September 5th, 2012 / 2:56 pm
Author Spotlight

Leaving Hawaii: An Interview with Heiko Julién

OK, interview. (interview is beginning)

(swallows gum)

I am listening to Riff Raff “Rice Out” on repeat, for context.

I am currently broke.


Cool. I am wearing my brothers t-shirt and shorts and am on his computer at my parents’ house.


He has soccer shorts but he doesn’t play soccer. He just likes to watch the players I guess.

What topics are on the table. Your ebook. Can we talk about Hawaii?

Wonder if he calls it Football. Not sure how authentic he is… Yes indeed we can [talk about Hawaii].


I have a lot to say about Hawaii.

Please talk about, Hawaii…

Did Hawaii change you?

Unfortunately, no. I thought it would, but it didn’t.


Yeah : /

How old were you when you moved there? Was it to be semi-permanent or just for a set amount of time?

I was a 23 year old man, I believe. Intended to be semi-permanent and ended up being p impermanent.

(Context: Heiko lived in Hawaii for a while, I heard from him. I am trying to glean something about him from this life experience.)

I had Fallen In Love. With a woman.

Oh wow.

Yeah. Decided that I didn’t want to go to college anymore. So I stopped.

Why did you not like college? Besides it being a waste of time and money.



I had never been in love before. I thought I had, but when this happened, it seemed like a higher priority.


So I thought I’d start over on my terms.

But why Hawaii?

There was an opportunity to live on a farm. Plus I’ve always aspired to be a Chill Dude. I think I’m actually not v chill.

I like smelling chamomile while listening to Riff Raff. I’m not very chill. It’s p embarrassing.

Well I think you don’t have to be. You can be Intense.

Sometimes I’m lazy though, which can resemble chillness.

I think I’m just incredibly intense.

Oh yes.

I swam in a pool today and shared a lane with a guy that appeared to have a Ralph Lauren polo guy on a horse logo tat on his rib cage. Or an Aztec warrior. He was really friendly. He saw that I was just waiting in the hot tub for a lane to free up. And he beckoned to me. And we shared a lane for a while until an old guy got out and then I made a break for it. I’m going to send you a Facebook message to ask you how the interview is going.

(This began on Facebook. We also attempted to Skype and to do a Google+ “hangout,” unsuccessfully. Context.)

(Stephen is in a cafe and was hesitant to video chat at first because he was concerned about the privacy of the other patrons. I found it admirable because he displayed a quality I lack.)

I’m thinking about driving into the city today.


To see my Girlfriend. Yeah. She’s cool.

Good idea.

I set up my projector in her room. And it faces the wall. And takes up the whole thing.


We watched Ravenous the other day.

I want a nicer apt. And to make way more money. Is this in the interview?



Cool. Let’s talk about your ebook. How’d you get that sexy, ontological title?

I stole it from you lol.

Pray tell.


Should that go in the interview?

It was a comment you made on someone’s status.

Oh absolutely.

I’m happy about that. It was in my description of an event not many ppl came to. I think it was Sam Pink-inspired. The circle continues.

Oh yeah. P-Fanatics? No, the one Steve went to.


Here is a confession. Possibly scandalous. I have been trying to write a novel for a long time. Then a novella. Then a short story. I have settled on ebook.

I feel your pain.

And am working my way back up the chain. I had an idea for a sci-fi detective novel.

Good plan.

It was about conspiracy kind of stuff happening in present day. The uber rich cloning their wives and making them go to art school. On a moon colony I think.


I was taking a gender studies class at the time.

Sounds interesting.

It could be incredibly terrible. I probably have no business writing about that sort of thing.

Sounds controversial. Anyway, getting back to Hawaii, what did you do there? And why did you leave?

The girl I had decided to fall in love with had a step father who was a Jew for Jesus. He knew a very wealthy heiress who had a lot of property on Kauai. He knew that we weren’t doing anything at the time so he hooked us up with a farming gig at her place. He was also probably hoping that she would help us find religion, now that I think about it. It was a strange situation. There isn’t a lot of money in that place and there’s this one woman who has so much she was paying people to build a house for her 87 year old mother to live in when she visited from California, which she never even had. I got the sense that a lot of the people there were paying lip service to her religion, saying they were into it so she’d give them jobs. It was an unusual and somewhat threatening situation, it felt at times. Like a quasi-cult. She told us that she had come there to have a self-sustaining commune for when the Chinese inevitably attacked the US. Probably would’ve worked. She had a lot of coconut trees. Anyway, I decided to leave early because it wasn’t for me. Like I said, I am very unchill. Also my girlfriend and I couldn’t stop fighting.

Yes… Hmm.


Have you ever seen Buffalo 66?

Yeah. I liked it.

I want to write a minimal Sad Romantic love story where the focus is really on the girl escaping from a guy like that, but you don’t know it until the end. Like Purple Rain if it was about Apollonia. Not a lot of action, lots of room for description and jokes, but subtle. Basically a structure where I could continue doing the same style but then update you on events that are happening with a man and a woman in a Tense Situation. I think that’d hold people’s attention and they’d relate and want to Know What Happens Next.

So your new ebook, I Am Ready To Die A Violent Death, got a lot of views after someone posted about it on Reddit saying you were insane. Why do you think someone might think your work reflected insanity?

Probably because it made them feel uncomfortable. There’s a lot about it that is not the sort of thing people are used to discussing, unpleasant things, like Life And Death. Stuff usually reserved for Deep Conversations with Close Homies. Except I enjoy talking about it in an absurd way that i find pleasing, with the intention of being amusing, so maybe the unfamiliarity disturbed someone on the internet. Or maybe its that I claimed to have had sex with a full sized alligator in a new york city sewer. (that was a joke.)

OK, to close, any final words aboutI Am Ready To Die A Violent Death?

This ebook is essentially about who I am and how I feel. A lot has been building up to this. Like, my entire life. I have always been acutely aware of what makes things Bad and what I do not like, but have not always been so aware of how to deal with this reality. I have spent a lot of my time slowly accepting a lot of things I know aren’t that great or how I’d like them to be: the fact that there is pain and there always will be. The fact that I get sad and this makes people want to avoid me. The fact that my parents are going to die and so am I. I see people choosing to ignore these things in their own life and I see them drawing strength from this, maybe even getting so wrapped up in constructs that they forget how things actually are. I am not able to be this kind of person. I know because I have tried very hard to be and have failed. This book is about how I am learning to live my life and find love. I think I am finally starting to do a good job.

– – –

Stephen Tully Dierks is a writer and edits Pop Serial.

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One Comment

  1. Jackson Nieuwland

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