Refossileer Spotlight, Day 8 — Shaun Avery

Please give a warm Fossil Lake welcome to Shaun Avery, who joins us with a particularly unsettling tale of offenses and mutilations!

I bet he’s thinking that in weeks to come, all of this stuff will be a thing of the past. There’ll be no more stepping alone out of small-time comedy clubs; no, it’ll be the big time all too soon. The painful thing is, I know he’s probably right. That’s the way it goes for his type these days. The offenders. – “Blessedly Offended” by Shaun Avery

* What inspired your piece in The Refossiling?

SA: I hate those awful programmes where fame-hungry people will go to increasingly degrading lengths just to get on TV . . . you know, the type of thing with “Shore” in the title of the show. At the same time, I think folks who spend all their time complaining to regulatory bodies about the content of TV shows are equally sad. How best to satirise and insult them both? Why, bizarre (and completely unnecessary) bodily modifications of course!

* Favorite ___________ and why?

A. dinosaur-themed entertainment (book, movie, game, etc)

SA: “Badlands,” a creator-owned comic by Dan Abnett and Kev Walker. It would make a brilliant movie. Which means it will probably never be adapted. But it’s great. Believe me.

B. aquatic-themed entertainment (book, movie, game, etc)

SA: Aquaman’s special move in the game “Injustice.” It’s pretty awesome.

* Where can readers and fans find more of your work?

SA: All sorts of places . . . but ego must make me choose this one out of all of them:

* Share your best, or worst, body-of-water-related memory/experience!

SA: I got locked in the bathroom once. Which doesn’t sound so good, but it was a cool chance to catch up on some reading.

* Who are your main creative influences, literary/artistic or otherwise?

SA: Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, Ed McBain from the world of prose. Garth Ennis and Steve Niles when it comes to comics. But really I’m influenced by anything good that I read or watch.

* Current ________ and why?
A. cause

SA: Probably still the ongoing attack on those who would do anything to get famous, and the people who will willingly watch their rubbish efforts. You would think after all these years and stories I would have grown tired of it, but nope, not thus far . . .

B. obsession

SA: Okay, this probably sounds lame coming from someone who resists the onslaught of a solely virtual world with every fibre of his being, but at the minute I’m quite fond of watching a horror movie and then discussing it with fellow sickos on a Facebook site called Fantastic Horror Fiction. I’ll still never believe that an online conversation betters an actual face-to-face one, but I do like chatting with those guys on there!

C. fandom

SA: The comic “Crossed” in all its various incantations. Anyone who wants to write good comics should be forced to read the arc “Wish You Were Here.”

D. crush

SA: Since she’s my proof-reader and entertainment barometer, I’d better say my girlfriend . . .

E. music

SA: I’m still ploughing my way through Metallica’s entire back catalogue. There are worst ways to spend your time. And if there’s a better song to wash the dishes to than “Ride the Lightning” I’ve yet to hear it.

F. craving

SA: Books! Always more books!

G. peeve

SA: Can I mention the awful TV show thing again?

* What’re you working on, what is your process/routine like?

SA: Some longer stuff. The writing process for short things is easier – I normally do the first draft of a short story in one sitting – so it’s a challenge working on tales with a less immediate payoff, and more space between the gross-out moments. But I loves me a challenge.

* What’s the weirdest object you own? Backstory!

SA: I have a life-size doll of Chucky from the Child’s Play movies – by which I mean the size he is in the actual films, not the size of you or me. I mean, that would be weird, wouldn’t it? And a little scary. I got it for my eighteenth birthday, which I guess means I was strange even as a teenager . . .

* Most useless advice you’ve ever seriously given or been given?

SA: Pay attention in school. Which certainly wouldn’t have made much of a difference in my school . . .

* What kind of question do you always wish these questionnaires would ask, and how would you answer it?

SA: Will anyone actually read this far, and therefore will any of these answers matter? To which I’d reply . . .

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