Layne Ransom may look sweet, but she has a name right out of a video game, and that kicks ass. I think she should be Duke Nukem’s nemesis, but a nemesis you can’t beat, ever, even on God code. I’m not sure if Duke Nukem had a God code. I know Doom did. I never used God code on Doom. The only code I ever used was the Happy Ammo code: IDKFA. I don’t believe I still remember that.
Come see Layne Ransom kick Duke Nukem’s ass at the Vouched Presents: DOGZPLOT Literature Party next Monday!
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your day job?
I’m from Boonville, Indiana, which is about twenty minutes east of Evansville, and like most hometowns it’s mildly embarrassing. There used to be a restaurant a short walk from my parents’ house called Hootie’s Hillbilly Café that affirmed every possible stereotype one could create about a place called Boonville. It’s now the Boonville Café (if it’s still open – I’d have to ask my grandparents), which I don’t think is actually all that better for the town’s reputation than a place called Hootie’s Hillbilly Café. At least when that was open there was this sweet painting of deer being hunted by a dude in a coonskin cap on a concrete wall bordering the parking lot.
I work at The Gap Outlet in Muncie. I have to be the least cool person working there. If there was a “Least Cool Employee of the Month” award, I would win it every month, except maybe February.
I’m always intrigued by creative minds, how they do what they do. Where do you get your ideas? Do you have a Muse?
Nah, I’m pretty sure Muses went extinct around the time Teddy Roosevelt first got elected to office. Most of the time my ideas just stem from simple moments of “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if–” or “Oh my god, wouldn’t it be terrifying if–” and letting my imagination run ruffian with those snippets of possibility. Or sometimes, for inspiration I eat Doritos and watch People’s Court in a beanbag chair, occasionally playing with a cauterized nub of flesh in my left nostril from when I had a benign polyp removed in eighth grade. Inspiration is weird.
What do you think about the word “soul”?
It’s a word that feels like a body of water – soft around the edges, some level of depth that isn’t known. Soothes your throat when you say it. But the idea of an actual soul is scary. It’s like there’s ghosts just hangin’ out in our lungs or large intestines. I don’t want a spirit haunting my digestive tract. How rude, ghosts.
Do you like rap music? Why/why not?
Yes – who doesn’t?
Why do you write? Is it to express yourself? To gaze lovingly at your navel? To incite a riot?
It’s just this feeling of having objects and places floating around in my head that want a safer place to live than my abysmal short-term memory, so I’m like, “Here’s a Word doc,” and they’re like, “Okay, sweet.” And letting them go, seeing how they evolve and what they can become is addictive in a simple, visceral way for me. I used to gaze lovingly at my navel, until once I fell asleep doing so and had a nightmare about Harry Belafonte – who for some reason had beach ball-sized googly eyes – and my deceased family dog holding me hostage in a castle dungeon.
Writers are supposed to know things and be political and stuff, right? What do you think about the war in Middle East?
I think it’s a common misconception that writers know things, because I bet some do but I sure don’t. I didn’t even know there was fighting happening in Missouri.
Man, I love birds in art and literature. Do you love birds? Stars? The moon?
Birds in art and literature are great because they don’t poop on your clothes, tweet while you’re on the phone, or hate you. Real birds sometimes do that, like the cockatiel my parents bought for me when I turned twelve. (I asked for her, so like most people I was a total idiot as a pre-teen. Also, the word “pre-teen” is stupid.) Her name is Paulie and I don’t even care that I gave her a completely unimaginative name because she is awful. She wishes I were dead and loves my dad because he enables her crippling chemical dependency on Diet Mountain Dew.
Celestial bodies? Booooring. How about sexy bodies? Those are neat.
Have you ever been to Indianapolis? What’s your impression of Indy, whether you’ve been here or not?
I’ve been to Indianapolis several times. One time I saw some people tell jokes on a stage. Another time I ate rice with other foods on top of the rice. Another time I saw a girl vomit in front of a work of art. So yeah, I like Indianapolis.
What would you like to say to people about coming to see you read at the Vouched Presents: DOGZPLOT Literature Party?
Oh man, THANKS, that’s really nice and maybe I can buy you a beer sometime. I hope it’s good for you like a pack of Malamute puppies trotting toward you down the side of a gentle hill carrying envelopes in their mouths with messages, messages all for you, saying things like, “You are a morally good human being” and “You have a nice ass. Like, really nice.” Also, Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Fantasy” is playing in the background.