TIH 546: Clay McLeod Chapman on What Kind of Mother, The Art of Writing Horror, and Navigating Social Media

TIH 546 Clay McLeod Chapman on What Kind of Mother, The Art of Writing Horror, and Navigating Social Media

In this podcast, Clay McLeod Chapman talks about What Kind of Mother, the art of writing horror, navigating social media, and much more.

About Clay McLeod Chapman

Clay McLeod Chapman is the author of the novels What Kind of Mother, Ghost Eaters, Whisper Down the Lane, The Remaking, and Miss Corpus.

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House of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson

From the author of The Girl in the Video comes a darkly comic thriller with an edge-of-your-seat climax.

Denny just wants to be the world’s best dad to his baby daughter, but things get messy when he starts hallucinating his estranged abusive stepfather, Frank. Then Frank winds up dead and Denny is held hostage by his junkie half-sister who demands he uncovers the cause of her father’s death.

Will Denny defeat his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions?

House of Bad Memories is Funny Games meets This Is England with a Rosemary’s Baby under-taste.

Buy House of Bad Memories from Cemetery Gates Media

Buy the House of Bad Memories audiobook

Cosmovorous by R.C. Hausen

The debut from R.C. Hausen, available now.

[00:00:28] Michael David Wilson: Welcome to This Is Horror, A podcast for readers, writers, and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson, and every episode alongside my co-host, Bob Pastorella, we chat with the world's best writers about writing life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now before we get into today's conversation, let us have a quick advert break.

[00:01:02] RC Hausen: Cosmovorous, the debut cosmic horror novel from RC Hausen. Esmeralda has lived on the fringes of society for as long as she can remember until a Halloween night gone wrong on unlocks aash of nightmarish memories, visions of a bizarre desert town, images of a mysterious woman, the pain of an ultimate betrayal, and the shame of a bargain made in blood.

[00:01:23] Now she must travel back and learn the true nature of the ravenous cosmos, Cosmo vs. Available everywhere books are sold.

[00:01:33] Bob Pastorella: House of Bad Memories. The debut novel from Michael David Wilson comes out on Friday the 13th this October via cemetery Gates Media. Denny just wants to be the world's best dad to his baby daughter. But things get messy. When he starts hallucinating his estranged, abusive stepfather, Frank, then Frank winds up dead and Denny is held hostage by his junkie half sister, who demands he uncovers the cause of her father's death.

[00:01:57] Will Denny defeat his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions? Clay McLeod Chapman says, house of bad memories hit so hard. You'll spit teeth out once you're done reading it. Pre-Order, house of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson and paperback at cemeterygatesmedia.com or an ebook via Amazon.

[00:02:18] Michael David Wilson: with that said, let us not delay it is Clay McLeod Chapman on this is Horror.

[00:02:29] So Clay, you recently released a brand new novel. What kind of Mother? So I know to begin Wave. Give us the elevator pitch for those who have not read it.

[00:02:44] Clay McLeod Chapman: man. I don't know if I've perfected the elevator pitch for this one. I still don't know how to talk about it. I can I give you two elevator pitches and you tell me which you feel like is the better

[00:02:57] Michael David Wilson: one.

[00:02:58] Go on then I'll permit that. Okay. Okay.

[00:03:01] Clay McLeod Chapman: What kind of mother is about a palm reader? A, a woman who makes her living eking by a reading people's palms in this kind of sleepy southern coastal Chesapeake Bay town. She reconnects with an old flame whose son just so happens to have been missing for the last five years and nobody knows.

[00:03:29] You know what happened to this child, but this palm reader, this woman decides to help her old flame, see if they can find or at least find out what happened to his child. That's version one.

[00:03:49] Version two is imagine a Nicholas Sparks novel just going right off the rails and there you have it. Those are my two, those are my two pitches.

[00:04:03] Michael David Wilson: Version two is certainly more succinct, isn't it? But version one gives us a more accurate flavor. I just don't dunno. I don't know how to talk about it.

[00:04:13] Clay McLeod Chapman: It's just there's, yeah.

[00:04:15] Michael David Wilson: I don't know if you have secured the movie rights or if you are in. Conversation to get this adapted for the film. But if you are in a situation where you're pitching it with people, I would do a combination of the two. So I would lead with pitch two is your opening sentence.

[00:04:38] Yeah. Yeah. That's what gets people smiling and nodding their head like, okay. Okay. Tell us more. And then you'd jump in with pitch one.

[00:04:47] Clay McLeod Chapman: Yeah. A cooler head would've been I would've practiced this, I would've scripted it out. I would've done all that stuff, but I'm like, so like this book has defied all of my personal expectations.

[00:04:58] And I think maybe reader's expectations too, that like it in a weird way, I'm at peace not knowing how to talk about this book. For better or for worse. I I leave it up to I don't know. I don't know, man. It's a

[00:05:14] Michael David Wilson: weird one. tHen that begs the question, what were your personal expectations for this book?

[00:05:22] Clay McLeod Chapman: I had, there was some very specific criteria going in and I, one of them was, I loved the idea of a person who is, the idea of a palm reader. Like I love the idea of a, of someone who makes a living doing something that kind of. Enters into the realm of supernatural. I can see your future.

[00:05:51] I can read your fortune, I can tell you your fate. But none of it's true. Like I, I don't know if either of you personally believe in psychics or believe in palm readings or tarot cards, but I tend to be a bit agnostic about it. I don't necessarily believe it. I wouldn't mind it if it was true, like if it really existed, like I would love it.

[00:06:14] But for, when I'm walking down the street and I pass a storefront palm reader, my assumption, my gut instinct is to believe that it's not real. But if you took someone like that, if you took someone who is adamantly, not re not tapped into the hereafter or, in who can read the future if that person.

[00:06:36] Were to actually have a supernatural epiphany or some sort of psychic event that leads to something more I just love that idea of someone who isn't suddenly has, and like that kind of, that pivot of someone who's like exploiting the beliefs of their clientele and then like getting wrapped up in something bigger than them.

[00:07:03] That was one of the kind of initial core conceits of this book. And and then like beyond that, like I, I've talked briefly with you earlier about, being a dad and I'll cop to it. I feel like I'm messing up like nearly every day.

[00:07:22] There's a, there's something as a parent that you do that will irreparably harm your kids for the rest of their lives. And you won't even know it until years later when the therapy bill comes. And I've, this last couple years, there've been some kind of particular, issues aren't the right word, but we're navigating, my wife and I were navigating, the kind of raising of our kids. And there's certain things that we didn't necessarily account for, things of certain kind of spectrum, developmental kind of, things that you you're discovering your children as you go. And for me, as someone who is like hypercritical of everything they do I just feel like I'm messing up, like I'm mucking my kids up.

[00:08:10] And it sucks. Parent parenting sucks. It's tough. It's hard and there's no guidebook or anyone who gives you a guidebook if they're like wrong. And I just feel like all that kind of anxiety of being a bad parent. Worked its way into this book. As on the kind of father side on the mother side, like every parent in this book makes, doesn't necessarily make the best decisions, but they do it with love.

[00:08:43] They do it with all of their heart. And one of the kind of guiding principles of writing this book was that anything in this book had to be done with love. I wrote this book with love. I it's weird and it's goofy. Forgive me, but like I have to have a kind of like guiding emotion in all of these books.

