Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Jeremy C. Shipp

Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Cursed, Vacation, and Sheep and Wolves. His shorter tales have appeared or are forthcoming in over 60 publications, the likes of Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, Withersin, and Shroud Magazine. Jeremy enjoys living in Southern California in a moderately haunted Victorian farmhouse called Rose Cottage. He lives there with a couple of pygmy tigers and a legion of yard gnomes. The gnomes like him. The clowns living in his attic–not so much.

You write what's known as 'bizarro' fiction.

~ What is it?
  I see bizarro as a category for stories that can't be categorized. This is paradoxical, but that's not a problem. Bizarro fiction eats paradoxes for breakfast.

~ Who else writes it?

All sorts of people, penguins, and robotic parsnips.

~ Is it as fun to write as it sounds?
Writing bizarro fiction is as fun as riding on a woolly mammoth through a forest while snacking on magic apples.
How many books per year do you read?
I read at least 50 books a year. If I don't read at least 50, the coconut monkeys in my office will come alive and go on a rampage. And that's never a good thing.

How do you choose what to read next?

Ordinarily, I leave my reading decisions to the tiny raccoon who lives under my top hat. But when he's out of ideas, I'll read books that my friends recommend. Or I'll read random novels from the library.
What are you reading now?
The Neverending Story. A Clash of Kings. The Mists of Avalon.
I read that you and your wife ran a pet-sitting business. Do you have any pets of your own?

I have two cats: Lattis and Oliver. Lattis enjoys terrorizing crickets, sniffing ankles, and staring at light bulbs. Oliver enjoys eating with his paw, plopping over on his side, and stealing my seat. And I also have a tiny raccoon who lives under my top hat.

Name five of the best magazines currently accepting unsolicited bizarro short stories.

The magazine of bizarro fiction, the magazine of bizarro fiction, the magazine of bizarro fiction, the magazine of bizarro fiction, the magazine of bizarro fiction.

What was it like to be nominated for a Bram Stoker Award?

Getting the nomination was like hugging a sloth. I love sloths.

You're a big fan of kindle and ebooks in general.

Getting the nomination was like hugging a sloth. I love sloths.

You’re a big fan of kindle and ebooks in general. Do you still believe in traditional publishing?
I like ebooks, print books, films, plays, shadow puppets, etc. As long as my stories are reaching my readers, I'm happy. The world of publishing is ever-changing, and survival is a matter of talent and adaptation.

Who publishes the print editions of your books?

Some of my print publishers include Raw Dog Screaming Press, Evil Jester Press, and Redrum Horror.

~ Are they available in stores or only online?

Some of my print books are available in stores and libraries and magic forests.

As a storyteller, what do you hope people will 'get' from reading your stories?

I want them to look into the funhouse mirrors and see truth in twisted and grotesque reflections.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have a book of horror stories coming out soon called Monstrosities. And I'm editing a new fiction anthology that will be published by Evil Jester Press. I have a few other projects in the works, but I can't say more about them yet.

If there was a message you could leave the world, what would it be?
Never insult a demon's mustache.

What would you like written on your headstone?

Here lies the body of Jeremy Shipp.
He ate a magic apple and choked on a pip.

PS: Yard gnomes. Attic clowns. Dragon. Please explain.
Yard gnomes wear neat hats. Attic clowns live in my attic and torment me every chance they get. In Jeremyland, 'dragon' means awesome.
Peanut butter and watermelon sandwiches? Really??
According to legend, my grandfather invented the pb&w sandwich many years ago. They're the best sandwiches ever, even tastier than smurf brain subs.

Find out more about Jeremy here.

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