In this second episode of the Jeamus After Midnight Podcast, Jeamus interviews author and journalist Josh Schlossberg, a damned fine writer who mixes it up with the macabre. Later in the episode we have a brief discussion about the very big subject of American Folk Horror.
In this pilot episode of Jeamus After Midnight (sponsored by Denver Horror Collective), artist and author Jeamus Wilkes flies solo in a fifteen minute monologue about creative brains, the origins of stuff, sobriquets, what meaneth “horror”, and the road ahead for the podcast… all with a delightfully creepy, blizzardy soundtrack.
Playing with your fears is the sure way to make them your friends, in my highly-valued opinion, that is. But before I explain… I’ll just show you an example of how I like to play. This prose poem below is how I turned one of my fears into who I now call Big D.
Photo: Ryan Eldon Holmbeck
A Tribute to Big D
I am well acquainted with Big D; we are beyond a first name basis, Death and I. A few times a year he drops by to see me, just to say hello—although sometimes I really wish he’d call first. I always like to clean up a little before guests come over. You know, shove everything in the closet and under the bed, vacuum, wash a few dishes, fill the rooms with sweet fragrance, and buy a bottle of tequila.
People often act surprised when I tell them I’m both a journalist and a horror fiction writer.
I mean, I get it: In many ways the two fields don’t even occupy the same landscape. In one, shameless hacks make up fake stories to exploit the most depraved aspects of the human experience, while the other is a celebrated genre of literature popularized by respected writers such as Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King.
Seriously, though, while quality journalism presents a spectrum of viewpoints all at once, horror fiction is typically about seeing the world through the biased (even warped) lens of one character at a time.
The mechanics of the writing itself also tend to differ, where spare and simple prose best conveys the facts essential to newswriting, while in fiction colorful word choice and stylistic phrasing amplify a writer’s unique voice.
But the lines can—and often do—blur. Whether it’s an article delving into the gun control debate or a story about swimmers devoured by a lake monster, both crafts are driven by our inborn attraction to conflict.