Hi folks, welcome to my first “fast five” interview. Here, my goal is simple: a quick interview, five questions, over and out within a couple of minutes of your time, to provide a short snapshot of a guest on the blog. Who they are, what they’re about. Nice and compact.
So without further rambling, here’s my interview with Zé Burns, a weird fiction author with an incredibly rigorous editing process and a flavour for the weird.
I have never been able to fit perfectly into any genre, though bizarro fiction has been the closest fit yet. I really function in my own personal genre, though I have never been able to define it concretely. Existentialism and our perception of reality play a large role. I want the reader never to be confident or comfortable with who and where they are.
Can you tell me about some of your favourite authors and what draws you to them?
The big three for me are Italo Calvino, Bohumil Hrabal, and Kurt Vonnegut. Franz Kafka is also high on that list. I love unapologetic bizarreness and effortless genius and these authors have both. Plus no book makes me laugh harder than a good Vonnegut novel.
I see that you work in a wide variety of genres, but what defines your work as identifiably Zé? What’s the thing that resonates within you from book to book, genre to genre?
I am obsessed with the concept of “reality” and what really is real. This translates into almost everything I’ve written whether bizarro, fantasy, horror, literary, etc. When it comes to characters, no one is sane. I give every character some version of mental illness from small neuroses to schizophrenia.
You’ve got an extensive list of novels and novellas in various stages of writing, what’s the attraction to novels and novellas over short stories? Do you write much in the way of short stories?
I’ve always written in long fiction. My characters are my friends. In a novel, you can hang out with these friends, watch them grow and help them through hardship. Short stories provide barely a glance at my character-friends. In the last month, however, I’ve started writing short stories, mostly as a way to hone my prose before I start my next project and maybe get a couple published.
Lastly, for readers wanting to know, you’re in the process of finding publishers for some of your books, is there anywhere people can go to read some of your work now?
About a year ago, I had my work featured on Flash Fiction Fridays on Bizarro Central. I have to admit it wasn’t my favorite piece so I don’t think it’s indicative of my current writing style but it can be found at: https://bizarrocentral.com/2018/04/26/flash-fiction-friday-cogito-ergo-sum
Also you can find a synopsis of my current novel SNAP on my blog at: https://zeburns.com/2018/12/29/a-snapshot-of-snap
Thank you Zé for being my guest on the blog today. You can check Zé out on his: