Know Your Zine Writer – Patrick Hughes
Posted by Matthew Moyer on February 12, 2010
To help prepare you for our Much Ado About Books Zine Events, we’re kicking off a series of short interviews with several of the participating writers and creators. First up is Patrick Hughes, contributor to scores of zines and magazines, as well as the author of the Diary of Indignities book and the Bad News Hughes blog. Enjoy!
Hello, my name is Patrick Hughes.
When and how did you first become involved in zines?
In the early 1980s I started reading zines. For fans of and participants in offbeat, independent or underground music, film, politics and culture, zines were crucial for disseminating information and networking. I probably wrote my first piece for a zine in the mid ’80s.
What’s your favorite piece you ever wrote for a zine?
Probably an interview with the Gainesville band Spoke, which ran in an issue of Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll in 1991 or 1992. It was apparently a bit controversial, because I didn’t ask stock questions and cracked wise at the band’s expense, but I thought it was funny and informative and provided an honest impression of the personalities involved. The zine itself has a lot of history in a particular slice of the music scene and had been very important to me at one time, so it was nice to be published in it, even if by that point it wasn’t as relevant to my lifestyle or interests.
You’ve gone on to contribute to an eclectic variety of magazines and other publications, and even had a book published – did zines at all serve as sort of an incubator for you where you could hone your writing voice?
No. But participating in zines did give me the confidence to bother trying to write anything in the first place.
Tell me about the blog that provided the raw material for Diary of Indignities, the infamous Bad News Hughes.
It started out as a quick and easy way to share articles and reviews I was writing for local or regional magazines, just to scattered friends and family. Eventually I started trying to make people laugh, documenting all the terrible things constantly happening to me. Somehow it got popular.
What are you currently working on?