Dear Readers, we were recently interviewed by the amazing Rain. No, not the weather phenomenon. By a person with that name who runs an awesome blog that you can check out over here. Rain is one of the most enthusiastic people we’ve ever met, and it sure shows in the following exchange! So, please feel free to just sit back, relax, and enjoy!
RAIN: My first question is the most basic one — how long have you been writing — together or individually? I mean, when did… how… how did it all start? Who came up with the idea of this awesomeness that is unbolt.me? You have GOT TO TELL ME THE DETAILS! You see, this is the ONE QUESTION I don’t intend on carrying unanswered to my grave.
TONY: Hi, Rain, I must say your enthusiasm is quite infectious! I can tell already that we’re going to have a lot of fun with this interview. Thanks for inviting us along for the ride!
TATI: Should I open my umbrella? It looks like there’s rain in the room.
TONY: Naw, more like a sun shower! Anyway, let’s answer your question, Rain…
TATI: Okay, confession relieves guilt. I should admit that there I was, little old me, and that I founded Unbolt Me (just Unbolt initially) somewhere in the middle of July 2014. Not so long after, I started to write. This also happened after I started to learn English. Tony, how long have you been learning English?
TONY: For my whole life actually. Even though I live in a country where English is the official language, I tend to revert to Gibberish on an alarmingly regular basis.
TATI: By the way, I recently saw a saying: “You can learn a foreign language in a short period, but your native tongue is something you’ll learn for your entire life.”
TONY: I don’t even know a foreign language, so you’re one step ahead of me, Tati. Anyway, I should probably answer this question a bit too.
TATI: Yes, my rattle-brained friend.
TONY: What can I say? Hm. Well, I’ve been writing since I was a child — writing and drawing to be precise. So, yeah, I’d been making comics for quite some time before I began my webcomic Crumble Cult in January 2012. And then I stumbled onto Tati’s site in… Hm. When was that, Tati?
TATI: It was in the middle of October 2014. But it’s me who found you.
TONY: Oh, that’s right! You were leaving comments on various posts, yes? And then I began to correspond with you via your own comments section, then via email, and then through Messenger. That’s when I asked if I could work with you on a shared site, and it’s at this point that you invited me on board Unbolt Me. Needless to say, I accepted, and we haven’t looked back since!
TATI: Nope, I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award.
TONY: And then the commenting and corresponding and joining of forces happened?
TATI: Men. You never remember things. What is my name, Tony?
TONY: Your name is like a song on my lips.
TATI: Enough flattery. My name?
TONY: Oh, look at the pretty clouds!
TATI: See? The proof is in the pudding. Shall we move to your next question, Rain?
RAIN: Uhhh… okay, so now I’d like to know exactly what techniques you apply in the elaborate process of rat-cleaning? ’Cause I gotta say, I have LOTS of ’em here and I can do with a few tips.
TONY: Actually, I don’t do much rat cleaning at all — none, in fact. I play the avoidance game. It’s worked pretty well so far!
TATI: I prefer one stick and nine holes.
TONY: One stick and nine holes? I take it that isn’t a golfing reference?
TONY: So, what does it mean?
TATI: Have you read Selma Lagerlöf, Tony?
TONY: I don’t believe I have.
TATI: I believe you love Swedish literature.
TONY: I do?
TATI: Pippi Longstocking? Karlsson-on-the-Roof?
TONY: I’ve heard of the first. Not the second.
TATI: Tony, Tony… What did you read when you were a child?
TONY: Comics of course!
TATI: I hope you know Tove Jansson at least.
TONY: I LOVE Tove Jansson! Moomintrolls anyone? They’re the freaking coolest!
TATI: It is a part of Swedish literature, isn’t it?
TONY: I thought she was Finnish…
TATI: Yes, and she was a Swedish-speaking (and writing) author.
TONY: Oh! I see! So, what does this have to do with the art of rat cleaning in cellars?
