#ThankYouPatrons

Hey, guys!

We’re usually loathe to pester you with dull promotional patter regarding our Patreon page. But. (Yup, there’s always a ‘but’.) You see, we found out some days ago that there was an international day of gratitude for patrons. Of course, it would be remiss of us to stay quiet about this. We’re grateful for the trust and support of our own special band of patrons. They inspire us to forge ahead with all the silly creative things we want to do! So, yes, a round of applause, if you please. Let’s hear it for them!

PS: And now for a very secret message to our dear patrons. We’re in the throes of resurrecting an old comic strip of Tony’s called ‘Trottersville’, and we’re going over it with a fine-tooth comb. We’re redrawing and repurposing gags so that it’ll be much much better than it ever was.

Also, this strip won’t appear in any open online sources, only on special webcomic platforms. But you, our dear patrons will be able to reach each and every installment in our secret stash of Patreon posts. Exciting, eh?

Oh, and we’re going to be launching some other new and very cool things soon, but let’s keep a bit of intrigue around this for now. Everything at the right time! (Winky wink, nudgitty mcnudge!)

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

GUEST POST // Okoto Enigma Interviews Tetiana Aleksina & Tony Single

OKOTO: What is your blog about?

TONY: Firstly, we want to thank you for interviewing us, Okoto. What a cool opportunity! To answer your question: Unbolt Me is a literary blog. In a literal sense. It’s a repository of poems, prose, and any other odds and ends that we might dream up.

TATI: Yes, we have also made art, audio clips, and even a video! But we will never deviate from our main axis. We will always be about the writings.

OKOTO: When and why did you decide to start a blog?

TATI: It was July 2014. Why? Because I had decided that six months of studying English was enough, and that I was ready to knock the spots off Shakespeare and Hemingway. I decided to think big and enter the international arena straightaway. That is how me and my ‘blameless’ writings found ourselves on WordPress.

TONY: I discovered Tati’s writings on Unbolt, and was immediately drawn in by the uniqueness of her imagination. It was completely idiosyncratic and out there. She and I struck up a friendship via email which eventually led to her inviting me to work with her on the blog together.

TATI: Tony’s first official post was A Sea Change Involving a Cow’. Unbolt became Unbolt Me after that point. But before this he was featured as a guest many times, and we wrote some cool collaborations.

OKOTO: Where do you see your blog 2 years from now?

TATI: It will be a noisy, busy place. A cheerful community of writers and readers who enjoy communication on our blog. And we aren’t going to turn it into an advertising platform to monetize our traffic, etc.

TONY: Yes, we write books and we want to sell them, like every writer does. But we never want to harass our readers with ads and links to buy.

TATI: Fun, freedom, communication. Those are the three pillars we lean on.

OKOTO: How far have you gone since you started blogging? And what do you hope to gain?

TONY: We’ve gone from being a blog with a dozen regular visitors to one that’s widely read and appreciated by many more from all walks of life.

TATI: Yes, Unbolt Me is a pretty popular blog, but I wouldn’t want to show off with our tinkling, statistical regalia here.

TONY: True. We’re very fortunate to have garnered any level of attention at all.

TATI: As for me… yes, I still can’t believe that my name is on the covers of real books. And this wouldn’t have happened without me starting this blog in the first place.

TONY: And we’re going to write many more. We want to make a living off our books. That’s the end game.

OKOTO: What/who inspires you to blog?

TONY: Tati. My wife. The fact that I’m poor.

TATI: Our amazing community and its warm feedback. We get many comments, many encouraging words. Our dear readers make us believe in what we do and that gives us the fuel to go ahead. Also, Tony, his wife and the fact that he’s poor. Okay, I joke. But Tony inspires me, of course. Especially his bizarre dreams.

OKOTO: What is the easiest thing about blogging? And what do you find most difficult?

TATI: The easiest thing is creating a new post. The most hard is pressing ‘Publish’.

TONY: And we get to work and agonise together. How cool is that? Honestly, we achieve so much more as a team than we ever could on our own.

OKOTO: Who has impacted you the most in blogging and why?

TATI: I read many cool blogs, and I do enjoy them and the people who stand behind them. I was honored to collaborate with many talented bloggers at the beginning of Unbolt Me’s life, and it’s been the most precious experience. But my answer will be… no one.

