Welcome Daniel O'Shea to WHY I'M BADASS. He's a father, a husband, a helluva writer. He has the finest reading voice I've ever heard. He's a tremendous looker (see above) and doesn't fuck around. He walks and writes. He loves the ladies and the ladies love him. He once wrote a novel in a month, in public, on his blog, just to make the rest of us look stupid. His mom and dad spoke Latin to him at dinner, which is badass and fucked up at the same time.
It's an honor to have him answer my questions.
JHJ: Why are you badass? Please explain your badassery.
DO: Badasses don’t explain themselves. Explaining yourself is for navel-gazing pussies.
JHJ: Nice start. Come out, guns blazing. What’s the most bad-fucking-ass thing you’ve ever done?
DO: Some punk with a knife tried to stick me up once. I chased him off with a sabre. Yes, an actual sabre. I had it in the back seat of my Pinto. You say badasses don’t drive Pintos? I got a sabre says they do. Also, a rattlesnake bit me once. Well, bit my hiking boot to be more exact. I cut its head off with a trenching shovel and ate it.
JHJ: How many sexual partners have you had? Feel free to give details, provide pictures, give anecdotes.
DO: Exactly one. And if you don’t understand how or why that’s badass, then fuck you.
JHJ: Hey, if we did that, then you'd be up to two, which wouldn't be as badass. So. There's that. Next question. What’s the most badass book ever written?
DO: Either King Lear or Dirty White Boys by Stephen Hunter. Depends on my mood.
JHJ: Wow. You're a hard man. Okay. Enough about this mamby pamby literature. What’s the most badass movie you’ve ever seen?
DO: Well, it ain’t the BEST movie I’ve ever seen, but for flat-out badassery, it’s hard to beat FROM DUSK TILL DAWN.
JHJ: Salma Hayek. Bam. Bing bong. Raow. Okay, I'll stop. So, when you’re out and about, being a total fucking badass, what music do you listen to?
DO: Whatever John Hornor Jacobs has recommended most recently.
JHJ: Sucking up detracts from your overall badass score. But you're already in the stratosphere. Next up - you ever kill a man? Describe how you’d kill your worst enemy. Make it good.
DO: Scaphism, the fate imposed on Mithridates for killing Cyrus the Younger. Oh, that’s right, some of your readers aren’t as badass as I am and don’t know what I’m talking about. So here’s a brief description: The victim is stripped and bound inside a couple of hollowed out log halves, which are sealed around him with his head and appendages protruding from the open ends. He is force-fed milk and honey so that he develops a real bad case of the shits. More honey is poured on and into the sealed log. The shit accumulates inside the log. The log is floated onto a body of stagnant water. The stench attracts insects, which begin to feed on the condemned. The condemned is forced to eat and drink so that he does not die of starvation. Eventually, the condemned dies due to, well, being eaten by bugs. Supposedly, it took Mithridates 17 days to die.
JHJ: How would you dispose of his/her body?
DO: Wouldn’t have to. The bugs will eat it.
JHJ: After you get caught and are waiting to be executed, what would you have as your last meal? What’s the most badass eats you can think of?
DO: A true badass doesn’t get caught, but speaking hypothetically, my last meal would be the guards, the bars, the walls and the barbed wire, at which point I would walk free. And take a serious dump.
JHJ: What would be your badass last words?
DO: You guys have any Gray Poupon?
JHJ: So, you write books, do you? What’s your work about and how is it badass?
DO: I don’t set out for my stories to be about anything, at least not consciously, but there do tend to be recurring themes about redemption of some kind or another – the idea that shit comes home to roost, and you can choose to wallow in it, or you can man up, face your own failings, and just maybe come out the other side of things. But redemption costs. Hell, Jesus is everybody’s favorite redemption protagonist and look at the bad shit he had to go through.
JHJ: You're like killing me with the profound shit you're laying on us here. Maximum profundity. So. You've got us in the palm of your big, meaty mitt. Lead us. Where can we learn more about your badass self and buy your work?
John Hornor Jacobs is a novelist, among other things. His novel, SOUTHERN GODS, will be published in August 2011 by Night Shade Books. THIS DARK EARTH will be published in July 2012 by Gallery/Simon & Schuster. The INCARCERADO TRILOGY, comprised of THE TWELVE FINGERED BOY, INCARCERADO, and THE END OF ALL THINGS will be published by Carolrhoda Labs in 2013, 2014, 2015 respectively.
Represented by THE Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.