I contacted Steve Lowe recently for a sit down and chat, mostly because he’s funny and makes really weird facial contortions, but also because since our last interview, he has had another book published. Turns out when I tried to contact him, Steve was at Bizarrocon and tied to a flagpole with honey poured all over his almost naked body.
“Can’t talk right now,” he said. “How about when I get home?”
I sat down with Steve after Bizarrocon—he in Indiana, myself here in South Carolina. Our computers did the work while we listened in. Please give a somewhat rousing applause to Steve Lowe.
Welcome back to the Donor Center. You probably remember Herbie, the sadistic dude with the needles. Since you’ve done this before, the folks don’t need to know who you are. Instead, how was Bizarrocon?
SL: BizarroCon was both fantastic and frightening. Fantastic because I got to listen to authors like NY Times bestseller John Skipp, among many others, discuss writing, both how to do it better and also how to make a living at it. And I also met scores of people that I only knew through a digital world and it was extremely helpful to speak eye to eye and face to face with them. It was frightening because I gave my first public reading, albeit to only about 20 people, but still. I thought it went well, though. And the beer. I can’t forget to mention the beer. There was a lot of beer. Good, homebrewed, delicious beer. Mmmm… beer
The experience only makes me look forward to the World Horror Conference in Austin, TX next April even more.
AJ: I thought you leprechauns weren’t allowed to have beer. Especially after the Not so great incident of 2009 claimed half the population of leprechauns and the half remaining were all pregnant. How did you manage to avoid the mandate of no leprechauns drinking??
SL: I get a special dispensation from Seamus II, the Reverend Pope of Leprechaun Land. Pope Seamus II commands on high from the rain swept cliffs of bonny Ireland, cereal box miter perched atop his wee head and marshmallow scepter in hand. Pope Seamus II owed me a favor – I took care of a dead hooker’s body for him some years back. I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say they won’t be findin’ her at the end of some rainbow.
AJ: It wasn’t the same hooker from Chi-town, was it? You know the dark haired gal with the tattoo right above her butt that read EXIT ONLY?
Enough about hookers and their exit strategies. You have a couple of reasons to have been at BizarroCon, other than the strange wart on your middle finger shaped like the Lucky Charms guy, right?
SL: Actually, I believe the sign read NOT AN EXIT. But I can’t remember for sure. Those high-fructose corn syrupy days are a bit hazy in my addled mind anymore.
Yes! BizarroCon… I was there to celebrate (among many things) the release of my first book, a bizarro comedy with a heart, the story that asks What Would Kirk Cameron Do? Muscle Memory ( http://www.amazon.com/Muscle-Memory-Steve-Lowe/dp/1936383012/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2 ) is part of this year’s batch of the New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press. It’s the story of a group of backwoods neighbors who wake up one morning to discover they’ve switched bodies with each other. A good description would be if the movie Like Father, Like Son was made as an episode of The Twilight Zone. If you hate laughing and life in general, I would not recommend this book. Otherwise, you should be OK.
And that wart is not located on my middle finger…
AJ: Okay, so the wart is somewhere in the ‘middle.’ I’m getting this information second hand from Wallis, so…
I am very fortunate to have read Muscle Memory and I can honestly recommend it to those who are fans of rednecks, federal agents, sheep (hey, whatever floats your boat, man), and beer. I’ve constantly wondered if this was an autobiography of sorts from you.
You have another publication, as well. Care to tell us about it?
SL: It just so happens that Wallis’s nickname is “The ‘Ol Second Hand”. Not sure if you knew this.
[[Herbie’s Note: Not sure if we wanted to know that.]]
SL: Thank you kindly for your kindly words on Muscle Memory. And I do in fact have a second book out right now. It’s a dark werewolf thriller entitled Wolves Dressed As Men and it was published by Eternal Press as an eBook a couple weeks ago. ( http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615722365 ) The print version is now up for pre-order on Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dressed-Men-Steve-Lowe/dp/1615722378/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1289932939&sr=8-2 ) and should begin to ship soon. It’s about as different from Muscle Memory as a book could be, but blame my bipolar disorder for that. I must have been mad at my dog when I wrote this one. If you like character-driven dark fiction with a side of shoot-em-up action, then this book will be right in your wheelhouse.
