Sometimes we meet members of DeviantART who are just plain cool. They leave critique, they make great art or write great stories, they participate in groups and are generally just active and fun to be around. They also don't get any attention because being cool means you don't need attention to keep being cool. This interview series is meant to give all of you a small glimpse into the minds of these demonstrably deviant members. Twice monthly, I'll interview one of these deviants and feature work from their gallery. If you'd like to see someone interviewed for this series, just shoot me a note with the subject "Demonstrably Deviant".
monstroooo: Whiskey Lover, Group Admin, Exciting Up-and-Coming
Let's start with WritersInk, which is quite possibly the best lit group on dA in my opinion. You've got chat events, you've got weekly features, you've got community discussion - and helping direct all of that, you've got monstroooo. He's quirky, compassionate, knowledgeable, and exceptionally good natured. If you've yet to say hello, you're missing out on quite a treat. So do yourself a favor, and get to greeting one of dA's most promising Litters.
1. Let's start with the basics: How did you discover deviantART and what made you stay?
I think my story is the same as everyone else's, really. I stumbled onto this site because of the visual artists, then spontaneously decided it was worth taking a shot at sharing some of my writing. By doing so I found a great and supportive community - and haven't looked back since.
2. What deviation are you most proud of in your gallery? Tell us a little about the creative process behind it.
Oh, that's easy: The Ballard of Eiy'ra Haiz. It's not my best work Some of the prose is pretty turgid, and the story doesn't get going until you're about a third of the way through.
But it's probably the first serious piece of writing I ever took on. It's ambitious, heartfelt, complex and based on a true story: a serious attempt to make words really mean something.
I'm proud because it fuses lots of disperate elements together: modern history (the Pacific Conflict, World War Two), a rich game world (Starcraft), and outlaw country music (and to a lesser extent, folk music). It tells a story from our world, but dresses it around a science-fiction universe - so it's at once alien and exciting, but also familiar and relevant. I think it also features some of the best characterisation and dialogue I've ever managed to produce, a feeling vindicated by some of the feedback I've had.
I've learned a lot since writing it two years ago - that's thanks entirely to this community - and I've since toyed with the idea of re-writing it. But I just can't bring myself to do it. It would feel like turning I was my back on it. For all its faults, it will always hold a special place in my heart.
3. What influences weigh most heavily into your work?
Whiskey, folk music, history, the desire to move people in ways they don't expect to be moved, and whiskey.
Oh, and let's not forget Douglas Adams. Without him (and a couple of inspirational teachers, of course), I wouldn't be writing today.
4. Now something a little different. If you could exact revenge against someone or something, what would it be and how would you go about it? (You may not kill the person or thing.)
I would take revenge on the sinister forces of doubt and uncertainty. I would take revenge for all those times I've been frightened, intimidated or frozen by the voices in my mind which have whispered that I can't do it, that I won't do it, that I shouldn't do it. I would make up for every time I have hesitated and lost an opportunity, and for every time I haven't even started for fear of failing (and therefore failed anyway).
I would avenge myself and the people I care about by being rid of these voices, silencing them utterly, leaving us all open reach our maximum creative potential. This I would do in the name of artists everywhere - and then we would all head to the beach to share the cake of JOY, and weep freely from our unjaded eyes!!!
If I knew how to do this, I expect I would be a rich and powerful man.
5. What is your favorite sound? Why?
The sound of a slide being pulled across the steel strings of an acoustic guitar.
Slide guitar isn't as popular as it once was: the old bluesmen of the deep south used to use it all the time. These days, you get a bit of slide in country (although lap or pedal steel slides are often preferred), and sometimes in the right kind of blues (if you look hard enough). But it's kind of a specialist thing now. Perhaps that makes it sacred.
It's a sound that goes straight through me, that never fails to make me stop and listen. Sometimes it can be delicate and fragile. Sometimes it can be raw, angry and excitable. Sometimes it can be eerie and haunting. But it's always beautiful.
6. Lastly - If deviantART was a country, who would you elect to government and what position would s/he fill?
Knowledge is power, so I'd make sure that our glorious nation's spymaster-general was your previous feature-ee, IrrevocableFate. She knows EVERYTHING that goes on this place, so she'd make the ideal foreign secretary. Her hugs would be really good for the leadership's morale, too!
A Selection from monstroooo's Gallery
Gnome Noir "I did it for the money and I did it for the girl.
Well, I didn't get the money and I didn't get the girl."
:: Walter Neff - Double Indemnity
So I point the flintlock at the guy and that's no easy thing, big musket like that on a little gnome like me and I peer down the sight. Not many people know what it's like to stare at a man through a glass. But in those sacred moments, the whole world takes a breath and it's just you and him. I line up the shot, and I think about the girl, and--
What? That is the start. What do you want, Sheriff, my life story?
