An Interview With Black Coffee Press Publisher & Author Scott C. Rogers

When did you first know you wanted to write a book?  Right after fourth grade when I realized that I could never be Snake-Eyes from G.I.Joe.

What do you know now that you wish you did when you first started writing?  I used to think that I couldn’t read anything else while I was in the middle of a novel. That somehow it would tap into the creative juice and pollute it somehow. That the original voice of the work would be lost. I realize now that words feed words. My imagination is relentless when I am reading.

And also I loved the romantic notion of locking myself away and pounding out a novel in the way Will Christopher Baer does or even old school like Hemingway. I don’t need to do that. I just write whenever and everywhere. It took me a long time to train myself to get it on anytime.

 Are you a traditionally published author or indie?  I am an Indie. So much so I started my own publishing company.

 If indie, what made you decide this route?  I have been heavy influenced by the work ethic of the American Hardcore Punk music scene and the likes of Henry Rollins, Ian Mackay and Dischord Records. In publishing I looked to the folks at Black Sparrow Press and later Eraserhead Press and Soft Skull Press as big influences. I tried  the traditional route and got a ton of rejection letters and then said, ‘Fuck it. I’ll do this myself.’” I started Black Coffee Press with the like minded misfit Thomas Michael and we’ve been publishing good shit since 2008.

What was your biggest resource of information as an indie author?  Besides the internet I would have to say other authors and small presses. I asked a lot of questions and sent out an ass load of emails to folks. Most were very cool and responded with good advice and well wishes. There are a lot of cool people out there on the small press circuit.

How many novels have you had published, or is this your debut?  I have three: Celluloid Cowboy, Love Like Molotov Cocktail To The Chest and Gunshot Stigmata.

What genre do your write in?  I write gritty, urban shitbag novels.

What made you choose this genre?  It’s just the shit that’s floating around in my head. I suppose Electric Shock Treatments could clear that up, but then what would I have to do? I’m pushing 40 I can’t jerk off 18 times a day anymore.

Tell us a little bit about your latest novel (or upcoming novel)?  Gunshot Stigmata is a story of a guy in his late thirties who has pushed his life right down the crapper. He has destroyed his life with drugs, bad decisions and is now left in the wasteland of his own demise. Deep down he’s a good guy but his train has jumped off the tracks.

The novel I’m working on now is called Dog Face Boy which is about a boy who has Hypertrichosis: the werewolf syndrome where hair growth is all over the body.

Which of your characters do you most relate with?  In some ways I relate to them all. Each one has bits of me in there. And sometimes that’s just darn right scary.

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?  Dog Face Boy came from a shot story I wrote years ago called Freak Town. Which was a story about a little town inFlorida where sideshow freaks go to retire. The boy from that story wouldn’t leave me alone. He wanted his own story, so that’s where I am now.

Did you know the title before you started writing, or did it come to you later?  The title came from a Phish song. My favorite Phish song. I thought what a great fucking title for a book. Then the story came to me years later.

If you could use only FIVE words to persuade us to read your book, what would they be?  I know where you live.

What do you find are the biggest obstacles to overcome when writing a novel?  Time. I’ve got three little ones and daytime job and a fucking awesome little press ready to take over the world with.

For those writers who have not yet completed their first novel, what advice would you give them?  I know this is going to sound cliché but write. Write every fucking day. The words will come, you will get better. Trust me. And read. Read and study the craft. Find out what works and what doesn’t work by writers you love and writers they love.

What famous writer would you most compare yourself to and why?  Oh, I don’t compare myself to anyone. I used to ride the short bus you stop doing that real early. Some writers who I love are Will Christopher Baer, Nicholson Baker, Charles Bukowski, Bohumil Hrabal, and a local stripper named Bunny. I just love the way she writes my name.

What is one book (besides one of your own) that you think everyone should read?  Too Loud A Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal.

What book are your currently reading?  I just started The Subject of Steve by Sam Lipsyte.

eBook or hard copy, or do you not have a preference?  I prefer to read and buy print.

Have any new and upcoming authors caught your eye?  Oh hell yes! All the folks we’ve got lined up for the next three years.

If you were a superhero what would your name be?  It’s been taken. Too Much CoffeeMan.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?  I don’t know, but I used to pee the bed.

Have you ever thought of a great opening chapter and a devilish closing chapter but just can’t work out how to get from one to the other?  I always get there some way or another.

What current project are you working on?  I am ass deep in Dog Face Boy. At Black Coffee Press we are putting the final touches on J.A. Tyler’s A Shiny, Unused Heart which comes out in June.

Can you share any of it with us?  (Straight from my word document draft for Dog Face Boy)

1.

You awake to the sound of a clown orgy. Horns, drums and rattles—the whole shebang skull fucks your cracked cranium. You try and snuff out the sound with pillows and blankets, but the sonic bukkake is unrelenting.  You hear the sound of a French horn or that of an elephant being anal probed.  Fuck, the blaring. The gates to hell have been flung open and this is the first sign of the apocalypse.

You lay there teetering on the verge of sheer madness. You squeeze off a fart in protest to the racket happening down below. Make it stop, you beg to the ceiling and the invisible god who lives there.

A glass sits on the nightstand; its contents are the last of the whiskey in the apartment. You down it as if Jesus himself was handing you the Holy Grail.

It has been a total of seventy-two hours since you were employed.

You let the numbers ping around until the horn vibrations start to tea-bag your nut-sack. 

It is six am.

A week ago you’d be getting ready to take a shower, shave, brush your teeth and make yourself look professional for your cubicle of gray fabric and fellow drones.

You leap from the bed and stomp around like a Satere-Mawe youth with bullet ants stuck down your jockstrap.

FUCK. FUCK. FUCK, you yell. 

In only a pink Terry cloth Wonder Woman robe, you descend the stairs, taking two at a time, and then bang on the door toApartment 104. You slam your fist into it like Ike Turner would Tina’s face.

BANG. BANG. BANG.

The clown orgy stops. Shadows move beyond the peephole.

“Will ya fuckin’ stop with the noise already?” you bitch.

A meek voice whispers. “No.”

“What?”

“No.” So soft and sweet.

“What do you mean, no?”

“No. I need to practice.”

“Well, I need to fuckin’ sleep!”

“I’m going now. Thank you.”

“Hello?” You bang on the door again. “Hello?”

 The damn horn starts up and you just turn away, defeated, beat and slump back up to your place.

“Little shit.” you mock, ascending each step. “I’m going now. Thank you.”

Tell us a funny unknown fact about yourself.  I have three nipples and I hate clowns.

Scott C. Rogers was born and raised in a small town in the middle of Indiana. He now lives in Detroit, Michigan. The last decade of his life has been spent doing what JIM CROCE called “Intense Character Development.”

He is the author of the novels Duct-taped Mouth, Celluloid Cowboy and Love Like A Molotov Cocktail to the Chest.

Learn more about Black Coffee Press and their current authors here.

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5 Comments

  1. Ha, thanks for the introduction. Love the “I write gritty, urban shitbag novels” comment. I write the same shit some days, but it’s not intentional. Hahaha! Scott, you definitely have a way with words. :-)

  2. Super interview – congrats :)

    Yep, ya gotta write everywhere and carry that book around to get hit over the head with it by the bullies. Or have some guy ask you on the train. “Hey are you writing about me ?” .

    Or, I guess shit like that might not happy to a bearded guy, but you never know.

    p.s. love too much coffee man, best shape for hero ever.

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