[00:09:03] And the emotion, like the guiding dri the driving force of this book was just, I wanted to write a book with love. And that's that. Yeah. I could keep going. I could tell you more like mission statements and kind of decisions that went into writing it and I ideas, but like writing it with love and a nons psychic, having a psychic

[00:09:26] Michael David Wilson: epiphany.

[00:09:28] I think as parents we will always unfortunately mess our kids up in some way that is just an inevitability. And it goes back to what we were saying in the first half about there being perfection within imperfection and the idea that there is no such thing as perfection that is an illusion. Yeah. But I think, you, you've hit on the core as to how one should be as a parent and that is to do everything with good intentions and with love and with kindness.

[00:10:05] And I think, quite often we are in a situation where, let's say as a parent we have two paths that we can take an either path is going to do some damage in some way and there's no getting around it. We just have to decide which path do we think is overall the better path and the path where there will be minimal damage.

[00:10:32] And so really being a parent, it's such a cruel task that we've been given. And as you say, there is no instruction book and we just have to do our best. And when we look back and we decide something we did was perhaps not the best path, even though we thought it was at the time, we just have to course correct as best we can.

[00:10:55] And. Really concentrate as much as possible on the present and the future, rather than obsessing over the path. Because if we spend a lot of our time obsessing over past mistakes, then we may risk accidentally and inadvertently poisoning the present and the future.

[00:11:15] Clay McLeod Chapman: Yeah, no, it's true. I, I feel like it goes beyond parent.

[00:11:19] I think just being a human being, like you, you need to make more choices based on love than, any other kind of pervading emotion. But specifically with parenthood it's just so interesting how we're we, are the products of our parents or lack thereof. Like I, much like Maddie in the book.

[00:11:39] I. I was an only child and I was raised by my mother. Like I, I grew up in a kind of single mom environment for the majority of for a good portion of my childhood. Like it was just the two of us. And she's a potter. And she like, like she made her living kind of making these like bowls and pots and mugs and plates and kind of all these kind of ceramic wear and, just very craft oriented stuff.

[00:12:10] Like she made her living with her hands. And as a kid growing up in that environment I was just always transfixed with the idea of oh, here's someone who, she's basically she is her office. She this is the, these are her tools and that a lot of that kind of went into what kind of mother, Maddie is a palm reader, but she's still focused on the hands and she's raising her child, with this kind of craft.

[00:12:42] Yeah, so all these kind of like personal parallels and things that, it's not, Maddie is not my mom and, I don't want to give off that impression that I'm basing this character on my mother, but it's hard not to think of like how like tough it is to be a single mom, particularly when you have a teenager who wants nothing but to go somewhere else.

[00:13:06] I was that shitty kid. Like I, like I remember being that kind of I. By the time I was in my teens, I was like, Ugh, I wanna live, I wanna do just this, just that kind of like level of disrespect that like, you do so much, you put so much of your life into raising your kids and then like they grow up and then they're like, they wanna leave you and it hurts.

[00:13:27] I'm saying all this as my kids are like awake in the other room. So like I'm planting seeds in their head right now that they're gonna hold against me for the rest of my life. When you were on, this is Horror dad, we heard you say,

[00:13:42] Michael David Wilson: If you wanna hear something that's a shocking or a horrifying statistic that I learned about the other day.

[00:13:51] So typically parents spend about 19 years with their children. The first 18. When they're living with them. And on average that final year, that is the combination of total time that you spend with your kid after for your entire life.

[00:14:16] Clay McLeod Chapman: That's really sad. I don't want that to, I'm gonna, our kids can stay in the basement for as long enough.

[00:14:22] Yeah. They can just live there

[00:14:23] Michael David Wilson: forever. Now remember, it is on average, so you can lift that average, rather than that just being a kind of depressive statement that upsets everyone, that the kind of positive message is that it just shows how finite and precious time is. And there are times as a parent where things are.

[00:14:46] Testing and difficult, but just trying as much as you can to enjoy the moment, to not take anyone or anything for granted. Yeah, because it is fleeting. But you know what I

[00:14:59] Clay McLeod Chapman: love? I, this is what I love about kind of writing books about people who make bad decisions, wrong decisions, like whatever the word is that you wanna the choices that one makes, that these characters make.

[00:15:14] Maybe I should say the choices that the characters make in the books that I've written, like they're always questionable. Was that the right choice? Maybe not, but much like in horror movies, there's always that moment where if they just left, if they just walked out the door as opposed to going upstairs, I.

[00:15:34] They'd be saying this would be a totally different story, but people never make the right decisions. Like people always make the wrong choices. And I love that horror as a genre. It's so confounding for readers and audience members. They're like don't open the door. Don't go in there.

[00:15:50] Don't go to the basement. Don't do that. And I think that like maybe with parenthood, maybe just with the character, the parents that I write about, like they're always making choices that I feel like the reader's always like, why did you do that? Don't do that. But that's the great thing about horror.

[00:16:07] I think. I'm trying to draw a parallel between I like the characters doing the thing they do and the reader saying, don't do that. Don't go upstairs, run. But they never run. That would be so boring. The end, the book

[00:16:22] Michael David Wilson: would be over. Yeah. Yeah. People get frustrated, particularly in films with characters making these bad decisions, but as you say, if they don't make the bad decision, then you don't have a story.

[00:16:38] So

[00:16:40] Bob Pastorella: horror is based upon bad decisions. It's, to me I can't find a horror story that existed because someone made a 100% solid good decision. If there's one out there, then I wanna read it, because somewhere along the line, that decision got messed up pretty bad. You know what I mean?

[00:16:59] Clay McLeod Chapman: No, totally.

[00:17:00] If there was a movie or a book that was like, and they decided to leave the woods and the end, like it'd just be, like there. I don't even, I don't even know if I want to go to the binary of right or wrong decisions. It's just that every decision kinda leads to something else. And it's just that I, as the reader, me as the audience member, wouldn't necessarily make that decision.

[00:17:25] I don't know. Like I it's that tension between the reader or the audience member wanting to don't go there. Don't go there. Don't go upstairs. Don't open that door. But you, they need to, you want you, you really have to open that door.

[00:17:41] Bob Pastorella: ThE trick is making it organic, to making it to where there's no other choice but to do the bad decision.

[00:17:48] Yeah. And. You can tell in stories that when they mess up this bad decision and it's not organic and, because you could be reading the book or watching a movie or watching a TV show and they like I have to go back because, and me, I'm usually like, that's not good enough reason.

[00:18:04] It's not a good enough reason, but we only have 45 minutes left of the movie. So I guess that's why we're going back. Yeah, the good one, you won't care if it's organic. You won't give a damn. You're like, of course they gotta go back in there. They have to save that girl. And it's and that's why writing horror crime is pretty good because you're gonna have that one criminal, it's gonna be like, fuck her.

[00:18:29] Yeah. We ain't going back. And, but that's reality. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:18:35] Clay McLeod Chapman: It's that, you say it's the, it's, I think it's the kind of like emotional gr grounding of it. yEah, I wouldn't necessarily do that, but I can un I can see why they would do that, or I can understand the, it's not even logic it's like the impulse is grounded in something that feels real or rooted to who that character is.

