Who is L.M. Warren?
L. M. Warren is a freelance writer, humorist, novelist, and prophet. “Real Estate in Deltosa” was published in Chimeraworld #6. His published novels include The End of the Magical Kingdom series, Attempted Rapture: The Sinner & The Saint, Raining Cats and Dogs and Cry On Cue. The author was originally born in Los Angeles, California before moving to Texas, right in the dreadful “tornado alley.” There, he squandered his youth by studying Journalism, Religion and Law rather than cavorting about with his playmates.
What does L. M. Warren stand for, anyway? Why of course, the Late Mitchell Warren. So is he alive or dead? Not dead yet. He explained the idea of “The Late Mitchell Warren” to a reporter back in 2007.
“I was inspired by one of Sidney Poitier’s speeches. At a tribute show to his career, he started thanking several deceased friends referring to each one as ‘The Late…’ I thought, what a grand thing it would be to be known as someone ‘late.’ However, my real name didn’t have quite the impact that I hoped. Hence, I chose Mitchell Warren as a pseudonym. Mitchell sounded like Michael, my middle name. As for the name Warren, it seemed to represent my personality and life thus far; one marked by warring and civil unrest. I suppose if I were to be honest with myself, I would say that “Late Mitchell” speaks to the depressive, bipolar and paranoid nature of my personality – especially the obsession I have with death. I was raised in a very strict religion, so the idea of Life and Death was always presented before me during weekly sermons. I’m sure the latent rebel in my youth often thought of “Death” as the preference rather than living in a paradise of rules, sterility and suppression of creative thought. I also love reading about the paranormal, ghosts, and dead authors of the past. I could only hope to be immortalized by becoming such a haunting spirit some day. I wouldn’t say I “disrespect the dead”, so as much as I see them then, just as much as we see ourselves in the present. What was once “now” became “then”, just a memory…just ghosts of the pasts whose images we see in photos, but never really think about as individuals. We rarely contemplate that they were once in the present, anticipating the future. Life and death, Now and Then are really so close together, it boggles the mind. Or at least my mind. 🙂 I also readily admit that my fiction work explores paradoxes, paroxysm and very much in the spirit of socially awkward characters, personality disorders, and abstract symbolism.”
For a time, Warren was a practicing minister at a local church in DFW. He fondly recalls giving religious sermons to the congregations that can best be described as “avant-garde.” Explains the exiled holy man, “I intentionally made my sermons very uncomfortable to hear. They offended many members of the audience, not only because they took on the sensibilities of a novel, but also because they charted into previously unexplored territories of truth and illusion. It was clearly my first mis-marketed attempt at writing. Congregations don’t want Art. They want definitions of Truth.”
Warren explains he is accustomed to being the “lone wolf”, in most of his storytelling endeavors – the tortured artist who captivates his audience but never actually gets invited to all the Capote-esque after show parties. His tendency to withdraw from groups naturally drew him to his target audience of anti-socials, outliers and ageless Orwellian types. “I grew up lacking a strong base of friends and writing so was my outlet for excess energy and booming creativity. The first works I ever wrote as a child and read aloud were either praised for being unusually realistic, or criticized for being too disturbing.”
Some critics of Warren say it seems as if he can’t decide whether to hurt someone’s feelings or make them belly laugh. An antagonistic writer in soul, he strikes at the heart and tickles the funny bone – all the while poking people with uncomfortable truth, from every side, and from multiple points of view. “I do tend to challenge my reader,” Warren says, “because I believe the Writer has an obligation to be a Teacher, not just an Entertainer. Mainly, my motivation is to help open the minds and hearts of people just a little bit more. We need more tolerance, more deep thinking, and yes, more revolution in our society.”
- The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:”More of what I’m going for, but putting more 21st century humor in it, with a mad dash of 1980s horror and gloom. I love reading the uncensored versions of everything.”
- Animal Farm by George Orwell: “Ahead of its time and so insulting to the masses. I really think parables are the best way to horrify someone…and teach them a lesson they’ll never forget.”
- Sade’s Juliette: “An antagonistic writer if there ever was one. Bored to tears at standard society and the predecessor of Angry Libertine Satire that still permeates entertainment today.”
- V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic: “Sick enough that you want to leave, but you can’t look away. Disturbing and in that make-no-apologies 1980s sort of way, which was close to madness, and something that the children of today still can’t get their heads around.”
- Susan Harris’ Soap Sitcom: “I love the way she nonchalantly combined absurd comedy with dramatic elements. They called it a soap opera spoof, without realizing that it was, in fact, a tragic parody that could only be told in a serial format. A troll sitcom if there ever was one and a cartoon for adults.”
- The Maxx Complete Series by Sam Kieth: “An important part of my childhood, possibly what got me interested in psychology and the study of people, in a faux superhero universe.”
- Neil Gaiman’s Stardust: “I really admired its wit and its modern take on the fairy tale. I think above all else, a fairy tale wears its heart on its sleeve. That’s what I like about Gaiman’s work.”
- Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted:”Wonderful fairy tale satire that still managed to have likable and poignant characters. One of the very few prince characters I admired.”
- Michael Ende’s The Never Ending Story: “Possibly the most tragic book ever written. And told with a painted smile. It made us loathe the real world.”
- Our Town, A Play in Three Acts:”Something truly magical. Was blown away by the quality of Thornton Wilder’s writing, slow moving at first but intentionally with a death blow of a payoff.”
- Norman Lear’s All in the Family: “He reveled in controversy because he knew the flames of disagreement were always excellent fodder for comedy…and also the only place to learn.”
- Anime surrealist storytelling: “The most audacious storytelling anywhere in the world. The writers have no fear and no obligation to teach us anything. It’s just madness and it’s quite beautiful. Jellyfish Princess, for example, was amazing.”
Want to buy Warren a drink for his charms? In exchange, he’ll tell you a nice story and make you feel like the center of the universe for the whole night! Read more about the notoriously anti-social L. M. Warren and selected interviews here, if you can hold your liquor. Or find out more of his inspirations on the Inspirations Pinterest Page at the The Magical Kingdom Pinterest, or his Q&A account at Quora.