Friday, November 19, 2010
An Interview with author Adrian Dodson
Daxx Danzig is the mind-numbing creation of Adrian Dodson - elementary school creative writing and physical education teacher, and current coordinator for the President's Council on Health & Fitness in the state of Mississippi.
Mr. Dodson drew on his love of music, fashion and art to develop the fictitious memoir of a fictitious person we all have known at some point in our lives.
And that, I believe, is the true magnetic draw to this book. We know Daxx. He is that person who would never go away. No matter what he did, no matter how far into sex, drugs, and rock and roll he fell, how he tiptoed on the brink of insanity, no matter how much he disappointed and irritated us, he could still force us to smile and we just couldn't find the strength or lack of humanity to turn our back on him. Somewhere, something inside us said Daxx would survive – he would persevere, and we needed to know how, to be there at the end of his roller coaster life's ride.
But, in every fictional character, even one as dark and narcissistic as Daxx, is a piece of the author. The quality of Adrian Dodson's own true spirit slips through in Daxx's reflective moments of relationships, religion, self abuse and how within every one of us there beats a flame of passion to live life to its fullest measure. http://www.daxxdanzig.com/
Q) As an elementary school creative writing teacher, what advice and encouragement do you provide your students to open their minds and help them write? After all, for most of them, the freedom and joy of writing is a relatively new experience.
A) Well hopefully I can stimulate mind opening without the use of hallucinogenic drugs, as they were almost the demise of Daxx Danzig in the 70's. I do however play Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, burn nag champa incense and hang black light posters in my classroom while teaching. Really I encourage young writers to create their own style, and throw the mainstream ideas of what rules they should adhere to out the window. Worrying about how one should write, structure, or format a book to please the masses can hamper one's creative process. My goal was to create a book SO unique and unlike anything ever written, that it transcended genre or classification. I aspire to do the same with my students. I tell them that 10 years ago I was scribbling dark poetry on onion-skin tracing paper because this earthy, artsy fartsy chick I met at a coffee shop thought it was rad! And the rest is, dare I say...history.
Q) You're married with three children, and have written columns on health and fitness for newspapers. Basically, you're what Daxx isn't. Is Daxx a piece of you that wanted to stray from the 9 to 5, or a trace of your past that wasn't quite ready to succumb to laptops, schedules and societal expectations?
A) I suppose I could have written a book on health & fitness, sports or some other subject, but thats all been done before. The 9 to 5 me (Adrian Dodson) tippytoes around on egg shells, as not to step on the "normal" society, whereas my alter ego (Daxx Danzig) has a wierd and psychedelic story to tell, thus throwing caution to the wind!
A) The fan base is hard to classify, but a good friend of mine categorized the people who would probably "get" the style:
Invite everyone who are fans of Pink Floyd, Vonnegut,TOOL, Black Sabbath, abnormal psychology, Breaking Bad, night skies, higher thinking, the abstract universe, Soundgarden, art, fashion, music, pop-culure, sushi, dark poetry, God, intellect, red wine, Blue Oyster Cult, Hunter S. Thompson, Beavis and Butthead, Dexter, Miami Vice, comedy & humor, Dax Riggs, Acid Bath, Pantera, Confederacy of Dunces, Panic attacks, quirks and disorders, and Bozo the Clown, to check out the book titled From Acid to the Body of Christ.
To answer your question though, I just really dig connecting with fans who comprehend and enjoy my art. It is me as Steven Tyler, watching 10,000 people sing Dream On with their lighters held high!
Q) Your humor has been compared to Denis Leary and Sam Kinison, your plot-work to Quentin Tarentino, and yet the style is decisively your own. Where did your unique literary voice come from?
A) Severe panic attacks, agoraphobia, and depression ruled my life for over 30 years, crippling and dulling all senses inside me, save for one, my sense of artistic creativity. I have finally overcome this disorder, and I got one hell of a wild rollercoaster ride to share with those who wish to hear it.
Q) What's next for Adrian Dodson, and do those plans include Daxx Danzig?
A) Daxx will always be a part of me, albeit a dark and disturbing one. As for plans, I have flown around by the seat of my "britches" with no plan for quite some time now. I really want a plan, I just don't seem to have one. Life is good, enjoy the ride.