AJ: Tell us a little about Wolves Dressed As Men.
SL: It’s about a man who is losing his identity to the monster inside of him. He meets a girl and falls in love, but they’re on the run from a brutal hunter who wants to destroy him. Actually, I’ll let these guys tell you more. They’re much better at it than me, anyway.
“A grim and gritty urban fable with echoes of classic tradition. Lowe knows what makes a great werewolf tale.” – DAVID DUNWOODY, author of Empire.
“Lowe takes the tense action and brutal violence of quality werewolf fiction, then adds characters the reader will grow to love and hate in equal measure. He strips back the outer flesh and fur of a lycanthrope and delves deep into his protagonist’s inner pain, giving the reader a close-up view of the turmoil within the beast and the struggle inside the man. With both horror and humor, and an ending as powerful as it is satisfying, Lowe’s novella debut will create many new fans.” – KEVIN WALLIS, author of Beneath the Surface of Things.
AJ: Those are some great comments by some terrific writers. Maybe we’ll cast you in the same light one day, eh? Seriously, though, having both of these books published so close together is great. They make for good presents. At the very least, door stops…
You’ve received some fairly good reviews for Wolves Dressed as Men, haven’t you?
SL: Actually, Door Stops Monthly called Wolves Dressed as Men “one of this holiday season’s best new portal hindering tools.” So yeah, I’m feeling the love.
AJ: Portal hindering tools? Okay…
Again, for folks who may have missed it, is it true that you and Smurfette are secret lovers??
SL: What a ridiculous notion. Smurfette and I have never once kept our love a secret. It’s an open relationship, and perfectly healthy. My wife has come to terms with this and we are moving forward together, the three of us together. Now, as for Wallis, you need to ask him about Hefty Smurf…
AJ: Okay, Vanity…
Is there anything else about either Muscle Memory or Wolves Dressed as Men that we should know?
SL: When read back-to-back, several people have noticed relief of such conditions as blight, sunburn, gout, arthritis, the mumps, the shakes, the yips, and vertigo. Two minor league baseball players also ended long hitless streaks after reading these books, and a professional bowler rolled consecutive 300 games, though it was later discovered that he was mainlining horse steroids and was slapped with a lifetime ban by the USBC.
On a personal note, I have never had more fun writing anything in my life than I had while writing Muscle Memory. I’ve even continued the story after the fact, a sort of sequel, just because I kept getting wilder ideas and wanted to see where they went. At some point I may create a chapbook to go along with this published piece, some extra reading for folks who bought and liked the book. But I’m still kicking ideas around. My main focus now is on marketing. Since Muscle Memory was published as part of the New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead, there are special requirements that go along with it. Namely, if I can sell 200 copies through Amazon within a year’s time, and don’t do anything to royally piss off the publisher, I could get a five-book deal from them. It’s sort of a proving ground for new authors to see if they have what the publisher is looking for before they sign them to a deal. So, that’s my incentive and focus for the next year.
AJ: Two hundred copies in twelve months… hmmm… this is possible. Okay, Mr. Lowe, the Leprechaun Smurfette lover, I’m going to pull the needle out and let you go about your way. Be wary of Herbie on your way out. He’s practicing his zombie act for The Walking Dead series. He really does bite.
SL: Thanks for having me, but maybe next time we could put that needle in my arm? And tell Herbie to keep his distance or I’ll smite him with my smiting stick. No self-respecting wee magical person leaves home without his smiting stick.
AJ: I thought you said to put the needle in the wart in the ‘middle.’ Your bad. At any rate, you know the way out and thank you again…
(Herbie’s Note: Steve Lowe originally appeared at The Donor Center before we had walls and a door. That appearance can be found here: https://typeajnegative.wordpress.com/blood-donors/steve-lowe-gives-some-blood-and-a-little-more/