You do an amazing job of creating atmosphere and tone, and “The Devil of Rue Moret” has an almost fairy tale feel. Is this something you consciously strive for, or is it just part of your natural style?
While I was focused on atmosphere and tone, I didn’t actively pursue a fairy tale vibe. I think that was the direct result of taking more of a spoken-word approach to the storytelling and the impact it has on the flow of the text. I wasn’t concerned with how long a sentence was or where it should end or how many times a conjunction had been used, because people don’t do that when they tell stories out loud. I also avoided a lot of specific information such as the boy’s name and the time period, which creates a sort of narrative fog over the whole thing that gives it that sense of the mystical and surreal.
Your protagonist (who I loved immediately) remains unnamed. Why did you make this choice?
I’m so pleased you enjoyed his character! The boy, like his sister, is forgotten in his world. I wanted a sense of isolation with this child, so that you have nothing to grasp onto as the reader but his qualities, his thoughts, and the suffering he has endured. It makes him more identifiable that he has nothing, not even a name, and yet he makes the best of it because so often, people have to do just that. Naming him gave him substance, and one of the greatest cruelties, to me, was withholding that.
Although you obviously write short fiction, I see you also write screenplays. Do you find that either form influences how you approach the other? Any plans to try your hand at a novel?
Moving between screenwriting and literary writing is the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, because the mediums are so deceptively different from one another. Screenwriting is predominantly visual, so it is limited emotionally and psychologically to what you can show or the characters can say. Of course, you can toy with sound design, musical cues, or editing, but that isn’t really your role. Literature, on the other hand, is blind, but gives you far more freedom to explore your characters and the world around them and in that way, paint a much clearer picture, even if it isn’t explicitly visual. I think both have influenced one another, and hopefully added complexity to my writing as a result.
I am currently in the process of translating my science fiction feature script One to novel form, but each step is a learning lesson, more of a crawl than a sprint. It’s a refreshing change of pace.
What draws you to the horror genre? Are there other genres that interest you?
I’m open to everything. For me, it’s more about the individual work than what genre it falls under. I do have a unique love for horror because the feeling of fear is such a rare and genuine emotion. The cause is always evolving, but the human response remains unchanged. On the other hand, it’s infuriating as a writer, because eliciting true fear in the form of entertainment becomes more difficult every day, and once you’ve been exposed to it, you’ll never react with the same level of emotion to the same stimulus. So, you have to keep inventing perpetually.
Do you have any work forthcoming that you’d like to tell our readers about?
There’s One, as mentioned, which concerns a race of immortal humanoids who turn to the first of their kind when their immortality is threatened. I’m also working on a short story called “The Fall” which I hope to finalize in the near future. On the screenwriting side of things, I’m currently pitching two features, Ark and Jil, and touching up a TV bible for a political drama called The Divide.
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