A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Mike Zone

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?


Whoa, Whoa…





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.




A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with B F Jones

with B F Jones

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences:

B F: When I was a teenager I wanted to be a playwright and theatre director and my dream was to direct Sartre’s No Exit as well as Waiting for Godot. I had a go at writing plays but didn’t follow through.
Fiction-wise my first influences were a mix of French and English classics and contemporary gothic, horror and realism. Villon, Beaudelaire, Maupassant, Du Maurier, T.S Elliot, Poe, Ellis, Bukowski to name a few.

I wrote my first piece of flash fiction in 2013 and then wrote a bit on-off until 2017 when I did a short creative writing course. After that I started submitting more work out and writing more regularly.
I didn’t get into poetry writing (apart from that one poem about a feather in 6th grade) until late 2020.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

B F: I’d say most of those cited above are still valid along with some new classic and modern discoveries (Sarah Kane, Emily Dickinson, Manchette among others) and the work from writers and poets from the indie writing community that I have huge admiration for. I would struggle just picking one of them out of the lot though!

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

B F: I grew up half in France and half abroad, I spent a few years in Russia as a kid and developed a taste for Russian literature as a result, in particular Bulgakov and Chekhov.
Moving a lot as a kid turned me into an anxious adult and I’m definitely using quite a bit of that in my writing!

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

B F: I don’t think it’s any piece of work in particular, much more the ability to write and edit confidently and to no take rejections too personally.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

B F: I was always keen on writing, writing-related assignments at school were the only thing I got good grades at – but didn’t think I could do it until I discovered flash fiction.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

B F: Running/hiking, cooking, family time, reading, listening to music.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

B F: Yes 2 collections published by Alien Buddha, my debut poetry chapbook, The Only Sounds Left, that was released last month and a Flash Fiction collection, Artifice, out on 9 July. 


Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?

B F: Oh that’s a tricky one. There’s a couple of things I like more than the rest but no specific line in particular…

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

B F: I’m very lucky to have a great group of writers that I talk to regularly and that are super supportive. To name a few: Stephen J. Golds, James Lilley, HLR, Scott Cumming, J. Travis Grundon, Max Thrax, John Bowie.







A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Scott Cumming

with Scott Cumming:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Scott: My first writings would have been in my teen years with what I called lyrics, but since I’ve never been able to play an instrument it might be more accurate to call them poems with choruses.

I was influenced by the music I listened to through the years starting with Oasis and the Manic Street Preachers before getting more lovelorn and aping the likes of Weezer, Ed Harcourt and Ash.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Scott: Shawn Berman is the other as he has taught me to embrace my light, silly side in my writing through his work and his site, The Daily Drunk. I’ve had a lot of stuff published there throughout this year and I’ve had an immense amount of fun doing it.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Scott: I grew up in the Bridge of Don in Aberdeen, which has the distinction of being the largest suburb in Europe. We lived on the outer edges of it and there was room to explore the surrounding countryside.

Subconsciously it is there in my writing as when I think of places the image will often come from a place I remember from when I was young. The place truly was a collision of rural and urban spaces.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?


LCD are Sitting Next to Us at the After-Party (dailydrunkmag.com)

This poem is about a great night I had with a friend who has recently passed. I’ve written a few others that will appear in my forthcoming chapbook. 

Poetry has helped me to process my feelings about his death and made me confident enough to reach out to people I hadn’t spoken to in some time and clear the air about things either real or imagined.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Scott: There really isn’t. 

I was never someone who had the confidence before and always thought I wasn’t good enough to write or create. You see all sorts of people with their PhDs and MFAs and I’m just a guy who didn’t realise the value of education until too late.

Now I have the confidence, if not the belief, that I can write whatever I want and even if it only finds an audience of one, it’s the doing it that matters.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Scott: Recently I’ve been playing the Nintendo Switch we got for our seven year old’s birthday a lot to destress.

As well as that I obviously love to read and have been keeping up to date with the latest stuff from B F Jones, James Lilley and Andrew Davie among others.

In the past few months, I’ve taken to filming myself reading poems that have particularly impressed me and posting them on Twitter.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Scott: My chapbook, “A Chapbook About Nothing”, will be released on the last day of 2021. It is so called because of its complete lack of theme and the duelling, possibly jarring nature of my crime/dark poems against my light, pop culture fare.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others?


“I remember when we had nothing, but

allergy medicine spiked into each of our legs
licking the drip of epinephrene blood from your thigh”

This line is from a poem I had published at The Five-Two (The Five-Two: Scott Cumming (poemsoncrime.blogspot.com)), which is among the favourite things I’ve written thus far and perhaps the darkest thing I’ve written.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Scott: Stephen J. Golds, B F Jones, Max Thrax, James Lilley are probably the main ones. They’ve each taught me something that has become integral to how I continue to write. It can sometimes be a lonely furrow and I’ve been able to rely on them to pull me through at times.


