Do you have a favorite line or lines from your accepted piece for The Ginger Collect?
“A man in dark sunglasses sits smoldering under a streetlight, a Gaijin, he’s smoking a cigarette but the smoke is from his eyes.”
What inspired your piece?
Transformer is one of a number of pieces that I wrote under the influence of Andre Breton and Paul Eluard’s The Immaculate Conception, particularly the surrealist prose poem An Attempt to Simulate General Paralysis. I wanted to write something with that kind of dreamy rhythm — a quick-cut collage of sounds and images like a trailer for a movie that was never really there. Transformer was also inspired by a trip to Japan years ago – Harajuku, Shinjuku Station, the tiny bars of Golden Gai.
Who is your most influential writer? Who do you always go back to for inspiration?
Sentence for sentence it’s hard to beat Terry Southern, a master stylist with a great ear for dialog, who wrote some of the funniest books of all time. His short story The Road out of Axotle and comic novel The Magic Christian are standouts.
What season do you find you write the most in?
I like to write in all four seasons, although I feel more energized during the summer. The sun is photosynthetic cocaine.
What do you want readers to take away from your piece?
I want readers to experience it like a preview for an apocalyptic dream.
Do you ever create soundtracks for the pieces you’re writing?
Certain music definitely conjures a cinematic image, but the reverse doesn’t seem to be true, at least for me. I don’t listen to music while I write. The writing is the music. If there was a soundtrack for Transformer, though, it would be Can’s Monster Movie.
Do you keep any snacks around while you write? If so, what’s your favorite?
I rarely eat while I write. I usually have a hot drink, like coffee or tea. Or a warm glass of wine at night.
What is your ideal writing environment?
I like to write in coffee shops, or anywhere outside when the weather’s nice, or in a quiet spot in the house late at night.
Do you find writing invigorating or exhausting?
Mostly I find writing energizing, especially the first hour of it. I can write all day but I’ve got to stop and start over, sometimes in a different place. I am not very workmanlike about it. It’s not something I can just do for 8 hours nonstop like yard work.
Do you have any future writing plans?
I’m working on a novel, a screenplay, and several short stories. I try to have a lot of irons in the fire.
You can read Morgan Hobbs’s piece in Issue Four of The Ginger Collect: Transformer.