TIH 194: Nick Mamatas on Editing Clarkesworld, Common Story Mistakes, and Writing a Novel in Eight Weeks

TIH 194 Nick Mamatas on Editing Clarkesworld, Common Story Mistakes, and Writing a Novel in Eight Weeks

In this podcast Nick Mamatas talks about Editing Clarkesworld, Common Story Mistakes, Writing a Novel in Eight Weeks, and much more.

About Nick Mamatas

Nick Mamatas is the author of a number of novels: Move Under Ground, Under My Roof, Sensation, The Damned Highway (with Brian Keene), Bullettime, Love Is the Law, The Last Weekend, and I Am Providence, three collections; 3000MPH In Every Direction At Once and You Might Sleep…, The Nickronomicon; and the novella Northern Gothic. He is also the editor of the anthologies The Urban Bizarre, Phantom #0, Spicy Slipstream Stories (with Jay Lake), and Haunted Legends (with Ellen Datlow). As part of his day job, he co-edited the Locus Award nominee The Future Is Japanese (with Masumi Washington), Phantasm Japan (with Masumi Washington), Hanzai Japan (with Masumi Washington), and Mixed Up (with Molly Tanzer).

Show notes

  • [04:50] Interview start/life lessons growing up
  • [08:00] First experiences with story
  • [11:00] Reading 7–8 books at a time
  • [25:00] Editing Clarkesworld
  • [27:30] How much to read before putting down a bad story
  • [35:45] Common story mistakes
  • [41:10] Television point of view in Dan Brown novels
  • [53:00] Max Booth III, via Patreon, asks what chapters Nick would add to Starve Better if reissuing it
  • [56:10] Strategies for writing a novel in eight weeks

Podcast Sponsors

Castle Rock Radio and Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing

Check out Castle Rock Radio on iTunes and support Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing on Patreon.


Vastarien. The forbidden tome. The impossible otherworld. A textual entryway into

“…a place where everything was transfixed in the order of the unreal. . . . Each passage he entered in the book both enchanted and appalled him with images and incidents so freakish and chaotic that his usual sense of these terms disintegrated along with everything else. Rampant oddity seemed to be the rule of the realm; imperfection became the source of the miraculous — wonders of deformity and marvels of miscreation. There was horror, undoubtedly. But it was a horror uncompromised by any feeling of lost joy or thwarted redemption; rather, it was a deliverance by damnation. And if Vastarien was a nightmare, it was a nightmare transformed in spirit by the utter absence of refuge: nightmare made normal.”

Support Vastarien on Kickstarter



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1 comment

  1. This was a really wonderful show, and upon hearing talk of Centralia, PA, I had to leave a note. Went up there with my husband last year as he lives near-ish and it was really fun to see. There is a church overlooking, just as you’d want, and abandoned and houseless streets through encroaching shrub and bush. The graveyard is nice as I’d wanted to see where the fire started. Really good inspiration all around. The graffiti highway is closed entirely and they have begun to fine trespassers so we didn’t bother – but he had sent me photos from an earlier visit. It was a joke to me that he’d sent me ‘dick pics’ as that is exactly what most of the graffiti entails. Giant penii. Other than that, thank you for a really informative talk. Having submitted many shorts in my time, I always love hearing what it is really like on the other side of slush mountain.

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