Interview with H. C. Turk

What does "H. C." stand for?
Harold Carl. "Carl" was supposed to be spelled with a "K" (in honor of my grandfather), but they got it wrong in the hospital. My life has been following its own tangent ever since.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up, and how has that youthful dream affected your career?
I wanted to be a firefighter. Now I can't imagine why I ever wanted to place potential conflagration between myself and a paycheck. That childhood dream has taught me to dream better.
How did you become a writer?
I began writing because I enjoyed it and found I was good at it and that being a writer would not place any conflagration between me and a paycheck.
What is your latest project?
Decades of dreams: held prisoner by a sprinkling system, a picnic evaluated by TV critics, stealing boats in an art museum, plastering invisible walls, a contest won by a water spirit, baseball in a ghost town, my neighbor elected Queen of England, working for a Neanderthal, deadly elevators in ancient buildings, traveling theater in a hot-air balloon, murderous bodybuilders on an alien planet, etc.
Why are you writing this book?
If dreams are mankind's purest, poorest stories, is the life of mankind fiction for God?
How do you come up with your titles?
I always find my titles somewhere inside the books. I never have a title before I start writing.
How do you choose your genre?
I don't write within the constraints of any genre. Everything I do is literary fiction, including the SF and cross-genre rave-ups.
Since you write "literary" fiction, can you show us something pretentious?
No prob! Here is one of my off-the-rack artist's statement: My goal in writing, photography, painting, or digital imagery is to manifest art's most important social function: providing audacious beauty, which cannot be expressed in the culture of political protest. My work protests against the falseness of spurious fashion. My politics reject democracy's failure in promoting mediocrity as palatable while excluding excellence as elitist. I seek an elitist intimacy that compels extended sight, the deliberation of beauty viewed, beauty envisioned.
How can you be so audacious as to presume yourself a writer?
I'll have to get back to you on that one.
You also create music and visual art? How do you fit all these art faces on one head?
"If it don't fit, force it." I learned that while working in construction. We all get along just fine; for example, my music videos combine all three: music (obviously), literature (lyrics), and visual art (the, uh, visuals).
What's the strangest thing you've done while engaged in research?
I can't specify that right now due to the statue of limitations.
Who is your favorite character in your books, and why?
Melody is my favorite character. She appeared in my first published novel, Ether Ore (Tor Books), and in Martian Dog and Rocket Roll. Melody is my favorite because I can do anything with her, and she's sexy (the two do not go together).
What are some of your favorite opening lines? Please, no cheating: only opening lines from your completed novels.
Gotcha. Here are some of my favorite opening lines and the titles of the completed novels, no cheating:

I hate books that begin with "I."
(A Book That Ends With Me)

Bill wrote a careful, complete shopping list, though he knew his next meal might be his last.
(A Door I'll Never Enter)

A master had painted the world.
(An Atmosphere Of Angels)

"How will we ever explain to our daughter that her birth was an experiment?"
(Martian Dog)

Oldies were playing when he hit the darling on her head.
(Heaven Again)

Andrew Vizard had not driven forty miles to the nearest mall to go shopping for a gang war.
(My Lover Calls Me April)

Never before had the handmaid seen a gentleman's forearms.
(Next Century)

Because Rod could not bear the thought of killing his father with his bare hands, he looked around for a knife to stab him in the eye.
(Resurrection Flowers)

Wes Tomsic wondered when his daughter would catch fire.
(All The Creatures)

They knew without looking that the moon was full because they were having body parts for breakfast.
(Witches Eat Well)

When smoke issued from his penis, they pulled the plug.
(Zombie Box)
What do you hope your readers will come away with after reading your books?
The satisfaction of reading a story that is more than entertainment.
What are a writer's most important tools?
I could be metaphysical and say that a writer's greatest tool is an imagination unhindered by self-deceptive propaganda. Or, I could say a pencil. Or a pen. Typewriter.
What advice would you give to people who want to be writers?
First, read more. More than that. Read what you haven't read before, read books and plays and poetry that are unfamiliar to you. Then, ask yourself why you want to be a writer. Because you want to do something pretty much like the last something you read? Because you can add to the world of expression and understanding? Because you grasp that the word "literature" wasn't coined by authors who have created the most vital and valuable writings of their eras, but by their admirers? Because you wanna make a buck? The most important thing I can say is this: If you are truly a writer, you were born a writer. It has nothing to do with publishing.
Is it impossible for you to do anything simple?
Yes.
How do you fit within the electronic world dominated by social media?
I don't fit worth a damn. I don't blog or twit or do Farcebook. I think people should only communicate with handmade, handwritten postcards. Hand delivered. Exceptions can be made for amputees with no hands. Kindly people everywhere will be glad to lend them a hand.
I notice an online Q&A with you that seems totally fictional. Comment?
The dialogue you might have read between myself and my stuffed dog, Buff, was staged. I admit it. He doesn't speak, and never did. Not even when I received Buff as a gift when I was a kid did I imagine that he could speak. Because I write fiction, however, I made up his part in the dialogue. I think he did swell. (Let me add that Buff is also the star of my animated music vid, I Eat Puppies. [No canines or plushies were harmed during the creation of this video.])
You're not very informative. Why don't you allow me to ask your age or how long you've been writing or where you live or if you still beat your spouse? As an artist, are you trying to be mysterious and intriguing?
My intention as an artist all along has been to base my work on the person I am, and not be an imitation of anyone else. I welcome visitors to enter my world and my art in all its many forms and learn about me from what I have achieved with my music and my writing and my visual work. I don't intend to be mysterious by failing to mention that I was born in Michigan or attended a high school that is now a nutria ranch. Regarding intrigue, I only want to intrigue people with what I create as an artist. I don't presume to impress them with my shoe size or political views. (8 1/2, moderate reactionary).
Can you reveal a secret side of yourself that's been hidden for years?
After much soul-searching, I agree to reveal an exclusive truth about myself that no one else knows. This revelation is certain to shock and awe. Although I know that I am teetering on the edge of losing my audience by driving them away in astonished consternation, it's too late. I've decided. Yes, I'm laying it on the line. It's coming any time. Here ya go. I hope you're happy now that you've driven me to my knees! But I won't hold back: this revelation is coming from the depths of my heart, which, like the river of all our dreams, is deep and wide (and muddy on the bottom). HOLD ON, the excruciating truth that I now reveal is ................................ WpwpwpueZZ?idiudkueedu8l~!, which obviously is in Marzian. You'll be able to translate it after reading Galactic Fat.
Do you have any parting words?
My final words are that if I haven't said enough already, this should do it.
Published 2013-09-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Inventing The Real
Price: Free! Words: 4,860. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Willy Billy, the cookie boy, and Bonny Bunny, the rabbit girl, steal Mr. Puma's skyboat, but crash. Their moms fix them with a kiss. Then Puma arrives, vowing to invent biology so the kids will be as hard to fix as his boat. View the animated video at Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/137967330