Author Interview – Dustin Reade

Story Art Sneak Peek

Amazing Artwork By Daniela Rivera

Dustin's Other Work

"Rogue Taxidermy"

Anthology: Paramnesia
Release Date: April 7th, 2023
About the Author: Dustin lives and works in Port Angeles, WA, and spends the bulk of his time reading about and looking for Bigfoot. He is the father of a gender-fluid child, and an avid record collector.

He is also the author of several books, the most recent being the short story collection "Songs About My Father's Crotch" and "The Secret Sex Lives of Ghosts," both released through Planet Bizarro Press.

His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, and online at Bizarro Central, New Dead Families, and Sideshow Fables.
Q & A

How does it feel to have this story published for the first time?

This story has been kicking around for a while now, and it feels great to finally let it see the light of day!

What inspired the idea for your story?

Oh geez, I'm not sure. This story is made up of a lot of different bits and pieces of things that have fascinated/scared me for a long time: Taxidermy, bigfoot, dementia, etc.
Most of my stories are an amalgamation of dozens of little ideas and obsessions that have somehow come together to create something (hopefully)unique.

We know that writing can be a tumultuous journey with a lot of obstacles, what is your kryptonite as a writer?

Television. Now that every cult movie and formerly hard to find gem is available online, it can be a struggle to pull myself away to actually sit down and write. I know that makes me sound lazy, but...

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?

Watch less television.

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?

My biggest fear is losing a sense of myself, to be cast adrift in my own mind, unable to differentiate between fact and fantasy. A popular phrase of the moment is, "The struggle is real." Well, for me, I think the moral of the story is, "Reality is the struggle." Who do we become when we can no longer trust our senses?

Tell us about your favorite author. What about their book(s) call to you and how do they inspire your own writing?

That's a tough one. My favorite author changes a lot, and I mean a LOT. As of today it would probably be Terry Pratchett. Mostly because he taught me it was okay to include humor in my work, a sense of irreverence. For horror specifically, it would probably be more Kafka than anyone else. His deep emotional core, which was somehow hidden and transparent, is a big part of what I try to convey.

What do you love most about your story’s genre?

Horror is so versatile. It can be direct and gritty as the best Noir, or surreal and confusing like a Dali painting. There is so much freedom in horror, and I think that's what appeals to me the most.

What are some other genres you’d like to break into and why?

I've written in Science Fiction, Bizarro, and horror, but I would LOVE to put out some really solid Sword and Sorcery stuff. It is so much fun to write, it's insane, but it is seemingly impossible to get into that genre. The fandom is so specific.

If you had to pick another story of yours to share with your readers, what would it be?

Recently, I wrote a pretty wild horror story about backwoods alien laying eggs in people's chests that I'm pretty stoked on. It's set in the forties, and it involves this Detective who is tracking these two criminals through the Florida swamplands. He finds them, of course, and he finds the aliens too. Pretty wild. Super gross.
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