Korpon wrote his novel in London, which explains his love for the Dark. There isn’t a day going by in England’s capital when the skies aren’t black, threatening with showers. Have a guess: are the skies ever blue in Stay God? It explains why he takes equally dark books with him in case he gets marooned on a desert isle. Dermaphoria is high on his list, along with the noir handbook The Postman Always Rings Twice and A Confederacy of Dunces to throw in some laughs. Though, as said before, this fellow hasn’t got beans and tomato sauce for brains. He’s got the sense to bring something intelligent like Infinite Jest, a work too big for mere mortals, but stranded on an island with nothing but the sun and the flu, a great companion indeed.
He resides in Baltimore, Maryland, an American concrete jungle, not much better than the aforementioned uninhabited island the size of your shoes that you have to share with a palm tree and an albatross. He might prefer the handful inches of sand though. As a proper writer he’s intimidated and excited at the same time with all the new media bollocksing about and elbowing their way into all the parties. eZines shoot up like mushrooms all around us and are starting to get the recognition they deserve, which he thinks is awesome, but the hopeless romantic in him isn’t so easily persuaded. Holding on to your dear life is easier with a dangerous story on you, written on paper crisper than a frosty morning. The lame substitute of an eReader that doesn’t even fit in a pocket won’t get the job done. “The hoopla about eReaders and all is just another marketing ploy to me,” he says. For such a young man he shares his views with dinosaurs, which isn’t anything if it isn’t a good thing. The day you can’t smell a book any more is the day literature is dead, I always say, and Korpon seems to agree with that. The only modern buggery that he would appreciate is a “Rosie the Robot” to sort out all the distractions so he could do what he does best: write. After that, he wants to invent an ink that makes his writing sound like Nick Cave narrates it.
Stay God isn’t a reason for Korpon to quit working and play with his pillock the rest of his days. Coming in spring, the novella Old Ghosts will be released by Pablo D’Stair’s Brown Paper Publishing, an independent house with the gusto and minerals to knock the breath out of the so-called literary elite. To refuse them a quick recovery Christopher Dwyer will soon add to the BPP canon with a novel called When October Falls, which runs in the same shadows as Korpon. Dark times are ahead and leaving a light on in the hall at night won’t make any kind of difference. The age-old cliché is the only thing to go with: Can’t beat them? Join them. Put your trust in Korpon, who lives with a quartet of cats – with at least one of them being human. Still not convinced to trust him? Read this: “Fall had killed summer and was lulling us into sedation for winter without a fight.” If that didn’t convince you and you’re still pretending to prefer the light, you were damned a long time before today. Go ahead and put your trust in angels and other drug-induced fairies, like Christmas – the celebration co-opted by Coca-Cola – but you’re not safe if you think the dark doesn’t reach out towards the holiday festivities. The crime fiction blog Do Some Damage recently held a Christmas-noir contest and Korpon pulled no punches: “You can’t fuck a man’s reindeer and not expect to get shot.”
Don’t get him wrong – he’s a hopeless romantic, always seeing the good in people, always up and about to help the needy. He surely wouldn’t walk away from co-authoring a self-help book with Keith Richards or Iggy Pop. Or plant a field full of tulips to explain the peculiar, intentional typo on his novel’s cover. In the end it all boils down to the one important question in all the known universe: why eleven, I asked him.
He thought for a while and answered. “Because that’s what it goes to.” And even though that isn’t anywhere near the right answer, it was still nice talking to the kid.
Nik Korpon is from Baltimore, MD. His novel Stay God just came out on Otherworld Publications. His stories have ruined the street cred of Out of the Gutter, Everyday Genius, Sex and Murder, Cherry Bleeds and a bunch more. He is also the fiction editor of Rotten Leaves. Give him some danger, little stranger, at www.nikkorpon.com.