Interview, Bone Machine Book Co-Founder, Thom Young

Anyone, who follows my blog, knows that I am a huge fan of Poets/Writers and now publishing house owners of Bone Machine Books: Thom Young & Scott Laudati. I was fortunate enough to grab Thom’s attention for a couple of minutes – to scribe this interview for me.  Bottom line, Bone Machine Books has a punk heart and is extremely cerebral.  And, I must add, extremely authentic.  For more information on Bone Machine Books please follow Thom @typoet & Scott @scottlaudati via Instagram.  

RMMW: What makes Bone Machine different from other publishers?

TY: I think it's more of a punk rock attitude yet knowing we can reach a broad audience plus, the
quality of writing will be much better and respected than what you see amongst the whole Insta-publishing world. Scott and I have both paid are dues with writing putting time in to get rejected and are both respected in the more academic and university publication world. The people that read us are looking for something real not 'junk food' insta-writing. There’s a reason that I am mentioned with these huge Instapoets in all these articles. Somebody said, 'no this is horrible writing and here's why' people react to that and well what I did speaks for itself plus it's my humor. The old adage 'if you're not upsetting somebody, you’re doing something wrong' is true. And you see it how I have been harassed just for disagreeing about what is good poetry.  They are so tolerant until you disagree. But it's winding down for me as far as social media, I proved my point. I will use it to promote the novel but that's it once it's out.

RMMW: What is your mandate?

TY: To change the world, I guess but in many ways, we have already have with poetry. For me the satirical thing came naturally because, I believe I can write satire better than almost anyone and off the top of my head. I invented the terms 'Instapoet, Pop Poetry, Fidget Spinner Poetry, Glancer etc. There was no one doing what I was doing as far as being a critic of these Instapoet's writing and by using satire and parody on the IG poetry. I think people need to realize literary criticism was and is an important part of history. It's not personal but it looks only at their writing which obviously isn’t poetry. Great poetry should make the reader think and ask questions and you should have to analyze and re read the poem. They are writing recycled Pinterest quotes that are the same with no depth or thinking involved. That's why it is popular because nobody can think anymore but that's what my novel will reveal when it's finally done.

RMMW: What is your genesis story?

TY: I probably don't have one, in fact I wouldn’t want one. I do like Genesis 6 as it talks about fallen angels breeding with earthly women. They are called the Nefalim in the Bible and it's fascinating if you're willing to read and research it. I have a compulsion where if I want to learn about something I research it or read all I can about it. It helps if I'm interested in it but not always and usually I end up fascinated by it after researching. That's me though I always ask for books or gift cards to buy them. Reading is most important for a writer and that's it.

RMMW: How do you query writers?

TY: I never query writers but with agents you just read their guidelines.

RMMW: What types of books do you publish?

TY: Poetry and prose. With the new one Instapoet it will be fiction. A satirical novel in the tradition of Toole and Swift. It really is a funny book. If it makes me laugh, then I know I'm on the right track. With Bone Machine Scott has a new poetry one Bone House and as you know his poetry is always top notch. Everyone should buy it along with his novel 'Play the Devil' which I read in one sitting. In fact, I decided to write Instapoet after reading Scott's novel because I wanted to write something that great and I think I did with the help of an excellent writer Matt Blythe.

RMMW: Who would you love to publish?

TY: Just us we aren't a traditional publisher it's a Thom Young INC collective which I have said numerous times. There are several people involved with Bone Machine and nothing is as it seems. That's the punk rock thing again. Fortunately, we have a team that's dedicated to our cause. So, watch what out for Bone Machine. Instapoet the novel is coming, and I think the sky is the limit.

RMMW: As a small publisher how do you feel about the grind of the Amazon meat market?

TY: Don't care I have had books hit #1 all over the world. Pop poets only focus on the USA for the most part. My novels have hit #1 in their categories in Australia and Germany, so I have readers with fiction as well. Of course, they sell more in poetry in the U.S., but I often outsell a few of them at times in Europe in poetry. I think the European readers are much more intelligent and read literature. You see this with the select audience that read literature like the Friction series I am in that's in Barnes and Noble. It sells out and it's in 700 Barnes and Noble retailers and Booksamillion plus indie shops. I'm proud of doing this on my own. It's hard work doing it all yourself, but I don’t need anyone to tell me what to write so it works out well. That's what Bone Machine is about changing the game. And, if you don’t believe us look at the media we are in: PBS Newshour, The Wall Street Journal, Toronto Star, and many more plus Huffington Post soon I believe. That's big for no one doing anything but me. In fact, we are usually mentioned next to the big Instapoets as the villian, I revel in being the 'Bill Laimbeer' of poetry and Scott does as well.

RMMW: Where do you expect to be 5 years from now?

TY: Not sure as the Viking's theme song says, 'When I wake up I'll see what tomorrow brings.'  With my medical history and almost dying a few times, I tend not to care about the future which is doomed anyways just look at our country and the world today it's the same as it's always been a corrupt evil human species. I think it boils down to what the true nature of mankind actually is good or evil? Obviously, it's evil if you can observe what is happening. This a theme in Instapoet which I wanted before I wrote it with Matt and he realized it as we wrote. It's the St. Augustine v. Pelagius debate. Research it for yourself you're going to learn. Instapoet is highly academic but in a funny way. It's original in its idea and nobody has written a novel about this social media poetry thing, so we did and destroyed it with our writing. Can't wait until people read it. It's going to blow minds.

RMMW: What do you think are difficulties writers face today in finding the right publisher for them?

TY: I don’t care. I have enough writing issues. I would say that publishers are dying today. Do it yourself and if you find a publisher great but I sure as hell wouldn’t wait around. Certainly, you can submit and query an agent that's great but consider what sells in poetry at least. Get enough followers, likes, and comments and boom major publishing deal with illiterate people buying universal plagiarism. You're now officially a Doritos poetry salesman and catering to the tween, teen, and lonely women target audience. You'll never be respected as a writer when you're forever known as an Instapoet a label they hate. But nobody would care about their writing without it. Thirty years ago, would anyone publish this? Nope. Talent lasts, and this will all end sooner than later but maybe not. Look at the average moron on a college campus today. And that's the genius of Instapoetry it's a gold mine of the lowest common denominator. If you don’t believe it, we have over 50k followers by doing what they do. It's easy and we proved it. Not having anything to fall back on with writing but a smartphone and a screen is 'hair metal' circa 1991.

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