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Weldon Writes ... Almost a Blog

An Interview With Jeremy C. Shipp

Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of four books: Vacation, Sheep and Wolves, Cursed, and the just-released Fungus of the Heart, a fine collection of short stories. His fiction has been published in approximately 50 publications, including Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, and Withersin.

Jeremy's work is often poetic and poignant, often goofy and gonzo, but always entertaining. Considered a bizarro/horror writer, in truth his writing defies categorization. I think he's just fun to read. I think of him as a literary Frank Zappa.

Jeremy has been on a blog tour for his new book, so I asked him to drop by and share some thoughts with us. Being the great guy that he is, Jeremy played along.

Here we go!

Fungus of the Heart was recently released. Are you giddy?

I’m as giddy as an energetic schoolgirl in an anime who was just asked out by the cool kid.

You seem to be on top of this social media thing. How important is social media in your marketing scheme?

Social media is king, queen, and court jester. I connect with my fans primarily through sites like Twitter, Facebook and Clownspace.

Harlan Ellison or Philip K. Dick?

It’s my strong belief that the two would tie in a thumb wrestling match.

Do the attic clowns ever sleep?

The attic clowns will only rest once the world population is laughing and trembling with fear simultaneously.

No basement clowns?

The ninja coconut monkeys keep the clowns out of my basement, thank goodness.

You’ve been nominated for the Bram Stoker award. How cool is that?

It’s as cool as a scientist studying zombie animals in the Arctic, which is pretty darn cool.

Do you feel more at home writing horror, or do you believe bizarro fiction is more your niche?

I love both of my genre children equally. And in truth, I would have a heck of a time writing a horror story that isn’t at least a little bizarre or a bizarre tale that isn’t at least a little horrific.

What are you reading now?

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and some other books.

Stephen King or Clive Barker?

I’m fairly sure Clive Barker would defeat Stephen King in a beauty contest, but only because of society’s conventional notions of beauty.

I think humor and horror are kissin’ cousins. Your opinion?

Humor and horror are definitely linked by the lips. Personally, I believe that it’s human nature to laugh in the face of evil. To laugh at evil takes away some of its power.

Kurt Vonnegut or Douglas Adams?

Douglas Adams would probably win in a pie-eating contest, unless it takes place on a Thursday.

You said your first novel, Vacation, is a map to your brain; Sheep and Wolves, a map to your fears; Cursed, a map to your heart. Your new book, Fungus of the Heart, is a map to what?

Fungus of the Heart is a map to my relationships. Of course, the relationships in Fungus are nothing like my real relationships, but in my stories I do incorporate lessons learned from my personal reality. I also incorporate questions that have spawned inside me as a result of my being a son, a husband, a brother, a friend. What does it really mean to love and respect someone? What is true friendship? At what lengths would I go to save my loved ones?

How much of your writing is planned? How much improvisation?

My writing is probably 90-95% improvisation. In terms of my plot, I usually know the final destination, but I have little idea how my characters are going to get there. I like experiencing the journey along with my characters. I also enjoy putting my characters into impossible situations and letting them find their own solutions. They often surprise me.

What’s your favorite place to write?

I love writing at my desk or on my bed, but only when the attic clowns aren’t throwing moldy pies at my face or squirting me with demonic mime urine using their fake flowers. I also enjoy writing at parks. They’re peaceful.

Kindle or iPad?

In a battle to the death, the iPad would definitely win because of its death ray app.

What’s more dangerous, pissed-off, rampaging garden gnomes or ravenous, zombie polar bears?

There’s nothing more dangerous than a rampaging gnome, especially one wielding a titanium spork. Zombie polar bears tend to be compassionate creatures, although one of them once bit Dr. Frankenstein by accident. Poor Franky was never quite the same after that.

Weldon Burge or Jeremy Shipp?

I prefer the hybrid created by the zombified Dr. Frankenstein, Welemy Shurge. It’s sad that Franky ate poor Welemy just a minute after he was brought to life. But that’s science for you.

Well, thanks, Jeremy, for a delightful interview!

I had a blast answering your questions! Awesome!

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

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