My novels and short stories shove readers’ brains deep into the messy word world of cultural chaos and raw violence.
But, in most media interviews about Paddy’s Day in Trump Town, my most recent novel, I’ve focused on partisan politics and the distorted way too many people live in Northeastern Pennsylvania hard coal country.
And, yeah, we’re hard coal country whether you like it or not.
Nowadays, with no boss, living and creating in Scranton as an outlaw novelist, I’m a paperback writer whose words might offend more people than when I wrote news columns for the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre or argued with blockheads on local wasteland radio for a decade.
WVIA’s Erika Funke understands.
Unlike most media interviewers Funke comes with a well-informed artistic arsenal that recognizes fiction as power and words as weapons of societal self-defense. She gently prods and questions with the ease of the intellectual she is.
Erika Funke gets it.
Our recent conversation gave me a chance to share with her and WVIA listeners some of the method to my madness after transitioning from a decades-long journalism career to the novel world of my imagination where a thin line often exists between fact and fiction.
Funke is a senior producer, morning host of Classical Music, Early Birds, and other programs. “ArtScene”, her award-winning daily arts program, features interviews with creative individuals from the region, the United States and abroad, according to her station bio.
That’s me – a creative individual, a primitive and proud of it, from the region.
I respect and admire Funke.
More people need to understand how edgy, unsafe art, genesis that offends, disturbs and sets the stage for progress that best prepares an uncertain world for a visionary tomorrow. Originality and authenticity trump, no pun intended, the dull self-absorbed moderation of the masses who are too often asses.
Answer the Muse and be yourself by whatever means necessary.
As legendary Parliaments-Funkadelic intrepid traveler George Clinton said, “Free your mind and your ass will follow.”
Here’s the link to the WVIA ArtScene interview.
Like I said on the radio, “You better listen!”