Jeremy C Shipp gets the third degree

By Tee Tyson

We here at Pankhearst love horror. No not whores, though they certainly have a place in our cold, black hearts. I’m talking about horror writing. Not horrible writing. This seriously isn’t going right. Let me start again.

Stephen King once said, “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”

Today we are helping everyone cope by inviting the charismatic, sweet as peaches, absolutely twisted individual Jeremy C. Shipp into the interrogation room for a good drilling. Wait…does that sound incredibly wrong? Or terribly right?  And here we go…

Let’s kick this shindig off with telling the people what they really want to know, what the hell does the ‘C’ in your name stand for.

The “C” stands for one of these: Cookie, Cecil, Cranky, Camden, Chthonic, Christopher, Cacophony, Choo-choo. I wish it was Choo-choo.

Cranky
Cranky

Cranky it is. Perhaps the first step should have been you telling us a little bit about yourself. But just the good stuff. Our readers have very short attention spans.

My name’s Jeremy, and I’m a writer of horror, fantasy, and bizarro fiction. There are gnomes in my yard and clowns in my attic. I was once attacked by a parrot.

Haven’t we all been attacked by parrots? Moving along, people often think those who write horror are sick and insane individuals. Us gals at Pankhearst know you are sick and insane, but tell us hold old you were when you got into horror and why you decided to write it? Yes, be careful answering these, we are judging you based off your witty responses.

Um…that’s putting a lot of pressure on me to be clever. But I’ll do my best. Come on, Jeremy. You can do this. I am funny and witty. I am funny and witty. I am funny and witty.

Repetition is key…

Anyway…I first became interested in horror when I was a baby. My first memory was a nightmare about a monster, and that image always stuck with me. When I was a kid, my brothers and I would often play games of pretend. Some of our recurring characters included the grim reaper, a friendly mummy, a killer robot and a floating monster mouth. I never made a conscious decision to write horror. My tales have always been dark and strange, even the short stories I wrote in 4thgrade. Oh gosh…this answer wasn’t witty in the least. I have failed you all. I’d understand if you want to stop the interview now…

To be honest, I’m contemplating it, but I’m kind of invested now. After perusing your website, I noticed Peter Straub, author of books and winner of the Stoker Award, which you were nominated for, has said your ‘boldness, daring, originality, and sheer smarts make him one of the most vital younger writers who have colonized horror literature in the past decade’. Sounds like someone is tooting your horn. I consider this an achievement, what do you consider to be your top three achievements? In life. In writing. In bed. Whatever.

My top achievement in life so far: caring for my cats.

My top achievement in writing so far: not giving up.

My top achievement in bed so far: jumping on my bed and touching the ceiling. I’m rubbish at all other bed-related activities.

Your candidness is appreciated. We know how tough caring for cats is.

There is nothing more frightening than a Roman Catholic bishop in disguise.
There is nothing more frightening than a Roman Catholic bishop in disguise.

Because we are an Indie press here, we are interested in the publishing aspect of your journey. Traditional, Indie or Self? Pros. Cons. Thoughts. And go.

I’ve done a bit of everything. To me, the most important thing isn’t what path you’re on, but who you’re traveling with. I know that sounds cheesy, but cheese isn’t always a bad thing, right? I mean, think of pizza or chili cheese fries. Anyway, if you’re working with trustworthy, professional, intelligent, diligent people, then that’s what matters. Even self-published authors need to find good editors, proof-readers, cover artists, etc.

Great point. And all authors need to know how to sell themselves on social media. You seem to be doing a good job because you have over five thousand friends on Facebook. What’s it like to be popular? And is your dance card full?

Being popular is sort of like hugging a sloth. In other words, I enjoy social media. I like making people laugh and freaking them out. And as for my dance card, it’s as empty as a barrel full of sloths, only without the sloths, because it’s not right to keep sloths in a barrel.

Ha
Ha

Usually we get all serious at this point, so be prepared. Clive Barker is the mastermind behind my most favourite horror character who was later dubbed Pinhead in the Hellraiser movies. In your opinion, who is the ultimate badass horror movie baddie? And yes, there are wrong answers to this question.

Of course, the most badass of all badasses is the Skeleton from The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. He’s made of bones. What’s more badass than that?

Um. Pinhead? We aren’t going to get in a fight over this, so…

We know you don’t just write ‘horror’ and you are so much more than Attic Clowns, gnomes and dragon. So, to turn you from a flat character to a round character, tell us what book you are reading? What song you most recently listened too? And what movie you last watched?

I’m reading The Neverending Story by Michael Ende and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. During a long drive yesterday, my brother and I played a little game called “Guess which anime series this song is from.” My bro played the songs, and I did the guessing. So, there’s that. The last movie I watched was The Gingerdead Man. It was terrible.

For your viewing pleasure

In the end, we will all be known for something, among our friends, family or ridiculous amount of Facebook friends. What do you want to be known for?

I want people to say, “Jeremy? Yeah, I kinda remember him. Wasn’t he that guy who always used sloths in his metaphors and similes? What was up with that?” Or, if people simply thought of me as an OK human being, that would be good too.

Well, that was as close to serious as we get when it comes to asking questions. And I have to admit, I’m a bit uncomfortable. Before we get any more emotional, what’s the most epic way to die? Come on, pull out the good stuff. We didn’t invite you here for tea and crumpets, though they will be served in the lobby afterwards.

You’re sitting on your couch, minding your own beeswax, when a giant raccoon in a top hat pulls off your roof. You look up at the creature, and you hope that this is one of those friendly giant raccoons who sing people show tunes. But, unfortunately for you, this raccoon doesn’t know any show tunes. The raccoon grabs you, carries you to a field, and drops you into a giant blender. He also drops in some giant strawberries. Then he turns on the blender. You struggle to remain above the blades, and while you’re struggling, you accidentally swallow some strawberry juice. This isn’t good, because you’re allergic to strawberries.

Eventually the raccoon uses a large wooden spoon to push you down into the blades. You die, almost instantly, but your spirit lingers inside the strawberry-human smoothie. The raccoon drinks up his special treat, and your spirit travels through his digestive system. You feel your spirit detaching from the physical realm. The sensation reminds you a little of hugging a sloth. Sadly, before your spirit can move on, the raccoon is struck by a magic bolt of lightning, and your spirit fuses with the spirit of the raccoon.

Years later, the raccoon is sitting in his giant house minding his own beeswax, when a giant monkey in a fedora pulls off your roof. The cycle repeats itself, over and over and over, until finally you’re murdered by a sloth clown.

Raccoons and sloth clowns. Oh, what a tangled web your mind is. Well, Edgar Allan Poe, a horror aficionado, has been quoted as saying “Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.” With that in mind, how much of what you’ve told us today has been lies?

I’ve been lying about 20% of the time, which is a little disappointing. I was hoping for 30%. Here are a few more lies:

  1. I hate peanut butter.
  2. I’ve never seen a ghost dog.
  3. My cats aren’t the bosses of me.

What a pleasure this has been. I promise not to invite you back and waste your time ever again. That was a lie.

Those traditional links

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JeremyWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeremyCShipp
Wordpress: http://jeremycshipp.wordpress.com/

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