[00:18:58] So like even though I wouldn't open up that closet or I wouldn't go upstairs to the attic like they do okay, like more power to them. Why are they doing that? Maybe it's because who knows,

[00:19:10] Michael David Wilson: yeah. And I've been watching a lot of crime movies and crime TV shows recently, and of course one of the classic mistakes is there's always somebody.

[00:19:22] Going to investigate something without their team. And all of the time it's like, what are you doing? Bring back up with you or at an absolute minimum radio to say what you're doing. Yeah. But again, if they did this, if they took this common sense approach, then there wouldn't be much of a story.

[00:19:46] Clay McLeod Chapman: Yeah, I think it's self-preservation, like whether it's a crime film, regardless of the genre, it's like you're at a fork in the road and it's don't do the right thing.

[00:19:59] Don't save that person. Don't go back and help them. If you just turn around and leave, you'd be fine. Like your story would be over because you would be alive and you wouldn't have to deal with Jason Voorhees anymore. But it's that moment where like that, that people are like I need to go back.

[00:20:16] I need to turn around. I need to help. It's like that more, it's the kind of it's the decision that kind of overrides one's own sense of self preservation in. And it's like you see it in Logan I'm just thinking what are the movies where it's like, ah, if I don't take care of this kid, or if I don't help this person, or I don't, it's if I just think for me about me number one, then I'd be okay.

[00:20:44] It's like you can't, it's like you can't open yourself up to anybody. 'cause that's when things get muddy and complicated and complex. Complex and more fun for the

[00:20:56] Michael David Wilson: audience. Yeah. See, now I'm thinking about what would it look like if I wrote a story or anyone wrote a story really that was traditional horror in the way that it started, but then the characters actually started making.

[00:21:14] Good decisions. So you see the person have the decision whether they do or they don't go back and they decide, you know what? I'm out. And then we switch to another perspective, and maybe we have this two or three times, but I think even though it would be realistic on a story level, it's going to frustrate the shit out of people because they want to know, no, somebody go into the house, somebody make that bad decision.

[00:21:42] And you'd almost only do it as a kind of exercise in saying to the reader, you like it when we make bad decisions, but

[00:21:53] Clay McLeod Chapman: iT's like the adverse of horror is denying the reader what they believe that they want. And by giving them what they want. You're denying them the actual horror or the kind of the thing that the genre kind of offers which is so perverse in its own way.

[00:22:14] It's oh, this is what you want. And they all lived happily ever after. And it's not but what about Jason? Who's he gonna machete? And they was like, no. They went home. They like, they made the right call. Yeah. They didn't have premarital sex. They didn't do drugs, and they all lived

[00:22:33] Michael David Wilson: happily ever after.

[00:22:34] Yeah. See I think the story that I'm suggesting there would be a way that it could be done, but I think we're gonna need more time than impromptu coming up with it on the podcast right now. But I feel perhaps that a lens in which one could approach it is you probably want to tell it from the point of view.

[00:22:56] Of the antagonist, because another thing that you want with story is you want some sort of consistency rather than jumping to different points of view all the time and changing the story. In a way, if you did that's just a lot of false starts. But I think if you had it in a slasher from the point of view of the Jason style character, maybe he sees people about to enter his territory.

[00:23:25] He is getting amped up. He is like, all right, here we go, oh, they've gone. Or you'd have it from the point of view of whatever supernatural or demonic entity is possessing the house. But I think even though it would be realistic. It'll probably be like a dark comedy, because there is something funny about seeing somebody, they're about to make that decision that they're flirting.

[00:23:55] There's the literary foreplay of giving you the horror, and then they're just disappearing again. Yeah. And the disappointment of the antagonist would then feed into that humor.

[00:24:08] Clay McLeod Chapman: That'd be amazing. Jason's just like hiding in the closet. Just like, why is nobody wanting to

[00:24:13] Bob Pastorella: play with? Yeah. Yeah.

[00:24:14] Another character that you could have would in that kind of situation and I've always thought about this too, is, and it's definitely would be horror comedy, is you have a character who has compulsive, tendencies. They know that they have to leave the house. They've trapped the killer in the house and everything like that, and this guy's in his car, girl, whoever and everything like that, and they're backing outta their driveway and they're like, did I turn off the stove?

[00:24:37] I don't think I turned off stuff. I don't want my house to burn down. Everything's in there. I'm just, I know I gotta go back inside. And it's okay, so now we have, you've already established this character to me. I would find that if done properly, that could be very funny. Yeah. Because the killer would definitely have an opportunity to dispatch this victim, but then the victim would be like, some so hapless that they would just avoid, nearly avoid getting killed.

[00:25:05] Yeah. And then they're like, wait, I didn't lock the door. tHey're back in the car. It's oh man, wait, hold on. I got clothes in the dryer. Yeah. I can get I don't have to go in the house. I can just go to the garage. Okay, I'm good, but how am I gonna lock that door? So you have this compulsive behavior, these steam, I mean 'cause and I thought of that because I'm halfway to work going, now I turn off the stove.

[00:25:28] Because I'm like that, so I'm like, I could write about me, forgetting shit, and just having the worst images in my head of, and having, the apartment complex come, Hey, your apartment's on fire. I'm at work right now. And y'all put that out, and

[00:25:43] Clay McLeod Chapman: meanwhile, Jason Voorhees is like in your pantry, just like waiting for you to come home

[00:25:48] Bob Pastorella: yeah.

[00:25:48] Yeah. They kill and so they, yeah. Then they called the fire department and he kills the fire department and they blamed me on it. You knew there was a killer in the house. I knew, but I couldn't go back. Would you? Yeah, it could be funny. It could be very funny.

[00:26:03] Clay McLeod Chapman: Totally.

[00:26:05] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Yeah, and there's numerous ways to play that depending on, wherever he goes back.

[00:26:11] And then if he goes back, does he just run into the kind of correct room, turn off the stove, and then go again? And Jason's what the fuck

[00:26:21] Clay McLeod Chapman: going on here guys? God, this is so annoying.

[00:26:24] Michael David Wilson: But yeah, we, there is something there. There's been a number of fairly successful slasher parodies that are told from more the perspective of the antagonist, I think.

[00:26:41] Goodness. I think there's one called Behind the Mask. Yeah. That came out about 10 or so years ago. Leslie Vernon. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. That's the one. And that's a good one. It's a little bit different, but there's also. The parody, is it called something like Dale and Tucker versus Evil? That's another good slasher parody so that there's the material out there, but I suppose it's a harder sell to the screen because there's more a niche audience for that, because you've got to be pretty into your slashers and your horror to begin with, and then you've got to be so into it that you want to see an inverse that plays upon the comedy.

[00:27:24] Clay McLeod Chapman: I think if Stephen Graham Jones is a, I think he's a prime example of, having your slasher cake and eating it too, where, his Indian Lake trilogy I think is really I haven't read them all, so I don't know how it ends, at least with my heart as a chainsaw, like he's taking those tropes of slasher films and.

[00:27:48] If not elevating them, which I do think he does, I think he's at least exploring them in a way that it transcends its own genre. It's it's making art out of slasher films or the kind of taking those tropes and showing a certain kind of poetry to them. And I think, like I have to believe he reaches a wider audience, a larger audience.