Alright, well, I'm Gniles Brody the Third that's GNILES, silent 'g'. G-N-I-L-E-S. Your boys over there in the robes got that? I'm a Risk management clerk. You've heard of Royal Gnomic Treasury, right? Well, that's me and the guys. You got a risk, we cover your back for a modest sum. We're like alchemists - 'cept we turn gold into more gold.
What? This IS the interesting bit! You have any
ThrillShe felt it every time. The rush. The adrenaline.
It was an accidental discovery. She hadn't meant to... it just sort of worked itself out. There she was, cramped up on the tube with everyone else, when Jane noticed the neck of the girl in front of her. It was beautiful. Such clean, soft skin, lightly peppered with hairs, snaking down to the secrets held underneath her pinkish collar.
No-one was looking. And they were all packed in so close together. So she just gave it a little lick.
Just a light brush with the tongue. A dab. She barely even made contact - just the faintest of pecks.
And it was beautiful.
The lady barely even knew it had happened. She looked around, absently rubbed the back of her neck, but continued flicking over her iPad as if nothing had happened.
That was when Jane realised that people didn't expect the unexpected, and as such they didn't react to it. The rush she'd felt.. that fleeting intimacy, that slightly salty taste just tingling on her tongue. S
SolarWait for it...
Kabian kicked off the cell sheild as the solar flare erupted. Polarised light burst from the Sun in a wave of energy - almost as pure as it got. He felt his pod buckle as the first tentative wave of photons collided with the solar sails; felt the surge of electrical energy as his photo-cell capacitors stored up a few extra coulombs of charge.
And then the wave hit: the small craft burst into life and propelled itself through empty space. Light struck the solar sails and was instantly converted into forward motion, ions streaming from the array of exhausts on the back of the craft. To his right, Bella had timed her launch badly and slowly inched forward, taking on too little energy to get any meaningful acceleration. Nexlar was right with him on the left, though: he'd had a fine launch.
The three pods streamed across the void, accelerating rapidly under the solar wind. The ships were minimally powered, low-tech drag racers designed for
This had never happened before. And tonight, of all nights! He glanced at the clock, grimaced, and paced some more. Where was he?
Behind the curtain, he heard the chatter of the crowd, the beat of the music.
Marv the Magnificent, the "compere extraordinaire", strode up to Sammy and gave him a questioning look. Sammy answered with a shrug. Marv looked at his watch, wiped his brow, sipped from a tin hip-flask.
"It's now or never, Sam. Do or die. I believe you can do this on your own - but he'll be here yet."
Seeing the fear in his star attraction's eyes, Marv put a hand on Sammy's shoulder. "He'll be here yet", he repeated.
Marv swept out onto the stage. The lights - those oh-so-important lights - flared and blazed. The audience roared. Marv did his thing. Sammy listened nervously, jealously. Marv could perform alone; but he couldn't.
Sammy glanced around once more. He walked in front of a spotlight. Nothing. He swept his majestic cape. Nothing. M
Stationery Pt IStanley loved stationery.
He loved the way it smelled when you stripped away the crinkly cellophane wrapper. He loved the Spartan beauty of an unspoiled pad of paper (A4, plain, 260gsm). He loved the sound of a cap crisply clicking onto the top of a Biro. He loved the texture of a freshly-sharpened pencil and the flake of the finely-honed graphite point. He loved gazing over stacks and stacks of untouched Post-Its, each a perfect square of yellow, an army of ideas awaiting orders.
He loved everything about it. Stationery was neat. It was orderly. It was always needed, easily replaceable, and something that everyone can appreciate.
Stanley reckoned he had the best job in the world. Working in the post room of a three-storey insurance company, Greenlight Insurance, he was at the very nexus of stationery for the whole building. Letters would come in crumpled, dusty and worn from their journeys; and go out crisp, freshly franked and printed, ready for the adventure ahead. Deliveries of new
And I looked and behold, a pale horse
And his name that sat on him was Death
And Hell followed with him.
"Time at the bar, gentlemen!"
Gary rang the bell, signalling closing time at the Pale Horse. He loved to ring the bell it was his nightly ritual. Twice nightly, actually. Sometimes, when the regulars like Lloyd wouldn't leave, he even let himself ring the bell a third time.
That wouldn't happen tonight, though. It was Monday night. No-one ever stayed late on Monday night. One day, something interesting would happen on a Monday. Gary knew this: just as he knew that Lloyd would appear at 6 o'clock every evening to prop the bar up. One Monday, the bar would collapse on him. Or Lloyd wouldn't turn up. It hadn't happened tonight, though. Nor the Monday before. In fact, something interesting had failed to happen on every Monday in Gary's memory: which was probably why he hated Mondays. Even the word was rubbish heavy and charmless, like a sack o