Interview With Carl Boon

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Carl Boon lives and works in İzmir, Turkey. Recent or forthcoming poems appear in Neat, Jet Fuel Review, Blast Furnace, Kentucky Review, and many other magazines. Two of his poems appeared in issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review.

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3288 Review: How and when did you first start writing poetry? Was there a particular event or person which acted as a catalyst?

Carl Boon: I started writing poems in college to impress a girl who ended up rejecting me, anyway. Around that same time, a fellow named Brett Fitzpatrick from Buffalo showed me “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg. I never knew such a thing existed; I didn’t know a poem could look like that, do like that. So I was writing these miserable love poems to LuAnne and at the same time these Howl-ish poems about being 18 in Granville, Ohio, I suppose. A certain poetry professor at Denison, Ann Townsend, put me on the right path by making me take writing seriously.

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Interview with Darryl Love

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Darryl Love is a self taught artist. Supported and encouraged by his family from a young age, his creative education includes being mentored by a tattoo artist, studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, and classes at Kendall College of Art and Design. He cites many influences, including horror movies, comics, heavy metal music, popular art, cartoons, insane asylums, Hieronymus Bosch, Salvador Dali, Joel Peter Witkin, Dante’s Inferno, and video games. Several of his ArtPrize entries have appeared on the covers of local newspapers and on TV; most notably Rorschach in 2013. He worked as a set designer, and acted in the TV commercials for Nights of Fear Haunted Houses where he “scared the owners with his twisted creations in the asylum”. He designed Dark Knight Rises promotional shirts with Design by Humans and Warner Brothers; a poster for Monster Piece Theater (unreleased); a poster and promotional t-shirts for the movie AmeriKan Violence; and promotional art for L.A.’s Shriekfest. He was contacted to work for Red Rock Entertainment in 2014. He has designed images for ECW/WWE legends Sabu and Genie, and has photography on display in Como, Italy. He is currently working on promotional designs for Woodstock 50, and dreams of working with occasional correspondent Rob Zombie.

Love’s work can be seen on his website, on  Facebook,  at TalentHouse, and at TeePublic.

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3288 Review: How did you get started as an artist? Was there a specific influence, either a person or an event?

Darryl Love: My dad once drew me a picture of The Incredible Hulk. It was mind blowing as a kid. Ever since then I wanted to be an artist!

When Mortal Kombat 3 came out, I was 7 or 9 years old. I bought a strategy guide which I still have, and I redrew a lot of the characters from that book. Teachers didn’t like it when I drew the ‘Fatalities’.

My parents divorced, and I moved from California to Michigan where I didn’t know anyone. I kept to myself and drew all the time. Doodled in class. I was a weird nutcase. I even exaggerated the twitches and jitters so people would leave me alone. Then I had a friend in middle school who saw me drawing the Undertaker. We became best friends and he played White Zombie’s La Sexorcisto: Devil Music vol. 1 and Astro Creep: 2000; Korn’s Life is Peachy; Seasons in the Abyss and Reign in Blood by Slayer; and Megadeth and Metallica. I had never heard anything like it before I could feel it—crazy and intense. I loved it! At the time, Slayer was way too intense for me. Now that I’m older I can dig it, and listen to them almost religiously—in particular “The Final Six”.

In high school I kind of got lost in the stupid high school life, and lost myself. My life during this time was hell. My aunt really supported my art. She was killed. God rest her soul. I had to seek therapy. Months later, my therapist had died. Three weeks later my girlfriend cheated on me. I was suicidal, but I used the pain to paint more and, remember my therapist’s advice. It is very healing. I keep hoping, and I’ve learned to live with “it”.

Rob Zombie is a very inspiring guy. We’ve met a few times, and his live shows are the best! I’m more inspired every time I leave a show. I am good at visualizing noise and music so I can see songs in my head.

Meeting WWE’s Torrie Wilson at my first Comic Con was like heaven! She is so beautiful! I was nervous to talk to girls before I met her. She was very nice and super cool. Since then it’s been easier to talk to girls. They inspire me too! Yeah, there’s a lot of things that inspire me. Continue reading →

Interview with Jean Davis

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Jean Davis lives in West Michigan. When not writing, she can be found playing in her garden, enjoying a glass of wine, or lost a good book. Her novel A Broken Race is now available, and her short fiction has appeared in Bards and Sages Quarterly, Acidic Fiction, Tales of The Talisman, The First Line, Allegory, Isotropic Fiction, Liquid Imagination, and more. Upcoming publications include two short fiction stories in Caffeinated PressBrewed Awakenings II anthology. Follow her writing adventures at www.jeanddavis.blogspot.com. Her story “Kick the Cat” appeared in Issue 1.2 in November 2015.

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3288 Review: How and when did you start writing? Was there a specific event or moment which sparked your interest in the written word?

