On behalf of Halloweenpalooza, thanks so much for agreeing to participate. Let’s start with some quickies:
Favorite color: Burgundy
Male or female friends: Male
Guilty pleasure: McDonald’s
Favorite Halloween candy: Kit Kat/Reese’s
Have you ever carved a pumpkin: Yes
Would you let the police search your basement: Yes
Favorite horror movie: Prince of Darkness/Lord of Illusions
1. Since there are so many types of horror, can you please tell us about your work? What can a reader expect when he picks up a story written by you?
Let me preface what I say below: my fiction is mainly a collection of stories entitled The Dark Verse that comes in both the written format and the audio format (via a podcast).
The type of my work is summarized by the boilerplate for The Dark Verse: short stories of occult, metaphysical, and fantastical horror that will follow you to the visions of your sleep. I use those three specific words because I feel they most accurately encompass what a reader or listener will get from my writing. My work is also most definitely Lovecraftian and under the weird fiction umbrella.
When readers or listeners embrace one of my stories, they will be taken to a window through which they will gaze upon a unique world, realm, or universe where bizarre evils are at work that cannot be overcome. Great abominations will be displayed and then the window will close, leaving the readers and listeners with the scar of their visions.
2. What got you writing? Was there one thing that prompted you to take the plunge?
Writing is a place where the most imaginative places, entities, and events can be brought to life. I’ve always lived in a mind full of wonder and so writing was the best outlet to channel the inner powers of my creativity.
The one thing that made writing the best home for me was education. I had a phenomenal English teacher for three years in high school. She equipped me with the tools I needed to unleash my imagination onto paper.
3. In horror, villains are pretty much everything and often more popular than the hero/heroine. What do you think goes into crafting a memorable villain?
I can’t speak for all villain-creators, but there is a beautiful dread with evils that cannot be defeated. Those are the villains I tackle--ones that do their will and there is nothing you can do to stop them. Ingredients for a memorable villain: uniqueness, a defining characteristic,
4. In terms of writing, could you please post an excerpt from any of your works that best exemplifies what you bring to the horror picnic table?
From the story, “Time into Death.”
The darkness came quickly without purpose or retribution; with blind perfection it suffocated every last glimpse of light. Where once I was whole and complex, I became vulgar and plain. I did not remember having a thought when the transition took place, nor did I remember any manifestation of sensation or feeling, but when I arose into the cosmos of the beyond, the picture of the demented dreamscape enthralled me.
With the darkness came new sight—a sight which I reluctantly relinquished to the enlightenment of words. This sense of vision was nothing like a projection made by retina and pupil; it was a gift of divine repulsion, the provisional praxis of becoming new. Relatively, in its most comparable description, it was like being in the bowels of the deepest and blackest abyss with a moon as an eye.
Profound nightmares and horrors swirled within my first glimpse of the nether world: the life beyond, the dark throne. On an altar masked with silk, the master of the domain loomed before me, crouching, with its subjects scurrying along the crypt-like grounds below in hateful glee. The slant of its nefarious head showed its remarkable intellect while the oscillating flesh upon its frame peaked far from anything holy. It was both smooth and rough, and beautiful and repulsive—it could not be conceived within the limits of a single definition of appearance. Only the imagination of absurd and almighty necromancy could have conjured such supremacy of grotesqueness.
5. What scares you? Have you had any encounters with the supernatural? Up for a ghost hunting session?
I really hate cockroaches, and I hate it even more when I have to kill them.
My closest encounter with the supernatural was when I received mysterious scratches on my back the day my son was conceived.
I’d definitely be up to a ghost hunting expedition.
6. Since this event is built around Friday the 13th, are you superstitious? Do you believe in curses a
I am actually not very superstitious. I believe that luck/chance and effort are the main driving forces of success and failure. That being said, I feel that the energy people have is real and tangible, and, in that sense, you could be “cursed” by the negativity of someone’s dismal aura.
7. Uh oh! You hear a noise in the basement. You go to investigate and find you’re not alone. It’s one of the characters you created sprung to life. Which one would you most not want it to be and why?
I would pray for it not to be Delkfirkcheckt (even though it was)--a lord of the cosmos that travels from planet to planet collecting beings for its slave world. He is a hulking, colossal being with a single black eye Below is an excerpt from “The Apocalypse Bringers.”
