Monday, April 18, 2011

Gateway to Bizarro: 13 Questions with Steve Lowe

I've been a little obsessed with the Bizarro genre as of late and Steve Lowe, author of Muscle Memory and Wolves Dressed as Men, agreed to answer some questions for my blog.

How did your becoming one of the New Bizarro Authors come about?

I had written this strange little book called Muscle Memory, a short novella that I didn’t really know what to do with. I was searching for publishers that accepted stories of that length, and also those that publish weird fiction. I eventually stumbled across Eraserhead Press and the New Bizarro Author Series and decided to submit. That was my first exposure to bizarro fiction, so it was a bit of an accident in a way.

Which of the body-swapping comedies (not involving Kirk Cameron) is your favorite?
I suppose it would be Vice Versa, starring ‘Wonder-Years-era’ Fred Savage and ‘My-Career-Peaked-With-Beverly-Hills-Cop’ Judge Reinhold. But really, I love them all in a nostalgic sort of way, since most of them came out in the late 1980s, right around the time I was entering my teen years.

How does that compare with your experience of getting Wolves Dressed as Men published?
Wolves was rejected a couple times before I found Eternal Press. I sent it to a couple horror publishers, but it wasn’t quite “horror” enough for most of them. The small element of romance in the book appealed to Eternal, which actually puts out more romance than other genres. Aside from the cover art being done for me on Wolves, both publishers are fairly similar. Since they’re small, independent presses, the marketing and promotion of the book has been all up to me and I’ve tried to use promote them together in a lot of ways.

Was there a book that made you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Not really, because I’ve always wanted to be a writer, going back to when I was a kid. But the books that got me back into writing fiction about three years ago was Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road and Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club”. Those two lit a fire under me to try fiction again after writing nothing but sports for my local newspaper for the previous seven years.

Who are some of your influences?
The aforementioned McCarthy and Palahniuk are big ones. I love McCarthy’s stark style and Palahniuk’s sharp wit and humor.

What's your favorite book?
The two I mentioned, plus No Country For Old Men ranks up there as well. The first book I really loved was probably Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck blew me away when I first read him in high school, and still does.

Who's your favorite author?
McCarthy, Palahniuk, Steinbeck, Christopher Moore is pretty good. Cameron Pierce writes some pretty amazing short stories and fellow NBASer Caris O’Malley has an excellent new book in the works called Clownhunter.

What's the best book you've read in the last six months?
Let’s see, last six months… Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi was pretty darn good, and I made sure I read True Grit before I see the movie (which I still haven’t), and that was excellent. True Grit is probably the best one in the last six months.

What's your favorite werewolf movie?
When I was a kid, it was Silver Bullet, but these days, I’m not sure. The Wolfman remake with Benicio Del Toro wasn’t half bad, though I know some people hated it. I thought it was solid, and actually had a couple frightening moments. I’ll go with that one.

If you were an ice cream flavor, which flavor would you be?
Blueberry Onion. That way, no one would want to eat me, and I could live forever.

Which of the Planet of the Apes movies is your favorite?
To be perfectly honest, the next Planet of the Apes movie I see in its entirety will be my first, so I can’t give a solid answer here. I will say the trailer for the new one coming out soon does look pretty badass.

Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?
Try to write every day, even if it’s a blog, a journal entry, a review, whatever. And if you can’t write, you’d better be reading instead. Those are the two things that I strive to do: write every day, and read every day. The best way to learn is by doing, and by seeing what others are doing.

What's next for Steve Lowe?
Hopefully, more books from Eraserhead Press. I wrote an odd novella that is currently titled “The Duke’s Tumor” last year. It may or may not see the light of day. I also finished the first draft of a decidedly non-bizarro thriller last month called “The Do-Over Man”. I’m pretty confident both of them will find a home eventually, but the main goal now is to reach my sales target for Muscle Memory and see what happens after that.


  1. I hope you continue doing interviews with the NBAS authors, all of them are amazingly witty and funny. Their interviews will definitely be something to look forward to!

    My favorite answer from Steve? BlueBerry Onion...

  2. Blueberry Onion was my favorite answer, too. I'm hoping to get the others to answer some questions as well.

  3. "Blueberry Onion" may very well be one of my favorite quotes I've ever read.