Thursday, February 4, 2010

13 Questions with MyMiserys: Ray Garton

interview conducted by MyMiserys (Kim Cook)

1. How old were you when you wrote what you consider your first story?

That depends. I started "writing" stories before I could write. I drew them in panels, sort of like comic books, or in series of pictures. Once I started learning to write, I just switched to words. Come to think of it, either way, I really have no idea how old I was when I wrote my first story, or what my first story was about. I've been doing it forever, so it's impossible to tell. It's sort of like asking when was the first time I used a toilet. And there are quite a few people, I'm sure, who would be quick draw similarities between those two questions.

2. What inspired you to write it?

There was never any inspiration. It was always part of me. It was just something I did, like eating or breathing.

3. What was the first book you wrote?

I wrote my first novel in the sixth grade. It was about 350 pages long (about 87,500 words), typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. It had a beginning, middle and end, with characters who developed as the story went along. And it was awful. Abslolute dreck. It was about the interwoven relationships of some kids in junior high, and it was called COUPLES. I found out that some years prior to that, John Updike had written a novel called COUPLES. Apparently, he wasn't too concerned about it because he didn't sue.

4. Of all the books you've written, which is your favorite?

My personal favorite is SEX AND VIOLENCE IN HOLLYWOOD. It's not a horror novel, it's a dark comedy-thriller. It was the best writing experience I've ever had. The book flowed so smoothly, steadily and quickly. It was great fun. And I was very pleased with the finished product.

5. Which book would you like to forget you wrote?

IN A DARK PLACE: THE STORY OF A TRUE HAUNTING, about a family who'd allegedly lived in a demon-infested funeral home. The same story was made into the TV re-enactmend and later the movie, THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT (although it was not based on my book). The book was sold as non-fiction, although it wasn't. After signing the contract, I was told to make up much of it. The whole thing was a rank fraud. I wish I'd never ever gotten into that mess.

6. Who is the most influential person in your life?

My wife Dawn.

7. Who is your favorite author?

I've never been able to answer that question. And I've tried. I'm not avoiding it to be diplomatic, either. I honestly can't narrow it down to one favorite. I love the work of so very many writers.

8. If you could only own one book, what would it be?

Wow. It would have to be some kind of instructional manual on how not to go insane when you have only one book, because if I could have only one book, that's what I'd do.

9. When and where do you write?

I write in my home office, a room overloaded with books, toys, movie memorabilia and posters, and equipped with a TV, DVD player, VCR and stereo (I usually have music or a movie running while I work). "When" is a little less concrete. I used to work all night, but for the last year and a half, I've been trying change that because it's hard to have a life when you stay up all night working. Right now, I do most of my writing during the morning and afternoon hours and some at night before bed, but I'm still in a kind of transitional period.

10. Do you have a "day job?"

Now that I'm writing during the day, yes. I've been writing full time since 1983.

11. Do you have a "dream job?"

One of the following two: A professional movie critic, or the host of an all-night radio show that would be a blend of music and talk, with flexible topics, lots of laughs, and really cool callers.

12. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Anywhere but here. I currently live in the rectum of the California. I'm serious. If California needed a colonoscopy, they would insert the scope here in Shasta County.

13. What is your guilty pleasure?

You're assuming I have only one. My big guilty pleasure right now (that I can share with you, anyway) is conspiracy theories. I love following them on the internet. The Illuminati, reptilian aliens from the planet Draco posing as human beings who secretly run the world, Masons, Bohemian Grove, the evil secrets behind the Denver Airport, the Illuminati secrets revealed in EYES WIDE SHUT for which Stanley Kubrik was murdered in his sleep, mind controlling cell phone towers, the Nazi base that's been on the moon since 1944, Satanic Ritual Abuse, Satanists running the military, the fact that the makers of THE MATRIX had advance knowledge of 9/11, and don't get me started on all the theories about 9/11. I could go on and on. I should point out that I do not subscribe to these theories, but I find them wildly entertaining.

(The Black Glove wishes to thank Ray Garton for his time and efforts)

--Kim Cook