Eventually we arrived at Shzivoukt, a world between worlds. It was here that Delkfirkcheckt stored his slaves of all sizes, shapes, and existences, tormenting them, slaughtering them, and forcing them upon the chaos of lawlessness, immorality, and unhindered terror. The entire world had been labored upon and manipulated—there was not a single surface that had not been slaved upon and used for some structure, mechanism, or deed. Dead bodies of all kinds of creatures, beings, and animals at all stages of decomposition lay strewn across the grounds—never removed or properly disposed of, they were worked around and on top of. Great mountains and deep canyons spread across the land, but none of the original landscape or environment could be seen. Black, wiry, spiked walls; sharp, knife-edged doors; and floors riddled with broken pieces of blade and gnarled metals were discovered in every structure. Large, cryptic machines that lived without known power sources spun thick, cone-like drills, hammered down heavy slabs of stone, and fired rays of piercing, cauterizing heat between and within the structures, adding to the death and misery of this gruesome dimension. And all of this was just the platform for the hordes upon hordes of innumerable slaves that coursed and toiled all throughout.
All of Shzivoukt screamed; there was not a hiding place or darkness far enough away from the light cast by the hundreds of surrounding moons for the screams not to reach it. From horizon to horizon, deepest depth to highest height, a chorus of unending ululations haunted.
If it took ten slaves from ten different worlds to drive a single stake, that stake would eventually be driven. Time did not have bearing on this realm that never rested.
8. In terms of Halloween, what’s your best memory of the holiday?
I grew up on a cul-de-sac with a lot of kids around the same age and every Halloween there would be a party on the block. Halloween nights have always been great childhood memories.
When I got older, my friends and I made Halloween a night of pizza and the Leprechaun movies--fun memories as well.
9. Fan feedback. Do you love it? Hate it? What’s the best thing a reader has said or done?
Fan feedback is a mixed bag. It can be the most potent inspiration, but it can also be a dreadful emotional burden.
Some great things fans have said about my work:
“This is one of the creepiest things I have ever heard. Can’t wait for the next cast. You’re twisted, man!”
“These are tales of twisted logic, ventures into strange realms, and encounters with incomprehensible entities. There is an impressive range of ideas and some genuine imagination on display here.”
“I've never read something like this before. People are comparing this to Lovecraft and others but I can't compare them because I've never read the people they mention. I can say this, it is very well written and consumes you.”
“For fans of horror, weird fiction, or dark fantasy, this podcast is a must. Each of Sharkchild’s stories feature unique, self-contained logic, and highly effective imagery. The imagination on display here is very impressive.”
In contrast, I have to share a negative remark that gave me a good laugh:
“Horrid writing. Try just writing the way you would tell the story to a friend. A friend who is alive, not Hawthorne or Poe.”
10. What’s next for M. Amanuensis Sharkchild? What can your fans look forward to?
The Kickstarter project for The Dark Verse, Vol. 4 hardcover book is currently ongoing until Nov. 13th. This is my next entry into the world of creation.
You can go to the project here: http://kck.st/2gSMgX1.
The campaign also includes metal bookends to complete your Dark Verse hardcover book collection.
I don’t plan on stopping The Dark Verse anytime soon. I’m going to see how big I can grow it! So you can expect more podcast episodes, more books, and more awesome Dark Verse products! I also have a dark fantasy novel out called The Spirit Collectors that I will one day expand on… one day.
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THE DARK VERSE VOL 1
2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Horror
Twenty-six short stories of occult, metaphysical, and fantastical horror that will follow you to the visions of your sleep.
The Dark Verse is a multiverse of Lovecraftian horror, spanning different realms and times, that touches upon evils that transcend the knowable. Whether a galactic entity that casts flesh off the wicked, a scientist harnessing the power of metamorphosis, or a diabolical overlord that torments souls in a dimension of unrelenting pain, there is no escape from the occult horrors that await you within the innumerable folios of The Dark Verse.
This is Sharkchild's first collection of grim and ethereal tales.
M. Amanuensis Sharkchild is an award-winning author and publisher of a growing series of Lovecraftian horror short stories called The Dark Verse and of the dark fantasy novel, The Spirit Collectors. His self-published books are praised for their illustrious hardcover binding and artwork and have won six awards. The Dark Verse is also a podcast through which Sharkchild releases new short stories on a regular basis. The style and atmosphere of his writing is often compared to the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
He lives in lurid wakefulness and lucid dreams, overtaken by visions that uncontrollably seethe in a torrent of horror and fantasy. As a zealot of the imagination, he embraces the strange, the bizarre, and the great unknown. His path of creation has only just begun.
Some of Sharkchild's other projects include Dark Energy Discoveries and Gravescabs. Dark Energy Discoveries is an EBM music project containing his rich vocal layers and soundscapes that are embodied by a virtual group of inter-dimensional beings who have joined forces to explore the ever-expanding reaches of existence. Gravescabs are reversible plush covers that are placed over a base plush toy called a Skell.