Inkpop Blog

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inkpopper of the Week: hotchilly

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 17, 2010

“I have a dog – a white German Shepherd named Bella, who’s nearing five and weighs over a hundred pounds. She lives for a good game of fetch. I live in Florida, where, if you’re thirsty, you can just go outside and gulp some air thanks to the massive amounts of humidity. I’ve been photoshopping for several years, and I’ve done some web design. Wink wink, inkpop, nudge nudge. Also, I can’t dance. My next inkpop project, the one I’m slowly retiring the runway for, will be about superheroes. Repetitive words, like ‘mimosa,’ annoy me.”

On that note, it’s easy to see that Danny, aka hotchilly, is full of observations regarding his surroundings that many would carelessly overlook (as visible through his thoughts on the sunshine state known as Florida), in addition to humorous idiosyncrasies – two extremely important things that have made his work a force to be reckoned with right here on inkpop.

Not only is Danny responsible for creating the “movie poster” for MIC’s Shadow Watchers; he is also the author of Model Night, a project which is currently ranked as # 75, and brings a splash of paranormal phenomena to the fashion industry and modeling world. Subjects that, oddly enough, he isn’t highly-experienced with.

Your book Model Night revolves quite a bit around models and the fashion industry. In your synopsis you state that “being soulless is a job requirement.” Is that how you feel about models and the fashion industry, in general, or is that thought/idea specific to your book which deals with zombies, the undead, etc.? What made you want to use the fashion industry/models as the topic for a book?

Danny: As with anything else that I don’t understand, I have nothing but respect for the fashion industry. Actually, I kind of think that the industry gets a bum rap. Sure, it fosters unrealistic body expectations, and a lot of people suffer from that – but I think that just means we need to work on boosting our society’s self-confidence levels as a whole. Fashion is an art, after all, like writing.

I used the industry/models as a topic for my book because I love the juxtaposition of what we think should be beautiful against what isn’t (flesh eating monsters). Also, the idea of some chick in a million dollar ball gown tackling someone so she can grab a bite to eat is hilarious.

Judging from the brief biography on your profile page, you seem very interested in music. If you had to create a soundtrack for Model Night what songs would you include and why?

D: I love music! Model Night was, for me, a side-project to get my mind off of another book that I was stuck on. I wanted it to be campy and fun first, with realism and some romance thrown in to counterbalance all the craziness. As a result, I ended up listening to Vampire Weekend and MGMT a lot. Particularly towards the end of the piece, when my characters are parachuting off of a Manhattan skyscraper, I listened to Time to Pretend by MGMT on loop. Oh, and when two of my characters got a little steamy in a stairwell, I listened to Lights On by The Pierces and All the Right Moves by OneRepublic.

Other sources of inspiration came via The Killers and Phoenix. Anything alternative with synth, really – what I imagined would work if played on a runway.

What are your crazy writing quirks? What do you need in order to get inspired and kick yourself into the mood to write?

D: Weirdly enough, unless I’m writing something that’s going to be emotional-overload, I need my writing space to be absolutely silent. Music affects me too much, and then whatever chapter I’m working on comes out crazy and bipolar, its mood shifting whenever the song changes. For inspiration, I can either go take a shower or Google something really specific. For Model Night, I went and Googled the most expensive men’s perfumes – Clive Christian No. 1, if you’re wondering – and then attributed it to a ghostie (since they’re all rich). What came out of it was this really kick-a fight scene.

Another weird quirk is that I forbid myself to plan the ending of my book before I get to it. I’m bad with relationships, so if I know how my book is going to turn out, I get really bored of it and just leave. So saving the end until the end is kind of like my promise for monogamy. Also, once I get there, it’s a million times more satisfying, and then I get to go back and edit some foreshadowing in, etc.

If you could be absolutely anything in life (career-wise), what would you be and why?

D: An anthropologist. Imagine, for a moment, getting paid to travel into foreign cultures – to take pictures, write journals, observe and immerse yourself in a world completely exotic. Perfect, right? Most people confuse anthropology with archaeology or they write it off as limited to bones and dead people. Nope, there’s cultural anthro, linguistic, evolutional… I’d want to work with cultural religions and linguistics, personally.

I actually want to do this so much that… I will, haha. Even if it isn’t lucrative, I was always taught by my parents to put contentment before money and choose a career that I’m happy in. Will do, padres.

If you were to recommend ONE book that you feel everyone should read at some point in their lives, what would it be and why?

D: Oh hey, thanks for asking me this impossible question! Haha. There are so many great books that I think everyone should read… I guess, though, if I’m to pick one, it’d be A Separate Peace by John Knowles. The way Knowles establishes the relationship between his characters is so real. Everything about it is, actually. A Separate Peace really is one of the best representations of adolescence I’ve ever seen; that uncomfortable feeling of everything changing, the irrational emotions. Just a good book, all around.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite quote? Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. GB Shaw
Song you never get tired of? All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers.
New York City or Los Angeles? New York City! East coast!
Favorite pizza topping? Pepperoni.
If you were granted three wishes from a genie what would you ask for? Uhh… Power to fly, ability to heal anyone of anything (including old age!), and unlimited money.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

4 Responses to “inkpopper of the Week: hotchilly”

  1. MIC said

    Awesome article on Danny!!!!

    I love his thoughts on forbidding himself to plan the ending of his book so he won’t get bored and walk away. Never heard that philosophy before! Danny is a great inkpopper and Model Night is a fantastic story!

  2. drsheridan said

    great interview!

    that’s so funny, i’m reading A Separate Peace right now in school!! it’s so great, i really enjoy it so far.

  3. HealedMyWings said

    Interesting idea, not planning the end of your novel. I may have to try that sometime. Perhaps I won’t get so bored that way. Awesome favorite quote, too. That’s the way I see the world.

    Great article on Danny! =)

    ~Tori, HealedMyWings

  4. Cara said

    congrats Danny 🙂

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