Day 2 and some more insights into this great horror anthology. Yours for today only 99c at Amazon. Today I have contributions from Betty Rocksteady, Joshua Chaplinsky, Paul Michael Anderson and Michael Paul Gonzalez. As yesterday I have included each of the stories with their accompanying artwork from Luke Spooner.
Desert of Wounded Frequencies
“The Desert of Wounded Frequencies” went from conception to finished story in two days. It’s probably the quickest story I’ve ever written. I knew I wanted to submit to Lost Signals but I kinda left it to the last minute, and when I decided to go for it, I wrote quick and hard.
I knew immediately I wanted it to be about a car radio and an endless stretch of desert, inspired somewhat by movies like Dead End and Dark Country; full of dusty, lonely feelings. Mood is always one of my foremost concerns when writing. I wanted you to be able to taste the desert air.
I’ve always loved “unlikeable characters.” Especially in short stories, I think you can get away with not going for a heroic character necessarily. Not only are my characters flawed, sometimes they’re downright irredeemable. The character in this story starts out with an attitude problem, but I think you still emphasize with him enough to be startled by the reveal of exactly what he is capable of.
As far as the radio part of it, rather than just a haunted radio or a spooky radio, I wanted the supernatural part of the story to feel very personal and surreal, so the strange sounds coming from the broken down radio start to break down reality itself.
Find out more about Betty Rocksteady here.
All That You Can’t Leave Behind
Paul Michael Anderson
“All That You Leave Behind” can be blamed on becoming a parent and Lauren Beukes. Somewhere in her novel BROKEN MONSTERS, she throws off a line about a “ghost heartbeat” on a sonogram and the phrase fired off a Roman candle in my head; I thought of the terror going through my wife’s pregnancy–is everything all right? what’s going to happen? what does THIS [insert any THIS you please] mean?–and it spun into a what-if: What if a couple, expecting a child, lost it? What if that couple had to pick up the pieces and were failing miserably at it? What if, in the midst of this, they began to hear ghost heartbeats, briefly at first and then more and more? If the story works, if it’s the gut punch I was hoping for, it’s because I focused heavily on the would-be mother and father, who they were when they were thinking they were becoming parents, and who they were after that dream died. The supernatural elements became an amplifier, a shot of adrenaline into their turmoil. Right now, it’s one of my favorite pieces, personally. Writing it was difficult as hell, emotionally, but the process itself was ridiculously easy–which makes me wonder how easily I can go to those dark places. It makes me wonder a LOT.
Find out more about Paul Michael Anderson here.
The idea for my story “Feedback Loop” started with Kubrick. Or maybe, also, with Stephen King, but I remember the movie version of “The Shining” better than the book. Anyway, a friend of mine likes to impersonate Shelley Duvall saying, “KDK 12 to KDK 1”, so that’s really where it all started. That and I wanted one of the characters to be an electrosensitive. And no, I hadn’t yet seen “Better Call Saul”.
The rest I pretty much discovered as I wrote.
Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor.com. He is the author of ‘Kanye West—Reanimator.’ His short fiction has appeared in Zetetic, Motherboard, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Dark Moon Digest, and multiple print anthologies .
Find out more about Joshua Chaplinsky at joshuachaplinsky.com