by Pedro Proença
I had the honor and the privilege to interview one of my favorite writers, and all-around beautiful human being Justin Grimbol.
Pedro: Hey Justin! In advance, thank you for the interview! When and how did you get involved with Bizarro Fiction, and the New Bizarro Author Series?
Justin: I got into Mellick first. The Haunted Vagina was my first Bizarro read. Then I read everything Mellick. I would bring his books to work. This was really awkward because of the titles. But I'm a risk taker, a rebel, a go-getter, a Adrenalin junky, so I brought them in anyway. Then I heard about Bizarro Central. I wrote a little blog piece about bringing Mellick to work. People liked it. Kevin Shamel contacted me and asked me to write a book for the NBAS. My first attempt was called THE MINIVAN. It was about a man stuck in an evil Minivan. But it was rejected. It was getting close to deadline. But Kevin wanted to give me another chance. I sent him a bunch of pitches. He had me combine the ideas he liked, then send him an outline. Then I wrote the book in a couple days. Binge writing was fucking blast. I got all sweaty and crazed and excited about life. And tired. It also made me tired. I edited the fucker for a day or so. Then I sent it to Kevin. He told me he wanted to publish it. We worked on it for a couple weeks. He emailed me and told me he wanted more monster fights. I sent him some more scenes with monster fights. Then he said he wanted even more monster fights. So I sent him even more monster fights. Kevin was fun to work with. After the book was all jacked up on monster fights, I flew out to Bizarro Con. I partied hard. Talked about books and danced and didn't shower much. After that I felt thoroughly bonded to the scene.
Pedro: That's incredible! I read some of Carlton's books on the train, and attracted some amused looks myself.
Every story I hear about the NBAS rush reminds me of our class'. We had a really tight schedule, it was nine of us, from three different continents, and we made it work.
What do you think is coming for Bizarro? Do you think it will ever be mainstream? Can you see in your head a Crud Masters movie?
Justin: I think there are Bizarro authors I think will become really popular and maybe even legendary. I don't know about main stream.
I think Pacific Rim is a lot like The Crud Masters. My book had more raunchy sex though. So its better. Also, here's a little secret. My buddy Pete, was trying to get his cartoon Uncle Grandpa picked up by Cartoon Network around the time I wrote the book. But they didn't like it at first. So I asked him if I could put his character in my book. He said I could. So I did. Eventually cartoon network did pick up the series. I doubt they realize that my own version of Uncle Grandpa is in The Crud Masters. Wait, what was I trying to say? Oh yeah. Uncle Grandpa is better than Pacific Rim. Uncle Grandpa is in my book. I also cry a lot. Also, I like to take pictures of trees. Also, my dog as a silky forehead. Also, when I am feeling really sad I watch Star Trek Fan Films and that really fucks with my head. This all has something to do with something else and that's something.
Pedro: I also cry a lot. I cried reading each one of your books, actually. Something about a sensitive fat guy who loves butts really touched me. In the butt.
Seriously, your books triggered reactions in me that maybe no others did.
Which movies/books made you cry when you were first exposed to them?
Justin: Oh I'm a big time sap. I can't watch a Rocky Balboa Training montage on Youtube without sobbing. My favorite movie is Terms of Endearment. That fucking thing will make me weep. Carlton Mellicks Teeth And Tongue Landscape made me cry. The end of Stephen Kings IT made me cry. Jim Harrison just died and that made me cry. Lots of Larry McMurtrys books make me cry. Holy shit, Diary Of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie made me weep forever. Sam Shepard Plays make me weep. There were scenes in Cry Father by Whitmer that made me weepy. The list goes on and on.
Pedro: If someone walks up to you and gently ask you for writing advice, what do you say?
Justin: Read a bunch. Write a bunch. Use adverbs sometimes. Its no big deal. Use the word VERY and JUST sometimes. Its fun.
Don't follow the writing rules. Walk a lot.
Don't try and be profound.
Have fun and remember its work.
Let me touch your butt.
I would say all that. Then I would touch their butt. Then they would understand.
Pedro: I look forward to having my butt touched by you, Justin.
Thank you very much for this interview :)))
Justin: No problem my NBAS homey. Stay Golden.