My guest today is a friend I made of Twitter before Facebook. I’m not sure if that actually means anything, but I thought it worthy of note. An author of horror and student of the erotic, he is a former professional athlete and a doting father to a wonderful daughter.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my privilege to be able to introduce to you all to Mr. Jason Darrick.
Thank you for joining me today Jason.
I’m very pleased to be here, thank you for having me, Alex.
I always think it is best to start the interviews off with a nice gentle question, so to get the ball rolling, tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a 32 year-old semi-retired goth, retired pro wrestler and un-retired writer. I take way too many self-portraits for comfort, and I’m fighting my natural urges to be an introvert daily.
Professional Wrestler, you have to elaborate on this one for us. How did you get involved with that?
I’ve been a fan of wrestling for over 20 years, so there was always that “what if” present in my mind. Around ten years ago, I really got the itch. Toronto is famous for a few wrestling schools, so with the blessing of my cardiologist, I applied and was accepted. I wrestled for about four months, until my body told me otherwise. Believe it or not, it wasn’t my heart, it was my neck and shoulder. I had a particularly bad weekend where I was dropped on my head on Saturday, then had my shoulder ripped out on Sunday. That weekend led me to the decision that though I was good (undefeated 3-0), I wasn’t really qualified to make a serious career out of it, so I left.
You said that you are a natural introvert, but also were a professional wrestler, those two terms are something antithetical would you not agree?
I’ve grown up into an introvert, if that makes any sense at all. In my younger years, I was the first and loudest one at parties, the one accepting all the dares, and the lead singer of a band. I made some bad decisions in my 20s that forced me to change my entire social structure, in the process finding more comfort being alone and doing solitary activities. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of, and am working very hard to change.
My hat’s off to you for being a single parent. I have four children at home, and they keep me and my wife busy.
Holy cow, I’ve got one and that’s enough! I should clarify, I’m single and a parent. My ex and I get along well, and kiddo splits time between both of us.
How do you find time to write with a young child running around?
Well, I’m also taking a full course load at college, so when I do have the kiddo, I’ll be honest and tell you that I don’t write. When she’s at her mama’s place, I try to write an hour a day.
She has started school now right, do you find yourself with more time or less time to write?
She’s not yet in school, and we’re actually discussing homeschooling. I imagine that will mean my weekends will be spent with the little one, so I should actually have more time to write during the week. It’s all a work in progress and I confess that we’ve not really talked about it at length yet.
Let’s talk a little about your writing.
Dammit, I knew you were going there.
You have written two short story collections Fear in Words. Are you planning on adding a third volume to this collection?
I am! I’m in the process of writing a few longer pieces that I hope will make up The End of the Beginning. Thus far, I’ve completed one story revolving around my readers’ favorite villain, Mr. Vore.
Do you have plans to write any novels?
Absolutely. I’ve got about 15,000 words done on what I hope will be the first of three novels, again centering around Mr. Vore because he’s such a fun villain to write. The first book will combine my (totally healthy) love of cannibalism with my love of the Grand Guignol theatre.
Would you agree that e-publishing has resurrected the short story?
To be fair, I consider myself primarily a short story writer, so I sincerely hope that e-publishing has resurrected short stories. When I first started seriously writing (about four years ago) I was told that the market was terrible and that short stories should only be used to sell longer works. I never had intentions of submitting to any publishers, so I did exactly zero market research. These days, it seems everyone wants a short story to throw in their anthology, which is awesome for discovering new authors and keeping the art alive.
You favor the horror genre, what was it about the darkness that drew you to it?
Oddly enough, I didn’t read very much in my teen years. I did watch a hell of a lot of movies. I can’t recall the name of the show, but a local TV station used to show “late night black and white” theatre, most of which was horror. When I began reading, I distinctly remember asking myself, “which books look like they’ll give me what I wanted from movies?”
Have you always been a horror fan?
Absolutely. This year marks my 20th anniversary. I have to point out that the number refers to film, I’ve only actually been reading for fun for the past 7 years, and even then, we’re not talking with any degree of proclivity.
Interestingly enough, the most recent tale you published was in an anthology called ‘Felt Tips’. This was an erotica series, so can you tell us a little about the story?
