In my latest column over at LitReactor five of my favorite authors talk about weird horror. Here’s a taste:
I think probably the biggest danger in writing that type of tale, however, is keeping it consistent throughout the entire story. I know that in my writing, as I get closer to the end, I tend to rush the words and drop a lot of the details and world-building that shapes the first half of the story. I get sloppy—it’s a common mistake. I think once a writer has finished their piece, it’s important to go back and make sure they haven’t neglected the atmosphere and details in the last half of the story (or novel) for the sake of wrapping up the plot.
Livia Llewellyn, author of Furnace,Word Horde.
The Weird derives from our attempt to grapple with an unreliable reality through the hooks and nets of literature, and the true monster signals the breakdown at some level of consensus reality, whether our shared understanding of the laws of physics or simply our place in the food chain, so the monster is often the horrific’s vector into The Weird.Scott Nicolay, author of Ana Tai Tangata, Fedogan and Bremer
We’re a species that looks under rocks, when it would have been perfectly fine for us to keep on walking by. But sometimes that instinct, it burns us. Sometimes our human curiosity, it brings us face to face with a vastness we can’t begin to comprehend. That’s kind of the magic of weird fiction, I think. It’s using our saving, maybe defining trait against us. In order to survive, we have to stop being human, basically. We have to cash out what we are in hopes of some version of what we used to be just walking on by that rock, into the future. Which is a bad trade. But, looking under that rock, it’s no guarantee of happiness either.
Stephen Graham Jones, author of Mongrels William Morrow
With classic horror the results are often expected right? It’s a demon, a ghost, a werewolf, a zombie, a vampire. With The Weird, it’s rarely what you are anticipating—it’s much worse, much stranger, so it’s hard to react, as a character. There is no silver bullet, no wooden stake. It’s something beyond comprehension. Richard Thomas, author of Tribulations, Crystal Lake Publishers.
My focus in stories is typically an emotional core. I’ve joked more than once that I like it when my work makes people cry, but it isn’t really a joke at all.
Damien Angelica Walters,author of Paper Tigers, Dark House Press.
Check out the full article over at you know where.
Richard Thomas is the author of Disintegration and Breaker; he’s Dark House editor of Burnt Black Tongues and The New Black (my favorite anthology of last year) and Exigencies. He’s also a columnist and fellow instructor a LitReactor, sought after Transylvanian panelist and now… Richard has started this Kickstarter project that I’m proud to be a part of. $30 gets you a years worth of balls to the wall fiction, essays, poetry, a whole gamut of shamelessly transgressive words from the likes of Palahniuk, Stephen Graham Jones and Amelia Gray, Helen Marshall, among others, including self.
Here’s a peek at the line-up, excluding poets and artists: Stephen Graham Jones, Laird Barron, Brian Evenson, Usman T. Malik, Matt Bell, Damien Angelica Walters, Letitia Trent, Mercedes M. Yardley, Alyssa Wong, Benjamin Percy, Lindsay Hunter, Axel Taiari, Amanda Gowin, Laura Benedict, Nathan Ballingrud, Dino Parenti, Ted E. Grau, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Sarah Read, Paula Bomer, Kelly Luce, Livia Llewelyn, Josh Malerman, Carmen Machado, Peter Tieryas, Kevin Catalano, Paul Tremblay, John Langan, Nina McConigley, Nik Korpon, Craig Wallwork, Steve Himmer, Antonia Crane, Steve Rasnic Tem, Kristi DeMeester, Tara Ison, David James Keaton, Cassandra Khaw, Nikki Guerlain, Lucy A. Snyder, JS Breukelaar, Helen Marshall, Amelia Gray, H. L. Nelson, Craig Davidson, Jacklyn Dre Marceau, and Lincoln Michel.
Imagine this coming into your inbox every month. Not to mention craft essays, podcasts, and a graphic novel. Heaven with a twist.
Go ahead and browse the campaign, only 22 days to go. There are editing packages, signed books from your fave authors, postcards and art rewards. As little as $10 buys you a written acknowledgement, or if money’s too tight to mention right now, appreciate you spreading the word and sending us your good vibes.