Wol-vriey is Nigerian, and quite tall. He currently resides in a state of uneasy stalemate with his threatening-to-thin-beyond-redemption hair, and believes there actually are things that go bump in the night. Wol-vriey is the author of The Bizarro Story of I, The Clockwork Goddess, and Chainsaw Cop Corpse. Read Wol-vriey’s blog.
I didn’t actually realise I was writing horror till recently. I know that sounds odd, but it’s true. This was because, as a bizarro author, I wasn’t writing about vampires and zombies or werewolves or serial killers. I was just writing creepy weird shit in which people got killed in innovative ways.
Then I found out that people consider bizarro a horror sub-genre and it snowballed. I had people refer to my work as scary. And I began sending fucked-up submissions to horror anthologies and having them accepted.
So I like the freedom horror gives. It’s a genre of the extreme. Its acceptable – no, you’re expected – to be outrageous. That makes the writing fun. You’re not constraining your creative impulse, scared to scare people.
What is your most notable work?
Since we’re talking horror, I’d say my new novel Chainsaw Cop Corpse. The reception so far is just great. I was worried on the book’s release that it was too ‘out there’ – too bizarre – for readers to relate to, but most reactions I’ve had so far have been positive.
I mean, a guy peeing body parts? A killer smearing bodies in peanut butter? A badly-scarred lady cop with a chainsaw arm? Flying sheep? Peppermint Nazis? A Nazi Clitoris? Fetus pies?
But that’s the beauty of bizarro. It blurs so many genres together that you slip in things almost without realising it.
Then afterwards you sit down and do a percentage analysis of what you’ve written.
Like you say, okay, this novel is 20% road trip with deranged Rednecks, 15% zombies, 30% Freddy Kreuger, 20% detective fiction and 15% porn.
Then you sum up (the way they form governments in Italy and Israel) and decide zombies and Kreuger combined win, so it’s a zombie slasher book.
What are you working on now?
I’ve a novel, Vegan Zombie Apocalypse, currently in the editing stages with Burning Bulb Publishing. Everyone into horror should watch out for that. It’s a totally new take on zombies.
I’ll give you a little spoiler: What if humans ate zombies and not the other way round? And yet the zombies were still the bad guys? I assure you that Vegan Zombie Apocalypse is one of the most fucked-up zombie stories ever told. Possibly the most fucked-up undead tale ever.
Prepare to journey to zombie heaven and meet the zombie god Necro, everyone.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
Edward Lee’s my current favourite author. I’m reading my way through his entire catalogue at the moment. I also like Carlton Mellick III and Cameron Pierce. Edgar Allan Poe, too. And most definitely Poppy Z. Brite.
And I must give an honourable mention to Gary Lee Vincent’s ‘Darkened’ Trilogy. His books actually restored my faith in the vampire subgenre – faith previously thoroughly destroyed (and still under siege) by YA paranormal romances. I mean, when the monster becomes the boyfriend, you know you’ve a fucking problem.
Movie-wise, I watch mostly Asian flicks now. I love Japanese horror for its bizarre inventiveness. If you watch movies like The Machine Girl or Tokyo Gore Police, or older stuff like Audition and Ichi The Killer, they just hit you with sensation overload and leave you to pay for the therapy afterward. Their films also don’t have the same ‘politically correct’ constraints as most western horror movies. I mean, just watch Late Bloomer (Osoi Hito), the 2004 Japanese film about a paralysed serial killer in a wheelchair. Even the concept’s creepy. You’re like: how the fuck did someone think that far outside the box? If a US/UK director had made that movie, he or she would have every one with a disability up in arms saying it portrays the physically challenged in a bad light. Remember the outcry over Man Bites Dog?
Then I LOVE the old Hammer House of Horror series. I watched them all again recently, and they’re still as fantastic as when I saw them as a kid. Other old classic movies I enjoy are John Carpenter’s An American Werewolf in London and The Thing, and the original Nightmare on Elm Street.
About the only modern horror films I can watch are the Final Destination movies. I think that’s the Bizarro writer in me – you can see they put great effort in working out how to kill off the characters, and there’s still surprises.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
Definitely gore. Gore is produced by violence. Violence means action. Action moves the story along. If the horror in a book or film is psychological, you’re guaranteed to be faced with long stretches where nothing happens.
Besides, with the gore, writers are forced to be creative. You have to keep coming up with innovative ways to kill people.
Why should people read your work?
I’d humbly say: value for money. I write 100% for the reader’s enjoyment, nothing else. I’m also not trying to sell you my point of view about anything – we’re not saving the whales or any minorities here. I’m just telling you a fucked-up story.
With my books, it’s all about entertainment, catharsis and escape. You can return to the real world afterwards, and hopefully you’ll want to journey again to one of my fucked-up wonderlands next time you feel down, or just bored. I want people to be glad they’ve spent their hard-earned cash on my books. While writing I always feel I’d be cheating the reader if I give them anything less than the best I can do, particularly with so many books out there which they can buy instead of mine.
Keeping with this theme, I used to love the old Agatha Christie detective novels. I read more than fifty of those while growing up, and not once did I work out who’d committed the murder. So now, I integrate that idea of hitting the reader with the totally unexpected into my writing.
I humbly make this assertion: you won’t ever pick up something I’ve written and have any idea where the story’s going, or who’s going to do what. Not even if I give you hints. And it’ll also be a trip like none you’ve ever embarked on before.
Recommend a book.
No brainer. The Pig by Edward Lee. Everybody has to read that at least once.
One more: Cows by Matthew Stokoe. Now that’s scary fucked-up shit.
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