Last Thursday, May 24, 2018, my friend Jina Carvalho from The Glendon Association invited me to the book signing of Daring To Love, the newest book by Tamsen Firestone. The event took place at The Tamsen Gallery here in town. I felt very fortunate to be there, surrounding myself with writers and artists alike, enjoying a night with good conversations, great wine, and even greater cheese; yes, I was eating a lot of cheese that night.
It was a dark and gloomy night. 7:30 p.m. State Street looked like if it was part of an old and haunted ghost town, with the exception of a homeless man taking a nap on a public bench, a young adolescent coming out of the bookstore with a copy of Kafka’s The Trial, and a woman standing alone on the corner of State and Canon Perdido.
Her name was Paola. She had on a short, red dress, and long blond hair. Her lips and shoes matching the dress, her hair complementing her Caucasian skin tone. No, she wasn’t a prostitute. She was waiting for Paul, her boyfriend.
She looked at the logo behind her, while gently hiding some of her hair behind her ear. “Borders, Book Store,” she said out loud, confidently knowing that the napping homeless was not close enough to listen to her soliloquy, and the teenager was halfway on the other side of the street. She then looked at the main entrance and was happy to see that they were going out of business soon. “Hopefully they open up a clothing store,” she said, cheerfully.
But of course, she wasn’t there because it was fun to look at signs. She’d been waiting for Paul a lot longer than what she anticipated. “Fifteen minutes is a long time,” she said, as a reddish blush of anger appeared on her cheeks.
She hated to be there. It was so frustrating. But it wasn’t just the ‘waiting’ part that irritated her. No, it was more than that. In fact, she was a little bit possessive and couldn’t help but think that Paul was fucking another woman in his office; added to that the fact that she didn’t know where his office was.
Go to Amazon and see the 18 books I have there. I’ve been writing poems and short fiction since I was 12 (getting close to 33 now). I started writing seriously in 2009, have completed two novels, a novella and fifteen short stories, all of them with various word count. I still rhyme, just for the hell of it, and currently got my dream job: I am an editor at a local newspaper. How cool is that?
The question I heard a lot is, “how you do it?”
The truth is, there is nothing otherworldly about writing. You just have to sit your ass down and let your fingers do the job. My beginnings in the writing arena occurred while I had nine-to-fives. Many of them. I can’t sleep whatever number of hours the doctor says I have to sleep because my brain is an entity of its own and does what it pleases. For the last nine years of my life I have worked hard, preparing myself for the life I am living right now.
I review and self-publish horror, and I’m thinking about directing a workshop for aspiring horror writers in the near future. Furthermore, I like to read the Horror Writers Association Blog to make sure I don’t miss out on what’s new and hot in the horror community. I’ve developed this weird fascination with the dark side ever since I was a kid, but I still find people who ask the question, “So, what kind of horror you like?”
I always thought I knew the answer to that question.
The meaning of the word ‘Horror’ has metamorphosed throughout the years, pretty much like Gregor Samsa in Franz Kafka’s unforgettable The Metamorphosis. People back then didn’t call it ‘Horror Fiction,” even though the thought of turning into a giant roach kept me awake many nights in a row. People called this ‘Absurdist Fiction,’ allegedly because it was merely a narrative that focused on situations where the main character cannot find any purpose in life.
Recently I posted a blog explaining what Transgressive Fiction was. By doing so, my mind started to go back in time and think about the books I’ve read, the ones that sparked my interest in this genre. For a while, I’ve had my transgressive story idea, something real but at the same time lunatic, raw and a tad adventurous. Nevertheless, my penchant for writing horror kept me away from it. But it was there. It never left. It was like an itch you have because you haven’t taken a proper shower in over a week. Gross. I’m glad it never went away, though. Now you can find the novel, the first of a series, on good ol’ Amazon. Before you do that, however, why don’t you take a look at these books I’ve read in the past, the ones that started up that itch in me?
The look on the faces of people when I tell them I’m writing a Transgressive Fiction series is priceless. There was even an asshole that said, “What? You’re writing a transvestite series?”
I said, “Fuck you!” and then gently explained what I meant.
In a way, I expected him to be ignorant. I’m 33 and still don’t know shite about many things. Who am I to judge?
This literary movement, albeit simple, it’s difficult to explain. It’s about anorexic models who think they’re fat. It’s about rich assholes who party too hard. It’s about junkies who think they own the fucking world. It’s about poor miscreants who dare to dream too much. It’s about sex. Rough sex.
I did it. It’s been awhile. As I work the night shift at my job (yes, I actually have a job) I am finally able to publish Ramblings Of A Crazy Mind. The ironic part is that I wrote in three days because I was getting writer’s block on another story I was writing. You could say I wrote this story out of anger and frustration. But it worked. Or so my friends who edited it told me. I don’t want to give you a synopsis here because I’d rather let you read it and tell me what you think.
With so much calamity going on in the world, it is refreshing to be a horror fan. We always look for ways to find the disastrous, the destructive and the deadly in every interaction we have. Does that make us bad people? Not really. Sometimes recognizing the bad helps us rejoice in the good. For now, let’s talk about something bad, shall we? Last year, I was pleased to read a number of great horror writers and, after reading On Writing by Stephen King, I also decided to take advantage of the reading list he recommends. Outside of that list, though, and inspired by my constant search for something creepy to read, I stumbled upon some upcoming titles that I will dive in 2018.