What does one say about a former punk-rocker, current pro-wrestling fan, author extraordinaire with serious credits in both trad-pub and self-pub sides of the industry? Any you like, really, since we here for the lies. But Jason Ridler brought plenty of lies for himself, so let’s just get to it, shall we?
You’ve done some self publishing as well as traditional publishing. Where do you see self-publishing going as we move forward?
Self publishing is a growing revolutionary phenomena that will come to dominate the mediascape so much that in four years everyone will accuse everyone else of ripping off their “sexy vampire meets the time traveling donut novel,” and they will all be right! Then, self publishing “cliques” will start, and there will be battles the likes of which will dwarf Stalingrad and Kursk! The Konrathian Legion will wage wars of attrition against the Hocking Free Brigades, and guerrilla warfare will ensue between rival powerbrokers on GoodReads (bullies, anti-bullies, and non-bullies) until self publishing perishes in a all for nothing, final climactic singing contest between me and the ghost of Harlan Ellisontm. And that’s when Publish America will return to claim its rightful place as the Lord Protector of all things self published. It has been foretold. SO STAY TUNED!
From punk rock to pro-wrestling, you’ve got rather eclectic interests. How do these interests inform your writing?
They inform my writing, because they form my life. I was raised by a traveling family of werebears down the Alaskan coast, when Slacker pirates from Santa Cruz slaughtered my bearfolk and took me across the Pacific, where on ship I learned the art of “rough and tumble” while swabbing the decks with a one armed corsair named Larry who was down on his luck, and a magic Parrot named Sir Archibald Wavell (no relation) who had once played on the same stage as the famous Maskalyne family at the Egyptian Hall in London.
Then, even bigger pirates raided our vessel, and I was sold as a slave to a rouge faction of the Chinese Communist Party, who took me to the Forbidden City of Wrestling located on the dark side of Manchuria. There, I was taught the deadly arts of not hurting people with violence, while my trainer, Captain Taruc, a former Filipino war veteran, played old time rock and roll on a jacked up Casio wrist watch. When I heard the revolutionary sounds of Bill Haley and the Comets, I knew that while grappling was my passion, my muse was the love beast of rock and roll.
I broke free of my captors and sold my skills as a useless fighting man to the worst mercenary group in Asia, who were actually the rock band Asia! While on tour with them and their gutless synth rock, I stole bootleg copies of The Ramones and Sex Pistols from a former Royal Marine who owned half of Hong Kong’s Cinema City, and when I got tired of listening to the goddamn double encores of old Atomic Roster tunes, I took off to Hong Kong and started the legendary punk band The Noodles. After ten years of touring through Europe, Scandinavia, and the Sub Continent, I retired to the US after falling in love with the great-great-great granddaughter of Emperor Norton of America. Since then, I’ve just told the stories of my life as best as I am able, and all too many believe it to be fiction!
What’s your favorite part of being a writer?
Going to beginner writing conferences, and having them critique my work, but it’s actually excerpts from the OJ Simpson trial! I even sold one of those story to Clarkesworld under my penname, Nick Mamatas!
What’s the most difficult part of being a writer?
Praise fatigue. When you get this good, it’s hard to listen to how awesome you are without falling asleep. Which is also why, everyday, I consume my body weight in Jolt cola and poi! Problem solved! Now, how awesome do YOU think I am?