October 2017


Let's Talk Punk
Russ Lippitt
Interview By: Lisa/PunkrPrincess

Russ is a local author who supports the underground music scene he has been interviewed on PunkrPrincess Whatever Show/Whatever68 Radio and also was a special guest at The Whatever68 4 Year Festival, he has always been great support to WE68 and I if he is not a show or event promoting his books he is there to support the scene. I recommend all his work and you should go google him and check it out.

PUNK GLOBE: Hi Russ thanks for chatting with us can you tell us a little about yourself?

Russ: a little about myself... well, I love things no one else likes. I despise the crowds and find warmth in solitude. And I’m a constant contrarian, ha! I’m basically a man baffled by the things that are going on around me. Or in millennial speak, like, you know...

PUNK GLOBE: Tell us about your past and current projects.

Russ: I was first published in mid-2000's, with my novella Lion's Share. Definitely a learning experience on good and bad writing. I moved on to screenwriting because Hollywood said, "you can make a shit ton of money here, rivers flow with wine and the streets are lined with gold." I had a few scripts optioned by (Name Drop) and a dozen in the works, but the real lesson learned was there is no flowing river, only drought, of both water and creativity. And that's not gold in those streets. It's shit and puke! I continue to write songs for punk and rockabilly bands. I have adapted prose to shorts, spoken word to columns, hell, I even translated newspeak to media… the life of a writer. Now I’m dedicated to my comic series, The Showdown. The first graphic novel was published in 2015 by Broken Icon Comics and in October, I will be releasing Volume 2. It’s going to be a barn-burner!

PUNK GLOBE: When and why did you begin writing?

Russ: In 1984, as a young lad, my English teacher had a harebrained idea to teach the children how democracy and government works. She simulated the voting process. She had all of us vote on the next presidential election, Reagan versus Mondale. Mind you that I was only eight years old at the time and this fictitious ballot box was for a learning experience only, but it was when she wrote on the chalk board in big white letters that the correct

answer was Ronald Reagan, naturally I raised my hand and had the audacity to ask, “I thought we had a choice.” Long story short, I wrote a paragraph instead of casting a fraudulent vote on ‘why I am not going to vote for Reagan because I was told to.’ I got detention for the first time for going against the grain and I understood how a two-party system works in a biased country. In retrospect, at least.

PUNK GLOBE: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Russ: I learned the valuable lesson of re-writes with my first book. Do it, over and over again! Writing is alive and it can mutate in many forms, ugly or beautiful. The artist that creates something and walks away claiming it’s perfect and can’t be touched is a fool. I guess it goes with the saying, “practice makes perfect.”

PUNK GLOBE: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Russ: In The Showdown, my favorite part was to illustrate the nine circles of Hell from Dante’s Inferno. It is a blast to do since it is so relevant today. From pagans to non-Christians, the lustful, the hoarders, the greedy, the murders, the prophets to heretics… the list of who burns in Hell goes on. I find humor in sending people to hell in literary form. After all, it is a tragic comedy or camp if you will.

PUNK GLOBE: Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

Russ: Political theories, social injustices, environmental disasters, racism, sexism, some other ism’s I can’t think of right now. I like to write about the woes of the world, not to shine a light on it or to glorify by any means, but to find humor. I guess I’m a satirist in a way with punk values. I’m also antiinfluenced — when I hear some famous or rich person donate their time and/or money for the greater good, you know, a penny for the peasants, with press coverage, then they go home to their multi-million dollar houses to eat their 5-course meals served by their private cook. Give me a fucking break!

Unless you live in the dirt with me, you cannot relate and you can keep your charitable donation that comes with a media blitz to help boost sales at the box office. The anti-influence writing sometimes comes out of me with a vengeance.

PUNK GLOBE: What is your writing process like?

Russ: I sit down and contemplate where I went wrong in life and write about different path I could have taken or even worse, paths to take me off the cliff. Building characters with flaws are important and I try to live and breath them to understand. It is a little bit of a mental fuck and leaves one vulnerable, but I get some good stories out of it.

PUNK GLOBE: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

Russ: Yeah, don’t be an asshole. Pretty simple, yet a lot of the populace fall short on this aspect in life. This never-ending search to be better than the person standing next to you, this bigotry is tearing us apart. Through my stories, I tend to be on the darker side of things, I try my best to show consequences for horrible actions. Rather than a happy ending, a realistic one. Rather than the ‘good guy’ always winning, maybe the ‘bad guy’ coming out on top. The message is to think differently and screw the status quo, yo!

PUNK GLOBE: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Russ: Current events and rabbit hole Internet research. It is amazing in this day and age that we have so much information at our finger tips with our smart boxes and yet I see nothing but the same old stories repeated time and time again. The ideas come easy when you don’t jump on those bandwagons and just think for yourself. Stop derivative storylines now should be the mantra for any writer.

PUNK GLOBE: Can you take us through the steps for one of your books getting published?

