Will Viharo on Self-Therapy and Throwing Out Notes in Bottles
An interview with Will Viharo, from The Write Stuff series over at SF Weekly:
Will “the Thrill” Viharo is a freelance writer, pulp fiction author, B movie impresario and lounge lizard at large. His novels A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge, Chumpy Walnut, Lavender Blonde, Down a Dark Alley,Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room, It Came From Hangar 18(with Scott Fulks), and the entire Vic Valentine, Private Eye series (includingLove Stories Are Too Violent For Me, Fate Is My Pimp, Romance Takes a Rain Check, I Lost My Heart in Hollywood, and Diary of a Dick) are now available. Actor Christian Slater is currently developing a film version of Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me. The original “Vic Valentine” cocktail is now being served exclusively at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge in Alameda, CA.
When people ask what do you do, you tell them… ?
I’m a writer.
What’s your biggest struggle — work or otherwise?
Turning my passion for pulp into a lucrative career. Basically: making money. I have no talent for generating wealth. I’ll settle for a steady income.
If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?
Quit immediately and save yourself the grief. If they keep writing anyway, that means they share my curse and are beyond saving.
Do you consider yourself successful? Why?
As a human being? Yes, my personal life is very rewarding, thanks largely to my wife and cats. Since my childhood and early adulthood were so lonesome, I’ve always wanted a loving, supportive home, and now I have one. Professionally, I’ve always felt like I was stranded on a desert isle, tossing out notes in bottles, and my rescue ship is visible on the horizon, but for some reason continues to idle just offshore, within sight but not reach. I may eventually swim out to it, but right now, too many sharks in the water.
When you’re sad/grumpy/pissed off, what YouTube video makes you feel better?
Either Frank Sinatra singing “That’s Life” or the trailer for George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.
Do you have a favorite ancestor? What is his/her story?
My family roots are mired in mystery. So I have no idea. I do share a middle name and birthday with Han Christian Andersen, who also wrote stories about little people and mermaids.
Who did you admire when you were 10 years old? What did you want to be?
Batman and Elvis.
Describe your week in the wilderness. It doesn’t have to be ideal.
A retro-style motel with air conditioning, room service, and cable TV. Anyplace but my own bed might as well be the moon. My idea of roughing it is a vacation in Palm Springs.
Would you ever perform a striptease? Describe some of your moves. Feel free to set the mood.
No, because I try to avoid inflicting pointless pain on innocent people. However, my wife and I were featured on a foot fetish segment of HBO’s Real Sex back around the turn of the century, where I licked various substances off her toes. I was asked if I wanted to remove any of my clothes and I declined. The episode has been globally rerun so many times that if we got residuals, I’d be rich and wouldn’t have to worry about selling any books. Instead they threw a $20 bill at each of us while covered in honey and whipped cream. It’s long gone.
How much money do you have in your checking account?
I never look because I already struggle with anxiety and depression.
What’s wrong with society today?
Are you using any medications? If so, which ones?
Xanax and bourbon, though never at the same time.
What is your fondest memory?
How many times do you fall in love each day?
With my wife? Hundreds.
What would you like to see happen in your lifetime?
The movie version of Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me.
What is art? Is it necessary? Why?
It’s self-therapy pitched as mass entertainment and enlightenment. Either way, it enriches existence by offering a personalized prism on common experiences.
When you have sex, what are some of the things you like to do?
Suck on toes, tongues, necks and nipples; eat pussy till it’s coming out my ears, rinse, repeat. I love that stuff even more than pizza.
What are you working on right now?
Short stories, an unusual form for me. I much prefer writing novels, but I don’t have the time or energy right now. So I’m sprinting instead of marathoning. Once I catch my breath, I’ll finish the sixth Vic Valentine novel.
What kind of work would you like to do? Or: what kind of writing do you most admire?
I’m a freelance writer, so anything that compensates me for my craft, no matter now crassly commercial, is fine with me. I admire any kind of writing that speaks from the soul. Typically that’s not the kind that pays, though.
If there were one thing about the Bay Area that you would change, what would it be?
The weather. It’s become way too consistently warm and relentlessly sunny for my moody tastes and sensitive skin. My sinuses have become increasingly congested, in tandem with the traffic. Reminds me too much of L.A. That’s why I’m moving to Seattle.
A night on the town: what does that mean to you?
Sitting on the couch watching B movies with my cats.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?
The re-election of George W. Bush.
What are some of your favorite smells?
Vaginas, pine needles, and coffee.
If you got an all expenses paid life experience of your choice, what would it be?
Fly to Miami with Monica for the star-studded movie premiere of Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me.