[00:28:13] Like he's bringing slasher tropes to a literary crowd. I think, I hope, I believe people are re like, it's not like I know his previous books reached like, all the Good Indians. Did I say that right? Oh my God. Only the only good Indians. Good lord, that. Transcended its genre and reached a massive audience, a wide audience.

[00:28:42] And I have to believe that my heart is a chainsaw. It, I don't know if it reached the same scope and scale, but it definitely had to go like beyond horror fans. Somebody picked that book up and was like, I don't like horror, but I'm gonna read this book.

[00:28:58] Michael David Wilson: Because it's, yeah. Graham Jones is amongst the best writers, and he transcends not just the genre, but pretty much any sub genre, anything he attempts to do.

[00:29:11] He probably tricked people into reading a slasher book Who would say that they hate slashers. He turned slasher into literary fiction. Two things that one would assume are on opposite ends of the scale.

[00:29:27] Bob Pastorella: And he's taken that one genre that people who don't like horror use to say why horror is bad and made them read it.

[00:29:37] That's pretty powerful. So he's taken, he's turned it into nearly literature and they're probably at the point in their lives where I, I can't believe I read this, but I loved it, and so it's and I always try to find a different way to say transcend genre, but with 10, with that, you can't, there's no other way to say it.

[00:29:57] It transcends the genre. And I know that if somebody out there doesn't like it, then I'm sorry, but we can't think of anything better to say. Yeah. That's the best. Yeah. That and that, that's like the ultimate

[00:30:10] Clay McLeod Chapman: compliment. Yeah. I do feel like my heart is a chainsaw. It. Maybe poetry's not the right word either, but I like it.

[00:30:19] It's what I love about that book in particular is that it's Stephen Graham Jones taking something that he loves. He clear, we all know how much he loves horror films and slasher films and he's watched them all and the way that he's writing about them is, it's finding a certain poetry in the gutter.

[00:30:44] And I, like I, I think that so much of what the outside world, how they view horror and maybe particularly the slasher genre, a sub genre, is that they dismiss it. They write it off and here comes this book that ultimately I think says no, there's something to be.

[00:31:04] There's something there, there's something more there. And I'll tell my story, my version of it, and it still has, it still plays by the rules of slasher stories, slasher films but does it with a certain kind of elegance that I it's a really fine line. It's a hat trick that not a lot of authors can do.

[00:31:25] I don't know if you guys remember this book called zone One by Colson Whitehead. it Was his, it was like a literary zombie novel. And I read it, and actually I really liked it, but I think the literary world the kind of literary rejected it. They were like, Ugh. What is this author?

[00:31:47] How dare he, how dare Cozen Whitehead write a zombie novel? Ugh like it was like this. It was offensive. And I think the reviews weren't very positive. Like it was like, I think it was, if my memory serves correct, and it might not, but I think people just were like, no, we're not doing this with, that's not the case with my heart as a chainsaw.

[00:32:13] Like people, I think ultimately really embrace that book. But that's my selective memory working. That's my narrative. I'm sticking to it.

[00:32:23] Michael David Wilson: we've came up with a lot of narratives during this conversation anyway. We've potentially rewritten the history of Raymond Carver, so let's not stop. Let's include Colson Whitehead in the mix as well.

[00:32:39] But yeah, there's a novel that seemingly came out of nowhere and like really tapped into the horror crowd, even if the literary crowd were not so happy with it. But I, zone one, I think it's it's because of these stories that we tell ourselves. Like Bob was saying, if you've said you don't like slasher movies and then somebody comes along and tricks you into reading a slasher movie, novelization, then you are going to do your best to.

[00:33:18] To justify why that isn't what happened. That is why we often see so many people trying to use different terms so that they just can't admit that they actually like horror. That's why, Bob's favorite term to hate elevated horror showed up. And that's why people will be like really, it's a kind of dark fiction that I write a dark fiction called horror, dark fiction suspense perhaps.

[00:33:50] And that is what we're sticking to. And yeah, but I think, one of the things that we try to do with this as horror is to have a very broad definition, an all encompassing one. And we, we've said before, and I think it was with Simon Strandis, that this first, I. But horror rather than it being a genre, it is a lens.

[00:34:16] It is a lens in which one views the world through. So then when you accept that, it's like actually every story has the potential to be a horror story.

[00:34:28] Clay McLeod Chapman: Yeah. And it's probably horror to this person and might not be horror to that person, but it's like it's, my horror story might be your romcom

[00:34:39] Michael David Wilson: might well be, there are some romcoms that the mere watching of them was a bit of a horrifying experience for me.

[00:34:50] Clay McLeod Chapman: Done. I, oh God, I'm not gonna be able to pull this out. There was a David Wayne movie starring Paul Rudd. It was like, they were like it, exploring the tropes of the romcom. It was a film. Oh. Oh. I'm not gonna be able to pull it. You, I'm embarrassing myself now. But there was like this one film that like really leaned into the kind of rom-com tropes as a way to explore like what it is that we, why we like those tropes so much.

[00:35:24] And why is it such

[00:35:25] Michael David Wilson: I, oh, I wish I could, they came together.

[00:35:28] Clay McLeod Chapman: Did you just find it? They came together. Yes, I did. Oh my God. Yes I did. There you go. It's a good, it's a, it's, it almost works. It's a pretty good movie, but it's fun because it it's fiddling with the tropes.

[00:35:42] You might not like romcoms, but I would recommend this one. Give it a whirl. Try it.

[00:35:48] Michael David Wilson: I already like the double meaning on the title. They came together so there's already something humorous going on with that Za. I'm gonna check it out or check it out and report back. Not during this episode. This isn't the point where the video feed is quite quiet and it's just watching me like, ha,

[00:36:13] Clay McLeod Chapman: we're gonna live stream.

[00:36:14] You

[00:36:14] Michael David Wilson: watching? Yeah. It's like the most boring video. Just my reactions to a movie.

[00:36:22] Clay McLeod Chapman: But they do that. They are no these reaction videos. This is what the kids are doing these days with their reactions. We're just gonna do a two hour reaction video of you watching a film that dis dissects and discusses the tropes of rom-coms.

[00:36:38] Michael David Wilson: There's so much to say. On that and so much that I probably won't say because I'm not sure it's even worth talking about, but this obsession in trying to become an instant celebrity and documenting your every reaction, to me it feels like it's quite dangerous and unhealthy, particularly because you are relying on other people for fulfillment and their reaction being contingent on your own happiness.

[00:37:22] And it also takes you out of the moment that you are meant to be enjoying because now I. Rather than enjoying whatever it is you are watching, you are concentrating on filming your reaction to it. Yeah. Which ironically means it's then going to be an artificial reaction. It is not genuine. And as long-term listeners know, I am a pro wrestling fan, don't hold that against me.

[00:37:52] But I've noticed a lot of people filming their reaction to when a surprise wrestler returns or comes out and but for them to film that they have to be while at the show, holding the camera. And then of course because they're holding the camera, their reaction is completely exaggerated.

[00:38:17] And it's I. Just enjoy the return. Don't, you don't need to film that. And also, I don't know if you wanna become famous or you wanna become known for something I don't, may maybe have it be something that's a little bit more meaningful. Do you really wanna be like, I'm known as the guy who did this at the wrestling show.

[00:38:46] Yeah.

