TOD 095 Clint Smith: Maybe It’s About Just Trying to Make a Friend?

In this podcast, guest host Gordon B. White interviews Clint Smith, author of The Skeleton Melodies (Hippocampus, 2020).  Plus Archival Episode A21 Clint Smith: A Care for Dark Cookery. The new interview was recorded on Feb. 27, 2021, and the archival interview first aired on Nov. 24, 2015.

Show Notes

In this podcast, guest host Gordon B. White interviews Clint Smith, author of the collections Ghouljaw and Other Stories  (Hippocampus, 2015) and The Skeleton Melodies (Hippocampus, 2020).  After discussing the general and publishing challenges of 2020, the conversation kicks off with how the title captures the tone of his second collection, followed by  “realism-horror” and the literary basis of Clint’s style, his focus on character, patience, the use of scene and metaphor, and how he has adapted his writing process over the years.  Talk then turns to the resonance created by intentional gaps in the narrative, building an Indiana-based mythos, his drive to make something ‘memorable in an non-memorable place’,  his thematic use of the doubles or alternate versions, and the driving need for connection in The Skeleton Melodies, both for the living and the dead. Clint shares his recommended authors CM Muller, Adam Golaski, Joshua Rex, David Surface, and more, as well as what will be coming up next for him fiction-wise and whether or not The Skeleton Melodies ultimately sounds a hopeful note.  This interview was recorded on Sunday Feb. 7, 2021.

(0:58:00) The episode also features Clint Smith: A Care for Dark Cookery, an archival interview which originally aired on November 24, 2015. In this approx. 90-minute wide-ranging conversation with Scott Nicolay and his first audio interview, Clint Smith discusses his first collection Ghouljaw and Other Stories, including the strength and good work by the contemporary Weird community, the weirdness of Henry James’ ‘The Jolly  Corner’, his repetitious obsession with haunted houses, his knack for crafting titles that resonate, allusions to Night Gallery and The Day of the Locust, his propensity towards young protagonists trapped on the path to adult maturity, the barbershop and other father-son rituals, a favorable comparison to Breece D’J Pancake, when insects intrude into the house, a Bradbury inversion, obstacles and contradictions in the Middle American town, a pleasant face on the street, his background in the culinary arts, a future work involving race/sex /hierarchy in 1950s restaurant kitchens, moving away from the single white male protagonist in The Weird, his Dunhams Manor chapbook When It’s Time For Dead Things To Die, his story ‘The Fall of Tomlinson Hall’ (Mythic Indy),  and his reading recommendations of contemporary Weird writers including Kristi DeMeesterRalph Robert MooreMarc E. Fitch and Christopher Slatsky.

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Additional Links

WATCH: ‘Word Works Talk: Kelly Link / A Vampire is a Flexible Metaphor” (Q&A; this full link includes the time code to the question discussed)

‘Breece Pancake: Something Ancient in My Soul’ (The Guardian, 2014)

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) trailer

Laika Films

plane (carpentry; Wiki)

Get Cooking with Clint (Website)

‘Mythic Indy: Looking Beyond the Legends’ (IndyStar, 2015) 

‘Dirt on Vicky’ (Year’s Best New Horror 26, PS Publishing)

Show Credits

Hosts/Producers: Scott Nicolay and Anya Martin

Co-Host, News from The Weird: Justin Steele

Co-Host, Reviews from The Weird: Gordon B. White

Symposium Assistant Director: Melanie Crew

Symposium Programming Coordinator: Jess Lewis

Symposium Logistics: Melissa Eisner

Logo Design: Nick “The Hat” Gucker

Music: Michael Griffin

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