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Smoking With Otis Brown

(Read the Story) September 15, 2005

Otis Brown

Art by Marty D. Ison

Otis, man, you freakin’ rock. These characters—so charged! Tell me about these guys.

The two men are based on me and my friend. We have been friends for over twenty-five years.

The Rolling Stones. Still going strong. Talk to us about your favorite Stones song(s) and how they ended up in this story.

I was quite busy during the seventies, running away from imaginary monsters and didn’t listen to the glorious sounds of the Stones until the mid-eighties, doing what they were not supposed to, and singing songs they are not supposed to sing.

Ever since I read Grover from Sesame Street, I’ve been fascinated by the monster at the end of the story. What fascination do “monsters” hold for you?

I have been in places where a hundred grown men wanted to marry me. I know monsters personally. At one time or another, we have all been monsters, haven’t we?

How did Otis Brown become a writer—and a really brilliant one at that?

Brilliant? I think you must have me confused with someone else.

Paratrooper. Vietnam Marine. College. Writer. Which holds the “hardest” memories?

Even though I wasn’t in Vietnam, during the war I served as a seagoing Marine and a paratrooper, protecting every American’s right and freedom to do exactly what he is supposed to do, whether he wants to or not.

About the Author

After many years as an Army paratrooper and a U.S. Marine during the Vietnam war, the military concluded Otis Brown could no longer be trusted with a loaded gun. He then went to several colleges and universities, and was committed many times to various mental institutions. Literature found him and he was finally rescued by it. He now spends his time writing plays and short stories until this day.

About the Artist

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison’s work here.

This interview appeared in Issue Ten of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Ten

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