[00:38:47] That better not become a meme. It's oh shit. But do you wanna be known for that?

[00:38:54] Clay McLeod Chapman: It's funny I feel like I'm guilty of trying to figure out like what, how much of myself I'm putting out in social media, like with videos and I do find that. By posting a silly video, I'm getting more of a response or more of a kind of interplay than a picture or a thought, and it is a slippery slope because all of a sudden I'll be like, maybe I'll do a video today. And it's oh my God. This is, when did this become life? When did this become my life? And it's, I, I can see that writ large with other people who this is their existence or this is what they do.

[00:39:40] Reaction videos or selfies or that that interplay, that kind of exchange of content on social media. Ugh. It's just that's, but that's what, that's how people live nowadays. It's not the kind of discourse, the give and take, it's more the like presentation.

[00:40:02] I'm gonna, I'm gonna encapsulate my who I am in this bite-sized video. And you're going to like it.

[00:40:12] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. If you've been posting more videos recently, does that mean you're on TikTok?

[00:40:19] Clay McLeod Chapman: I Am on TikTok. I, but I'm doing this like silly thing of I'll just post I, I'll like, whatever I do. Jesus Lord Almighty, there's 20 platform social media platforms right now and none of them make sense anymore.

[00:40:33] That I'll just try to do one thing and then I'll just like blitzkrieg five different accounts. Yeah. So it's it's on Facebook, it's Twitter, it's threads, it's Blue sky, it's TikTok, and like maybe. Someone will respond to it over here and maybe a few will respond, but it's it's diluted.

[00:40:55] Oh my God. I'm complaining about social media on your podcast. Kill Me now. Like that's, this is life. This

[00:41:02] Bob Pastorella: is, it comes up a lot. Because, 'cause we need it and we rely on it. I know Mi Michael's been I've, I see your videos, clay. I love 'em. I think they're great. Yeah. And I know Michael's been doing some videos on TikTok 'cause I've seen 'em.

[00:41:16] 'cause I'm on TikTok, but I don't have any videos. I look awkward when I'm talking on this. So imagine my elder horror. If someone actually videotaped me trying to be funny I'm awkward in person. So that's just me. I don't, the concept of being on a video would only amplify how my, my, my own self image about myself and I would be.

[00:41:43] I I don't think, I don't think I'm cut out for it. I've been on television a few times in my life and watched the playback like this just completely I don't know, just embarrassed. And, and I'm like, and I do, I really sound like that. It's like I just can't see, I don't.

[00:42:03] I can't do anything. But other than to me be authentic the only way I could do it, pull off a video like that, is to be inauthentic under a persona. I'd have to be probably one of them good old boys, I'm gonna tell you about some horror doors, but that to me, that just feel so superficial.

[00:42:21] Yeah. And it's not authentic. And I don't know, man, but I love your videos, man. I crack up, man. There's so much energy and it's man, if we could take Clay's energy and bottle it, we could sell it and make a lot of money because there's so much like fire and passion in there. And I get fired up watching 'em.

[00:42:40] I'm like, damn, I wish I was in that bookstore with them right now because I'd be running around the bookstore with you. I'd be like, hold on, man. I got this. Don't put me on the camera. I'll be your cameraman.

[00:42:50] Clay McLeod Chapman: I need a cameraman. I'm clocked myself with a few too many bookshelves. But that's the thing okay.

[00:42:58] Couple things you said I don't know. I think the lion's share of those videos, whoever's doing them they are inauthentic. But there's like this striving, it's like this, Desi like this need to connect. And the only way to do it is to put out these kind of, like these versions of ourselves so that other people can put out their versions of themselves.

[00:43:21] And it's it's mirrors upon mirrors. But like the decision that I made for myself with these goofball videos is that I wanna, if I could speak passionately or excitedly about something that matters to me and it's like books that I love, like I love this book. I want to tell people how much I love this book.

[00:43:44] I. That's just, me being silly, but being sincere with, I like the idea that I could tell someone else oh, you all you gotta read this book guys. It's amazing. And maybe someone will like actually pick that book up and that's awesome.

[00:44:06] That's a really electrifying feeling that and that, that is the, I was gonna say that's the extent that, that feels like that's the majority of what social media is for me right now. Where there, because I'm like I've been getting like a little tired of hearing myself do self-promotion and I I still do it.

[00:44:28] I need to do it, but I don't wanna just do I. Nothing but that. Like I, I want to talk about other people's books more than I want to talk about my own. Hoping that someone out there will be like, oh, that guy likes some pretty good books. Maybe I'll read some of his books. But yeah.

[00:44:46] Michael David Wilson: What need to do, we're talking about good books to return to What kind of mother, I'm wondering how did writing this change you or affect you as both a parent and human being?

[00:45:04] Clay McLeod Chapman: Wow. That's a really good question. Holy moly. iT didn't, I don't know if it made me a better parent, but it did give me a place to air out a lot of my parental anxieties. So it. iT in a weird way. Like I know we were talking about animal Collective earlier.

[00:45:26] Like this to me feels like my acoustic guitar song, but I don't really know how to play the guitar very well, so it's, but the song that I wrote is very sincere. This is like earnest acoustic guitar music to me. It's almost like that guy when you were in college who like, was like, Hey man, you wanna come back?

[00:45:48] I'm, I wanna play you this song I wrote. And it's so so sincere. And it's I love

[00:45:54] Michael David Wilson: her so

[00:45:55] Clay McLeod Chapman: much. And you just have to be like, okay man. More power to you. Like great job. Like you did it like, like for me it's like the catharsis of just getting the rawest emotion out.

[00:46:09] I Put it all in one place and I wrote it, and it's in this book. And I, I can look at it now and be like, whoa, look at that emotion. Wow, that's like a, it's almost like the butterfly in the jar, I trapped it, I caught it, and I'm, I better punch holes in the lid or it's gonna die in there.

[00:46:31] But encapsulating something that feels raw and organic. That, but that's writer stuff, parent stuff. Maybe I got it outta my system and I'll be a better parent for it because I won't have it like pent up in me. As a human being, that's tough because I don't know, I don't know. I don't know if I'm a better human being for writing this goddamn book.

[00:46:56] I. I wanna believe I'm it's it's the adverse of what we're talking about with the social media stuff, the video stuff. There is nothing more gratifying as a human being than to have the conversation with people about Hey, I read your book and this is how it made me feel.

[00:47:17] And like that connection is such a beautiful fucking thing. iT's such an amazing thing that like I, regardless of what people think about the book or any book like that, you, that one person across the world, across the country, across the street, they can have this emotional response to it and they can connect with you.

[00:47:46] And this book doesn't have a big reach. We talk about like the only good Indians, and that has a, like a massive reach and whatever side of the spectrum you're on, whether it's this many or this many if any one person can connect with something that you wrote and they share that with you, that is a human connection.

[00:48:13] And I love that feeling. I'll shut up. I love that feeling that, and I don't know if it makes me a better human being, but like sharing this book with people and having them connect with it is like that is a, like that is amazing.

[00:48:30] Michael David Wilson: That's all. Yeah. And I think being able to connect and being able to affect others, that's what the writing is ultimately about.

[00:48:44] yOu said that you feel that it doesn't have a big reach. What do you estimate the reach is of your book?

