Q & A
How does it feel to have this story published for the first time?
Very exciting! This is my second published piece, but it's the first story I ever wrote. I feel like I'm sending my eldest off to college. I'm a proud papa.
What inspired the idea for your story?
Getting stoned and binge-watching Godzilla movies (happens A LOT), and thinking to myself, "Sure, they catch these BIG monsters and send them to Monster Island, but where do they send the LITTLE monsters, like the Mummy or The Wolf Man? And what does the social structure look like there?" Of course, that ended up being a good conduit for me to funnel some of my own personal issues, stuff I had wanted to work out in writing but didn't have a vehicle for-- divorce stuff, addiction recovery stuff, general midlife malaise. Angst about the current global state. Turns out monsters make great archetypes for very specific feelings about life.
We know that writing can be a tumultuous journey with a lot of obstacles, what is your kryptonite as a writer?
Truthfully, my own voice in my head stymies me every time. Learning to tame that internal editor/ critic as I'm pumping out the initial draft has been... A CHALLENGE, to say the least.
Clearly, you’ve succeeded at writing a captivating story for GrendelPress, but we all start somewhere. What advice would you give yourself as a young writer?
There's a difference between "leading an interesting life" and "deliberately suffering for your art." Young Me assumed they were both the same thing, and it caused me a lot of grief along the way.
We’d like to argue that every good story makes both the author and the readers feel something. What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with your story?
Despite our best intentions as people, we often self-identify, at least in part, by those we choose to ostracize. And usually that comes from some part of ourselves that we're ashamed of, or that we're afraid to explore. But just because this is a societally accepted way to behave doesn't mean it's right.
What do you love most about your story’s genre?
Monster Park is fun because it lets me play around in a few different genres, sort of a "greatest hits" of all my faves. It has elements of rural noir, classic monster movies, and slice-of-life melodrama, all wrapped up in a delicious tortilla of social satire.
Tell us about your favorite author. What about their book(s) call to you and how do they inspire your own writing?
This is a tough one. I have so many! My tastes are usually pretty mood-dependent. I love Joe Lansdale, Flannery O'Connor, and Patricia Highsmith. My favorite book of the moment is "Where I'm Calling From," which is kind of an overview of Raymond Carver's best stories, some well-known, some deep cuts. No one captures loneliness like he did. Just simple, quick snapshots of blue-collar lives. Real sparse style, no BS, gets right to the heart of things. The stories in this book move me like nothing else.
What are some other genres you’d like to break into and why?
I'd love to write a historical gothic, maybe something set on a whaling ship or in the early frontier days, pre-wild west.
If you had to pick another story of yours to share with your readers, what would it be?
I only have one other published story (so far!), a gnarly bit of childhood nostalgia called "Bug Mother, Bug Mother," which you can find in this awesome anthology of insect horror.