Sweat Drenched Author: An Interview with Zak A. Ferguson, Part One

EDITOR’S DISCLAIMER: This statement is necessitated by certain unexpected events that directly followed the publication of this interview. Any statements made within this interview or elsewhere by the featured author are his own and do not reflect the beliefs or standards of Silent Motorist Media personnel. Furthermore, Silent Motorist Media is not supported or funded in any way by the featured author or his press. We apologize for any confusion in this matter. The appearance of this interview in tandem with any outside events was entirely unexpected and purely coincidental.

-Justin A. Burnett

This is either the greatest, most cutting-edge work of interview journalism I’ve had the pleasure to write; or the worst, most useless piece of shit I’ve ever put my name to—the kind that will make my family happy I write with a pseudonym. Anywho, after hours of trying to unscramble this incoherent babble, I bring to you an exclusive interview with the Sweat Drenched Author himself, Zak A. Ferguson.

-Austin James

EDITOR’S NOTE: This interview will appear in two parts with corresponding links. Why? Because this particular piece was an editing nightmare. Zak’s interview tried to break WordPress, and I literally can’t post the whole thing without crashing my computer. Eat Your Keyboard and Fuck Your Processor, apparently. Oh well. We consider these circumstances apt, given the gentleman we are attempting to represent.

-Justin A. Burnett

Zak Author Pic

“Experimentalism saved the fat boy and it will kill the fat boy.” -Zak A. Ferguson

SESSION ONE
Austin James: Alright chap, let’s get straight to it: your writing is a like a prose bomb. I can feel the outpouring just by reading a single line. Tell us what it’s like when you sit down at the keyboard to write.
Zak Ferguson: It’s fucking awful. Because it argues back. THE SYSTEM IS WITHIN. I have no control… no, it’s freedom. It’s pure transcendence, its therapy, it’s a life line.

If it’s like a bomb, inside my mind it’s just toxicity, gaseous elements, fragmentations, flash bulb effects from my subconscious. When it hits the “page” once finger-enthusiasm is released, I’m not making love to the keyboard. I’m raping it.

Your answer produces the mental image of Bruce Banner fighting to keep the Hulk inside, suppressed, like mind versus heart, because all he really wants is to release the beast.

It’s suppressed. Because for me it… needs to be.

It’s there. It’s easy to take from mind to page, from mind to page, from mind to page; and it has that rapport, that necessary ruthless rhythm—that structure; it’s all natural and it’s in the moment, it’s pure, it’s… bullshit. I want to let it build.

Hulk wants to be let out. These words don’t. But this book does. That make sense? Of course it doesn’t, because it doesn’t need to. It’s about pushing. Piking. Stabbing. Intruding.

For me it’s not about this word trailing after that word to form such-and-such idea. It’s like an involuntary pre-cum squirt except it comes out quicker and faster. It’s not an idea-verbatim-induced-implemented-here-we-are, because it’ll most likely not read (or look, or feel) right to me. Then comes a pointless self-loathing.

All the suppression does is worsen it. Gets it out of the way until it flares up like a heel-blister, once again to subside to then pop out of desperation to loosen the mind’s bowel. In a way this suppression is a must for my experimental and transgressive pieces, because when it eventually hits said page it has an in-built atmosphere born from not being instinctively put-upon page and edited and nurtured. I have no rhythm… I have manic moments. I have hate. I love. I laugh. It builds. It explodes onto the page and it seeps out an aura, a sincerity, whether rude, crude or controversial. Its truth. It’s what you’re feeling and need people and yourself to perceive. Not tell. Coerce. Objectify. Mock.

The industry’s usual stream of conscious hyper awareness style of writing and structure doesn’t excite me. Its conformity to an empty systemized rule. And I hate it. I rebel against the nature of writing as well as how its context and overall linearity seems.

Is it a cure?

To what? Bad writing? Bad literation? Or for myself? ALL OF THEM!!!!!! And more.

Is it a way to cope? Yes. Is it healthy? Possibly not. Probably not. No most likely it’s a vicious cycle. But it needs to be. Or I wouldn’t have anything to write about. Does it help? Most times. Experimentalism saved the fat boy and it will kill the fat boy. It extracts my hang-ups and issues, gets resized for my fractured mind and Autistic ways. It’s very Autistic, my writing. Very erratic and petulant and screaming to be heard and fucking understood without the mis-preceding it.

Between these images and your social media moniker (Sweat Drenched Author) I imagine you beating the shit out of your keyboard, fingertips bloody, talking to yourself, days on end, soaked in piss. Well, maybe not soaked in piss. But un-showered, no concept of the time that has passed as you chug away at the words. Burnt-out cigarettes hanging from your mouth, chunks of ashes crumbling to your shirt. Only stopping for tea time.

I honestly think you have cameras in my room right now. As we talk now it’s 3:37 AM and I’m smoking, sweating, and no concept of time until you mentioned before about it.

