The 5W’s w/ Brian Krans

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Photo by Bruce Bales

Brian Krans is a badass with a typewriter. I was lucky enough to snag both of his previous novels “A Constant Suicide” and “Freeze Tag On The Highway” at the same time when we met at Billy O’ Neill’s NYC Invitational. Both of these novels I instantly recommend when asked what I books am I reading. He also has a badass website Blade Or Die (http://bladeordie.com/) that everybody should be aware of by now. On the road to a big promotional push for his newest novel “Assualt Rifles & Pedophiles: An American Love Story” Brian took the time out to give awesome answers to the 5W’s that I sent over to him. Thanks again Mr. Krans!

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Photo by Les Mooney

WHO are the literary influences that left an impression on you so deep that you decided to pick up the pen and write your own novels?
BK:
The first and foremost is Chuck Palahniuk (an author I am often accused of copying). I’ve always written, but it wasn’t until I read Fight Club that I realized how short and quick sentences can make an impact. Then there’s Hunter Thompson. His letters and reporting are so genuinely him that it’s hard not to take note of what he has to say, whether it be Nixon or what cops were doing to citizens during the Chicago riots. And Charles Bukowski, too. Nothing better than a guy who swills beer, swears, and hates pretty much everything. I can relate to a lot of that.

WHAT are some of the difficulties that you ran into while writing your upcoming novel “Assault Rifles & Pedophiles: An American Love Story”?
BK:
Of course time is a big issue considering I write professionally and then go home to write fiction. The biggest issue was structure. The first initial drafts had a lot that needed to be cut, which is the hardest part. But thanks to a crew of friends who read my early drafts and give feedback, it was clear what needed to be thrown out.

WHEN do you find the time to blade with everything that you have going on including the mass promotion of your newest book?
BK:
Before I was blading to and from work, so that was when I got a lot of blading in. Now that I have the dog with me all the time and live in Oakland, it’s not as easy. Essentially, it’s all about priorities and keeping blading in my life is a HUGE one. If I didn’t, I’d spend even more time at a computer or typewriter and never get any exercise. That’s just bad for the brain. Skating is the biggest stress reliever in my life, so the more I try to do the more stressed out I get, so the more I need to blade. (It’s Saturday and I should be blading right now, but it’s raining. I’d be more upset about it, but I’m a spoiled Californian and we’re in a drought, so I can’t complain too much.)

WHERE do you go to unwind and relax after the grueling hours of the everyday grind?
BK:
It’s not so much a physical place I go, but a mental one. Fiction writing is all about asking “what if?” and letting the imagination go. For work, I write about health stuff (i.e. all the things that will kill us), so coming home, ripping the bong a few times, and tipping back a couple beers helps relax the brain so the imagination can get some overdue attention. That, and Thursday happy hours with my co-workers is nice.

WHY does Obamacare suck so much?
BK:
The short answer is that because it was a well-intended measure, but was stripped of its funding and mandates. Essentially, it sucks because we have a private, for-profit healthcare industry in America so much that we spend $2.8 trillion a year and still medical costs are the No. 1 reason for bankruptcy. People can’t afford health insurance and when they can, they can barely afford to use it. That, and it’s a system steeped in too much bureaucracy, so simple things get complicated because everyone—from pharmaceutical companies to insurance companies to doctors to hospitals—are always making sure they get their cut. It’s damn expensive to stay alive in America.

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Brian’s 2 previous novels at a bookstore in Amsterdam.

…HOW do you get yourself into the creative process when you begin typing up a new novel?
BK:
The novels always start with a quick fleeting moment of inspiration. For example, Freeze Tag on the Highway started manifesting itself when I was volunteering with kids. One of them wouldn’t take his Ritalin if he wasn’t reminded so I thought, “What would you do with all that extra medication?” Boom…got the idea. Assault Rifles & Pedophiles came into my brain when I was talking about quitting my old newspaper reporter job. I said to my friend, “Who am I kidding? I’d probably have to go back to working at Wal-Mart and end up taking hostages.” So that’s where Chapter 1 starts. Then, it’s a matter of filling in the blanks. I had that moment already for my next book, which I plan to write while touring for AR&P this summer.

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2 Responses to “The 5W’s w/ Brian Krans”

  1. Rod L. Short Says:

    Good stuff here, guys!

  2. Krans is the man

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