I read a lot, really. I have to know the author, when it’s possible, talk with him and discover his world. Well, it happens only when I feel a sort of empathy with the words impressed on the pages.
I found something i needed to know, to talk with.
Brian Alan Ellis is the founder of “House of Vlad Productions”, a little project that publish books of true lives. All of the titles are a sort of prays, screams against what they have around.
Here is the “punkness” of this little american reality.
How was House of Vlad Productions born? In my early twenties I decided to publish these little chapbook zines of my writing. I was also living with my mom in south Florida, and playing in this death-rock band called Baby Dracula. House of Vlad was the imprint I used when I put out our demo tape, which I’d joke about because the singer for a band called Baby Dracula was living with his mom in a shitty duplex apartment in Coral Springs. Basically, House of Vlad was just a funny rib. I kept the name House of Vlad when publishing those zines and then decided to continue using it when I started doing books ten years later. Honestly, I wish I’d thought of a different name but I was lazy. Still pretty lazy.
Which is its purpose? There is no real purpose behind House of Vlad. I write and publish books because I don’t know what else to do in my spare time besides drink and get into trouble, which I still do my fair share of. HOV just keeps me doing less of the bad stuff. It’s nice to have projects.
What do it want to propose to the readers? I want HOV to give readers the idea that you can have fun with literature, that writing and publishing doesn’t have to be this stuffy, precious thing. I want the books to have a punk rock feel. I want publishing to be more like zine-making or blogging. I want University presses and academic institutions that put a chokehold on true creativity to take notice. Then I want them all to fuck right off.
Does this collective refer only to readers? I don’t use House of Vlad for anything else. Only the production of books. Next year I am going to drop “Productions” from the title and just put “Press.”
How many authors take part in this project? I started out just publishing my own stuff. Then I did a collaboration with my artist/musician buddy, Waylon Thornton (King Shit, 2014). Then I did a split book with him and the author Bud Smith (Tables without Chairs #1, 2015). Since then I have published two of my favorite authors: Noah Cicero and Sam Pink. I have two books coming out in 2019: Hotel Alexander by Rebekah Morgan, which is wonderful, and Pinky Soupy by Mary Moore Dalton, who narrated the audio version of my novel, Something to Do with Self-Hate. I am excited to finally be publishing female writers.
Do people read in America? I guess so. Literature and poetry is pressty niche. Young Adult, celebrity tell-alls, fantasy, and political thrillers are what sell the most here. I dont’t sell very many books.
Can House of Vlad have his own space in the American literary scene? If I had a car I’d just sell HOV books from out of the trunk, but I don’t, so I use the Internet to sell books. I am not very interested in any kind of scene. I am more interested in the creative weirdos and outsiders who don’t fit within any particular box. Those are my peeps. HOV is the literary equivalent to a dirty old Screammask floating in a puddle of piss. It’s magical, really.
What do you think people need to read? People don’t need to read anything. Reading is entertainment. On a large scale, it’s not that important. Though, on a personal level, I feel reading has probably helped me become a better person, which is debatable. If anything, it has made me feel less alone. I think that’s what people need to read: shit that makes them feel less alone while also maybe inspiring them to do their own shit.
And do you know how the “literary scene” views your press? I know a lot of people who do their own press and/or journals. We support one another. We’re all drowning in this literary bullshit together. We’re all miserable but we’re also having a little fun sometimes, putting out good art. It’s all good.
Do you receive any criticism for this? Honestly, not really. HOV is still pretty under the radar. There is one writer guy named Atticus Davis who hates me and talks a lot of shit about me and my writing on the Internet, but that’s mainlyto do with me and not the actual press.
I find HOV really punk. Do you think it is easier to attract so-called “weirdos” people for your press? Yeah, pretty much the only people I associate with are troubled weirdos. People who are just a bit off mentally/emotionally/etc. etc. are the only people I can trust, through you shouldn’t really trust anyone. Trust maybe isn’t the word.
Please, start read them and visit their blog.