Monday, May 27, 2013
My Four Most Disturbing Stories
A friend asked me recently if I'd ever written anything that made me, as the writer, uncomfortable. I really liked that question. Truth is, while I'm writing, I tend to turn off the "self" and just go where the story needs to go, so in the process of writing I'm not thinking about offensiveness or reader comfort levels.
Having said that, I HAVE written a few stories that, reading them later, made me wonder a little what ugly place inside me they sprang from.
Four stories, in particular, struck me that way.
Two of them are in my collection DIG TEN GRAVES. "It Will All Be Carried Away", I think, is an emotionally brutal story. There's very little actual violence in it, but the realization that all of us are capable of extraordinary cruelty is a sobering one. And "Heart", although a very imperfect story, was written in a fit of rage that still strikes me as disturbing when I re-read it. It's an intensely mean-natured story, but I think it hits nicely on the sort of helpless fury that we all feel sometimes in the face of things we can't change.
The anthology OFF THE RECORD contains my story, "I Wanna Be Your Dog", which is one of those tales that just formed itself while I was writing it. Normally, I have some idea of where a story is going before I even sit down to write it, but that one... well, I winged it. And a bunch of "daddy issues" worked their way in, as well as a horribly nasty ending.
Finally, "My Life With the Butcher Girl", in PULP INK 2, was about obsession and dark sexual impulses, featuring my first (and so far only) graphic sex scene-- although the sex in question is not particularly erotic. In fact, it's kinda twisted.
A reviewer once suggested that, based on the stories in DIG TEN GRAVES, "the author would benefit from counselling". I loved that comment.
But writing the stories is usually all the counselling I need.