Following the publishing of The Grimorium Verum, I was invited to conduct an interview with Fiona Mcvie. Check it out at the link below.
I’ve had stories appear now in six horror anthologies. Some of those books, in full disclosure, I had a hand in designing the covers or page layouts, though completely separate from my story submissions and inclusions. A few more horror-genre publications containing my work are on the way to print in the next few months, but I still often wonder whether I am truly a horror writer.
Before anyone lambasts me for such a self-serving ponderous statement, I’m being completely honest about this question, and this is my personal blog. All organization and personal blogs are self-serving regardless of their intents and purposes, don’t blind yourself to this one truism.
Thing is, I never set out to be a horror writer. I am always drawn toward dark material for the books I read or TV shows I watch, which in turn influences or inspires what I write. I’ve tried my hand at happy stories and they never feel authentic to me. Difficult decisions, personal conflicts, and imperfect flaws that lead to dramatic and usually tragic conclusions are what drive me. They are sometimes allegories, other times criticisms on or responses to our current day culture and society. The messages may not be obvious to everyone, and I don’t expect them to be; they typically serve as starting points from which a story takes on its own life. As a story should for every writer.
These statements or criticisms on the world, our society, or our culture come from a perspective of gritty realism, they are neither optimistic nor pessimistic. They just are. The world exists as we shape its existence, both good and bad. This perspective spawns the perpetual evolution of my creativity: a dark point-of-view mired in grit and horror; a creative process carried by a glimmer of hope that challenges an ominous darkness and crushing fear. Think Baroque music and painting. Think Gothic architecture and literature.
Looking back at these paragraphs I just wrote I realize just how subjective it is to define one’s work in any particular genre. This is art and not science after all, there are no mandated axioms on the natural world’s behaviors that dictate creativity, just concepts and ideas.
So my stories may not contain much gore, graphic sex or violence, or the standard supernatural creatures that account for many horror movie and story tropes, but they do contain accounts of mental anguish, trauma, shock, and the deterioration of one’s mental faculties. In that sense, these attributes are real life everyday horrors of the human experience, whether they are set in a dystopian backdrop or a current-day real-world environment that may or may not be affected by a supernatural influence depending on the protagonist’s perspective.
The answer, then, is yes. I do write horror.
I’m excited to be a part of this next publication from Western Legends as both a contributing author and book cover designer. The book comes out very soon. Please help support this project – lots of talented storytellers – you won’t be disappointed! I’ll share purchasing info once available.
A wonderfully illustrative essay by Dick Cass, one of my former MFA mentors. It touches on a man’s inhibited emotions as he deals with the fear of loss. Take a moment to read.
I would be lying if I said losing my job this month didn’t adversely affect me, so I’ll take delicate steps around the truth. I’m not hear to bring anyone down. I was laid off thirteen days ago along with several other great colleagues due to corporate downsizing. Right in the midst of the holiday season. Not ideal for anyone.
The job hunt commenced that same day as I don’t like like to waste time, particularly with long-term financial security at stake. I’ve put story and book projects on temporary hold – again – so I could resolve this quickly and efficiently, though that now appears to not be in my best interest.
I’ve written at length about such situations before here on this blog and in my graduate thesis: a negative situation or environment spawns bad moods and low productivity. A lack of productivity creates a sense of loss, misplacement, and depression. Not good.
Therefore, I am challenging myself to write every day going forward, whether it’s here on the blog, my fiction, or for other opportunities. This will keep me accountable and my creative brain active as I continue my job search.