with Mike Zone:
Mike Zone is the Editor in Chief of Dumpster Fire Press, the author of Shedding Dark Places (almost), One Hell of a Muse, A Farewell to Big Ideas and Void Beneath the Skin, as well as coauthor of The Grind. frequent contributor to Alien Buddha Press and Mad Swirl. His work has been featured in: Horror Sleaze Trash, Better Than Starbucks, Piker Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Synchronized Chaos, Outlaw Poetry and Cult Culture magazine.
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Mike: In my early teen years…of course being a pretentious kid and believing I had the world by the balls and was reading something new my influences were: Alan Moore, Jim Morrison, William Burroughs, Albert Camus and Irvine Welsh
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Mike: That’s difficult to say…I’m inspired by a plethora of societal factors but if we’re looking at specific writers whom I admire who actually push me to challenge myself…Kevin “Wolfman” Martin, Roz Washington and Robert Ragan, all of whom I worked with on the collaborative project THE GRIND…though who doesn’t want to name drop Hunter S. Thompson. Erich Fromm and Mark Fisher?
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
Have any travels away from home influence your work?
Mike: I grew up in Holland, Mi…the western part of Michigan on the lakeshore which is considered the Bible Belt of the North I believe…we’ll leave it at that as I live in Grand Rapids now…travels here and there and everywhere in-between allow to reconcile and instigate a mental restart in general when contemplating one’s existential quandaries in a new environment. It isn’t always doom and gloom when you realize most of it is a simulation and cerebral elasticity tends to take hold even if it’s a beautiful woman in a sundress whose arms you will never die in.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
Mike: This a tough nut to crack. I will always cherish THE GRIND but you have to keep going forward…Dumpster Fire Press being editor in chief seems to be a good candidate as there is always something being cranked out…my latest book SHEDDING DARK PLACE (ALMOST) published by Alien Buddha Press is a collection of poetry and prose written during the pandemic that I didn’t realize was meaningful to a lot of people but honestly whatever I’m working on at the moment.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Mike: Oh yeah, when I was seven I won a Young Author’s Award but still wanted to be Darth Vader, when I realized it truly was a long time ago in a galaxy far away…I thought “Hey, I take away other people’s dreams too…”
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Mike: I run a press and work full time in a pot lab…writing saves me…but I like to clean my house and take meditative walks. Eventually I’d like to dig live shows and travel again…Sicily, anyone?
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
VOICES FROM THE FIRE volume 3
SHEDDING DARK PLACES (ALMOST)
THE CROWS WILL NEVER TELL BY JOHANN VAN DER WALT
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others? Favorite art piece?
Favorite art piece is Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Crows
Favorite line…well, just heard a Holocaust survivor being interviewed about Polish Jews digging their own graves and then being shot into them “…and the Earth was shaking for days” don’t take my new poetry collection title…
This particular line though is taken from my poem “The last days of us”
a jagged blues tune sung by dusty angels
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Mike: I have to say my brother in writing Roz Washington…after my mother died he actually kept me going even while I took care of her before her passing. He would tag me social media posts to write poetry on the fly which wound up becoming a salvation of sorts.