TONY: My answer would be… everyone. But, as I don’t like sharing the glory, I’ll amend that answer and say ‘no one’ too! Okay, but seriously, I fear that by listing some bloggers I’ll forget to list others. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel left out.

OKOTO: What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?

TONY: First and foremost it’s the writing. You’ve got to really work at the writing, to make it the best you think it can be every single time. Without that there’s no compelling reason for readers to keep coming back.

TATI: Yes, our strategy is the same for any activity: malls, pubs or blogs… it doesn’t matter. Be cool, be different. Be passionate about what you do.

TONY: Write it and they will come.

TATI: Amen.

OKOTO: What was/has been the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?

TONY: Declining collaborations hasn’t been easy. People get understandably offended when we do this. It’s not that we’re snobs or that no one is as good as we are. On the contrary, there are many writers whose abilities eclipse our own that we would gladly work with. However, we’re so focused on what we’re trying to achieve with our own projects that it doesn’t leave much time for anything else.

TATI: As for me, it was the moment when I realized that it was pretty hard to handle the growing attention that we were getting. I was happy… and a bit scared. That’s why I’m really grateful to Tony who takes care of the comments on Unbolt Me. I remember how I was struggling with this, feeling unable to catch every interaction, worried that readers might think I didn’t care or something.

TONY: Tati is my favourite person to work with, so any difficulties that arise are mitigated by the fact that we are in this together. That gives me a lot of strength and encouragement.

OKOTO: What is your advice to bloggers and everyone out there?

TATI: Follow your dreams. Go ahead and never stop.

TONY: Wear socks at all times. Except in summer. It’s too hot and sweaty in summer.

 

by OKOTO ENIGMA
© All rights reserved 2017

Tati Unbolted (An Interview)

TONY SINGLE: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

TETIANA ALEKSINA: Next question please. Can you ask something more important?

TONY: Of course. Have you ever been tipped by a cow?

TETIANA: No. But I have been licked by a ram.

TONY: Really?

TETIANA: Yep. I was very little. An infant. My parents carried me in a pram past a farm. And I… hmmm… well, I pooed. My mum laid me on the grass and started to fiddle with dirty diapers. And a ram walked to me and sniffed me. And then started to lick me. When my mother saw this, she was shocked and frightened. But I laughed. It’s pretty ticklish when a ram licks your bare ass, you know.

TONY: Exciting! What do you want to be when you grow up?

TETIANA: A child.

TONY: Are you a group person or a loner?

TETIANA: A loner, without doubts. Life often pushes me ahead and forces me to be a leader. I have to do this, but reluctantly.

TONY: How would your friends describe you?

TETIANA: “You’re on the way to becoming an alien being.”

TONY: What made you decide to learn English?

TETIANA: What made you ask such a silly question? About 55% sites on the internet in English. About 30% of the world population speak English. It’s a chance to reach and to be reached. To hear and to be heard. It’s a chance to connect with the world. Well… the main reason, honestly? English is much more easy than Chinese.

TONY: You get to travel anywhere. Where and why?

TETIANA: There’s nothing more marvelous, frightening and tantalising than your inner Universe. Are you brave enough to meet the real you?

TONY: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

TETIANA: Many of our traditional recipes can look weird or even shocking for foreigners. Kangaroo balls.

TONY: Tish pshaw! Not a big deal. I eat those every day.

TETIANA: Russian Blood Candy. I eat those often.

TONY: What the fuck?!

TETIANA: So, what do you call ‘strange’?

TONY: Something that looks totally weird and not at all edible.

TETIANA: I think every child ate such things. I loved to chew paper.

TONY: Tell us the last joke you heard?

TETIANA: “I know an ideal solution.” I laughed so hard. Though, I suppose, I was the only one who found this statement funny… One of my colleagues said this.

TONY: You’re God for a day. What do you do?

TETIANA: I abolish the job description, ‘God’.

TONY: Is it better to die or to live for eternity?

TETIANA: Well.. death looks like an egotistical choice, an alibi for doing nothing. You can change nothing when you are dead. “Well, guys, I’m dead, what do you want from me, bastards? I’m busy. I feed worms…”

Honestly? I would prefer to live. I would prefer to live and do my fucking best. I would prefer to change this old rotten world instead of rot on my own.

TONY: Why do you write?

TETIANA: It’s my way to keep my sanity and not roll into the deep. Kinda my safety valve, yeah?

TONY: Do you have a favourite book?

TETIANA: Yes, I have. It’s the book you and I are writing now.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2016