Thursday, December 13, 2012
Twisted Tinsel Tales with Steven Gepp (INTERVIEW)
Over the course of the week I'll be putting a horrific / humorous twist on the season, featuring book reviews, interviews, top 13 lists, guest posts, and odd facts about the holiday. It's all very twisted and terrible, and definitely not traditional, but it's all in good fun. Please join us for a daily antidote to the sugary spiritual sweetness of the season, and enjoy a few guilty pleasures along the way.
To help kick things off, please allow me to introduce you to Steven Gepp, twisted contributor the Ho Ho Horror anthology (X-MAS SECRETS) as well as to The Undead That Saved Christmas: Vol 3 Monster Bash!
Q. With its melting pot of mythologies, its fractured folklore, and its crass commercialism, Christmas is certainly seeded with dark potential. What was it that inspired you to plant those seeds and produce your own twisted tinsel tale?
A. I have a pretty negative attitude towards Christmas. My birthday is December 25, and for as long as I can remember it’s taken a back seat to Christmas. Birthday parties were always on hold, presents were often “for Christmas AND birthday”, stuff like that. So I guess the tale of a guy losing something at Christmas is a deep-seated psychological response to how I see the time of the year.
Q. With the possible exception of Easter, Christmas is the holiday most often viewed as being 'off-limits' for such twists. Did it take much for you to overcome that sentiment, or was the idea of it being 'sacred' a temptation all on its own?
A. Nope. Not a bit. I’ve written heaps of anti-Christmas diatribes and stories and poems, and this is just one of them. I’m just glad there’s now a market out there for them. Between this book (Ho Ho Horror) and The Undead That Saved Christmas series, I am glad to be a part of subverting the Christmas ideal. Of course, films like Santa With Muscles etc (http://www.weekendnotes.com/worst-christmas-films/) show that this time of the year has not been sacred for a long time.
Q. Whether it’s on the page or on the screen, Christmas lends itself to parody as often as it does horror. Do you feel one is easier to pull off than the other, and which do you prefer as either a reader or a viewer, as opposed to a writer?
A. Parody is so hard to pull off, and most fail dismally. I write comedy as well as horror (my only book is comedy – Relick, for those who want a bizarre 100 pg read about… stuff), and parody is so very hard. But I think Christmas would be perfect for parody of horror. Maybe. Or maybe it should not be treated quite so reverentially and just be another day for people to go on murderous rampages, summon demons or laugh at people.
Q. Is there a weird, unusual, or downright strange Christmas memory that lurks somewhere in the dark recesses of your mind? Not necessarily something that influenced your writing, but one that compels the occasional shudder or maniacal grin?
A. No. Unless you count the time we killed a… Uhh, no. Nothing. Christmas, boring. That’s us.
Q. Finally, before we let you get back to your shopping (or grinching, or scrooging), what one book would you be most temped to bribe Santa into slipping under the tree for fantasy/horror fans?
A. Classic horror and fantasy, to see where we’ve come from. Edgar Allen Poe, Robert E. Howard, HP Lovecraft, all those guys. You can’t see where we’re going unless you see where we’ve come from. And there seems to be more and more writers who think the classics of the genre start with Stephen King (and don’t get me wrong, Christine is my favourite book ever). Get back to the start of it all. Read the books Frankenstein, Dracula, The Strange Case Of Doctor Jekyll And Mister Hyde, all the classics. Not the films –
Great answers, Steven! Thanks for sharing your holiday twists.
Thanks for this. It was fun.