Greetings and salutations people and peoplettes,
D.B.Tarpley here, your man on the street pounding the pavement hard all day, every day with little more than a bad back and sore crotch to show for my efforts. Over the course of my time here it has been my sincerest wish, nay my distinct pleasure, to share with you some of the unique individuals I meet in my day to day travels. I am not a brilliant writer but I try my best to share this experience as openly and honestly as I can; although my best is usually fair to middling. But today… oh today dear reader I have scored the interview of the century. Today you will be privy to my latest conversation with internationally renowned author, (he has two fans in Australia,) D.B.Tarpley. With prose reminiscent of a Paul Reubens/ Abbie Hoffman lovechild, Mr. Tarpley has forged a decisive nook in the far left cranny of modern literature’s looming landscape. He is my favorite writer and one of the few writers whose words I can wrap myself up in over and over again. I discover something new each time I crack open one of his carefully crapped upon pages. Without further ado I proudly give you the man himself.
D.B. — Wow, I can’t believe I’m finally sitting across the table from you.
Tarpley — I am having trouble believing it as well.
D.B. — So tell me, why do you write?
Tarpley — Can we even call it writing these days? When I first started I was a ‘writer’ in that I would fill notebook after notebook up with pencil scribbles. Now, I can hardly write legible cursive. No, these days it should be called typing or word processing. No one writes longhand, and if they do it has to be because they don’t have access to a processor. Being able to instantly edit your thoughts is priceless. It makes us all seem smarter than we really are.
D.B. — I feel you turned your answer into an argument on semantics without actually answering what was asked.
Tarpley — I’m sorry you feel that way.
D.B. — How long have you been practicing your craft?
Tarpley — Somewhere close to thirty years.
D.B. — Could you briefly describe the journey for us?
Tarpley — Can I briefly encapsulate almost three fourths of my life?
D.B. — I see no reason to bring fractions into it but yes, if you don’t mind.
Tarpley — Not at all… my pleasure.
(The writer props his feet up on the table and hikes his hands behind his head. I get the feeling we’re in for a long… the chair slides out from under him and he falls flat on his back crashing hard into the floor.)
D.B. — Damn! … Are you O.K.?
Tarpley — (Dusting himself off as he gets back to his feet. He picks up his chair.) Of course not, I’ve besmirched my coolness for the rest of the interview. You might as well be interviewing Ben Stein.
D.B. — Some of us would welcome a discussion with Mr. Stein.
Tarpley — Really? Bueller… Bueller… Bueller… That’s what will be on his gravestone, not mentions of his work with Nixon or his 15 minutes of post film fame as a game show host but one word, repeated over and over… Bueller… Bueller… where was I?
D.B. — You were about to pontificate on your many years as a writer.
Tarpley — (Eyeing me with a not un-hostile glare.) Of course. (He goes to put his feet back on the table and thinks better of it.) Well, I guess I got my start writing fan fiction before fan fiction was cool. Some might say I invented fan fiction.
D.B. — Who might say that?
Tarpley — Some.
(Yes, the glare can definitely be classified as hostile.)
Tarpley — Are you such a communist that you would deny someone the right to say whatever they want under the first amendment of the constitution of the United States of America?
D.B. — What?
Tarpley — Exactly. Legal stuff. Now, one of the first pieces I ever wrote was a fictional account of what would happen if Detective Harry Callahan of the San Francisco police department, famously portrayed by Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry films, got a new partner — one John Rambo, taking part in an experimental Viet Nam vet social reintegration program.
D.B. — And?
Tarpley — Rambo dies of course, as do all of Callahan’s partners.
D.B. — I see.
(He leans across the table and stares at me hard.)
Tarpley — Do you?
(I lean into the table equally as hard not willing to give an inch.)
D.B. — Fo sheezy.
Tarpley — You realize all this is ridiculous of course.
D.B. — What?
Tarpley – This (he waves his hand over the table.) It doesn’t exist.
D.B. — Of course it does.
Tarpley – (He slams his fist on the table.) This table does not exist.
(I grip the table as hard as I can with both hands. You can hear my nails creak as the tensile pressure from the tightened grip brings them near their breaking point.)
D.B. — This Table Exists.
Now, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your creative process?
Tarpley — As I have mentioned before it is my very firm assertion that when you write you are God. You are master of all you can imagine and your world and characters are literally at your mercy. So I take my stories and novels quite seriously. It is a very concrete responsibility I wield when I write. To give it anything less than my all is to cheat both myself and the reader, well fuck that – fuck the reader, it is to cheat myself and that is all that should ever matter. If you are not writing for yourself then you are not writing for the right reasons. Write the book you want to read. If you are successful in that then you are a success as a writer, no matter what that hack King says.
D.B. — King? Stephen?
