I love giallos—I love that this story is centered around a giallo. Therefore, I loved this story. It actually reminds me a lot of the movie Berberian Sound Studio, also based around a series of murders and the filming of a giallo. Is there a particular giallo that colored “Chanson D’Amour,” and do you have any recommendations in the genre for our readers to check out?
In the past few years, only gradually and starting with the obvious ones by guys like Argento and Bava, I’ve grown into a big fan of gialli, and I think that growth, and seeing them really kind of hitting a renaissance of popularity right now, is mostly what informed this story. But it also had to do with an “a-ha” moment for me about the relationship between gialli and memory.
For me, reading this, the true horror of the piece comes from the fact that, given the fractured nature of time in this story, it’s impossible to tell chronologically when the narrator has killed Sara. The video editing lingo thrown in really helps this effect. What made you want to mess with the perception of time in this story?
So, I think this actually goes back to the answer to your first question a little bit, but I think the idea of messing with the perception of time grew out of the realization of just how often gialli are reliant on memory; specifically, the protagonist struggling to remember some small detail they’ve seen that will somehow make the solution click into place. So, while they’re a detective story, the solution is often already there inside their head, they’re just trying to find a way to make it come into focus.
I grew up listening to Manhattan Transfer as a kid, and seeing a reference to their cover of “Chanson D’Amour” really buttered my biscuit. What is it about the song that made it a fitting title for this piece, and why did you specifically choose Manhattan Transfer’s cover?
I was first introduced to “Chanson D’Amour” via the soundtrack of I, Madman (1989), and the version that plays on it is the Manhattan Transfer. It’s just playing on a radio in the movie, but I found it so evocative, so perfect, I knew I had to do something with it. When I was doing a little research into the song, I learned that it was a big hit in Europe in 1977, which gave me an excuse to actually mention the version by name in the story, as a way for the insufferable director character to be grounding his movie to the time and place that the gialli was thriving.
Visiting your website, I was delighted to see that you’ve been spending June creating an evocative Kaiju with a brief description every day of the month. #Kaijune is an amazing hashtag, and everyone reading this should go through the archive right now! We’ll wait. OK, now that everybody is back, I’ll ask what inspired you to participate, and which of your daily creations is your favorite?
I’m a big fan of kaiju films, and for the last year or two I’ve enjoyed the #kaijune contributions of various artists I follow on Twitter. I don’t know what it was that caused me to realize this year that I could play along by jotting down some tweet-length flash fiction each day, but once I had the idea, I’d pretty much already committed myself to the project before I could think better of it.
As far as picking a favorite . . . I think I might have to go with the one I did for “Crowned.”
What do we have to look forward to from you coming up?
Well, lately I’ve been keeping busy with a lot of freelance writing for tabletop roleplaying games, several of which should be hitting either shelves or Kickstarters in the near future. The only one I can mention the name of right now is Iron Kingdoms Requiem from Privateer Press, which had a very successful Kickstarter earlier this year and should be on shelves any day now.
As far as fiction goes, I recently wrote an occult cyberpunk novel for Broken Eye Books that’s being serialized on their Patreon (bit.ly/36JLSUm), with the third and final installment due out in the next few months. And I’m hoping to have a fourth collection of short fiction out through Word Horde, who have published all but my first collection so far, sometime in 2022.
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