Author: Jon Konrath
Page count: 134
Genre: Fiction (general/literary/experimental)
Price: $8.99 print, 99 cents Kindle (also free from KDP select)
Jon Konrath writes absurdist fiction. He lives in Oakland, California, but he was originally born on a nuclear missile base in the middle of nowhere in North Dakota, and spend most of his formative years in a state that tried to pass a law setting the value of pi. In addition to his seven books, he also publishes Paragraph Line zine, a collection of absurdist and outsider fiction. An avid fantasy demolition derby enthusiast, he also enjoys explosives and collecting used medical equipment.
Tell us about your book:
The Earworm Inception is a collection of 20 flash fiction narratives, each crossing between metafiction and experimental prose. They’re all twisted and humorous, and include stories about a food truck craze involving human cannibalism, a Texas Governor who obsessively listens to Rebecca Black right before every state execution, a chainsaw factory that plays Ozzy Osbourne for its welding robots, an ex-girlfriend drunk-dialing from Kandahar, where she’s starting a Shakey’s Pizza restaurant chain, and an endless search to find the right mix of prescription medication to stop the memories of a bizarre past.
How long did it take to write the book?
Most of the collection was written over the course of 2011, between working on my previous collection Fistful of Pizza, the rerelease of my 2002 book Rumored to Exist, and writing a longer book that I hope to finish in 2012.
What inspired you to write the book?
After I was first abducted by aliens in 1997, they told me three things: the secret of time travel, the ending of the TV show Lost, and the plot lines to my next 24 books and why it’s important for me to publish them. They also told me that the world would be colonized by a race of half-robot warlords in 2004 and that the Washington Nationals would become a major contender in the National League East after Florida and the Marlins fell into the ocean and Chipper Jones became the ruler of North Korea, but these things didn’t entirely happen, so it’s possible I’m incorrect here.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I write daily, and my routine involves large amounts of caffeine and listening to the Slayer album Seasons in the Abyss on repeat. I’m constantly researching for ideas, and spend far too much time hitting the random page button on Wikipedia, hoping to stumble upon some obscure factoid that will spark up a story.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I hope they are entertained and have a good laugh. I also want to get the Starship song “We Built This City” stuck in their heads, because I’m a sadist.
Where can we go to buy your book?
Any other links or info you’d like to share?
I’ve been blogging since 1997 over at Rumored.com. There’s also a list of all of my books, along with many links to stories I’ve published all over the web that you can read for free.
Excerpt from book:
(Note: not sure about the language – if you need to replace some f__ks and s__ts, feel free.)
I Believe I Can Flee the State
We sat in the back of the Taco Bell sports bar, stirred cold salsa with stale chips, and watched the chase on TV. Chicago cops were setting up rumble strips and loading their grenade launchers with 37mm canisters of gaseous pain, as R. Kelly hauled down the wrong lanes of the Dan Ryan at high speed in a stolen Oscar Mayer weinermobile. Nobody really knew what he did to elicit the chase, but we all assumed he peed on the wrong undercover cop. All we knew is they pre-empted our demolition derby match on the 200 big-screens in the bar, all of them now trained on the chase.
Abraham Lincoln and Helen Keller opened a Subway sandwich shop on the corner of MacDougal and Bleecker to finance their speed metal band, in which I was auditioning as their road ileostomy technician, so I spent a lot of free time in that neighborhood. A lot of touring bands, at least the serious ones, switched over to diverting their intestinal waste into surgical-grade pouches instead of dropping a deuce in a tour bus, so my part-time hobby was sure to pay off, eventually.
“He’s fucked if they get those strips out and blow his tires,” Freddy said. He stirred a giant Wu-Tang Clan commemorative 64-ounce collector’s cup, filled with a slushy mixture of iced tea and some kind of industrial solvent he added from a small bottle stashed in his backpack. “Need for Speed 17: The Analingus Epidemic on the Nintendo 64 had an unlockable weinermobile, and I totally know how it drives on bare rims. It’s not pretty.”
“How do you know it’s not a modded weinermobile?” Fat Mike said, licking the last of his fourth quarter-pound steak burrito out of his lame excuse of a goatee. “I thought there was one that could go in water, and one that had extendable jet-packs and wings.”
“I think you’re thinking of the batmobile, dude,” I said. “There’s just one weinermobile. I mean, Oscar Mayer might have three or four of them, like the General Lee. But they didn’t invent a whole series of special-purpose vehicles for every possible mode of transport or attack. They don’t give a shit about toy revenues; they aren’t in the licensing business like the comic book companies.”
“They had a whole cottage industry dedicated to keeping that fleet of General Lees running,” Freddy said. “I was trying to fuck this girl back in college whose dad sourced Dodge Chargers and parts so they could keep building new ones when they wrecked the stunt vehicles. They eventually found a factory in Soviet Russia that made knock-off cars they could destroy. You can tell in the later seasons — they all looked a little off, like those bootleg iPhones you get in Chinatown.”
“That’s fucking awesome that the biggest redneck show in history had to turn to the commies to get replacement parts,” I said. “For every dollar you spent on the Good Old Boys, at least a nickel or two went straight to the godless communists Ronnie Raygun was supposed to be killin’. It’s like how people who are the most against totalitarian communism are the same ones who buy nothing but Chinese crap from Wal-Mart.
A simultaneous “oh shit” swept through the bar as R’s vehicle lost its tread at 140 miles an hour, launched sideways, then flipped end over end, shedding suspension pieces and body parts with each turn. There would be no sequel for “Trapped in a Closet”, or at the very least, it would be posthumous.