TATI: In no way. Next question.
RAIN: I was soo fucking giddy by the time I finished reading your essay on Immortality. You write stupendously, Tati, I gotta say. And I’d be honored to hear your thoughts on Stars. You know, I have always been fascinated by things gloriously out of my reach and your writings vibrate with the same depth. So I was wondering if you could tell me your thoughts — be they a few lines — on those bright twinkly heavenly eyes?
TATI: Oh, thank you, Rain. I’m still not used to praise regarding my writings. I still wanted to turn round to find whomever you were appealing to! I’m pretty curious about stars too. (I hope you meant not celebrities?)
TONY: No, she definitely meant the sparkly, burning kind.
TATI: Good. So, I’m pretty sure stars are just freckles on the sky’s nose.
TONY: God, I love your mind.
TATI: Everything looks cuter with freckles. That’s why the sky needs stars.
TONY: Well, at least this answer makes more sense than the last one…
TATI: Oh my god, Tony! It was about a magic pipe!
TONY: What the hell are you talking about?!
TATI: The Piped Pier! Yuck! Pied Pipper! Damn. Tony, don’t piss me off!
TONY: Good grief.
TATI: I’m talking about beautiful stars here! The Sun shines, the exposure to UV-B radiation activates melanocytes to increase melanin production, which can cause star freckles on the sky’s nose. Easy peasy!
TONY: Clearly. I’m still unsure of how the Pied Piper of Hamelin ties in with the previous answer, but… well, whatever. Next question.
RAIN: When I first read Lose to Night, I felt like the words on the screen were an echo of something deep inside of me that rakes me to disentangle myself. I felt… ugh… I can’t think of the exact word here but let’s just say that it felt there was an envelope of darkness surrounding me and the voice inside and the words in front of my eyes was the only light. So, tell me Tony, how YOU cope with these coiling and writhing snakes made of words and feelings too loud to drown under ANY METAL? Just… just describe it in a few words — how YOU feel?
TONY: This is a great question, Rain. The simple truth is that while I’m deep in it, I’m not coping — I’m kinda crumbling inside. That’s why it’s critical when in the grip of this that I not make any major, potentially life changing decisions. Much better to just let things be, to sit and know that this always passes. It might be minutes, it might be days, but it always does! ALWAYS.
TATI: This too shall pass.
TATI: Did you try to chop up infants?
TONY: What th—?!
TATI: Sorry, Tony. I was trying to lighten the mood.
TONY: By joking about chopping up babies?!
TATI: I said I was sorry…
TONY: I’m not King Solomon for heaven’s sake. Next question!
RAIN: WUTHERING HEIGHTS — yes or no? (I am asking the both of you.)
If yes, then what are your thoughts on Heathcliff? I mean, ‘PASSIONATE’ is one word to describe his whole existence, yes, but what about his other… uhh… admirable traits?
If no, then WHY? WHY DON’T YOU LIKE IT? You better have a DAMN GOOD reason.
TONY: Admirable traits? Ooh la la! Do tell! Does he have an especially large and formidable hairpiece?
TATI: Nope, Tony. I guess Rain is going crazy about his long tail.
TONY: What?! Since when does he turn into a werewolf? Is this a werewolf book? I assume it’s a book…
TATI: Of course! It isn’t a sofa or plant.
TONY: Maybe we should read it sometime…
TATI: I think it features an orange cat.
TONY: What… like Garfield?
TONY: It’s a comic book then? I’d read that!
TATI: So, what are our thoughts on Heathcliff?
TONY: Well, if he’s a cat then I can understand Rain’s passionate like of him. Everybody likes cats!
TATI: Except mice.
TONY: Have we answered the question yet?
TATI: I’m not sure. There was also something about ‘withering bites’, I suppose…
RAIN: What is THE MOST delightfully crazy thing you have done in all your years on this earth? (Tati and Tony — BOTH.)
TATI: I started to write in a foreign language after six months of self-studying. But jumping with a parachute was not bad either.
