seen it yet, to check out SYW Magazine. It’s not going anywhere and we’d love anyone’s help to make it grow.

You can also find me on Facebook if you’d like. 


Thanks for coming by, Laramore Black, and sharing your stories with us!!

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