Interview With JRD Skinner (Three Questions)

Skinner Co - Text (This is part  “Three Questions With Xxxx”. If you’re interested in taking part click here and fill out the form.)

I’ve been a fan of Skinner Co’s podcasts for a long time. The writer for the show, JRD, is a admirable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the mountain he’s climbing with his co-horts (whom I hope to have interviews from in the near future). Creating hundreds of interlinked stories, voicing them in a compelling way, and putting out quality audio is a challenge I’m somewhat familiar with. So, I’m happy to bring you this interview and encourage you to subscribe at http://flashpulp.com.

1) All of the stories I’ve seen from you are ultra short aka flash fiction, thus the name for your podcast. What is it that you enjoy so much about this format?

I’ve always been a sucker for the short story format, and one of the things I really wanted to work on when I started Flash Pulp was my density. Two of my cardinal genres, fantasy and science fiction, suffer from chronic bloat, and I was getting to a point where I was suffering page-turn fatigue just from reading the location descriptions of Frank Herbert, Neal Stephenson, Robert Jordan, etc.

On the whole I think “genre fiction” is on the rebound back to a reasonable size, something that’s certainly been aided by the current boom in digital sales.

I want folks to feel like they can depend on us to plant a flag and scale a mountain in fifteen minutes or less.

2) Pulp is one of those words like science fiction or pornography that has no widely accepted definition per se. They are what we point to when we say them. Having said that, I’d like you to define it.

By my thinking there are two aspects to this one: Pulp needs to be easy/cheap to widely distribute – I’m thinking of the mags and dime novels of the ’30s and ’40s, the cheap to-make shadow plays that were the noir movies of the ’40s and ’50s, the drive in flicks that followed, and even the direct to VHS shelf-fillers of the ’80s – and, as a more philosophical matter, it must have a certain sort of romanticism at its core. You can frame it in terms of swashbuckling, or idealism, or even actual romantics, but there’s got to be enough room to allow for some wonder, (be it in the notion that one man really can take on innumerable odds, or that the heroine can escape the fiends chasing her through the graveyard, or even the basic notion that there’s more to the world than we can see with a natural eye.)

3) What are you doing with your podcast that you didn’t think you would and how do you think the podcast will affect/influence any future non-Flashpulp projects?

I’m making a lot more friends through the project than I thought I would. I had only a fuzzy understanding of what exactly the end goal looked like when I started, but I certainly didn’t expect to be surrounded by so many fantastically like-minded folks. Whatever the future project, I’ll definitely be looking for this sort of feedback, both good and bad.

JRD, when not hammering at his keyboard, sells maple-flavoured beaver meat to school children and brags about it at Skinner.fm/FlashPulp.com

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