Monday, 29 December 2014

PUSH-UPS: Jon Bassoff

So, what are you pushing right now?
Other than the usual designer drugs, I’ve got a book out called Factory Town

What’s the hook?
Ramsey Campbell calls it “a hallucinatory descent into an urban hell” and I think that’s a pretty good description. The basic premise is this: a tortured man named Russell Carver arrives in this post-industrial wasteland searching for a young girl. Wandering deeper and deeper into the dangerous, dream-like and darkly mysterious labyrinths in town, Russell stumbles upon clues that not only lead him closer to the missing girl, but to his own troubled past as well. Factory Town is violent, surreal, and grotesque—just like my family dinners. 

And why’s that floating your boat?
Before writing Factory Town, I read the book The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’d never read anything like it before. It read like a long, strange dream. Characters seemed to take on new personas with no explanation. Time, place, and point-of-view shifted with no explanation. And it was confusing as hell. I like confusion. While Factory Town comes from a different genre, I worked hard to use that same dreamlike logic in the novel. 

When did you turn to crime?
As a kid, my father indoctrinated me with film noir (The Maltese Falcon is his favorite film). When he showed me The Third Man, I was hooked. And then I read Jim Thompson. Such violence. Such meanness. I didn’t know you could make your narrator a complete psychopath! And that’s what I’ve done. Every one of my narrators is wounded at best, sociopathic at worst. 

Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary?
The darker the better. My own writing has been placed in the sub-sub genre of “psycho-noir” and I like that just fine. I love noir and hardboiled both, but I’m really fascinated when the author messes with the narrative itself. 

And, what’s blown you away lately?
Right now I’m reading Satango by this Hungarian author named Lazslo Krasznahorkai. He writes these incredibly long and meandering sentences and is able to convey terrible sense of doom and dread. With my modest intellect it’s challenging as hell, but I’m plowing through it. 

See any books as movies waiting to happen?
My own! Corrosion and Factory Town were both optioned and have been turned into screenplays by the great Jack Reher, but now it’s that miserable waiting game. I hope it happens so I can move to Hollywood, have an affair with a young starlet, become addicted to narcotics and narcissism, and thoroughly ruin my life. But I’m not holding my breath. 

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?
A story’s a story, so it could be written on the back of a cocktail napkin for all I care. I’d say that indie presses are putting out more exciting novels these days. My American publisher, DarkFuse, would be at the top of that list, I think. 

Shout us a website worth visiting.
See pictures of me (fully clothed) and learn about my books at www.jonbassoff.com

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself.

I had a vasectomy when I was thirteen years old, by court order, after I knocked up a three hundred pound El Salvadorian woman who also happened to be the mayor’s mistress. I've since been married six times, my current wife for fourteen years and not once has she asked me what I do for a living. 


:: Buy FACTORY TOWN on Amazon US and Amazon UK.