New Poem by Scott Cumming : Magical Realism vs Middle Earth

2 poems by Scott Cumming : “The Layer Between Us” & “Ear Worn”

Poetry by Scott Cumming : the Daily Battle & To Be Written Upon Waking

Twitter: @tummidge





Bio: Scott Cumming never considered himself to be a writer until recently, but turns out he has some stuff to say. He has been published at The Daily Drunk, Punk Noir Magazine, Bristol Noir, Fevers of the Mind, Versification, Close to the Bone and Shotgun Honey. Catch up with all his misdemeanors on Twitter @tummidge

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with John Bowie

with John Bowie:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

John: As long as I can remember, I’ve written. I spent a lot of time as a child hiding in a giant second-hand bookshop in a disused train station. First influence to take seriously was Bukowski. The truth and words filled with heart and soul were hard to ignore. Also, the attitude of just getting on and doing it. Like taking a breath. An automated reflex and a gift. And damn the world if it loves or hates it—it’s for the writer.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

John: Many new and established authors. I’ve made a lot of connections through my e-zine: Bristol Noir. All the writers who submit are very inspiring creative characters and their words match that.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Have any travels away from home influence your work/describe?

John: I was born in Northumberland. An area rich with stories and a history including Vikings, Romans, wars and battles. The scenery is epic too. I studied in Manchester in the 90s, so the bands, music and clubs were a massive influence. I was there when the IRA bomb went off too and saw the aftermath. And, I’ve done lot of travelling around Malaysia, Borneo, Hong Kong and Australia. I’m using these memories, particularly of some of the remote islands, in the current book I’m working on, Viking (due out with Red Dog Press).

Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

John: I’ve found that my poetry is. As well as being succinct emotional snapshots it’s also an exercise in crafting short prose, even tighter than flash fiction. Each one in my latest collection, Dead Birds & Sinking Ships, is like cutting me open and seeing what’s inside. My work in progress, Walking Towards The Noise, is the same and very cathartic to write.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/artist?

John: I’ve always done it so there was no turning point as such. My credibility and confidence came with other writers and indie publishers reading, getting it and asking for it. Same with the artwork and cover illustrations.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

John: I’m a David Lynch fan and have recently discovered and started Transcendental Meditation techniques after hearing him talk about it. His weather forecasts on YouTube are very soothing too. I’d highly recommend Nick Cave’s The Red Hand Files as well.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

John: Please check out my latest crime noir thriller Division (Red Dog Press) and my poetry collection Dead Birds & Sinking Ships (Close to the Bone) both of which came out this month. My artwork is also on Redbubble – tagged The Aloof.

Q8: What is a favorite line from a poem/song of yours, or favorite piece of art or photograph?


Jenny Saville, Propped, 1992

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

John: My wife. I can’t say enough. We’re co-joined and growing together. Writing is such a huge part of my world and she has been very knowledgeable and supportive through it all.




A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Jesse Miksic

with Jesse Miksic:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Jesse: In high school, I stumbled across a poetry anthology in an otherwise useless creative writing class, and discovered e e cummings’ poem “Since feeling is first.” It resonated so strongly — especially with those closing lines — it’s still one of the poems I most identify with.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Jesse: Though I feel like my work is all over the place, my favorites right now are Bianca Stone, whose ongoing work has shown me how to stretch all the way through and beyond the traditional confines of lyric poetry, and Li-Young Lee, whose whole mode of thinking feels like home to me. I’m also influenced (and overwhelmed) every day by the poets whose work I follow on Twitter, who are living and struggling to create beautiful things in these unsettled times.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?

Jesse: I grew up in the northeastern United States, in the cities and suburbs (Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC). As a result, my poetry is concerned with some particular transitions: from urban energy to domestic suburban, and I think they are inflected with an outsider’s fascination with the wild. Of course, I was also brought up with video games and nerd culture and SFF film and TV, and I lived through the 90’s incarnations of punk and Internet culture, so all of those can be seen as boundaries and borders in my work, as well.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influence your work/describe?

Jesse: I carry all the places I’ve been within me, and they all show up in poems from time to time. I’ve written about Thailand, various beaches, and my parents’ and grandparents’ places of origin in upstate New York. But these are probably less central to my writing than the tricky cosmopolitan virtual world I’ve adopted as a child of the Internet age.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a poet/writer?

Jesse: More of a line of personal evolution, starting with the genre literature I loved (JRR Tolkien, Stephen King) and then moving through my own experiments with writing. The poem as a format was a special place to be experimental, to supercollide my various literary and intellectual modes. Because of the freedom and the connection with parts of my mind I don’t normally access so readily, it’s become my favorite mode in recent years.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Jesse: At the moment, I mostly relax by scribbling in notebooks, listening to poetry and philosophy podcasts. However, I always know I can go back to some old favorites: watching movies of the cultish and popcorn varieties, rewatching my favorite anime, and playing video games with good stories.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Jesse: I don’t have much besides what’s posted on my normal social media feeds: @miksimum (Twitter) for general musing and poetry links/boosts, and @miksimum (Instagram) for photography and drawings. For a rundown of my published poetry (pretty much all available online), my website has it: http://www.miksimum.com/publications

Q8: What is one of your favorite lines from your writings/poetry?


“The stillness gathered
The voices like a chisel
And sculpted the light”

(from Town Park as Tuning Fork, https://www.miksimum.com/publications/Miksic-TownPark.html)

Or my favorite things from others? My favorite line of love poetry is still cummings’:
“for life’s not a paragraph / And death i think is no parenthesis”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Jesse: A big shout out to Laura Kaminski, who was instrumental in the first piece I ever had accepted (in Right Hand Pointing #116), whose advice has seen me through a great deal of my slow-simmering poetry career, and who has also been a champion of my work at Praxis Magazine Online, a publication I’m proud to have some work in. Also to Jay Besemer, who has encouraged and challenged me through some truly rewarding discussion and correspondence. And to everyone participating in #TopTweetTuesday every week.