Featured Interview With James WF Roberts
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Melbourne based, Australian writer and poet, currently studying Masters in Communications and Media Studies at Monash University Australia. Award winning poet; Runner Up, Page Seventeen Poetry prize 2012 (Busy Bird Press Aust), Highly commended for the John Shaw Nielson poetry prize, Fellowship of Aust. Writers 2009/10. Performance Poet on stages around Melbourne and country Victoria, Australia. Has appeared on Red Lobster Poetry TV show, formerly the host of his own poetry and spoken word show radio show on www.phoenixfm.org.au. Several times James has been invited and shortlisted to attend the Fermory International Poetry Festival (Republic of Ireland) 2012-2014.
Has been in horror and poetry anthologies in the USA (Spirit of Poe Literary Land mark press 2011/12) and (Slaughter House vol. 3 the Serial Killer edition, Siren’s call publications. As well as many other poetry journals in print and online in Romania, India, the United Kingdom and Australia.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I come from a family of very talented musicians and performers, so I guess I was bound to have some of it rub off on me. I loved reading and writing stories when I was a kid, I never really made a conscious decision to become a writer, well at least I don’t remember doing so, I have just always done it. But, I guess after I left High school and joined the Army, the pull of writing was just too strong to ignore, I was writing when I should have been sleeping or practicing drill or polishing my boots, it’s just one of those things really. I have always loved stories, TV, Movies, Plays anything with interesting ideas and engaging characters, I actually wanted to be a Historian before I got my double honours degree in Philosophy.Religious Studies: literature, art and film; I was always fascinated by the kings and queens of England, English and Australian history, the first and second world wars; things with a strong narrative fascinate me.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Man, that is a really hard question to answer, I am fairly heavily involved in the Melbourne poetry scene, so I am surrounded by brilliant established and emerging writers all the time, I guess my favouries would be William Blake, Edgar Allen Poe, Ian Fleming (the first novels I ever read were the original James Bond books of the 1950s and 60s); Allen Ginsberg, James Joyce Rainer Rilke, Bret Easton Ellis, Tara Moss, Tishani Doshi, just to name a few, a big influence on my style and ideas is Australian writer and actress, and now blogger for the Huffington Post, Vanessa de Largie.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Well, my latest book is part, or Act 3, of my Tuesday Suicide saga, so far three parts have been published: Confessions, Spree, Revenge. It is a story of addiction, mental illness, abuse, over coming the odds: John Booker is dead. Or is he death? Faded, washed up late night TV host, drug addict, sex fiend, John Booker is bored to death. He wakes up one morning believing he is the king of the dead. Drug induced psychosis? Or something much scarier? Is he really falling through different realities? Is he really turning into the King of the Dead? Can he really see the sins and the secret desires, the hidden truths that lie in the heart’s of all men? Told backwards through an email he sends to his partner in crime, the deviant, addict and tortured woman, Helena Huntington-Dale. A new party drug has hit the streets, Tuesday Suicide; more euphoric than smack, more demonic than Ice and Speed; the ultimate drug, aggressive sexual potency, almost super-human strength, demonic and satanic hallucinations. A mass murderer confesses his crimes, his sins. Is his confession the last ruse of a desperate man? Or his final act, before he must pay for his deeds, an act of love and protection for the one who loves the most? Join John Booker as he takes you on a ride of his lifetime.
And part, or Act two: Spree: The Saga Continues…
Terror stalks the streets of Melbourne.
Det. Danny Rogers is on the hunt for a mass murderer
or is he hunting the very devil himself?
John Booker has tasted blood. Now he wants more. Terror stalks the streets of Melbourne; will we all be judged for our actions, our dreams and our darkest desires? John Booker and Helena Huntington-Dale are falling through realities, falling through addictions, falling through lust, trust and blood.
Are they evil or are they the virtuous? Corruption at every turn. Terror stalks the night. Organised Crime and drug barons are running scared. Will John and Helena bring down the secret child sex ring, that runs the city? Realities are crumbling all around John Booker and Helena. Why is darkness so much more seductive than light? The streets of Melbourne are running red in blood. John Booker is dead and Helena is on the edge of insanity and depravity.
Why are so many realities crumbling? Converging around John and Helena? Is John Booker the new Messiah, in the next step of human evolution? Can they trust each other? Are they doomed to fail? What is stronger… love, lust, addiction or power?
The bodies are piling up. The drugs are taking their toll and loyalty is put to the test.
The next chapter of the Tuesday Suicide saga, continued on from Confessions.
What’s the price of desire?
What’s the price of love?
And Revenge is where everything gets more muddled, darker, more sinister, edgier, sexier, John Booker is public enemy number one.
is John Booker finally dead, or is he the devil himself?
Helena Huntington-Dale is on a quest for revenge.
Revenge against the man who pimped her out, abused her and set her on
this path to oblivion.
The public, the press, politicians are hounding for blood;
Is Det. Danny Rogers in over his head?
Is he the one last good cop in a corrupt town?
Time, space, reality; the very essence of existence are crumbling
all around John and Helena, is their love meant to be—
or are they doomed to destroy each other?
Act Three of Tuesday Suicide, Revenge the darkest, the coldest,
the most depraved act in the first collection of the Tuesday Suicide saga:
bisexuality, cross dressing,
bondage, torture, extreme drug use and violence and profanity.
Will John’s love for Helena be his undoing,
who will survive this living hell, this waking nightmare?
What price do you pay for revenge?
Beware the horrors that lie within the human soul
beware the horrors that lie within, when they become real.
The way Tuesday Suicide is written is very different to most books of this style, it is not linear, most of the chapters are fragmented with a gimmick that I have only just realized, over the last few months, lies in the way the book is written, instead of chapter titles or numbers, I have written dates and times, with many of the out of sequence and overlapping, the gimmick is that you if put all the Friday, 19th Sept, together you could have one book by itself, so it is basically an anthology of stories inside a novella series.
Each Novella in the series has taken about 2 or 3 years to write as I don’t write in order, I have always kind of kept the ideas all in floating around in my head, they are all lined up in my head like soldiers, ready to use when I need them, part 4: Decent’s last three chapters were originally written in the beginning of 2015 so am writing backwards to link things up. It may sound confusing, but a lot of Tuesday Suicide, I am experimenting with the realities of characters, self-awareness of characters inside narrative, sexuality, addiction; what is love in the 21st Century, what are the roles of men and women in the current age, as you can see too many bloody ideas running all around in my head at the moment, but hell it is fun.
I am really fascinated with having really strong female and non-hetero-normative male lead characters; almost everyone in Tuesday Suicide is either gay, bi-sexual, or a deviant in some regard. It is so much fun writing dark and depraved characters.
A lot of the characters in the series are based on real people I have met, or myself, John Booker, is kind of based on me. Helena Huntington-Dale is a composite character taken from Pulp Fiction, Natural Born Killers, Ellen Ripley, Sarah Connor, and even Vanessa de Largie, who I said previously has been a huge inspiration on my work since we both appeared at an erotic poetry read out once called Spin the Bottle. My mind is like a sponge I am always stealing stories and memories from people, I think all writer’s are the same, don’t tell a writer anything, we will use it!
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