What first attracted you to horror writing?
Well, I’ve always liked horror. When I was a small child I read Poe and watched as many monster films as I could—which is I suppose the norm for small children. As far as writing myself, horror was not what I first tried my hand at. Even now, what could be easily definable as horror only makes up about a third of what I write. A lot of the other material however is fairly dark, so horror fans seem to like it.
My latest collection from Chomu Press, The Life of Polycrates and Other Stories for Antiquated Children probably has some of my best work to date. Most horror fans would probably like Unpleasant Tales from Eibonvale press more however. In that book there is a novella called ‘The Maker of Fine Instruments’ that I think is pretty good and fairly disturbing. Well, it doesn’t disturb me, but apparently it has other people.
What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on a few books. One is a sequel to my novel The Translation of Father Torturo, which will be a supernatural horror novel. The other is a strange novel that takes place in New Mexico and involves a lot of the mysterious things I saw growing up.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
Edward Heron-Allen, Oliver Onions, Jeff VanderMeer, Jean Lorrain, Quentin S. Crisp, Rhys Hughes, Thomas Ligotti, Algernon Blackwood, and of course many others.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
My favourite horror to read usually doesn’t have much gore. Even though a lot of my own work seems sort of grim, most of that is more about effect than anything especially bloody. I am more interested in how stories are told than in a high body count. This doesn’t mean that I go in for psychological horror either. My main interest is in baroque word-play, gothic situations and writing that, on some level, draws me in.
Why should people read your work?
I think what I write is pretty different from the work of other people. Not just in terms of situations, but stylistically. This is not to say it is necessarily better than other offerings in the field, but you certainly won’t mistake my work for anyone else’s. It is weird without necessarily being supernatural; ‘yellow nineties’ without being ‘retro-necro’. Funny, but convincing. Stimulating and memorable.
I Wonder What Human Flesh Tastes Like, by Justin Isis. It isn’t a horror novel, but still might appeal to readers of horror.