Now this one was a struggle to drag from Dockside: “He came effin’ and jeffin’, kickin’ and screamin'”, said the lead witchunter of Inquisitor Makhell’s snatch and grab team. “We had to wrestle him to the ground after he put two warrior monks on their arses with the haft of his bearded-axe. Bastard.”
Yes, well, enough of that, lads. Let’s see who it is they’ve brought beneath the Samorlian Cathedral, eh? It’s only bloody Kareem Mahfouz, friend to the stars (genre authors), drummer extraordinaire, animal lover, axe-man and fresh out the box fantasy writer! I’m proof reading for him and it’s frikkin’ goooooooood stuff. Keep your eye out for a future author here, folks, but don’t tell him I said so otherwise his head will have to go under a pile of rocks to shrink it back again. Anyhow, without further ado, I give you the big man himself: Kareem Mahfouz.
1. If I gave you an elk, where would you hide it?
“In the barbeque . . .
Nah, actually my partner and I were surprised by several of them when we were walking a trail at the Grand Canyon. So unless I could get to an aeroplane hangar I wouldn’t bother, they are really fooking big!”
2. Why would you be hiding it? Weird.
“Because I am training it to be my steed, and would be hiding it while I found some straight flowing hair extensions that were whiter than starlight, so I could look like that annoying elf king dude in The Hobbit movie.”
3. Tell us something about your work in progress?
“It is my first dive into writing and I love and hate it like Gollum loves and hates the One Ring (lot of LOTR references here — I regret nothing!)
Something interesting? Erm . . . it tackles a lot of issues that I think are relevant to today’s insane climate. But! At the heart of it are a group of people called Survivors. These people have at some stage died and come back to life forever immune to their original cause of death. I.e. if they were burned alive then they come back immune to fire and heat.
Oh, and of course they are hunted J”
4. If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?
“An ash, amazing all round hardwood and you can almost burn me wet. Wait . . . A huge one, too big for the axe. I want to live!”
5. Were you an avid reader as a kid?
“Of comics and anything dinosaur related, most certainly. I didn’t really start reading novels till my mid-twenties, which I deeply regret.
At that time I was outside playing with mates, building dens, riding my bike, or playing basketball. During my teenage years I was in the gym, fawning after pretty ladies, or playing any one of my consoles. I like to think I’ve made up for lost time, but in reality that’s bollocks. We will all go to our graves with a squillion books we would have loved to read.
6. Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
“I would love to hunt, genuinely. I know some folk wouldn’t agree with that but my partner is a vet and we are BIG on where our meat comes from and how our meat is reared and treated. That said, there’s no need for it in little Lincolnshire. So let’s switch to my main prey . . . wood! (the burny stuff, not the phallic variety, for all you with inappropriate minds. . .)
I look for fallen logs and carry them, no matter how far, back to my place for splitting.
So: Gatherer ”
7. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?
“The white one. No one uses the white crayon and that way I get to watch all my friends dwindle into nothingness — or if they’re lucky they might end up as forgotten stubs.
Meanwhile I’ll live forever!
Wait . . .”
8. What was the last gift you gave someone?
9. What were you like in high school – nerdy, sporty, etc…?
“I’m not proud of my school days, but at the same time I am extremely fond of them. I was one of those rare geeks that was also obsessed with fighting. Until recently I have always done some kind of self-defence, mostly boxing, sadly never more than amateur, but hey, I don’t mind. A good spar always cheers me up.
That meant a lot of my friends were geeks too. Back then it was Spiderman and Dragonball z (still my first love by the way) but consequently a lot of my pals got picked on. I would inevitably stand up for them and was of course in constant bother with the wardens (teachers/dinner ladies). I was also sporty J”
10. What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?
“The Grand Budapest Hotel. Because people told me it was great, and they weren’t wrong. It’s awesome!”
11. What do you want to be when you grow up?
“An angry old man that still finds peace with an axe, wood to split, and whiskey to drink.”
12. Describe the colour green to somebody who is blind.
“Ok, so. I want you to think of whatever you like. Got it?
Yeah, that’s not it.”
13. Who would win a fight between Frodo and Sam?
“More LOTR! Yay J
Sam. All day, every day. He bitched Shelob while Frodo did nothing but whine the whole way. He tucked up some orcs too, and carried Frodo up a mountain. Poor bastard only wanted some taters.”
14. A white rabbit hops through the door right now wearing a helmet. What does he say and why is he here?
“He can say whatever he likes, but I’ll be warning it to bugger off before any one of my 5 dogs gets whiff of him. I can only control them so much. It would need more than a helmet.”
15. What’s your favourite game, be it video, board or tabletop?
“SOOOOOOOOO hard to choose. My favourite all-rounder is Gears of War. I have been a huge fanatical fan since its first release, made good friends online, and maintained that relationship for over 10 years. It is just the best action game ever. And I’ll lancer (chainsaw attached to an automatic rifle) anyone who disagrees.
My favourite single player game is Red Dead Redemption. It’s just perfect.
There are so many others that are worthy of note, but I’m sure only likeminded gamers would be interested.”
16. The last book you read was…?
“Actual physical book? Waylander. However I was honoured to test read Fall of Dragons, the final instalment of Christian Cameron’s Traitor Son Cycle. Both rocked!”
17. Supercar, Superbike or Superboat, and why?
“Porsche 959. Wanted one ever since I was wee. My experience with motorbikes was with crossers (dirt bikes) so I don’t get superbikes. Heavy clumsy bloody things.
I’d love a superboat, but would much prefer to sail a schooner into the West Indies as a gunner J”
18. Where is your preferred writing space?
“In the words of Metallica: “Wherever I May ROAAAAAAAAAM!!!!!
I just need my laptop or my flash drive.”
19. When’s your next book out?
“Ha! I daren’t even think that far ahead yet. I hope to go down the traditional route and there is some polishing to do yet. I’m currently wrapping up the second draft — then comes the third — then the proof — then I’ll look for an editor — then an agent — then it will be 2087 and I’ll be long dead.
And if it’s toss I have other ideas.
Still, I’m excited J”
20. Do you have a question for me?
“If you were going on a night out with the Pope, but had to take a famous serial killer out too, y’know, for balance. Who would you take, and how do you see the night unfolding?”
JP: “Oh man… thanks… Well, for starters, I’m agnostic, so wouldn’t bee too worried about offending the boss of Catholicism – apart from the fact I don’t like offending people to start with, so would try not to, if at all possible. BUT, with Chopper the Aussie killer with us, I’m not sure my inviting the latter wouldn’t offend the guy in white.
I don’t see it going well at all, to be honest. I’m pretty sure there’d be an international scandal and I’d end up shot by police, hunted down by some secret Christian sect or simply duffed up in a Pope vs Chooper brawl.”
So there you have it, or him: Kareem Mahfouz. I genuinely think he has a bright future writing, and cannot wait to see the book I’m proof reading on the shelves one day – he’s already planning another series, the maniac. If you want to get ahead of the game and follow him now, check him out on Twitter and Facebook.
In the meantime, you can buy my books and read them, instead of wasting time on my half-hearted interviews on the tinterweb.