Interview with James Otter

Q: When did you start writing?

A: When I was in 4th grade I wrote my first poem, my teacher submitted my poem to a competition,I was granted an honorable mention.I seriously got into writing when I was 15 this was also around the same time I started going to open mics, I was inspired by spite,I didn’t like what I was hearing, I wanted to come up with my own thing,when I was 14 I tried to put this web series together,in between that time I was messing around with terrible web comics. I’ve always had this drive to create.The encouragement I received from audience members over the years helped me create the style I write in today.I went through cycles where I would play and record atrocious noise rock or paint,now writing is the primary focus. Writing is like a second skin to me,I just have to do it.

Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?

A: My friends and the crazy crap we pulled back in the day,thats a huge inspiration.Hometown style urban legends from all around the country,the Weird U.S. book series opened my innocent little mind to an entire world of cursed roads and strange creatures. Abandoned buildings inspire me,the travelers who roll into town during the up season,drinking with them and listening to their tales inspires my own. There is way more I could get into. Here are some of the people I draw inspiration from. ,Chuck Palahniuk.Daniel Handler,Neil Gaiman,Stephin Merritt,Nick Cave,the creative team behind the Silent Hill games,John Carpenter, Horror Mangaka Junji Ito.I draw inspiration from the poets I encounter week after week at my poetry night.

Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A:Night time is my ideal time,I’m listening to the enviroment,my imagination wanders. I write during the day as well,I write as soon as I get home whatever time of day that is.

Q:  Why do you write?

A: I write for many reasons,I feel like there is something inside me that needs to come out,something weird and kind of awful at times. My drive is to make my own worlds,my own urban legends,a different world one where the rules that we live by are bent up. Its almost an obsession or an impulse.I’m a strong believer in the super natural,I write for the mystery for the spectacle of it.I want to make monsters that know us personally,zombies aren’t a real threat,we can hit em with our cars but we can not hit the inescapable feeling of being ourselves. Fear is a big motivator when it comes to why I write because I know what its like to see something that goes beyond explanation and if I can translate that to a page and scare myself than I have succeeded. I write because it satisfies my darkside.


Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?

A: “I am the captain of my pain,tis the bit,the bridle.The Thrashing cane,the stirrup,the harness,the whipping mane,the pickled eye,the shrinking brain”-Nick Cave-Brother My cup is empty

“I hate the quiet places that cause the cause the smallest taste of what will be”-Candy Says,The Velvet Underground

“I am the killer dressed in pilgrims clothing,I’m the hard to find stations on the AM Van,I am the white sky high over tripoli,I am the land mine hidden in the sand.”-Jaipur–The mountain Goats.

“We don’t have to be stars exploding in the night,or electric eels under the covers,we don’t have to be anything quite so unreal lets just be lovers”-The Magnetic Fields,A chicken with its head cut off

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?

A: Try to love yourself,love your work,love doing it,break the stereotype that you have to hate yourself in order to be a good writer.Write whenever you can,ignore the spelling,get the thought out and take pride in your art.

Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?

A: No.I’m pretty hidden,my work is scattered all across the internet, I have a word press,I have a twitter to,I run a couple groups on the sinister facebook along with two pages,My official page and one for a movie that feel flat on its face,I’ve got a youtube channel from back in the day.I’ve been hoarding most of my writing,I perform it once a week at the Poetry night I run in Eugene Oregon. I haven’t officially released anything yet.


James Otter is a poet/storyteller not yet published, residing in the Far Reaches of Eugene Oregon. James is the self proclaimed host and overlord of Page 2 poetry, the only weekly all poetry open mic in Eugene. He loves sharing his bone chilling tales with anybody who wants to listen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s