Interview with Ian Watson

What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut - if you only read one book in your lifetime, etc.
2) How To Talk Dirty And Influence People by Lenny Bruce - so it's a ghosted autobiography of a notorious celebrity, but it doesn't get any funnier and more incisive than this.
3) Pryor Convictions by Richard Pryor - Except for maybe this.
4) The Hunter by Richard Stark - A classic, amoral revenge story.
5) Make Your Own Damn Movie by Lloyd Kaufman - Zero bullshit in this candid, outrageously funny memoir
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly non-fiction. Fiction seems to follow the McDonald's Mantra - a product's success depends on its uniformity. So every thriller has to fit the Thomas Harris/ James Patterson mould, every fantasy book has to fill the void left by Lord of the Rings, every horror novel has to be Stephen King etc.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Midnight Movie Madness is a 400+ page love letter to watching wild, weird and wonderful films such as Troll 2 and The Tingler with an appreciative audience. It's possible to have more fun at a late-night screening of, say, House on Haunted Hill than at a regular showing of a $250m blockbuster where a slumming Oscar winner runs around for two hours.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Rupert Murdoch. In the late 90s, he effectively did away with the so-called "mid-list" authors - ie the people who sold 40, 000 books rather than 40 million - to concentrate on megabestsellers. So we have him to thank for a world where shelf space is given over to Dan Brown and James Patterson rather than, say, Joe R Lansdale and Ramsey Campbell.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Connecting with people - you share your world with them, they get on your wavelength and, hopefully, enjoy the ride. If they didn't, that's not a problem - we all like different things, after all. But when people go out of their way to be spiteful, that's totally uncalled for, and all bets are off.
What do your fans mean to you?
There are some very smart, very well-read people out there who read my stuff and show me things I wasn't aware of, such as when my man Ozzie Scribbler pointed out that my book Movies That Witness Madness was a return to the days of the fanzine. It is, of course, but I didn't know that when I wrote it, so I guess I'm dumber than a fire hydrant.
What are you working on next?
Lemme see.....I just did a sequel to Sick In The Head, a sexploitation novella I did for Comet Press under the name "Duane Bradley." It's about a penis monster who becomes the biggest porn star on the planet so obviously I had to call it "Second Coming". Maybe Roger Corman will make the film version, then I can watch it on a double bill with Attack of the 60ft Cheerleader.
Who are your favorite authors?
Joe R Lansdale. Elmore Leonard. Richard Stark. Those guys don't waste words.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Pepsi and a Krispy Kreme.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading. "Filling up the tank" as Joe R Lansdale puts it. Or failing that, I'll be at the movies, getting depressed that the leeches who run Hollywood can only make movies for pre-teens with ADHD.
Final thoughts?
Remember what Public Enemy's Chuck D once said: "If you don't like the popular culture, create your own."
Published 2014-10-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Come The Night
Price: Free! Words: 16,760. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
From the author of Midnight Spookshow - 8 weird stories inspired by exploitation cinema.
Son Of Blood Sex & Scooby Snacks
Price: Free! Words: 8,240. Language: English. Published: December 5, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
Stephen king said: "If you love horror movies you've got to have a love for pure S#it!" Bear that in mind, friends and neighbours, as you suffer through another Michael Bay reboot or a sequel to a movie about a film crew that goes to a haunted asylum. Seriously, who goes to a haunted asylum? Nobody that's who. Well, maybe Scooby Doo....
Price: Free! Words: 3,950. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
They were illicit, outrageous, obscene. They were the films that were supposed to deprave and corrupt the minds of those who watched them. They were the Video Nasties....and everything you've heard is true.
The Penis Monster's Movie Guide
Price: Free! Words: 11,970. Language: English. Published: February 25, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
He calls himself "Ol' Painless." He likes bad action movies, Italian zombie flicks and chasing locker room starlets. He's "kind of a dick." And now you can read his thoughts on Uwe Boll, Jean-Claude Van Damme and that mad scientist movie with exploding hookers...
Schlock Sleaze & Cheesy Bs
Price: Free! Words: 12,340. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Entertainment industry, Nonfiction » Entertainment » History & Criticism
Sexploitation! Shocksploitation! Blaxploitation! Grindhouses and drive-ins may be gone, but the b-string and basement budget pictures that played them have endured. With their bad acting, drooping mikes and constant mix of day/night shots, you wouldn't call them well-made but there's a strange appeal to their raw, unrestrained shenanigans. Welcome to the golden age of Exploitation Cinema!
Movies That Witness Madness Part VII
Price: Free! Words: 4,040. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Entertainment industry
Just because a movie "falls off the screen" doesn't mean it can't be entertaining. Especially if it ends with a naked Susan Strasberg shooting lasers at a 400 year old Indian Medicine Man. In space. In Part 7, "Hollywood Horses#1t", you'll get the lowdown on such incomparable cinematic travesties as The Manitou, Megaforce, House of the Dead and many more...
Movies That Witness Madness Part VI
Price: Free! Words: 3,830. Language: English. Published: October 22, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Entertainment industry
Attention zombie fans! Like gratuitous gore, diabolical dubbing and showering starlets? In Part 7 of our ongoing series, "Spaghetti Flesh Eaters", you'll get the lowdown on those incomparable Italian Dawn of the Dead knock-offs Burial Ground, Zombie Creeping Flesh, Nightmare City, Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 and more! So dim the lights, open the brewskis and enjoy a bonkers b-movie extravaganza!
Movies That Witness Madness Part V
Price: Free! Words: 3,550. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Entertainment industry
Which film repeats a shot of Sybil Danning disrobing seventeen times during the end credits? Why did it cause Christopher Lee to apologize to director Joe Dante? And did he know he was appearing in a send-up? In part 5 of this ongoing series, you'll get the answers to these burning questions as well as discovering why we never got to see David Hasselhoff in Pet Sematary 3...
Movies That Witness Madness Part IV
Price: Free! Words: 3,840. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Entertainment industry
Movies That Witness Madness is an ongoing series exploring the trashy, schlocky, silly joys of midnight cinema. Part IV, "Dwain Esper Goes To The Drive-In" focuses on the peddlers of cheap Drive-In movies who became the kings of turning a profit from trash, including Herscell Gordon Lewis and Al Adamson.
Movies That Witness Madness Part III
Price: Free! Words: 3,560. Language: English. Published: September 7, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Entertainment industry
Movies That Witness Madness is an ongoing series extolling the trashy, schlocky stupid joys of midnight cinema. In Part 3, you'll discover which film left a drug-addled Stephen King helpless with laughter, how Neil Sedaka was humiliated by a jellyfish and find out which director got their start on Korea-made King Kong knock-off.
Movies That Witness Madness Part II
Price: Free! Words: 3,660. Language: English. Published: August 27, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Entertainment industry
Movies That Witness Madness is an ongoing series dedicated to the trashy, schlocky, stupid joys of Midnight Cinema. Part II, "Strange Invaders", includes Cat Women Of The Moon, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians and Teenagers From Outer Space.
Movies That Witness Madness Part I
Price: Free! Words: 3,870. Language: British English. Published: August 20, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Entertainment industry
Sick of Big Budget Hollywood Horse$£@t? Of course you are! Who needs all that Michael Bay guff when you can watch movies about modern-day druids, dressed in straw hats and denim dungarees, who exsanguinate their victims in a garden shed? Welcome to the trashy, schlocky stupid joys of the midnight movie!
Now Recruiting
Price: Free! Words: 670. Language: English. Published: July 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
Why are homeless people disappearing from from London's streets, never to be seen again? Urban legends of forced labor and black market organ-legging abound, but the truth is far stranger...