An essay on Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Over at Flavorwire, I wrote about one of my favorite novels: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I also talk a bit about the problems with always calling female characters either "strong" or "unlikable," and say this:

I’m reading to be surprised, gripped, and then carried off — like deer downed by a pack of wolves — into the woods of an author’s mind.


Lush Rot: Flannery O’Connor, True Detective, Southern hip-hop, and the gnarled roots of Southern Gothic.

I was asked by Guernica to write about something related to Southern Gothic and I went a little nuts cramming in everything from Dirty South hip-hop and Flannery O'Connor to kudzu vines and The Walking Dead.
If the Gothic was ethereal in England, it became earthy in the South. Where Emily Brontë writes of mythic lovers in candlelit parlors, William Faulkner writes of an impoverished family dragging their mother’s corpse through the countryside.
The essay is part of Guernica's awesome Southern issue that also features Kiese Laymon, Laura van den Berg, Catherine Lacey, Jamie Quatro, and a bunch of others.

New stories in UNSTUCK and NOON

I've got two new stories in two of my favorite literary magazines: NOON and Unstuck. Both issues have pretty amazing line-ups. NOON 2014 has Clancy Martin, James Yeh, Brandon Hobson, Christine Schutt, Ann DeWitt, Anya Yurchyshyn, and many more. Unstuck #3 has Matt Bell, Amelia Gray, Patrick Somerville, Lindsay Hunter, Rick Moddy, and a ton of others. Check them out.

Interview with Jeff VanderMeer

Over at Buzzfeed Books, I interviewed Jeff VanderMeer about his rad new novel, Annihilation

 "If the reader enters a kind of immersive experience reading a book, then I have to enter a kind of immersive state to do my best work. Dreams, though, are just one kind of inspiration — no more or less special than something in a newspaper article or from the world around you sparking inspiration. The main thing is to put yourself in a place where you’re receptive to what offers itself up to you."


Adam Wilson interview and House of Cards reading list

I had two recent Buzzfeed Books pieces:

1) An interview with author and friend Adam Wilson where we talk about writing sex scenes and humorous fiction.

2) 23 Books Every Fan of House of Cards Should Read in which I list novels and non-fiction books filled with Machiavellian schemers and political intrigue.


more monster fiction

In January, I had six monster flash fiction pieces published in Necessary Fiction. In February, I had one monster flash fiction story published in Monkeybicycle. This is the first line:

This morning I murder your mother, but then I always murder your mother. 

Only a week left to do your True Detective homework

Two weeks ago I wrote a True Detective reading list for Buzzfeed Books. Forgot to post it here until now, but check it out for suggestions on books that inform the show's mythology and philosophy as well as just some rad southern gothic and weird fiction books fans might dig.