Monday 30 August 2010

Dancing With Myself: AJ HAYES interviews AJ HAYES

Let's hear it for Aj Hayes:

Hugh Hefner: So tell me Hayes, why are you jumping into Nigel's list so early on?

That's easy. Between Keith Rawson and Jon Jordan every good idea I had about what to write for Mr. Bird got used up right off in the first two self-interviews. I hate it when two cocky, funny, talented inglourious basterds jump into action ahead of me and leave only swamp water and road kill that's past it's use by date for me to dine on idea-wise. Life's hard and then you look into a puddle and see your reflection and realize you're not talented and ugly and momma liked the fat fucking neighbor kid way better than you and--

HH: Jesus Christ! This is one bat shit mother fuc . . . um . . . Ah, tell me AJ, when did you start writing?

I guess on and off since I was about eight or nine. Usual kid stuff: comic book scripts, terrible fantasy stories, lame SF and of course, sex stories featuring the fat fucking neighbor kid (yes she was a girl and yes my momma did have some interesting tendencies) who grew up and turned into this sex kitten cherry bomb goddess who looked right through me like I was a turd in her driveway holding a bracelet I thought was beautiful that had cost me all the money I made from my paper route for a whole summer but I could tell she thought the bracelet was some kind of pig present from a warty, snuffling, pimpled perv of a neighbor boy who was too ugly to live and--

HH: Yes, well, maybe we should move on. When did you get serious about your writing?

Oh man. Yeah. Spring of 95. A guy in a B&N told me about Stephanie Mood's fiction writing class over at Grossmont Community College. I said what the hell and signed up. Stephanie is a genius writing teacher and a super cool, don't give me no shit expert in getting the best out of her students. But that's not the really cool cool part. The cool cool part was that I was the only dumb shit rookie in a class that happened to include these three really kick ass writers. Names were: Jimmy Callaway, Josh Converse and Craig Oliver. They kinda took pity on the poor talentless schmuck (me) and over the course of three or four semesters and lots and lots of late night Sunday bull sessions at a nearby Denny's taught me how to write some stuff that didn't, exactly, suck. Tell ya man, if you gotta start this mug's game we call writing, there ain't no better way and absolutely no better people to hang with. Lucky? you damn betcha I was.
There was a waitress there though that when I saw her, I thought she was the fat chick sex kitten cherry bomb neighbor bitch and I wanted, no, I needed to come across the table, grab her, throw her down in the booth and--

HH: Ah . . . yes . . . you know I think I might have met her a couple of years ago. We were doing a center spread called "Fat Chicks Of The Neighborhoods" and . . .. But this is about you not me. Let's try another question. Who is the best and least known writer you know about?

Piece of cake, man. Josh Converse. Hands down. Writes this sparse, brutal prose that hits so hard and deep you think it's poetry. I mean his stuff is, well, beautiful as blood in the moonlight. Only reason he's not all that well known is he publishes sparingly and doesn't call attention to himself. But, I'm here to tell you, if you see anything with his name on it, jump on it. You'll never be disappointed.
Like momma and that fat cherry bomb slut from next door disappointed me when they run off together and set up shop in a run down trailer park hot bed whore farm down by Nestor in a river bottom that stank of dope and urine and . . . I think I need to go take my meds now Hef. Say, you got any Mad Dog Twenty Twenty?

HH: I think you might be right about those meds. But one more question before you go. Which writers are you reading right now that you think rock?

You kidding me? Look at Nigel's list. Those are just a few of the folks who blow me away. Then there's places like, Twist Of Noir, Title Fights, Yellow Mama, Beat To A Pulp, Out Of The Gutter, Watery Grave, Flash Fiction Offensive and Going Ballistic, where they hang out. I can't name 'em all but every single one of them is fucking awesome. And dammit, most every single one of them is better than me. That, pisses me off. But it sure does give me something to aim at.
And it takes my mind off that blonde sleaze-bucket cherry bomb . . . for a while.
Say, you sure you don't have any Mad Dog on you?

Curious that Aj mentions the poetic insight and language of Josh Converse - Aj himself has a beautiful turn of phrase. You'll find one of his stories at the link below.

Aj, glad you could make it over.


  1. Top stuff! A talented writer, Mr Hayes.

  2. You're so shy, AJ. I wish you'd really open up.

  3. Another great interview. Enjoying this series.

  4. Such maniacal company you keep, AJ. And Converse is a hell of a writer

  5. I'm blushing. That's one helluva shout-out, mi amigo. Of course, I only break radio silence for lavish compliments.

    And for the record, I don't associate with schmucks (outside of family) or people without recognizable talent (outside of work), period. So stuff your modesty in a sack.

    Anyways, thanks for the kind words.