The Moron at the End of This Book (Author Interview)

The Moron at the End of This Book looks great.  What can you tell us about it?

Thank you, how sweet of you to say. Well, it’s a collection of short stories that, when looked at as a single piece, read more like a sardonic post-it note to self than, say, a typical narcissism-adjacent autobiography. The stories can all stand alone, so reading sequentially isn’t necessary, but there is an overall story arc. The narrative follows me from the Deep South through a bewildering and mistake-prone childhood into a young adulthood differing only in that it took place elsewhere, and my mistakes featured sex, drugs, and coconut cake. In other words, it’s a fun ride that I hope will make people laugh and forgive themselves for their own moronic behavior.

Any plans to turn it into a series?

I haven’t thought about a series, exactly. For sure, I’ve got more stories to tell. Currently, on my desktop, there’s a fiction project in draft form in need of some attention, and another book about what I call “Compassionate Nihilism” that I could focus on, but I’m a creature of impulse, so there is a decent chance I’ll write something else entirely. If this book is any indicator of what might happen next, I’m just as likely to move to Vermont to do something unwholesome with antiques.

That’s an amazing cover.  Can you tell us about it?

Thanks, I had help from a robot. First, I paid an artist to design an unnecessarily complicated cover. He did his best, but ultimately, even if you only put in a tiny bit, a turd in a sandwich makes any kind of sandwich a turd sandwich. So, I turned to the machine – AI. I started funneling ideas, concepts, and excerpts from my book into the image generator, “MidJourney”. The image I found most compelling came from the phrase, “Infinite toast.” After many alterations and tweaks to the prompt, the strange mechanical beast I met on the internet gave me the image you see now.

The cover is ultimately a nod and a genuflection to a number of concepts and one influence in particular. Conceptually, it represents the beauty of existence, burned by the inevitability of catastrophe – A blending of the simple and well-defined with the infinitely complex and misunderstood. It is also a nod to a fictional character I once drew while on jury duty, called “The Burnt Toast Mother F’er”, and a reference to the first story in the book, “Toast for Sisyphus.” As for the influence to whom I am bowing, Douglas Adams is probably the reason why I like to laugh while reading - my wife reminded me of that, so I designed the cover to reflect my love for his work. 

What scene or section did you have the most fun writing?

I found myself completely finished writing the first draft of “Captain Flip-Flop Will Have the Hepatitis Alphabet Soup, Please” in a single sitting. I was flood-lit by memory – the danger, the excitement, the footwear, the fried pickles, all of it – and the story poured out like my keyboard, and I were hanging out and having a drink.   

What inspired the idea for the book, and where did you come up with the title?

Two things, really. One, the title has been with me for some time. I always loved “The Monster at the End of This Book”, by Jon Stone. I loved the way that Grover, the most neurotic guy on Sesame Street, was a total mess throughout the book. I identified with that early on.

The second reason the book exists, and probably the main reason why I ever sat down and started writing it, was a single, sensitive, and thoughtful prompt from my mentor, Susannah Rigg. She put me on a path of self-exploration, searching for a writer in my senses. I didn’t find one there, but I did learn that I’ve always related to existence by telling myself stories about it. From my imaginary friends to the fake radio show I host today (or podcast, if you prefer), I realized there is a story worth considering in almost everything that happens.

What do you like to do when not writing?

I play music, hang out with my dog, travel, hike with my wife, and cook. I also work…a whole bunch. My job is different every day. Some days I do voiceover work, others I fix things that need fixing. Most people would say I’m a handyman, but I say I’m an “Ableman”, because it sounds less like I’m doing sex work. To be clear, I’m not opposed to doing sex work, it’s that just nobody has asked, and I don’t want to misrepresent what I do for a living.  Oh, and I co-host a podcast show called, “The Raised by Whoops Fake Radio Show”. That’s something I do just for kicks.

Where can readers find out more about your work?

You can read or hear more stories at Raised By Whoops - – or buy the book and see photos @