We here at the arena have decided that the bios we publish at the end of our competitors’ stories are a tad drab, so we’ve come up with a questionnaire that we will be sending to all future writers to get to know them better. J.R.D. Skinner, creator of Professor Riddle, is the first participant. Let’s see how he responded to our eight questions…
1 – Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? What was it about?
The earliest substantial story I can recall writing was a bit of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fanfic. The specifics of the plot escape me, but I know that it involved a lot of Casey Jones. I was really into hockey masks when I was nine. I also suspect I spent a fair amount of time railing against the ageism of sidelining Splinter when he could clearly pummel all of his students.
2 – What word do you hate?
Onerous once let its dog poop on my lawn, so I guess that counts. Otherwise I generally try to take a Carlin-esque stance on language. Words are just tools, intent is what gives them weight.
3 – If an octoshark fought a zombie dinosaur in a bear pit, who would win?
While to some extent it depends on the class of dinosaur – generally an octoshark can topple anything up to a T. rex – the fighting fish will likely survive an initial encounter with any shuffler, but will, of course, eventually succumb to infection.
The real trouble begins once we’re dealing with a zombie octoshark.
4 – What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever tried?
I’m not sure that it’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten, but I recently tasted kangaroo. Lean but delicious.
5 – Where do you find inspiration?
The majority of my waking hours are spent in a sort of latent hunt for inspiration. My notebook stands ready to capture any story hook or clever line of dialogue that may occur to me during podcast listening, film viewing, or book consumption. Everything is fodder, even the boring bits.
6 – Who is your nemesis?
James Joyce. I’d shiv that wanker if I had a time machine.
7 – What is your favorite bad movie?
My love of bad film is vast and unyielding, but R.O.T.O.R. has a special place in my heart. Never was so much owed by one movie to so many other movies released immediately before it.
8 – What sound or noise do you love?
As the father of four children I have a lecherous relationship with the sound of silence.