Today’s guest on the Drill, youngster Cameron Pierce, redefines the word weird. His titles include ‘Ass Goblins of Auschwitz‘, the recently released short story collection ‘Lost in Cat Brain Land’, and the upcoming ‘The Pickled Apocalypse of Pancake Island’. These are facts.
Cameron Pierce also has six toes on his right foot, plays the mouth guitar and turned down a position with Scotland Yard so he could follow his true calling to Portland, Oregon to build miniature ships in bottles. When the miniature-ships-in-bottles bubble burst in the early 2000s, Cameron turned to writing. These are not facts. But it would be really cool if they were. Please read on to learn some more facts that may or may not be entirely factual.
The 2-Minute Drill is 5 quick questions and 5 quick answers from someone you probably haven’t heard of, but should hear from. This isn’t some rambling, long-winded author interview here. We dispense with the pleasantries and get down to brass tacks. We ask the tough questions and get the tough answers that you need to know. And if not, we’ll just make them up.
This is Cameron Pierce. He is 22 years old. He writes about weird things like butt people who drink cider made from fermented children and prisoners who make bicycles and sex dolls out of dead kids. (Reminds us of those Hardy Boys novels we loved so much in our youth.) Here he is answering stupid questions posed by us. We have warned you ahead of time what is in store. We do not offer refunds. Thank you and enjoy.
2-MD: Do you mind if we call you Whippersnapper? Or would you prefer Young Fella? (Don’t make us pull out Snot-Nosed Punk, because we will. You have been duly warned.)
CP: I’m in my bedroom and the window is open. I just heard my neighbor say, “Shit man, I don’t know if I like it now.” That is how I feel about these names. Not really, though. I don’t mind them.
2-MD: Damn, we should not have started off that way. We always do that. Let’s try again: So tell us whippersnapper, what sort of fugue state does your brain have to be in to write books about Ass Goblins and Pancake Islands in such marathon bursts? And at what point in the process do the hallucinations kick in?
CP: Writing marathons can be helpful for first drafts, but for me, writing is about rewriting and learning to kill yourself again and again. I feel like I become a pathetic human being when I’m really invested in a book. I am no longer alive. I am never alive. With “The Pickled Apocalypse of Pancake Island,” I sometimes spent hours just learning about the French connotations of one word or something. I carried that book around like a fucking tumor.
Although the first draft of “Ass Goblins of Auschwitz” was written in three days in July 2009, I had been quietly freaking out in my mind about it since November 2008. I was writing other stuff, a lot of other stuff — you have to keep working no matter what — but I felt “Ass Goblins” in my gut every day. I didn’t know what it was for a long time. Finally, I got beyond being scared and pulled it out of myself.
Writing, for me, isn’t about hallucinations. I get enough of those in life. Sometimes writing makes me float off like balloon, but I feel like I would be floating no matter what, and without writing, I would pop. Under heat. Under atmospheric pressure.
Sometimes I feel like a big chunk of my brain is missing. It hasn’t always been missing. I don’t know who stole it or where it went. Putting words together is nice, though, and writing is basically the most spiritual thing I have. It kills me. I wish nobody ever said or wrote anything. I am a Catholic who knows that God is dead. I’m always halfway between a funeral and a pizza party. Don’t ever take anything I say seriously, or else I’ll punch you in the face.
2-MD: Let’s play a game called “If… then…” : If this statement is true: “With six you get egg roll” then (fill in the blank “______” ) is also true.
CP: Now my neighbor said, “I get the crappy jobs.” I want to lean my head out the window and say, “Life is a crappy job. Enjoy.” I feel pretty good today.
2-MD: How many times a week must you resist the urge to trim Carlton Mellick III’s sideburns with a pair of garden shears?
CP: Garden shears make me nervous. Anyway, the sideburns are a source of comfort. Carlton Mellick will survive the apocalypse. When I hang out with him, I like to think, “Yeah, if there were zombies around right now, we would totally win.” Not that you ‘win’ over zombies, but you know you’ll ‘win’ over them when you’re around Mellick. He’s resourceful and a good planner.
2-MD: Bradley Sands called you a “spineless douchebag” in a recent Drill. Would you care to pull out your white glove of revenge and slap him across the face with it?
CP: I was on the phone with Bradley a few nights ago, while I wandered aimlessly through a grocery store. I don’t even remember what I bought. (2-MD: Way to sock it to him. He’ll be stinging from that one for sure…)
Bonus question… 2-MD: Dude, can I borrow a buck? I’m good for it, I swear. There’s only one Whatchamacallit left in the vending machine and I’ve been craving one of those for like two years.
Bonus answer… CP: No dude. I need to drink that dollar. There’s a cat sitting to me left and it’s totally jacking all my fluids. It went straight from my coffee to my water. I’m dehydrated as fuck.
Crap. I really wanted that candy bar.