Thank you for a great read. I really liked how we’ve got some horror mainstays in the story; wolves, creepy houses, and even some more modern classics, such as creeps via mobile phones. You portrayed these concepts with a lot of wit and horror in the story, and I felt it breathed new spaces into these ideas. How much, if at all, were you thinking about these as you wrote the story?
Thank you for the kind words about “Dick Pig.” Going into the first draft, I knew I wanted to play with the home invasion story (a subgenre I’ve long been horrified and entranced by). I also knew I wanted to use this story to think about the sexual impulse toward destruction. When I realized that Grindr—with its photo-sharing, geopositioning capabilities—would be the ideal plot device for marrying these goals, the narrative began to cohere. The other “horror mainstays” you’ve identified were not top of mind when I started writing.
The details in the story are also fantastic. For example, taking the time to let us know about baby carrots, the typo in the Grindr chat, the way we are drawn into the house at the start with its freezing “ice rink” floors. For me, this is what creates the real depth of the character. Was there a particular image or detail which served as the initial inspiration for the story?
I put off writing this story for months after I had the initial idea for it. That was partially because I was at work on a novel, but it was also because I couldn’t quite find the right way to begin putting words to the page. This changed after I was shaken by a small, horrific experience in my personal life; I began the first draft because I felt I needed to exorcise something awful from myself. Edwin’s voice came from this moment of intensely generative fear. So, to answer your question: no, there wasn’t any single image that drew me into the narrative. Just Edwin’s voice—sly, cynical, and relentlessly observant.
Once again, thank you for a great read! What else can we expect to see from you in the near (or not so near) future? Are there any other areas of the genre you’re excited to explore in your writing?
I’m currently working on a novel about a group of queer friends in coastal New England who encounter a century-old house with impossible interiors. As I write that sentence, I realize that maybe there are some horror mainstays I’m always thinking about!
When it comes to horror as a genre, I’m endlessly curious. I was fortunate enough to teach a class called “Are You Afraid of the Dark?: A Horror Writing Workshop” at Tufts University this past fall. The process of researching that class, and then hearing my students’ thoughts on texts we read, uncovered new directions for my own work. I find myself drawn to the numinous and uneasy landscapes of cosmic horror; delighted by the Gothic’s fascination with haunted technology; compelled by the slasher’s ability to revel in the nostalgic while also disrupting it. There’s so much possibility in this genre—for me, that’s a big part of the joy of writing horror.
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