When I first connected with Jeremy Shipp, through a twitter trip while adding horror related tweeters, I had this sense that he is a special person. After reading about him and a sample of his work below I think you will agree.
Jeremy writes within a sub genre called Bizarro, which is unusual itself. Having recently finished his latest book Cursed (links to book preview) I have yet to define it, but suffice to say that his work is psychologically insightful, quite twisted and quirky, hilarious, and thought provoking.
But before the giveaway, below are a few questions, and a bit of his work to entice you into wanting to read more. Welcome Jeremy!
Why write horror? Why read horror?
I write horror because I think it’s important to shine a light on the darkness of our world. I believe that to speak about evil, to write about evil, is to take away some of its power. And so, I write about things like racism, sexism, class stratification, genocide. I write about the darkness, and I show that even in horrifying situations, love and friendship and respect can exist and can change the world for the better.
How would you define Bizarro fiction for an uninitiated reader?
Bizarro fiction is the literary equivalent to the cult movie section in the video store. Bizarro fiction is weird, surreal, absurd, thought-provoking, and entertaining. Much of my work is classified as Bizarro because my stories are basically my reality reflected in a funhouse mirror.
What literature/ authors would you consider to be the most influential in your work?
Growing up, I was deeply inspired by authors such as HG Wells, Ray Bradbury, Jules Verne, Alexandre Dumas. These days, I often find my muse stimulated by writers like Lois Lowry, Arundhati Roy, Haruki Murakami, Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell. I also have numerous filmmakers to thank for my desire to be a storyteller. Filmmakers such as George Lucas, Terry Gilliam, Larry Blamire, Jim Henson, Takashi Miike, Chan-wook Park, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Hayao Miyazaki.
What do you think it is about clowns that make them so scary?
Clowns smile and frown at the same time, and thousands of them can fit in one tiny car. They scream in harmony. And worst of all, they perform unnecessary surgeries on me in my sleep.
You can see what I mean about the funny and slightly twisted bit?
(Picture links to the clown’s artist web site - magopaco.)
Here is a short sample from the author.
Clown ~ by Jeremy C. Shipp
Henry sat on a throne, but he didn’t think of himself as king. The kings and queens were long dead, of course. Long live the clowns.
His minions huddled together in the center of the warehouse and cried because Henry required them to cry.
Crying Time always meant tears and smiles. Because no matter how hard his peons wept, they couldn’t wash away their smiles, as Henry commanded them to point their noses at the floor.
Henry enjoyed joining opposites so much that he invited the leader of the Samurai Clan for a cup of tea. The Samurai arrived during Orgy Time, and Henry didn’t force his lackeys to stop what they were doing, but he did roll some of them out of the way to clear a path for the noble warrior.
He even allowed the Samurai to sit on his throne.
“You are most generous, Clown. Now what is this proposal your message boy spoke of before I beheaded him?”
“I suggest that we join forces.”
“And what reason does either of us have for doing such a thing?”
“Clowns and samurai have no business sitting together in the same warehouse and that’s why we should merge. The contrast is perfectly fitting, don’t you think?”
“I think you may have something. Who would ever expect such a union?”
While the Samurai droned on about stratagems, Henry giggled, imagining Clowns and Samurai fighting side-by-side.
Henry stopped by the chocolate flower man on his way back to the cabin and he drove with the air conditioning spewing coolness, but a stream like blood trickled down his arm, which he licked at constantly. Faintly, he recalled a time when he could buy Melanie real flowers.
Melanie knew nothing of this side of him. He always washed off the makeup before returning home, not because he was ashamed but because he didn’t want her to know that she wasn’t enough; that he needed to control more than he needed to cuddle. He only hoped that Melanie too had another life outside of the cabin. Perhaps she was a high-priced hooker or a serial killer.
That would be nice.
About the book for Giveaway:
Jeremy has offered a pdf copy of Vacation, nominated in the preliminary ballet for the Bram Stoker Award, to one lucky reader. Book cover links to the Layers of Thought Preview, which includes book info and purchasing links.
As a pdf copy, there are a number of ways to read it - on a computer, on a variety of e readers (my nook supports it), it can be printed, and on iphones and black berries. So don’t let the e version put you off.
More about Jeremy: Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker nominated author of Cursed, Vacation, and Sheep and Wolves. His shorter tales have appeared or are forthcoming in over 50 publications, the likes of Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, Pseudopod, and Rosebud. While preparing for the forthcoming collapse of civilization, Jeremy enjoys living in Southern California in a moderately haunted Victorian farmhouse with his wife, Lisa, and their legion of yard gnomes. Thankfully, only one mime was killed during the making of his first short film, Egg. (links to trailer)
Now for the Giveaway:
You do not have to be a “follower/reader” for this giveaway. Anyone can enter, and because it will be emailed to the winner you can live anywhere.
To enter you must:
- include in the post your email so that I can contact you
For optional extra points you can do any, or all of the below for 1 entry point each. All entries may be included in one single comment.
- Be a subscriber of Layers of Thought – google or facebook. (I need to be able to see you – and to get updates in facebook feed add me as a friend otherwise it does not count.)
- Blog it - side bars are great - please provide links
- Tweet it – provide links please
- Friend on Twitter
- Friend on Goodreads
- Friend on Book Blogs
- Friend on Glue - new to glue? have questions? let me know.
As state above, this giveaway is International.
Contest ends Sunday May 30, 2010 at 12 pm US Pacific time. Winner will be posted and notified on Friday June 4, 2010.