MTI: Today I'm interviewing J. M. Perkins, who contributed Dr. Genocide and the Five Stages of Grief. Thank you for being here. Starting off, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
JMP: Sure. My name is John but I use the pen name J.M. Perkins. I write whatever pays the bills but mostly science fiction, horror, personal essays, and tabletop rpg supplements. I was raised by Evangelical Christian Biblical Literalist Post-Tribulation Survivalists. I have a wife I’d kill for and an 18 month old daughter I’d die for. I work in procurement for biotech company. I’ve never watched the movie Titanic.
MTI: Now, getting down to business; what first compelled you to weave fiction, and what's your favorite type of story to write?
JMP: I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing fiction (or at least actively working on getting better at telling stories); I think it most especially began as a way of trying to understand myself and my emotions better (except with the slight dodge of utilizing the unreal). My favorite type of story is superhero stories; when in doubt or blocked up I can always write about superheroes.
MTI: Tell me, if you had to pick just one author who has influenced or inspired you, who would it be?
JMP: Stephen King. When he’s at his best there’s no one better and when he’s not at his best he’ll have already written 2 more books in the time it took you to form your opinion.
MTI: Your story, Dr. Genocide and the Five Stages of Grief, appears in We Were Heroes, an anthology devoted to the theme of aging, retired, or out of their element superheroes and villains. Tell us a little bit about your contribution to this collection.
JMP: Dr. Genocide and the Five Stages of Grief is the story of a supervillain who has been too successful at what he does and is suffering accordingly.
MTI: Who's your favorite superhero (or villain)?
JMP: Spider-man. Although I think I’m more intrigued nowadays by Invincible as I get the sense there’s still more to do with him.
MTI: If you, yourself, could have any superpower, what would it be?
MTI: Shifting back to your writing, can you tell us a little about what you're working on right now?
JMP: Right now, I’m working on a couple kickstarter projects I plan to release in 2016, editing and curating my short stories into inexpensive ebook anthologies, and writing & running the Patreon for my living tabletop game setting built around the perpetual butchery of a nigh-unkillable, perpetually regenerating kaiju – The City of Salt in Wounds.
MTI: Other than your contribution to We Were Heroes, do you have any other stories being published in the near future?
JMP: My short story ‘Field Exercise’ will be forthcoming on the Story Ark Podcast. Other than that, most of my recent output (and upcoming publications) has been nonfiction and gaming material (of which there is too much to concisely list, though you can check my personal website www.jmperkins.com if you’re curious.
MTI: On a lighter note, have you watched any good tv lately?
JMP: Recently, I enjoyed season 1 of Jessica Jones and the first three seasons of Longmire. I’m currently watching Clone Wars which is getting much better as the series progresses (though I still skip the episodes with Jar-Jar Binks and I’m highly amused that nobody in the Star Wars universe actually knows what a ‘bounty hunter’ is).
MTI: How about music?
JMP: Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of synthwave (and enjoying the unrelenting hookiness of Gost & Carpenter Brut in particular). Also, whatever the heck Kollektiv Turmstrasse is. Oh, and the cellist-singer Unwoman; she’s amazing and you should totally give her money like I do. Last show I went to was Post-Modern Jukebox and I had a fabulous experience.
MTI: What was the last movie you watched, and what did you think of it?
JMP: Last movie I saw in theaters was Mad Max: Fury Road and it was fantastic. Last movie I rented was Avengers: Age of Ultron and it was disappointing (though, to be fair many movies now feel decidedly MEDIOCRE after Mad Max).
MTI: Readers love samples. Do you happen to have a story excerpt you'd like to share with us today?
JMP: Here’s a sample of what I’m writing about for Salt in Wounds.
Approaching the City
Everyone knows how the City of Salt in Wounds came about. But for those who have not visited in person, it is hard to conceive of the scale of the place. It is even harder for outsiders to understand how wholly the economic engine of butchering the bound Tarrasque has transformed the society of Salt in Wounds in addition to the surrounding landscape.
Upon approach to the city, the first thing a traveler will note is the sounds of the monster screaming. Its roar echoes
for dozens of leagues, and the ground occasionally trembles as the creature at the core of Salt in Wounds thrashes. Most times, the God-Butchers and Marrow Miners keep the creature unconscious but even they -toiling night and day- cannot extract enough to keep the creature down every hour.
Drawing closer, the traveler will notice the shift in ecology and weather; the deciduous forest with its seasonal snows gives way to a humid, almost tropical zone. The temperature for the surrounding area keeps steady at 80 degrees or higher, sometimes reaching into the hundreds even in the dead of winter. However, the tropical plants here are unique, twisted and changed from ground soaked in red. Travelers should be aware that from this point on, the water is no longer safe to drink – Salt in Wounds is provided with imported water carried into the city at great expense.
Very quickly even experienced mages will discover that magic functions differently in and around Salt in Wounds, possibly of result of the Tarrasque’s legendary resistance to magic seeping out with its vital fluids and essence into the land now thirsty for its blood. By the time the traveler can see the walls, they will also see the beasts horns peaking up above even the tallest towers built by the Binder-Lords of Salt in Wounds. The air above the city is blackened with a swarm of stirges and hungry gulls cawing to swoop down for scraps from the never-ending butchery.
JMP: If you’d like to read more about Salt in Wounds you can visit the website here.
If you’d like to learn more about me/my writing in general, you can visit my website here or contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
MTI: Thank you, Mr. Perkins. I hope our readers check out your links, and I also hope they'll take a look at We Were Heroes and reserve their copy today!