My story is called STAPLED, and is a two-parter of sorts. The first portion of the tale is what I affectionately call “bizarro erotica” as it’s written from the point of view of a sentient stapler. The second portion of the story is a much more traditional sex scene, while the stapler is left to wonder.
What made you try your hand at erotica?
I’m kinky in my personal life, often defined as a sadist. I read a fair bit of erotica these days as well, though I classify it as ‘research’. When Tiffany Reisz (author, editor, publisher of Felt Tips) put the open call out on Twitter, I figured I’d get my second rejection out of the way. That didn’t happen, and I’m happy that my work has a small part in helping a charity assist low income families buy school supplies for children.
There has long been a link between horror and erotica, would you agree?
Without a doubt. Fear and arousal are the two purest emotions one can feel, it makes sense that somewhere along the way, they would intersect. Many people despise the fact that sex is prevalent in so many horror films, but it’s a great stress reliever. Don’t believe me? This season The Walking Dead features Rick losing his mind. The rate at which his mind is slipping is directly proportional to the amount of sex he hasn’t had. If a supernatural killer or horde of zombies were after me, I’d want to use a spare moment or three to let loose. In terms of horror cliché, we also need to know who’s dying first. In terms of kink, we have dungeons, whips, chains, leather and a whole lot of dark atmosphere. While I find much of that romantic, the general populace might fear for their safety.
Which writer most inspired you?
That’s a tie between Michael Slade and James O’Barr. While Slade is most beloved as a mystery/procedural writer, hidden in plain sight are some incredibly gruesome scenes and outstanding character development. James O’Barr wrote and illustrated The Crow comic book, which was the seminal Goth fiction at the time, and is still looked at as a classic to this day.
What book has had the most profound effect on your writing? For me it was the Books of Blood by Clive Barker.
I’ve got to be honest, I’ve not read anything by Clive Barker. Furthering my honesty, I probably haven’t read anything that anyone views as ‘must read’. The book that inspired me to write is one that I’ve read at least 10 times because I find it such a quick read: Scream Queen by Edo Van Belkom. If you’ve not read it, don’t. It falls into the “it’s so bad it’s good” category. The original trade paperbacks had the incorrect book synopsis on them, as if they wrote it according to an earlier draft. The book provides me with a great deal of enjoyment as the concept is very sound, and about 5 years ahead of its time.
You have by your own admission quite the swollen TBR pile. What are you currently reading?
A finance textbook. Since those are boring, I’m also reading EvilEye Books’ The Burning Maiden, which is an anthology of literary horror. I’m only about a quarter through it, so I’ll reserve judgment.
Can you read multiple books at the same time?
Indeed I can. I’m also reading Torn Realities from Post Mortem Press, which is an homage anthology to H.P. Lovecraft. So far, I’m not terribly impressed. I’m also working on Undead by John Russo, which are simply his scripts from Night of the Living Dead and Return of the Living Dead rewritten into story form. If you’ve seen the films, you know the book.
Paper or eBook?
Both have their place. Burning Maiden and Undead are paperback ARCs, which makes me feel special because I got them first. I have amassed a decent number of autographed books which are displayed prominently in my room. Outside of them, I prefer eBooks because they take up less space and I can adjust the font while reading.
Let’s finish things off with a return to your writing. If you had but three words to sell your work with, what would they be?
Fear, Fetish, Fiction.
Thank you again for this opportunity, Alex.
It was my pleasure Jason.
Jason Darrick has been writing for over 4 years. The result of an incredibly long hiatus, his new works encompass his love of horror, occult, bizarro, fetish and kink fiction and film. His first eBook, the short horror collection FEAR IN WORDS VOLUME I – THE STORIES has been praised by all who have read it, and the story Mr. Vore placed 4th in IndieHorror.org’s Cannibal Cookoff contest. Jason’s poetry collection FEAR IN WORDS VOLUME II – THE POEMS were released in the summer of 2011.
A single father, Jason divides his time between writing and raising his 4 year-old daughter. In his spare time, he spends a great amount of time and energy devoted to reading, reviewing and his other lifelong passion, pro wrestling.
Jason is currently attending college, which will keep his writing obligations limited. He will be writing, reading and reviewing as often as his schedule permits.