Frequently Asked Questions
Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people about all sorts of things that I am apparently some kind of resident expert on. Like writing? I got this. Comic books? Oh, yeah. Horror? Why don’t we sit down and let the professionals handle this one, okay? So, for your own edification, here’s a few of the general questions I tend to get, as well as their answers.
Is your novel finished?
Yes. Flesh Trap is a dark fiction/psychological horror book about how emotional trauma can create wounds in the world so great as to affect reality itself. It follows insomniac Casey Way as the 20th anniversary of his father’s murder approaches, still haunted by violent nightmares and hallucinations while he tries to uncover his repressed memories of the night he watched his father die. Aided by his sister Mariska and his boyfriend Joel, Casey has to overcome his own trauma in order to solve the slew of disappearances and attacks that begin happening to those around him, the secrets of which are still buried inside his faulty, sleep-deprived mind. You could have read it for free as an online serial, but it’s since been taken down and is currently looking for a publisher. (Sucker.)
Do you have any other novels planned?
Yes. There are two Flesh Trap sequels in the works, titled White Bull (about a traumatized girl named Gemma who ends up locked in a catatonic state after losing her mother in a house fire, and pulls Casey into her complex and violent dream-world when it begins spilling over into our reality) and Nightmare Child (about a serial killer named Liza who has the same reality-bending abilities as Casey and Gemma because she thinks she was born without a soul, and steals Casey’s and Joel’s infant daughter in an effort to fix herself the way Casey has). I also have a third novel called The Diving Bell.
It’s about a clinical psychologist named Noam Patel who is working with his chemist partner Hillel Alves to develop a drug they call PKM (based on real science I learned from Morgan Freeman!), which will help PTSD sufferers by slowly neutralizing the brain’s ability to attach severe emotional reactions to traumatic memories. Hillel, who is kind of a d-bag as well as a brilliant chemist, develops a street version of the experimental drug that he begins to test on himself with his boyfriend Elliot Townshend, a recovering addict with some secrets of his own. Noam, who is still very quietly recovering from the trauma of losing his fiance Divya in a car accident (for which he feels personally responsible), establishes a relationship with Elliot behind Hillel’s back as they try to sort themselves out. Elliot backslides on Hillel’s drug and ends up pulling Noam into his addiction. What results is a bizarre love triangle fueled by memory-altering drugs, as the three of them drift into a hallucinatory abyss where their memories refuse to die and begin clawing back to the surface. Good times.
Are you working on any comics?
I have four one-off speculative fiction (Molly’s Entropy) and horror (The Doll, Eyecaps, The Widow) comics in the works right now, which will be out whenever the hell their illustrators are finished with them. I’m also working on a twelve-issue series called Black Out. It’s kind of an off-beat homage to 1970s chase and exploitation movies, about a biker named Andy who ends up embroiled in the turf war between two warring Texas crime families, as well as a skirmish in a gypsy werewolf clan when a young wolf named Stitch attempts to flee her abusive brother Lucas and takes Andy hostage in the process.
I also have a graphic novel in me called The Bagman of Schrekville. It’s a pseudo-Shakespearean crime drama about a society of vampires hiding in modern America as an orthodox religious sect, known to authorities as Schreks because of their closeness in appearance to Max Schrek’s Nosferatu. The story follows Arto, the bagman for the upper echelon of Schreck society as he navigates the complex criminal organizations that sustain their way of life, torn between his loyalties to his bosses as well as his own people. Or whatever.
Do you want to write superhero comics?
If you asked me that ten years ago, I would’ve said yes. Emphatically, yes. The only reason I ever went into writing at all was because of superhero comics. Nowadays, I’d still say yes, but I’m not very optimistic about that ever happening. The Big Two would never stoop so low as to employ me, I’m sure, even if I managed to stumble into some kind of success. Because, seriously, can you imagine me in charge of your favorite superhero book? It’d be all introspective and full of complex character drama and shit. Dangerous business, that.
Who are some of your influences?
Chuck Palahniuk, David Cronenberg, Kurt Sutter, Clive Barker, Warren Ellis, Tarsem Singh, William Gibson, Quentin Tarantino. Yeah, I know. It makes my bran hurt, too.
Can you describe your writing process?
Procrastinate until the last possible moment by watching television in my underwear, awash in a sea of guilt and shame for my inability to function like a professional. Completely overcome by this malaise, sometimes I’ll lock myself in the bathroom with my reflection for hours and stare myself down in an effort to overcome the depths of this self-loathing. Then I’ll write, like, 20,000 words one weekend while blitzed on eggnog. Also, I write my first (and sometimes second) draft in longhand and do all my polishing and editing in the word processor.