This book took Charles around six years to write; not because of writers block, but because life jumped in the way. His second book, An Unnamed Acquaintance, is a collection of strange short stories and poetry. After reading Jake’s Pitchfork Diaries, Charles decided that it was time to put his short stories and poetry together. Charles wrote these stories and poems several years ago and updated them from their original borderline vanilla state. Learn more about Charles at his blog, bizzarofiction.blogspot.com or by following him on Twitter @ChuckWesJ.
I’ve been writing odd little stories since I was a kid. Most are lost and forgotten somewhere in the dust motes of the past. I draw, too, and attempt to dabble with Photoshop, but that program is a little bit much for me. I grew up in a small town called Shoshoni, WY and I managed to break free from its grasp with my dark soul intact. Growing up in a small town scared me to death most of the time. It’s very dark at night - I mean really dark. I think Shoshoni had like ten streetlights. To top it off, it is full of ghosts; well, that’s what I thought when I was kid. Turns out it was just the constant wind blowing dirt around.
I was the only one that knew about The Second Plain during the writing process. I guess the reason is because…I have no idea; maybe I just didn’t want anyone to know until I was finished. (I’m trying to be more forthcoming about my current work in progress, Circus Tarot.) During the process of writing The Second Plain, my partner’s father’s cancer returned with a vengeance and I couldn’t concentrate on much of anything. Then earlier this year I decided it was time to finish. That actually was very easy; everything was still fresh in my mind. The problem came with the editing, I used a source that was recommended to me on the internet (I will not mention any names), and published it on Smashwords. Then a friend of mine starts telling me that words are missing. FUCK, are you kidding me? Probably the most embarrassing moment in my life.
I told my partner about writing The Second Plain as I was posting the information on Facebook. Yes, I admit I have communication issues and I’m a bit reclusive (until you get to know me) but that’s part of my charm. Everyone else is as shocked that I wrote a book as he was. When they ask what it’s about, I’m vague at first, forcing them to ask more questions. When I say, “It’s a horror novel” why do people feel compelled to ask, “Is it scary?” Didn’t I just say it’s a horror novel? Then I explain a little bit more.
People look at me strangely too, when I say “horror”; one even said “you look so normal.” I write fiction, lady, I don’t write about things I do on my free time, as fun as that would be sometimes. The thing that worries me the most about The Second Plain is that people won’t be able to get past the fact that Saul, the main character, is gay; even though that has maybe 5% influence on the story. The Second Plain is not gay erotica; those books are really creepy though. It is not packed full of man-on-man action; I have to admit there are two scenes but one is vague, and in the other the man catches on fire.
There isn’t a part of the horror genre I don’t like. I like it creepy, filled with suspense or brutal with descriptive torture scenes. My favorite horror movies have always been the slasher movies; give me the gore. Lately, there hasn’t been anything that has made me even giggle once. I find most horror movies funny; aren’t they supposed to be? I actually wrote The Second Plain because I was bored with what was out there in the horror genre at my local independent bookstore (literally a bookshelf 8” wide with four shelves and not even full). I decided that if Clive or Stephen can do it, then I could too.
I’m currently working on Circus Tarot. It’s a fun little tale about a husband and wife with a weird Donna Reed feel. The wife works part-time at a consignment shop and the husband is a junior partner at some office. Wifey buys some tarot cards from an old woman at the shop and ends up in the dark world of Circus Tarot. There are some excerpts on my blog.
Thanks Jake, Kate and everyone else at Family of Dog for the opportunity to guest blog.
The Second Plain is as available in eBook format at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and other eBook retailers; it is also available in paperback at Amazon and Createspace. An Unnamed Acquaintance is available at Smashwords and other eBook retailers coming soon.