Greetings from the Ether,
With the release of Hinnom Magazine Issue 004 just on the horizon, we’d like to spotlight some of the authors involved. Joshua Chaplinsky’s story “Dreams of the Werehouse” is a drug-induced, hallucinatory trip that is sure to catch readers off guard. Chaplinsky has been published quite a bit, his Lovecraftian comedy Kanye West: Reanimator meeting positive responses, and more recently, his tales have appeared in Pantheon Magazine, Dead Bait 4, and Lost Signals back in 2016. We’re proud to present our interview with the author and we hope you’ll enjoy.
Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor.com. He has also written for popular film site Screen Anarchy and for ChuckPalahniuk.net, the official website of Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk. He is the author of Kanye West—Reanimator. His short fiction has been published by Zetetic, Motherboard, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Dark Moon Digest, Pantheon Magazine, and on the Great Jones Street app. More info at joshuachaplinsky.com and @jaceycockrobin on Twitter.
CP: Could you tell us a little about yourself? Why you find the darker side of fiction appealing?
JC: Hm . . . Why does anybody? I suppose it’s because there’s so much opportunity to read or create something no one’s ever seen before, at least not as often, or in the typical way. I just like weird shit! And as my mother used to say, don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like horror or heavy metal.
CP: Your tale “Dreams of the Werehouse” is a hypnotic, drug-induced mystery. Can you delve into the inspirations for the story? How it came to fruition?
JC: Ha. “Werehouse,” much like Kanye West: Reanimator, started as an associative joke. With Kanye, I was re-reading Lovecraft, and when I came to “Herbert West—Reanimator,” the title just popped into my head. Herbert West, Kanye West. As simple as that. With “Werehouse,” I was inspired by the word warehouse. I thought, is it possible to write a serious story where a guy turns into a house, like a werewolf? Turns out, it is. The title, interestingly, also came from Lovecraft—his story “The Dreams in the Witch House.” After re-reading it, I saw some thematic similarities between the two stories, so I went back and added a few Easter eggs to mine, to reward the careful reader.
CP: You’ve been published quite a bit, from appearing in the successful anthology Lost Signals to releasing your Lovecraft parody novel Kanye West: Reanimator. Can you tell us a little about your aspirations as an author? The successes you’ve already accomplished?
JC: You hear so many horror stories (!) about what a nightmare (!) it is to get published. I feel very fortunate with my publishing credits thus far. For now I want to keep on writing weird shit that excites me, with the hopes that it will continue to excite other people. I’d like to continue to do this without writing becoming a chore, because that’s when the wild ride comes to an end.
CP: If you could meet and converse with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
JC: I’ve been lucky enough to meet and interview some of my favorite writers—Steve Erickson, Bret Easton Ellis, James Ellroy, Terry Gilliam—so I don’t want to be greedy. But I’d have to say I’d love to meet God. He wrote this pretty popular book called The Bible. I’d love to pick his brain, talk about his editorial process, which parts of the book he embellished and what not. I’d ask him what it was like working with so many co-authors. I think it’d be very enlightening.
CP: What can readers look forward to from Joshua Chaplinsky in 2018? Do you have any stories brewing?
JC: I have a few new stories I’m very excited about set for publication in 2018, as well as a bunch out on submission to cool projects. I also have a novella/novel (not sure yet) I’ve been working on the last couple years, but I’m not rushing it, so . . . that may be a while. It’s not quite so dark, but it mixes genres and has a more complex structure. I’ll know it’s done when it’s done.
CP: Tell us something not many readers know about you.
JC: I could probably tell you anything, because—who the hell am I? I loved to read and write from a young age. Took creative writing in college. But then I got sidetracked. I spent my early twenties playing in bands and touring, and my late twenties/early thirties trying to be a screenwriter. Then I realized I wanted to write something people would actually read, even if it was only a handful of people, so three or four years ago I came full circle and finally started to concentrate on my short fiction. It’s been going well, so I’d like to think this is where I was meant to wind up.
CP: What is your writing process?
JC: It consists of me psyching myself up while I do everything that’s NOT writing, freaking out about IgottawriteIgottawriteIgottawrite, finding that elusive chunk of free time and then forcing myself into the chair until I make some progress or time runs out. Some days are better than others, obviously.
CP: If you could give any tidbit of advice to aspiring authors, what would it be, and why?
JC: Write whatever the fuck you want. Also, there’s so much “advice” out there, and not all of it is for everyone. There is no definitive answer. Anyone who claims to have it is a snake oil salesman. Take the bits that work for you, and toss the rest.
Catch Joshua in Hinnom 004 with his tale “Dreams of the Werehouse,” releasing on the 31st!
Thank you so much for stopping by, as always, and make sure to pre-order Hinnom 004 and check out Joshua’s other works. Follow us on social media!