You know what? I don’t stop unless I want to talk to S.C. Burke, which is usually me harried and at a loose end sending videos that, looking back, is the image you described.

Breaks for coffee. A pace around outside. My ideas never come from dreams. Only reveries and emotional reactions. My emotions are taut, confused, ridiculous and alien. I love to study that in my writing. In my extrapolations and literary ejaculations. “Sweat Drenched” because I’m hammering at it. It’s a poison, swallowed and broken down.
Soaked in three-day-old-sweat, wearing it like a second skin. Because I sweat a lot. I sweat out my angst. My prose is the sweat.

And yes, bloody fingers are a thing. I bite my knuckles when simmering, anxious, so much they’re deformed and scarred.

My longest writing without a break is A Taste of Feeling, my upcoming book release. 600+ pages. Two weeks. Me. Laptop. Coffee. Smokes. Subconscious overriding my system. I must have lost five stone due to the sweating. My poor carpets. It’s like going through an armpit smelling boggy marsh.

Sounds delicious. Switching subjects… this cutting-edge journalist wants to know: what’s it like being a Canadian living in the Czech Republic with a bunch of ignorant American friends?

Shut up Austin!

That sounds like a strange feeling. Describe it for us?

I’m truly suffering from an identity crisis with you buddy. If I was a Canadian I’d be beating up walls… I hear their tap water is the most refined Vodka ever. Also, most Americans aren’t ignorant.

I’d be happy I’m farther away from the UK Small Literary Extreme Horror Scene. Ha.

UK has a dastardly extreme horror scene, do they gov’na?

Yes, the UK horror scene is ugly. It’s spiteful. Its ignorant asshole after ignorant asshole.

Sorry… but as soon as that question came up I couldn’t help but pull out my dagger, so I can go knifing those cry baby egoists in the UK EXTREME HORROR SCENE.

Oh lord. I’ve gone 89 days without incident. Without screaming at the likes of those…

(Breath in and out)

What were we talking about?

I have no idea.

The literary scene is a place where one person needs to have the same values and ideals as “them” all. That’s why NihilismRevised exists.

Because?

Because we have to! There is not a Press out there not dampened by one ego who wants all the cake. Even the crumbs. A litany of badly assembled books might sell well, but has that art reverberated in such a long standing evolutional way? Nope. Nor will it. Thus:

  1. NR is led by an ingeniously wise, commanding, free-thinking, vastly intellectual REAL genuine human who excretes a pheromone called creation. He wants it to spread.
  2. We’re about freedom. Individuality. Telling a story. Your truth. Not a truth to satisfy the masses.
  3. Who else takes in the supposed degenerates? The non-conformists? The fucked-up, Dangerous Writers?
  4. We exist to push. To expand minds. To leave our impression on the map of the Universe. To keep the nature of publishing and the book as an artform in itself going.
  5. NR is a literary underground that’s a collective of opinions, and satires, and prose, and transgressions, and literature—it can alter perceptions, quell expectations and bring down bullshit rules put in place to keep you locked up into a false security.
  6. Our words will hopefully spur on a new generation of thought. Not new. But it will be considered new. We’ve been called “New-New-Wave” because we’re a collective and family—accepting of all. The small minority, but whose words will make an ever-lasting impact because what we’re offering is PURE UNADULTERATED COLLABORATIVE CREATION.
  7. As individuals and specifically as ARTISTS we are about pushing and going forward. Not backward. And definitely not looking at the present with anything less than a pained expression.

(enter polite conversation about pausing the interview due to something that makes us sound cool, sexy, and dangerous)

SESSION TWO

So, where were we? Oh yeah: you’re an Irishman and NR is a revolution of creative explosion… but enough of that. Let’s move on. How did you meet S.C.?

I met him on Grindr, “Sexy Yanks” Filter.

That’s weird…. that’s how I met him too.

He gets around, that chap.

Wish I would’ve known beforehand; condoms are much less expensive than herpes ointment. We should just do this whole interview where we spread rumors about him. “I heard he has three nipples and 1.5 assholes”

He created the new sex position called Nihilistically Revived. I saw the faces of my Fathers after that night.

And then you were like “let’s take this shit above ground and start a revolution.” The End.

Hahaha. Seriously though, I met him on social media. It’s a long beautiful story. Beautiful because to begin with I was threatened by him.

Oh? Do tell…

Not by him. But by his presence.

As always, Facebook provides a grand mirage of friend requests and mutual friend recommendations. I don’t know how long S.C. and I were FB friends, or whether I friended him, or he friended me; but his passion for 80s cinema (particularly around Arrow Video Blu-ray releases) piqued my interest.

