Less Than Pulp, Issue 17
My transgressive, coming-of-age novella Saint Sadist cracked the top 100 in Horror Short Stories on Amazon this week. That doesn’t translate to as many sales as you might think, but it was still cool to see.
Anyway, hello, and welcome to the seventeenth edition of Less Than Pulp, a newsletter for fans of my work.
I’m typing this at 3:47 am on Monday morning because my son crawled into bed with me, and I couldn’t fall back asleep. This week I’m playing single dad while Jean travels for work. I hope this isn’t an every-night occurrence but at least I can get some writing in before the rest of the world wakes up. It really is the best time for me to do it. Something about the noise of the day makes me second guess myself more than I should, which leads to less words on the page.
With Halloween a month and a half away, I started ramping up the horror movie viewing. So far, I’ve watched the original Village of the Damned for the first time (!) and a movie called Censor which is set during the height of the Video Nasty hysteria of the early eighties.
As a kid, I had this book by Jeff Rovin. I forget the title of it, but it was a retrospective of the science fiction genre that consisted of essays on the genre’s many waves throughout the twentieth century, along with posters for notable films. The poster for Village of the Damned, with its bright-eyed evil children, scared me so bad I never watched the film until now. It was cool finally seeing it. It’s a lean 70 minutes and moves at a nice pace. And it’s not that scary.
Censor is pretty cool, too, though I had trouble connecting to the main character whose job consists of censoring movies, and she’s pretty damn self-righteous about it too. Oh, well. Characters don’t always need to be likable, just interesting.
I think following the one classic and one new movie pattern will do me well this season. With more diverse creators making movies than ever, horror has a bright future; but the genre also has a rich past.
While I wait for my collaborators to send our respective projects back, I had a big-time revelation on how I want to spend my time between said projects. Like a lot of writers (maybe? just me?), I have a ton of unfinished books and stories on my hard drive. Like, maybe twenty. I’m determined to go through and set about finishing them all before starting anything new. This weekend, I got off to a great start. I finished a novella called Bladejob, which is a story about blood rituals, time travel, and professional wrestling. I had completely given up on the project after beating my head against the wall for so long trying to make it a novel, but after reading it over, I determined that not only was it good enough to finish, but also that it didn’t need to be a full-length novel. Like most of my stuff, it stands up nicely as a novella.
I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever write another full-length novel on my own. Sometimes I get a weird chip on my shoulder about it. Like, why is my brain so averse to crafting a narrative with subplots or an ensemble cast that can span 80,000 words? But on my good days, I think who cares? My books are good as is, and my collaborations tend to be on the longer side, so they scratch that itch.
I like how I think on my good days better.
This week on MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN PODCAST, Jeff and I look at 2011’s The Taint, a post-apocalyptic horror comedy about men transformed into rampaging rapists by Nazi-manufactured boner pills. Yes, really. It’s a good time, if a bit of a mess. Check out our episode here, or by clicking the video below.
That’s it for now. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, or at least don’t get caught. ;-)