TONY: Damn, I’m boring.
TATI: Tony, I think you can tell how you tried a certain something in Malaysia. Do you remember that tasty cockroach?
TONY: Cockroach? What are you talking about? I ate pizza!
TATI: Wow. Then you really are boring, Tony! We went to the other side of the world and you ate pizza.
TONY: I hope you didn’t put cockroaches in it!
TATI: Blessed are those who believe without seeing me (put cockroaches in your pizza).
TONY: Quoting bible verses at me doesn’t make it okay, you know!
TATI: Oh, relax your buns, Tony. I didn’t put cockroaches in your pizza.
TONY: Whew! I was beginning to think those olives looked rather like bugs…
TATI: It was in your dessert.
RAIN: Tati if you were made the Queen of Saturn, what changes would you bring to the planet to benefit the people (of SATURN, obviously)? Who would you invite to be your Hand (as in The Hand of The Queen GOT).
SAME QUESTION, Tony. How would you handle being the King of Saturn.
Important : The people living there are called… uhhh… That is JUST TOO MUCH PRESSURE FOR MY MIND. You guys name the people, okay? What would you call them?
TONY: Well, they’re from Saturn, so they’d surely be called Satanists, yes?
TATI: Tony, you made a mistake. The word is Saturnists.
TONY: Or is it Satinists? Perhaps they believe Saturn’s rings to be made of the finest fabric. And by the way, Tati… you’re an insufferable smartarse! What would you have them be called?
TATI: Hobbits, of course!
TONY: For the love of kittens… why hobbits?
TATI: Oh, Tony, turn on your tiny mind! It’s because they fuss over their rings like Gollum over his precious.
TONY: What a bunch of weirdos.
TATI: And it’s obvious that Saturn’s rings are vinyl, so I’d order them to always play some good, old-fashioned rock-n-roll. And everything around the rings should wiggle and shake too. Nine, ten, eleven o’clock, twelve o’clock rock! We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight! What else could keep the hobbits happy?
TONY: A breezy saxaphone lick or two perhaps? I know that often lifts my spirits! Imagine it… Hobbits all over the planet, bumping and grinding badonkadonks while blowing horns! Nice!
TATI: Of course, my Hand will be the coolest DJ in the Universe.
TONY: Ooh! Ooh! Can I be your Hand?
TATI: Can you do cool remixes?
TONY: Erm… I can try…
TATI: What else can you do?
TONY: I can… erm, let my hair wave in the wind. Y’know… look all manly and sexy. Maybe.
TATI: Okey dokey. You can be my Hand.
RAIN: oOOOooOoo… That reminds me, are you a Game of Thrones fan? *squeals* And you, Tony? If you guys had a dragon, all at your disposal, who would you burn to ashes? (YOU GOTTA NAME SOMEONE.) And what would you name your personal majestic flying creatures?
TATI: Honestly? I’m not a fan of Game of Thrones.
TONY: I remember you telling me this once. Was it far too nihilistic and bloodthirsty for your taste, Tati?
TATI: I’m not a moral goody-goody. I just don’t care if someone feeds the guts of their friends to dogs, or when a sister fucks a brother.
TONY: And the time that dude got his todger cut off… I almost vomited for a week!
TATI: I take my hat off before Mr. Martin, but it’s not my cup of tea. I don’t think that playing on the lowest, base instincts enriches culture and humanity. It’s rather mainstream. But dragons are a different matter!
TONY: Oh my, yes. Dragons! I hope they don’t decide to use me as a human toothpick!
TATI: Should I mention their real name?
TONY: The dragons?
TATI: Nope. Who I want to burn to ashes. And please, don’t be so dense, Tony. I can change my decision.
TONY: Sweet blubby Jesus. Is that a threat?! I need to change my underwear…
TATI: Do you want to put on fire-resistant pants?
TONY: Do such things exist in the world?