I’d always been interested in discovering that avenue of old video nasties or cult cinema, but also our friendship started from my novice point of view on Dario Argento. Soon I discovered that he was a publisher and a writer, and he was going out there on his own publishing his own work. Do-it-yourself on a local level—it was pure underground stuff and it really piqued my interest. He carried himself online as he is in real life. Calm.

Passionate. Collected. Vastly knowledgeable in film.

But, that was where I felt threatened.

As you know, some people in the Small Press world, or of whom have a social presence when discussing film, make everything a BIG DICK competition on who is more knowledgeable and well-watched.

S.C. didn’t seem to be posting for likes or to extort his opinion. He is a huge purveyor and cinematic encyclopedia. His posts were not littered with abrasive comments. It was empty of all pretense and showmanship. He was sharing his loves. Like real, genuine fans do. Showing off his recent purchases because he adores them and not because he wanted to be part of a scene or a conversation. His online self was real. It was a FB page that wasn’t being used as a platform to be noticed or be someone.

He was just him.

I noticed he was giving out books. Many claim to do so just to seduce your interest. Once they realize you’re across the seas they postpone, neglect, or ignore. S.C. said, “I’ll send you two copies with an NR bundle.” A week later it arrived. He spent £35 dollars to get these books to me. That’s when I realized he was one of the REAL ones.

Yeah, he really is a stand-up dude. Professional, honest, gives a shit about the art and the artist.

It shocked me. It made me stop, allowed me to pause. He treated me like a peer. He kept to his word. He was REAL. He helped me realize that my (almost) disenfranchised feelings and fatigue were ruining my chances to meet people of my ilk, because I felt used and abused by certain individuals in the UK/USA horror press. I was sick of conforming and trying to be part of something I never loved or had a passion for, but I wanted to belong. And whilst trying to belong I lost myself as a writer and individual and wasn’t giving myself time to reflect properly.

I was fucked off. Disappointed. And it affected me and those around me who could be good for me.

I’m happy I reached out to him that day. I’m happy he replied. I’m happy that even after our barmies, we’re universally tied. He is my everything. Sounds extreme? It’s because that’s how close we are.

He saved my life. He made me a better person. He is one of my dearest friends and I love him with everything I have. He’s why I write. He’s why I wake up and smile and manage to drag myself into some cognitive function because I want to talk to him.

When we talk, we create. We make love. We are beyond brothers. His art made me want to be a truer-functioning individual. I wanted to be an artist. No distinction. He does stuff with words that makes me want to up my game as a writer and as a free-thinking individual.

Anyway, before I go into the metaphysics, it was apparent we were symbiotically bound.
After reading his book id Cancer I understood what I wanted to be. Me. Myself. Autistic. Experimental. ARTIST. I’m a better person because of him. He accepted me for me. He listened. He cared—he cares. He is just the most indescribable force in my life. I’m living my dream because of him. Every day I learn from him.

He made realize that my art was my extension of self. My intellectualism and strengths and weaknesses are all the same. Be true to you. By creating art that is YOUR truth.
He made me realize everything is inconsequential. BUT NOT YOUR ART.

And I want to make sexy space love to him.

As I answer this I’m being British as fuck. I’m eating a pork pie.

zak1

I have no idea what a pork pie is. But I’m glad S.C. saved you, man… just as the two of you are saving others. So, tell me, with NR, what’s the deal? He makes the books you find the talent?

He does everything.

I point at people and say I like them. I read the works. I do various second eyes on edits, like a proof reader but more opinionated and assholey!

I am literally NR’s voice. I’m the face and voice and the preacher. I’m a messenger. But I’m not the book builder.

Does that detract my status as Co-Head if NR? No. I don’t want to be that dick, but you know me—modest as ever and outspoken: A LOT OF YOU FUCKERS UNDERMINE MY INFLUENCE AND PLACE AT THIS HERE CULTS TABLE.

But, I don’t mind. In a way, what I do is enough to have gotten NR noticed and attracted such amazing talent. I kicked it into gear. Then once people engage with S.C. and experience a taste of NR, that speaks for itself and that’s why people are feeling the appeal and a lure of NR.

I’m here for the writers. To keep them on track. To talk the mechanics of the work and literature. Sometimes a therapist to the writer’s muse. I pretty much steam rolled in and selfishly wanted our books to be available on Amazon/printed professionally—at no cost, instead of him forking out thousands to local printers of whom would not do a stellar job, plus the frustrations of shipping out books. He entered CreateSpace territory.

Here enters NR YEAR 1 XL: P.O.D. STYLE. It changed everything. It enabled S.C. to finally create and help others to create.

So, in fact (hyperbole aside), I’m a loud mouth pretentious fat boy who is a fan of NR. And shoved himself into the seat—and S.C. can’t breathe beneath my layers of cake loving, pork-pie-induced lard flaps. So, I forced myself in. And I’m remaining.

[…]

CONTINUE TO PART TWO

EYK Alternate Coverart

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