[00:48:53] Clay McLeod Chapman: I don't know. I don't know if I want to know for fear that if I find out, I'll be sad that it's not as big as you want it to be. We're all on this like spectrum, right? I am, I just don't I can't even begin to fathom how big or how small it is.

[00:49:13] I, the only thing for better or for worse that I have as. As an individual, an author is good reads. And Good Reads is a dangerous place for writers to go to. I go there habitually and you can see the metric. You can see like this many people have Reddit, it rated it shit, like spoken of it.

[00:49:39] And that is a number. And I've talked to other writers about this and it's maybe it's like if you have this many good reads ratings, then you can maybe pontificate that you actually have that this many people read it, but only this many people went to Good Reads and said, though, so it's like, there's this, and then there's this.

[00:50:04] And that's a kind of an ethereal number. And that to me feels like a good kind of mathematic equation of readership which is a lot more ethereal and gauzy as opposed to like going to my publisher and asking how many books did we sell this month? Because that is a grim reality.

[00:50:29] That is a truth that is in it's empirical. And once there's no avoiding the truth of it, the facts don't lie. You sold this and now that, you have to live with that truth. Which is scary.

[00:50:45] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. There's a big conversation to be had surrounding like worth and sales and how much worth we put in ourselves and.

[00:50:58] Fiction and it's obviously very complicated and nuanced. It's something that we've touched on before on this is horror, but I mean that there is a danger in putting too much stock in, the cold sales figures as it were, or the number of reviews that we got on a platform such as Goodreads.

[00:51:24] So firstly, as we said, if you affect just one reader, if you change their life or you make their day better, that is incredible in and of itself. Yeah. Also, as I've said before, I think the way that we win as writers, or indeed in anything we do in life is rather than say. To be a success. I have to sell this amount of books, or I have to be on the New York Times bestseller, or I have to do X, Y, and Z to just find joy in the pursuit of writing.

[00:52:05] If you can find joy within the act, then whatever happens, you have won. Yeah. I think the other problem, which I definitely mentioned when talking to Eric Larocca, is that people can see, perhaps initially they didn't sell as many books as they wanted to, or they didn't get as many reviews, and then they self brand themselves.

[00:52:34] So that book as a failure, but it is not fair and it's not true. Yeah. And if we look all books, it, it is a marathon, not a sprint. It is such a lung game. I've said before, but people like Edgar, Alan Poe, they weren't even considered a success in their lifetime, so to say, oh, this book, which has been out a few months, and I know you haven't said this, but if you were to say it was a failure, it didn't work.

[00:53:07] It's like you, you're barely off the starting line. So it, it is just disingenuous and it's unfair to say and also, I don't even know if it would really be correct to say oh, thi this book sold Mi millions, but per perhaps sold millions. And most people gave it a lukewarm reaction and to say, this is better than this other book that sold hundreds, but.

[00:53:36] People's lives were changed. There may have been people who reading that book was the thing that kept them going, is the reason that they are still here in this world. So I think as writers and creatives and human beings, we have to be careful in not putting ourselves down too much. You're saying that we failed?

[00:54:01] Yeah, that's what I believe. I hope that there's truth in it. I hope that it's not just a story that I tell myself to justify that perhaps, I haven't reached millions yet, but as I told you are fair. I'm optimistic. Which is why there is yet in that sentence. Yeah. I'll say this, that,

[00:54:22] Bob Pastorella: and after reading the book, if you go back and you read the blurb on it the, it's to me, you can't really change the blurb.

[00:54:32] You really can't. And I know we're not trying to get into spoilers here, and I don't wanna spoil this book, so I'm gonna be very careful on what I'm saying. But if you're listening to this and you're on the fence about reading this book, let me say this, that once you crack the shell of this book, open, Clay's gonna lead you down a path and it's gonna go into the water and you're gonna be scared and you're gonna continue on this path in the water because you know you have an idea where this book's going.

[00:54:58] And I promise you something, you ain't got a clue. You ain't got a clue. If you're looking for A-W-T-T-F book, this is it. You don't have a clue. Just thinking about it is making the hair on my arms stand up. I'm still reeling from reading this book. Once I got to spoiler, I finished the book that night at four o'clock in the morning, had to be at work at eight.

[00:55:26] So let me tell you something folks. This is the one. That's my pitch right there without spoiling anything. I think I did pretty good though. I think I

[00:55:34] Clay McLeod Chapman: did pretty good. That that means a lot, man. Thank you. I, yeah, it's, but that's the thing, that's the connection. That's the it, I think this book in particular is not for everyone, but for the, for those who it's for, it's like, it, they have this experience.

[00:55:58] And I never set my goal in life, I don't, I, what you're talking about Michael, is that reaching millions versus reaching a dozen, reaching some, something in between. Like I don't as pie in the sky as it would be great to reach a million people. Like I just wanna, I just want these books, these stories that I'm telling to find, I.

[00:56:18] Their audience, however, few, however many, whatever that number is like I I just need to navigate the waters and find those people. And there I wanna believe they're out there. And maybe I found a few, maybe there's more to be found, but like you, it's just that strange kind of notion of these books exist and there are books out there that you haven't read yet that are for you, and you have to find them, or they have to find you.

[00:56:52] And that is it's daunting, but also awe inspiring that like every book that I crack open, it's maybe this book is for me. Maybe this book, this is the one. And sometimes I'll be like, no, that one's not for me. I don't blame the book for that. I don't like it. It's not like I chastises the book for not being for me.

[00:57:14] It's that wasn't that, oh onto the next one. But the hope, like the the drive, the compulsion to like oh my God, like this book, like starting a book comes with such potential, like you're entering into a whole new world. And if it is for you, oh my God, it's like the best feeling.

[00:57:33] Like I just finished reading. Do you know Sean Hamill? He wrote A Cosmology of Monsters. Yes. A beautiful book. Oh my God. I just finished his new novel, the Dissonance, and it's it's insane. We were talking earlier about us get out to us with Jordan. Oh yeah. The dissonance is gonna confound so many people because in, in a cosmology of monsters was confounding in its own way because it's like he's writing on this level, like this kind of spect like, like just the perspective alone is just like, where does this, where do these stories come from?

[00:58:16] But I don't think the world is ready for the dissonance because it just, if you come expecting a cosmology of monsters, you're gonna get like this rude awakening. It's like epic. It's an epic book. I loved it. I loved it. And I, and it, I can't wait for more people to read it.

[00:58:33] And it's that book might not be for everybody, but for the people who it's for Holy moly, that's their book. We're all just looking for our books.

[00:58:42] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. And that's it. There is no book that is for everyone. Nor would you want it to be. It's impossible. It is as impossible as attaining perfection, which is apparently the theme of this entire conversation.

[00:58:59] But it, I think it's a good message. I think it's something that we need to understand because in this social media curated age, there is too much emphasis on perfection. Yeah. When people are using filters, or they're Photoshopping things, not only in images, but now in videos because the media has sold them this dream or this aesthetic thing to attain that is unattainable.

[00:59:32] We need to remember that perfection cannot be attained, and with that knowledge, there is freedom. To be ourselves. Yeah. To bask in our imperfection to be raw. Yeah.

[00:59:47] Clay McLeod Chapman: Raw. I love it.