TATI: If you believe in dragons then you should believe in fire-resistant pants. Otherwise… well, you get the point.
TONY: Yeah yeah… I get it. You can’t believe in god without believing in the devil, am I right?
TATI: Of course. Everything is balanced. Well, to be serious about the question… no one. Of course, I could mention Pol Pot, Voldemort or Dr. Evil…
TONY: What about Donald Trump?
TATI: Do you want to name your dragon Donald Trump?
TONY: Hells no! I wanna introduce him to my dragon!
TATI: Are you sure your dragon isn’t the Republican?
TONY: Yup, I’m pretty sure she isn’t. Rather, my dragon’s a pacifist — but she’s willing to make an exception for narcissists with bad wigs, delusions of political grandeur and tiny hands.
TATI: Oh, so it’s ‘she’. Actually, I tried to hint at you to leave politics alone.
TONY: Didn’t I tell you? My dragon’s a hermaphrodite, and I can’t leave politics alone because his/her favourite snack is politicians.
TATI: And what would you name this poor creature?
TONY: How about some nice unisex name like Bailey McDragonface? That would work.
TATI: Yes, I like it. She will be a nice friend to my Sparky.
RAIN: And what about Lord of The Rings? (BOTH.)
TATI: That sounds better.
TONY: I like the books. Not the movies so much. They’re too long. My arse was so numb that it slid off my body then down the cinema aisle. I think an usher slipped on it.
TATI: Yes, Tony. Gather up your ass and stomp to the next question. I’m there already.
RAIN: I just found out that you guys have authored Mooreeffoc. (DOPE NAME, BY THE WAY!) What’s it about? Tell me in a ‘story’ way. I mean, give me a plot for your plot. You get?
TONY: Well, it’s about a thing, and it takes place at a thing, and the thing is a real compelling thing that out-things all other things, living or dead.
TATI: Tony, are you on dope? Rain asks some serious questions here. So, start again!
TONY: What am I? A performing seal? Why should I do what you say?
TATI: Perhaps it wouldn’t be modest if I say that Mooreeffoc was initially my idea.
TONY: Well, I can’t dispute that. It really was your idea in the beginning. Unfortunately.
TATI: Awww… but you’re the perfect partner, Tony! I know that I can shoot any crazy idea at you, and it will always find fertile ground.
TONY: I’m like a beanstalk of brilliance!
TATI: And that’s why I’m such a reckless adventurist, Tony. It’s because you’re around.
TONY: Good lord! What am I hearing?! Are you really actually praising me?
TATI: What? Have you been hearing voices again? You must really be on dope, Tony! You’re still stone deaf, or had you forgotten this?
TONY: Oh, sure, make fun of the deaf guy! One day, we’ll rule the earth… you mark my words! Erm… sign language!
TATI: And what will be your first decree?
TONY: For a certain Tati to eat a certain culinary dish called ‘humble pie’. And then to release all dragons from captivity!
TATI: Okay, so what was the question again?
TONY: I dunno. Something about drinking coffee backwards?
TATI: I wonder if humble pie is a nice dessert for coffee…
TONY: No. It’s best served cold and on its own… like revenge.
TATI: Well, to answer the question, let’s say that part one of Mooreeffoc was our first prose collaboration. We had already written some poems together, which is why we wanted to try and mix our prose skills as well.
TONY: And once we began, we just couldn’t stop. Writing all three parts felt like the most natural thing in the world.
TATI: I constructed the bare bones of this story. I’m a bit of a control freak sometimes, you know.
TONY: No. You just care about what we’re doing. You’re… exacting.
TATI: Good lord! What am I hearing?! Are you really actually praising me?
TONY: Maybe I am… but only slightly!
TATI: Speaking praise, we should give thanks to Rain for this entertaining interview.
TONY: Yeah, Rain! You ask the best questions!
TATI: Okay, let’s go, Tony! I have another brilliant idea!
TONY: Will I need sunglasses?