Welcome to the start of another week, it's actually a little bit sunny out there, actually I may have spoken too soon! Anyway as is customary we start the week with a new guest author interview, today we meet Spider Mann and yes that is his real name, read what he has to say below:
Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Spider N. Mann (real name, not a nom de plume or pen name.) I work for the government in the States. Sounds more ominous than it is but I can't say much more because they don't like any possibility of anything an employee does being associated with them.
I also write way too much. So much that it is starting to trickle out into the real world where people can read it, which is scarier than the tales I tell.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I've been writing since I could remember but the moment that got me into thinking "hey, I can actually do something with this…" was when I joined my high school newspaper. I was quickly elected Editor-in-Chief and realized my words had power. From there I learned they had persuasion as well. From that point on I set about making words my little army and they've been invading minds ever since.
And what drew you to the darker side?
I completely admit to gaffing this from a previous interview I did but it is such a perfect explanation of how I came to enjoy the darker side of literature, and feeling the need to write it, that I have to include it here. All apologies to those who want original content in this section, but as Stan "The Man" Lee once said, "every time is somebody's first time."
I get off on horror, both in writing and film. Not the torture porn stuff but the actual creepy stuff.
WARNING: the following section may seem weird to anyone 21 and younger.
There was a summer long ago, back when video rental stores were still around and mom & pop owned, that the local one had a massive coupon deal going. It was something nuts for the time, “Five Flicks for Five Bucks” and you could double up with the “50% off if you rent four or more” coupon. I spent that whole summer going multiple times per week to the store and watched their whole horror section. It was a rather large section too. I fell in love with horror and searched out the books that most of the films were based on.
While that summer created my true love of horror it also spoiled me. Nothing in a film or book was scary anymore. Sure, there were things that could creep or make you feel unsettled, but nothing truly scared me. I’ve been looking to be scared ever since.
When I write I enjoy getting into people’s minds, twisting their sense of reality, breaking their moral code of right and wrong. Making someone rationalize a truly abhorrent action that a character performs then making the reader feel bad for doing so is what I love the most.
Psychological horror, to me, is the best sort of horror because while it doesn’t have the jump scares or grotesqueness that accompanies most horror it gets inside. It buries itself deep within a person and the longer they continue on the journey the closer to the surface it gets until it’s right there and there isn’t a single thing they can do about this new paranoia they have developed.
If you could work with any author, who would it be and why?
I don't think I'd want to work with another author. I know that sounds horrible to say but I feel that most prominent authors have their voice and it'd drown mine out. Not saying it wouldn't be fun to collaborate with Stephen King or Piers Anthony, and I certainly wouldn't turn them down, but I'd always feel inadequate in their company.
If I had to work with another author, famous or not, I'd want it to be an anthology tome. Something with the same base idea but we both write our own versions of the story. That way we each keep our respective voices but also collaborate enough to call it "working together".
Where is your happy place?
Still searching for that but I'd say, for the moment, the times I wake up in a sort of fog and find myself, hours later, in front of my computer and a whole story is on the screen. I then have to read it and find out what I wrote because I have no clue what happened. It's amazes me each time it happens because it's usually a story I never knew was in me but just had to come out.
It also pleases me because here is this original story that no one else has read, including me. It's like getting an advanced review copy from an author and going down the road they've decided to take you upon, not knowing what is happening or where it's going to end up.
What is your favourite song lyric?
The whole song rocks but these three parts of Alice Cooper's "The One That Got Away" are awesome.
You look like you'd fit in the trunk of my car
I might let you live, I might go too far
I could wrap you up and take you home
We'd be all alone
Or should I let you be the one that got away?
Knew it would happen but I didn't know it'd be today
All the voices in my head always seem insane
The one that got away, away, away, today
Keep it down, don't talk, I have to think
I could let you walk, I could feed the sink
I could grind you up and disappear
Like you were never here
And that doesn't sound creepy at all. Nope. Not one bit.
What is the best writing tip you have ever received?
Criticism is shite, constructive criticism is fuel.
What are you working on at the moment?
I always have a few projects going at one time but outside of promoting my current work I have:
Two scripts - One concerns a serial killer on the West Coast of the States that can't be seen by his victims, where on the East Coast a man is in a coma fighting constant nightmares. The connection between the two is the crux of the mystery.
The other is super-secret. :)
Two short stories - One comes from the "happy place" above about an African-American inn maid who grew up in 1950s America. She gets stuck in a room's closet for Four Hours (current title), unable to see what the occupants of the room are doing, only hearing the sounds of ominous debauchery. The sounds remind her of her life as she traverses back through the catacombs of her mind, wondering why these memories are important to her current situation.
The other is about a game called "This One Time…" (also the title of the story) that four longtime friends play after a night of bar hopping. One friend takes it too far and the rest deal with the fallout.
One novel - An ode to 50s/60s pulp scifi novels; "Escape From The Angry Red Planet". Total scifi schlock with some horror twists that hopefully ends up being a fun read.
Whichever one grabs me the tightest and shakes itself out of my brain is the one I shall continue with. It's always a fight for survival with the stories I tell and the weak get locked into a cell until they're strong enough to survive on their own.
Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My latest work is called Comatos. It's not your usual supernatural romance story, which can be read as "no vampires, werewolves, or other cultural boogeymen". I find the best description is "What would you do to save the life of someone you love… who hasn't loved you for ten years?"
It is a story about love but more about the choices we make while in love and how they change the course of a life. Add in some supernatural elements and you're in for an emotional and creepy ride.
I also put Online Originals up at my site. Most of them are what I consider scenes, little tidbits that don't belong to anything yet but have a desire to be written.
All of my works can be found at http://www.spidersparlor.com
I can be found on Twitter @spidermann (warning: NSFW as it is true stream of consciousness)
Readers can purchase works for sale at Amazon (worldwide): http://www.amazon.com/Spider-N.-Mann/e/B0088L1Y4O/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
And, of course, GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6425695.Spider_N_Mann
Books by Spider Mann