[00:59:50] Michael David Wilson: We're already coming up to the time that we have together unbelievably, but I would be remiss to not ask you to tell us a little bit about your grandparents' river house.

[01:00:06] Clay McLeod Chapman: Oh, wow. Man, I so the pink, the, a lot of the locations in what kind of mother are real they're just places that I grew up around. My grandparents had a house along the PCA Tank River. And it's funny it's interesting because, this book is bookended by the passing of both of my grandparents.

[01:00:31] I started writing the book when my grandfather died, and then the book came out just as my grandmother passed away. So it's pretty bittersweet. My the whole epilogue of the book is actually my grandfather. But their river house is Henry's house, I guess you could say. And I, when I was growing up, I would be, I would visit and spend time there and you could look out their window at the river.

[01:01:03] And halfway across the river is this duck blind, which is the duck blind that we, we talk about in the I book. And it's just, yeah, honestly I close my eyes and I can picture all these things. And I imbued that, those kind of visuals in, into the book. The Duck Blind Henry's house that's my grandparents' place.

[01:01:25] And

[01:01:26] Michael David Wilson: did you go back to that location for some of the writing? 'cause I understand that you went back to some of the areas. I'm not entirely sure how near you live to there to this day.

[01:01:40] Clay McLeod Chapman: I'm in Brooklyn, so I'm a few states away at this point. But it's, my parents live there now. It's so strange.

[01:01:49] I grew up in Virginia, the state of Virginia, and it. Every, it's like my narrative default whenever I close my eyes and I start to tell a story, I just they always have to be in Virginia for some damn reason. And but this book in particular is I wanted to write about this particular area that I spent a considerable amount of my childhood and now my adulthood because like my parents, my mother and my stepfather have moved out of my childhood home and have now reside along the same river that my grandparents had their home.

[01:02:31] And so it's like all of my childhood life has just shifted into this one particular, river, the pian tank River. Like my parents live there now and it's just in a couple weeks I'll be going down there for Christmas. I wrote a lot of the book there visiting, like it's bizarre how, God, I would wake up before the sun at dawn and see the sun rise as I'm writing this book about this particular river, and there's the river, and then I can see the commercial crabbers, the commercial fishermen leaving, like going out and their boats and like towing, like pulling up the traps.

[01:03:13] And so much of that was just like it. I just ha it had to go in the book like that. Was that was the story I wanted to tell. Yeah,

[01:03:23] Bob Pastorella: it's the epitome of Right. What you know. Yeah.

[01:03:26] Clay McLeod Chapman: Yeah. I, that's exactly what it's, but oh, I just love that. I just love that wa I like, the brine of it all the feeling of it.

[01:03:38] I don't know if I got it in there the way that I wanted, but it like just the, just smelling it, just, I can smell it right now. Senses memory, man. It's so intense.

[01:03:53] Michael David Wilson: Before we go, what were some of the challenges and possible advantages of writing a dual narrative?

[01:04:03] Clay McLeod Chapman: tHe advantages of a dual narrative is that you can always break out of one given perspective and look from the other angle.

[01:04:13] I love. First person narrative so much to a fault, because I just love the the blinders that first person narrative puts on a story that you can't, you all is what the narrator sees. There's no third per, point of view. Like it's no god's eye. There's no omnipotence.

[01:04:36] You are relegated to the experience of your narrators. And that is such a handicap that's like a, you're, you hindering your perspective for the betterment of your story. So to have a dual narrative, it's a cheat, it's a total cheat. It's and now we're going like, we can't tell this part of the story here because we're stuck in this person's perspective, so now we're cutting to so and and when I first wrote, like the first draft of the book there's two characters. There's Maddie and there's Henry. And Henry's narrative was all one go. It was one chunk. Now it's cut into two. And I was like, I want the heart of this book to be nothing but Henry. And that Maddie's narrative was the kind of like the beginning of it and the end of it.

[01:05:30] But then you get to the core and it's this black heart of Henry. And my editor was, they were, my editors were very like conscious of it's a little too much, it's a little tang without the water and like we need to break it up and try to figure out how to navigate.

[01:05:50] The narrative a little bit more. So we split it up into these sections. So it'd be like Maddie Henry, Maddie, and like that, that, that allowed certain discoveries and certain kind of like epiphanies to hit a little bit more. And that was a positive. But yeah I wanted Maddy's, I structurally, I wanted Maddy's point of view, her narrative to feel like the nar like the story is on her shoulders.

[01:06:22] And Henry's kind of narrative is somehow embedded within that Maddie's story gives its strength, but like Henry's is it's emotional. Heart. All

[01:06:33] Michael David Wilson: right. Thank you so much for spending the majority of your evening chatting with me. This has been a tremendous pleasure.

[01:06:42] Clay McLeod Chapman: I know this was, I was a pain in the ass to schedule this, but I really want, I want to go on record and I wanna say that it is like the pleasure of chatting with you two.

[01:06:52] I'm just, I was so nervous at the beginning because I always feel like I want to get it right, but like this idea of time is precious. You said it yourself we're slipping off this mortal coil by the second. And I just wanted, I really appreciate you guys allowing me a chance to chat.

[01:07:11] Thank you.

[01:07:13] Michael David Wilson: This was certainly a wonderful use of my time and absolutely no regrets, but, it is a wonderful reminder to people, that our time is precious. I think some people, they find it difficult to say no to things, but we have to remember that by its nature, anytime we say yes to something, we are saying no to something else.

[01:07:43] So we have to accuse wisely what we do with our time. And on that note, you choose what you do with your time or other people will choose for you.

[01:07:56] Clay McLeod Chapman: Yeah. So Thanks to anyone out there who's listening to us right now. 'cause you, they, you're choosing to be here with us. That's pretty

[01:08:04] Michael David Wilson: cool.

[01:08:04] Yeah. Yeah. All right. Where can our listeners connect with you? Wow.

[01:08:12] Clay McLeod Chapman: Look at all those strange social media apps out there, right? Like Threads and Blue Skies and Xs and Instagrams and TikTok. wE've covered all the Facebook. Oh my God. I pretty darn Googleable and I don't know.

[01:08:30] We'll if there's a social media platform, I'll try it. I'll fail miserably at it, but I'll, I think I'm waiting for somebody to say, oh yeah, everybody's gonna be over here. I. I'm not on Mastodon. How about that? I'm on the,

[01:08:44] Michael David Wilson: All the others. Yeah. That's your kind of antier when not to connect with you, not Mastodon.

[01:08:52] Yeah. I wonder, and this will probably show the kind of confusion and the disparity in terms of where each person is on social media. 'cause I bet all three of us give a different answer, but if you could only be on two social media platforms, you had to make that decision right Now, which two are you going to go with?

[01:09:19] Clay McLeod Chapman: You go first, Bob

[01:09:20] Bob Pastorella: B, blue Sky, and Substack.

[01:09:22] Clay McLeod Chapman: Whoa. How is Substack? I'm totally digressing already.

[01:09:28] Bob Pastorella: iT's slow building. There, there are some some nefarious types on there, but I'm I'm like in the Brian Keen school of quick, pick one, get tired of being run off from it.

[01:09:40] No, I'm just gonna block and mute and all that and I'm just tired of people running people off, yeah. So just, you curate what you wanna see. I mainly use Substack though, because I'm trying to, I'm trying to keep my newsletter going. Yeah. And which means I have to write a newsletter.

