I don’t often talk about where my stories come from. Maybe it’s because I don’t really know most of the time. They just “are.” However, that’s not true of some of the projects scheduled for publication in the near future. Today, I want to share the inspiration behind the stories I have in SPLISH, SLASH, TAKIN’ A BLOODBATH, which was just released by Unnerving Magazine TODAY.
Mark Allan Gunnells, co-author (along with Eddie Generous) of Splish, Slash, has been sharing the inspiration behind his stories in this collection this week, which inspired me to share mine.
Let’s begin with Free Day. It wasn’t supposed to be what it is. It was the beginning of a longer project I’d toyed with for weeks. When Eddie asked me for more stories, since the ones I’d sent didn’t all fit with his vision for this collection, I watched hours and hours of old slasher films.
And I panicked.
Then I watched more films.
And I said, well fuck, I’m not an idiot. I can write this. Excessive, over-the-top, bloody nightmares are my favorite thing.
As I was closing the files I had open (I tend to leave no less than three open at a time), so I’d focus on this one task, I saw the first paragraph of Free Day, which wasn’t called Free Day at the time. I can’t remember what I had as a temporary title, but it doesn’t matter.
Originally, it was going to be a story about an unseen entity, but then I remembered that Kurt (always great with random thoughts) said I should write a story about a murderous pizza delivery guy.
And said, “Oh yeah, because that’s original.” (sarcasm was heavy)
But it wouldn’t leave me, and so I took that first paragraph and ran with it. And Free Day was the result.
This story literally just “happened.” I sat down to write a final story for this collection, decided I wanted to use rednecks, because I love rednecks, and a couple of hours later, Devil’s Trail was done. Well, a rough draft. Took a few rewrites to get it perfect.
Sorry, no inspirational anything on this one.
This one started out as two stories. I was writing a bunch of flash fiction to get the creative juices flowing. When I do this, I use prompts. The prompt of that day was “pushed to the limit.”
Later, when I couldn’t find a home for them, I wondered if they couldn’t be blended into a bigger story. So I did that and here we are.
Snickers… ah, this one was fun to write. Where did it come from? Well, Jesse Dedman of Deadman’s Tome had put a call out for erotic horror to be included in NO SAFE WORD. A friend nudged me in his direction via Twitter, and I said I’d see what I could come up with. First, I wrote No Good Deed, which is the one you’ll find in NO SAFE WORD. Then, because I wasn’t sure it was “erotic horror” enough, I wrote SNICKERS.
I kind of love Sasquatch stories. I published one called Bigfoot is Coming under a pseudonym. (You probably won’t find it now) and thought, why not go “more” brutal than that this time?
And it sat on my hard drive for a while, because it’s a specific kind of story that isn’t easy to find a home for.
Mama was written in 2010. I wrote it because I wanted to push myself past the boundaries of what I felt was “acceptable” in terms of content. It was my first exploration of erotic horror, and I’d abandon said exploration for about five years afterward. Why? I felt like I had no business writing this stuff.
I was wrong, obviously. Originally, it was a longer piece with a lot of really uncomfortable shit in it. I even included it in a collection, but removed it shortly after its release, because I just felt like it was “too much.” Last year I edited it again, smoothed the rough edges and removed all the stuff left behind from my “overwriting” phase, and voila! A sickening tale for all.
Queen of the Trailer Hop
This story was written by myself, Eddie and Mark. I’m not usually a fan of co-authoring, because I am a control freak. However, this story just flowed and it was fun to see what they came up with each time it was passed back to me. Mark and Eddie are fantastic writers and working with them required no effort.
And that’s it. Exciting, huh?
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Splish, Slash today. You won’t be disappointed.