Tarpley — Martin Luther.
D.B. — Ah, tell us about some of your setbacks.
Tarpley — In fifth grade my grandmother caught me masturbating in her bedroom and…
D.B. — I meant as a writer.
Tarpley – Oh sure. That story wasn’t much of a ‘setback’ anyway. Well, I have disappointments, not really setbacks. So long as I create product I am moving forward but I have to admit the business side of writing is 1000 times harder than the creative end of things. For example, I sold publishing rights to my first book for 1000 dollars, only it was to an Australian publishing company so I was paid in Australian dollars. Now it wasn’t as bad as if I had been paid in Pesos but it is just an example of how tricky it is to navigate business waters for the uninitiated. Another time my publisher paid for an ad in Fangoria magazine – America’s number one horror magazine and a practical institution of my childhood – and I didn’t sell one single copy. As per my usual luck, many distributors of the magazine hid the issue to cover Linda Blaire’s booger face. We had an excellent cover, and excellent title, an ad in the nation’s number one horror magazine, and nothing. That’s the kind of kick in the nuts that can damn near cripple you as an artist.
D.B. — I can imagine.
Tarpley — I bet you can you tender-nutted fop.
D.B. — Please keep your insults as American as possible.
Tarpley — Certainly asshole.
D.B. — So I guess it is fair to say that you have tried multiple methods of marketing.
Tarpley – Since I mostly sell ebooks I have focused mainly on social media, Facebook and Twitter; but I have tried to keep my ads fresh and inviting. Still, it mostly comprises spamming people who don’t want to be spammed and that is something I am firmly against. I recently tried a campaign where I pretended to go on a book tour and make appearances at all these out of the way comic book shops. I actually garnered a bit of interest with this one. It all culminated at a comic-con in Dallas where I had a meeting with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way film production company to sell the rights to the film version of my vampire novel ‘The Death of Fear.’ This was complete bullshit of course. But it got people interested in my work. I actually did once get a spec script of mine read by Appian Way, ‘Nashville Nigger,’ but they passed.
D.B. — I can’t imagine why.
Tarpley — They lack vision.
D.B. — So have you sold many books?
Tarpley — More than some, less than most. I have put a lot of time and effort into marketing but I like being an independent author in today’s saturated market to being adrift afloat in the Atlantic and shouting for help. Only the people who can hear your voice will be even remotely interested.
D.B. — That actually sounds like a pretty good analogy.
Tarpley — I like poop.
D.B. — What?
Tarpley — Nothing. No I haven’t sold many books but again, if you had been listening to me that is no reason to write. You should never write for money, because unless you are already famous the chances of you selling anything are slim to none. You should write for the love of the craft. And, as I have previously mentioned — WRITE THE BOOKS YOU WANT TO READ!!!
(I wiggle my finger in my ear. That was loud.)
D.B. — Wow, you sure are passionate about this. So tell me because my readers and I have been dying to know. Who is the Cabbage King and where is his realm?
(The man across the table from me laughs. It is a hearty laugh built of mirth, mischief, and mayonnaise.)
Tarpley — You don’t know who the Cabbage King is?
D.B. — No.
Tarpley — You seriously don’t know.
D.B. — No.
Tarpley — Then fuck you.
D.B. – I will piss on your corpse.
Tarpley — And I will fill your dead mouth with bloody semen.
D.B.Tarpley was interviewed 9-10-2016 in Mount Juliet, Tennessee where he lives with his girlfriend Jennifer/ his step-daughter Grace – apparently all her friends are heathens/ and his two dogs, Reilly and Pepper. All he does in his spare time is write and watch television and he has never been happier.
*Fact – Kevin Bacon’s existence in the universe makes it physically impossible for any
dance, even the Lambada, to be forbidden – Fact.*
The son of a poor immigrant philanthropist. D.B. Tarpley got his start writing dialogue for the imaginary friends of imagination deficient kids on the Lower East Side. ‘The Death of Love’ is D.B.Tarpley’s latest book. I am telling everyone and anyone who will listen to take a look at this book!… It’s a page turner… I have NO IDEA where Tarpley is going with this!… Tarpley must be a genius, he surprises in (both) big and little ways”. – five star review. Over the years D.B. has been discovered and recognized by the Lewis N. Clark committee for creative mastery; in addition to this D.B. was recently tossed the Paul Reubens Fellowship for excellence in self awareness. He currently Summers in Manitowoc, Wisconsin; and Winters in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. In addition to writing, D.B. is an internationally acclaimed adult diaper model/ pastry chef. His work has been featured in ‘Pee-n-Poop Wear Quarterly’ as well as ‘Dem Some Fine Damn Muffins Magazine.’ His advice to readers everywhere is “Leave the pages bloody.”