[01:09:57] Yeah. And sometimes that's Hey, I wanna write a newsletter, and I'm pretty excited about it. And then it, sometimes it's fuck, I'm gonna have to write a newsletter. I'm trying to act like I'm excited about it. Yeah. And but I'm trying to do a little bit better at that. So we're just gonna have to see.

[01:10:12] And there I'm on threads, but you said I had to pick two and I'm not on threads as often as I should be. It just it still seems like it's still there's I have to keep adjusting it and saying, Hey, that's okay. The people I follow, not everyone. 'cause I'm like, who in the hell are these people?

[01:10:28] Every time I go there I'm like, I have to adjust it to, to just the people I'm following. Yeah. So it's still wild. And with Blue Sky not having any a logarithm in there, it's you, it's like it's Twitter. It's Twitter, but it's Twitter. Nicer. But it's still broke. Yeah. So I have to, you have to search people and stuff like that, but then you find who you're looking for.

[01:10:49] It's and it's not like saying that you have 2,500 followers and then you can't find anybody. Like mine was, that's why I'm not on Twitter anymore. I hate

[01:10:57] Clay McLeod Chapman: to say it, but I would, if I had to choose two, one of them would be Instagram, which feels nice to me. I like, I think Instagram is my favorite of them all.

[01:11:08] But the other one I think would still be Twitter which is, I like, I feel like that's not a great thing to admit, but that's I'm calling it Twitter, which maybe that's my defiance right there, but yeah, Twitter and Instagram.

[01:11:23] Michael David Wilson: How about you? I would join you, clay, because my answer is X and TikTok.

[01:11:29] Oh my gosh. Formerly known as Twitter.

[01:11:32] Clay McLeod Chapman: Is TikTok doing well by you? Are you

[01:11:35] Michael David Wilson: yeah I'm doing an experiment at the moment on TikTok to see what kind of traction I'm getting and I. I think that TikTok has the most potential out of every single social media network. I think that it is. It is growing quickly.

[01:11:53] I think for better and for worse, that video is going to be more a part of social media and the future. I think it's really exciting because TikTok is the only platform that is really putting your content and your posts in front of a brand new audience. Yeah, I think the metrics that they give you is fantastic for just seeing who's actually viewing your posts.

[01:12:24] There's a lot of things that I don't like about it, but there's a lot that I do and I'm trying to put out the content and the videos that I want to see. On TikTok. Yeah, I want to see more writers videos and advice and clips from various podcasts and it is growing a lot quicker than any other social network in terms of just like literally the growth and indeed my own profile.

[01:12:56] thE harder question would be if I said, okay, pick one, because for a long time it would easily be X, but I don't know, because the numbers are going up on TikTok and they're, they've pretty much stagnated for a year on X. So I'm not sure, but blue Sky, I just duplicate posts from X Instagram.

[01:13:23] I just duplicate. Posts from TikTok. So TikTok and X, very easy to answer. Yeah.

[01:13:31] Clay McLeod Chapman: thEre's so many. Too many. Yeah. We'll all find each other on some virtual oasis one of

[01:13:37] these

[01:13:37] Michael David Wilson: days. Yeah, I, yeah, I don't think Blue Sky is going to grow or is going to particularly become the next thing. I so don't believe Fred's is that I'm not even on it.

[01:13:52] I haven't been on Facebook for a very long time. As for substack I'm not on it. I've got an a newsletter, but. I actually don't classify Substack as a social media platform. 'cause it is more a newsletter for me. I would say to Bob, it's okay, you can keep your substack so you can have threads and blue sky.

[01:14:17] So there you go. You've got a third one out of it. There you go. Do you have any final thoughts to leave our listeners with?

[01:14:27] Clay McLeod Chapman: I Honestly, I like, I, I'm just trying to imagine who is the person right now who is listening to this moment right now. And just to say again thanks to them I call us out on, call me out on the Carver story if I got it wrong.

[01:14:44] I want someone to do the research and see if they can find it. That's my call, like my plea someone. Do the social media thing and say Hey, I heard, read the whole, I listened to the show, and now I'm doing the Carver excursion and you're right. Or you are wrong. And then I'll sleep better at night.

[01:15:05] Michael David Wilson: Yeah, let us know on X because we want maximum rather than little blue sky. All right. Thank you again for joining us. Thanks

[01:15:17] Clay McLeod Chapman: guys. This is a blast.

[01:15:22] Michael David Wilson: Thank you so much for listening to this as horror podcast. If you want to get each and every episode ahead of the crowd and support the podcast, please head over to www.patreon.com/this is Horror and consider becoming our Patreon. Not only do you get early bird access to each and every episode, but you get to submit questions to the world's best writers.

[01:15:53] You can also listen to exclusive Patreon only podcasts, including Story Unboxed, a horror podcast on a crafter writing in which we unbox and dissect short stories and movies. The patrons only q and a sessions with myself and Bob Pastorella, where we answer all of your questions, writing related and otherwise.

[01:16:18] And a video cast on camera, off record. And if that is not enough, you can also become a member of the Writer's Forum over on Discord. So head over to patreon.com/this is horror. Have a little look at what it is that we offer. Listen to the testimonials from others who are patons, and if it looks like a good fit for you, then I'd love to see you there.

[01:16:49] Now, another way that you can support the podcast, absolutely free of charge is to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts to rate us on Spotify or to follow us on social media. We are this as horror on X, formerly known as Twitter, and we are this as horror podcast on TikTok for video clips and little bites of motivational goodness and a splash of humor.

[01:17:19] You can also sign up for our newsletter@thisishorror.co uk and if you would like to read my fiction, you can check out books including the Girl in the Video and House of Bad Memories. And if you want to read Bob s Fiction. Do consider picking up a copy of Mojo Rising. You can also check out a collaborative novel they're watching okay, with that said, it is now time for a quick advert break,

[01:17:52] Bob Pastorella: House of Bad Memories. The debut novel from Michael David Wilson comes out on Friday the 13th this October via cemetery Gates Media. Denny just wants to be the world's best dad to his baby daughter, but things get messy When he starts hallucinating his estranged abusive stepfather, Frank, then Frank winds up dead and Denny is held hostage by his junkie half sister, who demands he uncovers the cause of her father's death.

[01:18:16] Will Denny defeat his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions? Clay McLeod Chapman says, house of bad memories hit so hard. You'll spit teeth out once you're done reading it. Pre-Order, house of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson and paperback at cemeterygatesmedia.com or an ebook via Amazon.

[01:18:37] Clay McLeod Chapman: Cosmovorous, the debut cosmic horror novel from RC Hausen. Esmeralda has lived on the fringes of society for as long as she can remember until a Halloween night gone wrong, unlocks a cache of nightmarish memories, visions of a bizarre desert town, images of a mysterious woman, the pain of an ultimate betrayal in the shame of a bargain made in blood.

[01:18:58] Now she must travel back and learn the true nature of the ravenous cosmos. Cosmovorous available everywhere books are sold.

[01:19:07] Michael David Wilson: That about does it for another episode of This is Horror Podcast. I'll see you in the next one, but until then, take care of yourselves, be good to one another, read horror, keep on writing, and have a great day.

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