Jean Davis: If we’re to go back to the spark, I’d have to say it was my fourth and fifth grade history teacher who accepted my short stories on the sly and wrote encouraging comments on them, sneaking them back to me tucked between my regular assignments. I don’t recall exactly how we came to this secret arrangement, but the fact that she wasn’t an English teacher, so there wasn’t that pressure, and that she was an adult who liked what I wrote, was very exciting.

I wrote on an off, more so in high school and into my early twenties. And then I had kids. I spent most of their year early years plugging away at various major rewrites on a single novel as time allowed, which if you have young kids and a job, you understand is about ten minutes a week in a state somewhere between exhaustion and asleep.

It wasn’t until 2005 that I found my way to fan fiction where I again got a taste of feedback and encouragement, not that those two things were often hand in hand or very helpful. The search for more productive criticism led me to a critique group. There, I started writing seriously and learned a lot. I’m still learning a lot, seven years later. Continue reading →

Interview with Terry Barr

Terry Barr’s essays have appeared in The Bitter Southerner, Red Savina Review, Full Grown People, Hippocampus, and will soon appear in South Writ Large and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. He has a new essay up at Melange Books. His essay collection, Don’t Date Baptists and Other Warnings From My Alabama Mother, was just published by Red Dirt Press.

3288 Review: How and when did you start writing? Was there a specific event or moment which sparked your interest in the written word?

Terry Barr: I think I’ve always written, but when I got to 9th grade composition, something different happened. My teacher taught us Shakespeare, and then my 10th grade teacher let us write fiction. I read one of my stories to the class, and my best friend—a much better writer than me, I thought—looked back at me in a way he never had before.  But back to 9th grade—that was the first time I really kept a journal. Each day at the beginning of class, we would write “non-stops,” five minutes of intense writing where the only rule was that your pen could not leave the paper. I kept those writing notebooks for years, and employ that method in my writing classes, only I force them to write for longer periods without stopping—maybe 20 minutes.

But I didn’t think a lot about my own creative writing until I joined a writing group in grad school, at the University of Tennessee. I wrote a story about the first time I saw the word “fuck.” My father slapped me for saying it, and then I saw bats circling our favorite neighborhood oak tree. Something about those moments and images cohered into a story back then that I later revised—one of my very first published Creative Nonfiction pieces.  That publication was four years ago, and I have since published over 100 other CNF stories, all using events, moments from my past.  So, journals, bats, the word “fuck” and non-stops. That did it for me! Continue reading →

Upon Writing 150 Rejection Letters

In the third week of January I attended the ConFusion science fiction convention in Novi, Michigan. As cons go this is one of the smaller gatherings, and the mix of panelists and attendees seems to skew toward the professional. In addition to fans, authors and writers of all varieties, there were editors, publishers, marketers, etc., with most wearing more than one hat. As a secretary/chief operations officer/editor/editor in chief, I get how this works.

Last week I sent out the last 75 rejection letters to authors who had submitted work to issue 1.3. To give some perspective: For our first issue we had around twenty-five submissions. Forty writers and artists submitted to issue 1.2; and 1.3—the current issue—saw 175. We can thank DuoTrope, NewPages and Poets & Writers for the bump in visibility.

Why do I mention these two facts together? Because one of the convention panels was titled “The Business of Rejection”. Not all—indeed, not even the majority—of panels at this convention are specific to genre. With careful planning an event like ConFusion can be used as an intensive educational course on the business of publishing.

Having been on the receiving end of no small number of rejection notes, I now find it interesting to be the person handing them out. Here are some of my notes, cleaned up and made relevant to our journal:

  • Don’t take rejection personally. The fact that your submission is not a good fit for this venue at this time does not mean that it won’t work somewhere else.
  • Rejection of a single piece is not rejection of your entire body of work. Unless, of course, this is the only thing you have ever written and submitted.
  • Don’t necessarily edit based on the feedback of a single rejection letter. Each editor will see something different. If you get half a dozen rejections of a poem, and each has the same comments, then maybe take another look at their suggestions.
  • The job of a writer is to write. As an ancillary benefit you may get published, but first and foremost, write for the sake of writing.
  • Rejection can mean different things. A flat “No” means that your work in no way matched the criteria, needs, or taste of the venue to which you submitted. A “No, but please submit again” could mean this one piece was not quite right, or that there were more acceptable pieces than room in the journal, and for whatever reason your work simply didn’t make the final cut. “Please revise and re-submit” (usually accompanied by suggestions) means the editors do want to publish this piece, but it needs a little more refinement.
  • If you get feedback with your rejection letter it means that your work had enough promise for the editors to pay extra attention and offer some guidance.
  • “Rejectomancy” is the dark art of sussing out what is actually being said in a rejection letter.
  • In aggregate, rejection letters can be as useful as writing courses for refining talent.

So thank you to everyone who has submitted work to The 3288 Review, whether we printed you or not. Every piece we read broadens our minds and helps us improve our editorial skills.