Interview with A.J. Schmitz, Author of The Stupid Machine

10 Apr 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Stupid Machine?

My books are autobiographical and they seem to follow a theme. My last book, Nut Job, centered around mental health while also following the theme of me being naked (modeling nude for art classes, and things of that nature) and The Stupid Machine was no exception. It’s about the complicated human body, doctors’ visits, the quest for fame, and the terrible machinations we have in place for job hunting as well as our terrible workplace environments.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Stupid Machine, what would they be?

I’m the main character of my books, so I would say “Get on the Good Foot” by James Brown. I love James Brown. I’m rarely on the good foot, so perhaps it’s a twisted sense of irony that I’d pick that.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

These days I’m more focused on memoirs, autobiographies, and biographies. “Life is stranger than fiction!” is what they always say – RIGHT?! Many times that’s true. I write memoirs about my life, so I find it cathartic knowing others have made horrible life choices equal to, and even besting my confusing decisions.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I’m currently reading Keith Richards’ (the guitarist for The Rolling Stones) memoir LIFE, and it’s wonderful, although it could have been edited a bit. Waiting in the wings are some biographies of old, stodgy presidents and generals (Ulysses S. Grant being both!) that my father gave me and I may hit those next.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I’m not sure why, but I wrote an entire chapter about the cost of baked potatoes, toothbrushes, and printer ink and I laughed out loud the entire time I wrote it. (I really amuse myself!!) So I would say it was my favorite because it came so easily for me.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I write in what I call a ‘vomitous’ style. I walk around for days, sometimes weeks, and in a few cases YEARS, thinking about a subject, mulling it over in my head, then dump it onto the page in one ‘vomitous’ blast, writing in a fury… sweating and hammering the keyboard like a man possessed by the devil until it’s all out.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Whenever I see a meme of a motto that someone has said (whether they said it or not) I always say to myself, that’s my new motto! But in reality, my motto is adapting to other mottos, so a motto that best compares to that motto philosophy, would be Bruce Lee’s “Be Like Water” motto. Man, I said motto a lot in this answer.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

We live in a cruel and confusing world, guided by a body (The Stupid Machine) that’s in a constant state of breaking and sending pain signals to the brain, so if you can laugh about the absurdity of it all and not take life so seriously, you’ll live longer and be happier.


A.J. Schmitz is the author of the new book The Stupid Machine

Connect with A.J. Schmitz

Author Site



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