Russ: okay, where do I begin… oh yeah at the beginning. That is the first step that most don’t get or understand. Write what you want to write, not what is popular. Then write a captivating query letter to avoid the slush pile. Unfortunately, you have to be a media whore because that is how one is considered important in today’s standards, and to find your fan base. If the publishing house finds that your writing is worthy of print, you’ll get published and then the hard part starts…

PUNK GLOBE: What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Russ: Marketing by far, getting people to engage, as a writer it can be defeating at times. Putting yourself out there for the public to judge and criticize. Knowing that you spend months, even years on a project involving other artist and your own money in the hopes it will be accepted and not demonized, posting it to see a reaction and/or support, just to see that the McRib was released again and is trending and all of your friends are buying the dead meat on a stick and not your hard work. Yeah, marketing sucks!

PUNK GLOBE: What can we find you doing when not writing?

Russ: I’m in the pit with you. I go to shows, yeah I’m the old guy now in the back, but I still support the scene and see the less popular but equally as good bands. I like to go camping and roughing it. I indulge in the arts, if it isn’t museums, plays, or just a good book, I’m there!

PUNK GLOBE: What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Russ: First, you shouldn’t be an aspiring writer, just write and voila! You’re a writer, probably not a good one though, but that doesn’t stop a lot of people. If you do have a passion for it, then continue doing it and before you know it, you’ll write well. Take classes in English literature, in person or online. Learn the rules first, then you can break them. Joining a writer’s group will boost your writing skills. But I implore you, if you are one of those fucks that wake up one day with no formal training on prose or even have a grasp on the English language, don’t write, go back to bed and just have an American Dream of becoming a writer. Just because you saw a movie and thought, “I can do better than that.” Congratulations, you’re a bigot and part of the problem. Going to the movies should not be your school of thought. Write because you love it, not to get rich and famous, you fucking poser! Sorry, it had to be said. I worked as a script reader, and it is insulting that just because someone can write their name, they think they can write a

comprehensive story. Don’t move to Hollywood, two things will happen, your shit will just end up in the slush pile, and you will not make it. The only thing you will get is more traffic.

PUNK GLOBE: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Russ: The biggest challenge is getting your mind on paper. To flesh out the details that you see in your head, but somehow does not translate to paper well. It’s a problem and usually time solves it, just walk away and come back to it another day.

PUNK GLOBE: Do you believe in writer’s block?

Russ: Nope, I know that it exists because I read or hear other writers talk about it. Not trying to brag, but honestly I have never experienced it. I can tell you what I do when I’m stuck, if that helps — I just write. It doesn’t have to be coherent or profound, that’s in your head. Just write anything, it doesn’t matter if it is about Nazi-ants trying to conquer the world, one ant hill at a time. You probably end up throwing that story away, but you might have created a character or even a sentence that can be used for something else entirely. And it only builds from there. Hmmm… now thinking about it, nazi-ants can fight commi red ants from Russia. See a story just evolved, that’s why I don’t believe in writer’s block.

PUNK GLOBE: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Russ: Emma Goldman and Noam Chomsky work are astounding in many ways. I know they are not fiction writers, but their words cut through me unlike any story told. The truth is scary and the incredible insights these people relay inspire me to write. If we are just talking about fiction authors for purely the pleasure of reading, Charles Bukowski and Aaron Cometbus cracks me up.

PUNK GLOBE: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

Russ: I would really love to have a publishing house that deals strictly with the subject of Anarchy. We would represent critical thinkers and doers from all over the world. Put Punk back into Punk, through movies, books, magazines, novels, shows, what have you. A self-sufficient press that doesn’t rely on outside money so we could never be censored. Maybe it’s a pipe dream, but I loathe the saying, ‘Punk’s Not Dead.’ For me it is a genre that should be more prevalent today.

PUNK GLOBE: How do you market your books and what is your best marketing tip?

Russ: I thought we covered this? I hate it! To sell yourself like a dirty hooker on the cross streets between Mainstream and Sellout. It’s horrible, and not what a writer should be concentrating on. It’s detrimental to ones prose. My best marketing tip if I have one is… go to a red carpet event, punch the leading man in the blockbuster movie, you make some headlines and hopefully after you get out of jail, a name for yourself to sell some books, ha!

PUNK GLOBE: Do you Google yourself?

Russ: Yeah, I do. But not for narcissistic purposes. I do it so I can see if the publicity/magazines/interview/reviews are covering my latest work. An internet presence is important, good or bad.

PUNK GLOBE: Where can the readers find you and your book?

Russ: I’m all over the place, from local comic shops, Facebook, Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, but if you want a signed copy that cuts out the middleman, www.leftbrainwritings.com is my website. Everything I do is on there.

PUNK GLOBE: Any upcoming appearances or signings?

Russ: I will be doing most of the west coast Comic-cons in 2018. Other than that, my appearance can be seen at the local Trader Joes shopping for food and dinning at sushi spots in Hollywood. Say hi if you see me, I’m friendly, I promise.

PUNK GLOBE: Any shout outs?

Russ: Shout outs? Well, I would like to thank all the politicians around the world for all of your dedication and hard work, and most of all, your honesty. Without you, none of this would have been possible. I can't even imagine a world without our government. I mean, where would we be? Who would guide us through the scary opposition we call life? Thank you for sharing your supreme intellect and showing us how the world should run, one turn at a time. Your leadership surpasses all expectations, and with that, I know we are truly blessed. Just one thing, next time you take me for a walk, try not to jerk the leash too hard, I'm a human being after all.

PUNK GLOBE: Thanks so much for being a part of Let's Talk Punk and for your continued support.

Russ: Not a problem, the pleasure was all mine.

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