Sunday, October 31, 2010

Author Interview: Jeremy C. Shipp

I recently had the honor of conducting an interview with the amazingly talented author, Jeremy C. Shipp. His list of publication credits include having short stories appear in approximately 50 publications which include Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, Pseudopod, and Withersin.

Some of his published books are Vacation, Cursed, and Sheep and Wolves. This November, Jeremy will have a new book hit the bookshelves called, Fungus Of The Heart. I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of this book and I must say that the stories are unique and keep the reader thinking.

Please read the interview with Jeremy C. Shipp below and go grab a copy of his book
Fungus Of The Heart when it comes out this November.

Hardcover and paperback copies are available for preorder now through Screaming Dog Press. Click here to preorder yours!


Jeremy C. Shipp

Interview Questions:

Marcus: Why do you write? What is it that compels you to formulate a story and put it down on paper?

Jeremy: Writing keeps me sane. Writing allows me to use my imagination to connect with others in a fun and fascinating way. Also, if I stopped writing, my creative energy would go supernova, and that would definitely smart.

Marcus: What is it that inspires you to write about darker stories and subjects?

Jeremy: On a personal level, writing dark fiction helps me to process and cope with reality. Also, I believe that shining a light on the darkness is important, because problems are more dangerous when they’re ignored. That being said, my work isn’t simply about the evils of our world. I give my stories heart. The world may be a horrifying place at times, but it’s also a wonderful place, full of humor and love and friendship.

Marcus: What genre do you consider your writing to be a part of? I feel like you cross several genres and maybe even create your own to a degree.

Jeremy: When writing a story, I give myself as much freedom as possible and write about whatever world that forms in my mind. In the end, my tales tend to be some combination of horror, fantasy, Bizarro, mystery, and sci-fi.

Marcus: Can you tell me a little about "Fungus of the Heart" (the book) and how it came to be?

Jeremy: In my life, there’s nothing more important to me than relationships. And this reflects in my writing. I love writing dialogue and character interactions. With “Fungus of the Heart” I wanted to write stories that focus on the power of relationships. The power of respect and love. The power of disrespect and hatred.

Marcus: Why did you pick the short story "Fungus of the Heart" as the title of your book?

Jeremy: I’m one of those people who believe that human beings are inherently good. I believe that most people have good intentions. However, there are times when a “fungus” can grow in people’s hearts and souls. This “fungus” can take many forms, and can cause many problems. Sometimes we find ways to cure ourselves or to cure each other. And sometimes we don’t.

Marcus: I read the whole book and I must say, I loved "The Haunted House". What was the inspiration behind this story?

Jeremy: Every horror writer is required by law to write a haunted house story. So I thought, if I have to write such a story, I might as well put my own twist on the idea. I decided to write a story where the ghost isn’t the one doing the haunting. The ghost is there to help.

Marcus: This question is a little random, but what was the last good thriller/horror movie that you saw?

Jeremy: I’ve seen quite a few slinkster cool films recently, including Carrie, Sick Girl, Ink, The House of the Devil.

Marcus: What do you want your readers to walk away with after reading "Fungus Of The Heart"?

Jeremy: After my readers finish the book, I want their hearts, minds and spleens to tingle. I want my readers to feel both disturbed and heartened.

Marcus: How did you decide on which short stories to include in your book?

Jeremy: I wrote most of the stories with the collection in mind, though I did choose some older stories to include, such as “Just Another Vampire Story” and “Monkey Boy and the Monsters.” I felt that these tales fit with the overall theme and flow of the collection.

Marcus: What are you tired of reading about in present day fiction? What would you like to see more of?

Jeremy: Just when I thought I was tired of reading about vampires, I read Let the Right One In. And so, I believe that any archetype or topic can be written about in a fresh way. I’d love to read more dark fantasy and horror tales with a heart.

Marcus: What was the last book you read?

Jeremy: I read books in clusters. The last cluster of books I read included Little Women, Never Let Me Go, We, and The Hunger Games.

Marcus: Any advice for aspiring authors who want to see their work published?

Jeremy: Write every day. Read every day. It might take you a while to write publishable stories, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just keep writing and honing your craft. When submitting your work, be sure to follow the submission guidelines.

Marcus: Any advice you can give new/aspiring authors in regards to rejection?

Jeremy: Rejection letters are high in vitamin C, and you can also use them to create papier-mâché statues of Charles in Charge characters. Also, receiving rejection letters simply means that you’re on the road toward success. It’s impossible to travel such a difficult road without hitting a few potholes.

Marcus: Anything else you'd like to say? Any last words for our readers?

Jeremy: If an attic clown ever offers to give you a giggle massage, just say no. Trust me.

Marcus: Thank you so much for taking the time to conduct this interview and I wish you luck on your book tour. Please feel free to stop by anytime and discuss your work or to do a guest post even. Bye, Jeremy, and I can't wait to read your next book!


To find out more about Jeremy C. Shipp and his writing, visit his official website:

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