Friday, 19 June 2015

A White Mexican Walks Into a Bar…

It’s been twenty months since David Louden released his second book, Bone Idol [bohn ahyd-l].  In that year and a half plus he’s been busy working on a TV commission through NI Screen, buying himself some land, and getting hitched in Las Vegas, NV.  You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Louden voiced in his new book, White Mexicans, is a more mature, calm, peaceful man… but you’d be wrong.

CS: White Mexicans… what’s all that about then?
DL: It’s an LA term for the British and Irish who come over to Hollywood and take all of the LA acting and movie jobs.
CS: So this is a book about Hollywood?
DL: No.
CS: Care to share what it is about then?  How’d you get to it?  What’s it about?  Help me out here.
DL: Aaah… yeah… sure.  Ok, so when I finished Lost Angeles I really wanted to write the movie that they were discussing in the middle third… maybe it was a bit later, anyway… yeah.  I’m a lover of Exploitation cinema…
CS: Why?
DL: It cuts through the bullshit.  Exploitation cinema is more equal for starters.  There’s a higher number of women in lead roles, minorities in lead roles, disabled actors in lead roles.  Anyway, the movie… Swasucka… I really wanted to write it but knew that it would be a waste of fucking time.  Who’s going to make a Blax-Naziploitation movie about an African-American Hitler made in a test tube?  So I started writing another story instead.  I got one draft out of me but it was bollocks so I tossed most of it to one side and took the bits I thought had heart and used them as the framework for Bone Idol [bohn ahyd-l].  I thought “this is the book that’ll connect with people”.  Lost Angeles did pretty well, I thought Bone Idol [bohn ahyd-l] was better so I was pretty sick about how piss-poor it sold.
CS: How bad was it?

DL: It was BAD, Clive.  It made me go away and think about my voice.  What I had to say and more importantly if anyone out there actually gave a shit or are they only interested in sexy vampires, and cuddly werewolves and shit like that.  So I started working on a Noir and after a first draft I thought “this is alright, this could be a movie”.  So I started reworking it as a movie.
CS: You told me about this.  It was long, right?
DL: A fucking monster.  (laughs) The cunt was like, 210 minutes.  I couldn’t edit it for shit.  So I thought, “ok, maybe not a movie… maybe TV”.  I pitched it to NI Screen and they gave me the money I needed to develop it and in the end I handed in a six episode mini-series.
CS: That doesn’t explain much about White Mexicans though.
DL: Well I’m getting to that bit, fuck.  Script rewriting is a tired, boring, lonely land to be stuck in.  I started writing short stories to kill the boredom while at the same time I started a second draft of the project I’d started after Lost Angeles, but from a different direction.  Eventually I had enough for a novella and when I noticed that many of my short stories tied into either the same characters, the same themes, or even just the same world, I wondered whether a novella-short story hybrid could be interesting.
CS: And is it?
DL: I thought Bone Idol [bohn ahyd-l] would be a book people wanted to read.  How should I know?  You read it.  You tell me!
CS: Ok, so we’ll forgo a synopsis on the short stories.  What’s the novella about?
DL: Narratively, it’s Doug in Los Angeles.  Life has taken its toll, money has dried up and he’s living hand-to-mouth in the Motel for Movie Stars.  He takes a gig writing a movie for Winston…
CS: Swasucka?
DL: No, a different one.  But to tell you what it is, is to bugger up the first bit of the book so you’ll just have to read it.
CS: But it is an Exploitation movie?!
DL: Totes.  Aside from that, its about a lot of things.  I’ve tried to tie in some of the BIG picture arguments that have been going on in the media, the world, everywhere.  Notions of identity.  Relationships.  The usual hypocracy, bigotry and all that.
CS: That’s definitely a big one here at the moment. 
DL: The whole world is one big diseased asshole.  You’ve got Police in America killing men based on the colour of their skin.  You’ve women being persecuted for wanting control of their own bodies.  Here (in Northern Ireland) we’ve got the DUP and their callus cunt crusade against gay, lesbian, and transgender COUPLES… not just individuals!  They’re after them two at a time!!  Blood bans, adoption restrictions, marriage.  We’re talking the basic human rights here.
CS: But that’s them all over.
DL: Oh absolutely.  They’re trying their damnedest to build a two tier society.  Them and then everybody else.  We can do whatever we want though… as long as it’s ok within their outdated binary understanding of the world as interpreted through a three-thousand year old text which they don’t even bother sticking to most of the time!
CS: You’re passionate about this.

DL: Fuck passionate, I’m fucked off!  You’ve college kids in America raping young women and being paraded across National News as the victims.  “These poor men’s promising athletic careers have been ruined by this incident”… ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!  You’re a god-damn rapist!!  You don’t deserve sympathy.  You deserve chemical castration and then a beating with cinderblocks.
CS: And all this is covered in White Mexicans?
DL: It’s maybe not as clearly underlined, but yeah.  There are some issues that are hammered at and others that are left to you to mull over.  The full title is White Mexicans & Other Short Stories That All Definitely Happened (astrix) and then an amendment that specifies that I’m full of shit about them… you know… all…
CS: Definitely happening!
DL: Right.
CS: So this book isn’t biographical?
DL: It is and it isn’t, Clive.  I mean I did live on the Oldpark Road as a kid and I did have a childhood dog, and there are characters who exist but the overarching narrative of White Mexicans is less true than anything before.
CS: How was that to write?
DL: Different.
CS: And what was the reasoning behind it?
DL: Well after Bone Idol [bohn ahyd-l] sucked cock in the sales department I looked around at all this sexy vampire malarky.  I knew I couldn’t write a story like that, I’m just not built that way, but I could write about writing a story like that.  So I did, and in a way, the book is very aware that it is a book.
CS: Am I in this one?
DL: No.  You’re in the TV show.  And if it does well you’ll have your own Funko Pop so be nice to me.

Some of the short story extracts from White Mexicans are available to read through Literally Stories.

White Mexicans is available in Paperback and on Amazon Kindle from Monday 13th July 2015Lost Angeles and Bone Idol [bohn ahyd-l] can be purchased now.