description I first came across Rupert's work through Harry Whitewolf, Janie C and Jason, great GR friends, who were reading The Rebel's Sketchbook. Well, I am an artist and I am a rebel by nature. I loved that title and the cover, so 'explosive'! I thought it was some kind of punk-ish real sketchbook, but it turned out it was a collection of short stories, rather than an art book, and guess what? It was one of the coolest books I have ever read! For some, the stories are 'dark humour', for me, an 'acurate picture of reality.'

Indulge in this interview I did with Rupert Dreyfus:

1) When did you start writing and which are your main influences?
I’ve written on and off since I was a kid. It was mostly self-indulgent, artless drivel. Then when I turned thirty, something clicked and I realised that writing literary fiction isn’t for everyone so no need to try imitating it anymore. After a little experimenting I discovered a style and a subject matter that seemed to compliment each other. The rest is a blur.

As for influences: it’s hard to say who or what my main influences are. We always think of influences as having to be other writers but we all know this isn’t strictly speaking the case. For example music is a massive influence on my writing; specifically the old punk bands and their approach to using the arts as a nailbomb against the established order.

When it comes to literary influences, over the years I’ve enjoyed the works of Orwell, Poe, Kafka, Dashiell Hammett, Irvine Welsh, William Burroughs, Cornell Woolrich, Edward Carey, Oscar Wilde and Patrick McGrath to name a few. I have also discovered some incredibly raw poetry in recent years; poets such as Raegan Butcher, Harry Whitewolf and Andy Carrington. Can’t get enough of it.

2) Do you live off writing or do you balance it with another job? How easy/difficult is it to make it as an author?
I don’t make anywhere near enough money to survive off writing stories so a day job subsidises my savage addiction to ink and paper. Needless to say I’m not in it for the money anyway. I mean it’d be lovely to wake up to having enough money to switch the world off and make a lifestyle out of writing stories, but I can’t see that happening any time soon. Leeching off creativity is reserved for the privileged among us.

As for how easy/ difficult it is to make it as an author: it depends what we mean by ‘make it’. I think it’s a fallacy to link ‘making it’ to financial success because profit isn’t a useful yardstick for the true value of art. I think getting just one stranger to read your book is making it; even if they think it’s eternally wank. Better still each time we bypass the gatekeepers and take back control of the arts we’ve made it.

3) How do you connect with readers? How has been the response towards your work, which is quite polemical?
I mostly connect with readers through social media and by email. Pretty much every day I send DMs and emails to friends and readers. I love to connect with anyone who has taken time out to read my books and support me. The old days of pretentious authors living in their ivory towers are numbered. It’s all about community and caring for your readers as much as they care for you.

To answer your second question: the response to my work has been largely positive which, given the subject matter, is surprising really. Back in 2014 I set off expecting most people to have a negative gut reaction to what I write because counterculture in the Digital Age is deader than Hugh Hefner’s libido. The only difficulty I’ve had so far is getting my stories firmly on to the cannon. But it’s a work in progress…

4) Which of your books/projects is your favourite and why?
Without a shadow of a doubting Thomas my latest novella Prezident Scumbag! has been my favourite project. It was certainly the most fun to write and allowed me to vent about some pretty serious stuff. I was in an awful place in my personal life, too, and it turned out to be perfect for finding the narrator’s inner-voice.

The subject matter is also close to my heart. If I could write only one story in my entire career then it would be centred around calling out the racists and the fascists in society, and doing everything I possibly can to extinguish their nasty, disgusting views.

5) What is your biggest dream as an indie author?
I deep down hope to make enough money out of writing to purchase an island and turn it into a self-sufficient anarchist community. There’d be some spare rooms for visitors to seek refuge; particularly vulnerable people from around the world. Like an open house for free spirits. And everyone’s welcome. Except for Trumpets. They can fuck right off.

The characters of your stories, are they inspired on people you know? Or people you observe through the media?
Some characters and their personalities are drawn from people I know in the real world; others are satirical swipes at political and cultural figures of the day. I always try to choose my targets wisely and make sure I’m not slapping about harmless people.

If you could recommend 3 books to the readers, which would they be?
Brilliant question! The first three books that came to mind are Profit Over People by Noam Chomsky, New Beat Newbie by Whitewolf and Coming Up for Air by Orwell.

Thanks for the interview, Isis, and peace be with you.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Connect with Rupert:
The Rebel's Sketchbook on Amazon:
Prezident Scumbag! on Amazon:
Spark on Amazon:

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Rupert's Books:

Click on the covers to check their GoodReads official pages.

The Rebel's Sketchbook by Rupert DreyfusThe Rebel's Sketchbook

Prezident Scumbag! A Sick Bastard Novella by Rupert DreyfusPrezident Scumbag! A Sick Bastard Novella

Spark by Rupert DreyfusSpark

If you like unsettling criticism, dark humour, and polemic observations about the condition of mankind and politics, don't waist another bloody second. Go there and check out his books!
13 likes ·   •  6 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on October 06, 2017 07:09 • 228 views • Tags: author-interview, criticism, dark-humour, ebooks, indie-authors, self-publishing, spotlight, transgressive-fiction
Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason Nice one.

message 2: by Isis (new)

Isis Sousa Hi Jason! Glad you liked it, Mr. Dreyfus has many great ideas and insights!

message 3: by Liz (new)

Liz Great interview, both! :)

message 4: by Isis (new)

Isis Sousa Hi Liz So nice to hear you liked it! Thanks for visiting and reading it! :-)

message 5: by M.F. (new)

M.F. Hopkins Great interview, Isis. And I can relate to Mr. Dreyfus's philosophy on writing, i.e. writing for the love of it!

message 6: by Isis (new)

Isis Sousa Hi M! I am glad that you liked it! And soon we must also do an interview/spotlight with your work too! :-)

back to top

Tragic Books' news

Isis Sousa
Welcome! Here is a Goodreads blog where I share the latest news about my books, also some insights and whatnot! :)

Follow Isis Sousa's blog with rss.