Ladies and gentlemen of the Jackverse, I have a very…v e r y special surprise lined up for you today. I have found another traveler of the verse who values the lyricism and poetry of the written word in similar fashion as do I. She should need no introduction, but this is my circus and I do love donning the clown white. With that said…
Come one, come all to the center ring for a spectacle unlike anything you’ve ever before witnessed. I have a fellow member of the glamverse, a painter of the prose, a writer of undying passion. Give it up for…
You know who it is. Get over yourself.
JW: It is such a delight to converse with someone who also swoons over words…where the delicate placement of just the right syllable can set of a sentence and make magic. I love the rhythm of the written word. The pace. Patter.
In a world of stiffened blocks of paragraphs, it has become such a lost art. To draw upon the power of grace and elegance, within the realm of the horrific, can elevate the pedestrian to the poetic.
Grace. That word alone evokes such beauteous imagery.
CV: Am I supposed to say something suitably pretentious now? I am a reader and I love words. To quote Donald Drumpf “I have the best words”. I’ve always loved the way writers can set scenes with short but effective descriptions. I think where I enjoying playing with sounds and rhythms most is in dialogue. I LOVE dialogue. Even the word makes me shiver.
JW: The word “shiver” makes me moist. Wait…no…wrong. Bad toad, bad toad!
You used one of the most derisive words on the planet at the moment.
I kid. The hate-filled word du-jour is “Drumpf”. Ugh. But let’s not chase down the dangerous rabbit hole of politics…at least not at the moment. Or maybe that’s the perfect topic d’conversation to have between two writers of the horrific. Seriously, can you think of anything more frightening, at the moment, than the current political landscape in the United States? It’s almost impossible write anything more evocative than what we have going on. It’s almost the set up to a splatter punk horror novel: A megalomaniac, a theocrat, a criminal, and a socialist walk into a bar…
The wretched elegance and poetic irony.
CV: British politics are terrifying enough, but somehow the US manages to feel worse. It’s as though hate of differences has become a political currency. I am different. I have always been aware of my differences, and fascism is definitely not my friend. I couldn’t resist the Drumpf dig. I am still giggling at John Oliver. Yes I laugh in the face of horror – hahahahahaha!
JW: For me, being different has always been a badge of honor. The idea of falling in lock-step with the blue and khaki army makes me long for a straightjacket and padded walls. This is one of the reasons why I went the route of indie authorship. I knew anything I wrote would bend and twist the norm to the point few of the big six publishers would even consider. Dark Steampunk? What? A book that uses the metaphor of Hell to describe the publishing industry? Say huh?
To me, so much of what we do is guided by social constructs that should be challenged…especially as artists.
CV: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable” Cesar A Cruz.
Art is in a great position, and yes I include good books in this category, to challenge assumptions without the personal affront that puts people on the defensive and shuts down debate. I find as a horror writer a lot of my work is metaphor for real world problems. Quite often when I want to understand things I will write about them. I don’t always get answers, but I do figure out something new.
JW: I think one of the biggest issues to plague the new wave of writers is that they don’t approach the written word as a form of art. Some look at it with the false hope of “getting rich quick”. If you’ve been in the industry long enough, you know the fault in that starry logic.
It’s funny you should mention the act of understanding through writing. That happens to me so often. Many times it comes about in the form of a profound question. The way my mind works is such that I must answer that question. Clearly the easiest means by which to answer said question lies within the written word.
The pen is, as they say, mightier than the therapist.
Do they not?
CV: Cheaper too.
I wrote The Starblood Trilogy during the final years of my second marriage and a lot of the things I was feeling then found their way onto the page. The three main characters represented aspects of myself, Star was my confusion, Satori my sexuality, and Lilith my rage. It can be cathartic but it can be very painful too. Years after the breakup of my first marriage I wrote an autobiographical piece called Heart Shaped Box which can be found on my blog. Through writing it I realised I was ultimately responsible for a lot that happened, rather than being the victim I’d previously assumed.
JW: It’s amazing what we learn about ourselves through our craft. And to think that we writers of darker and twistier fiction can actually come away having taken positive steps toward healing a great pain (through writing about the horrific), should surprise no one. I’ve discovered so much of myself in my work…in some cases frighteningly so. I think that comes with the territory. Artists are such that they bleed their reality into their work. Sometimes it’s joyous…sometimes it hurts. This profound connection that cannot (and should not) be unmade. We call upon our pasts, our hearts, our souls…ourselves…to find the deeper meaning, the life of the work. Without this, everything we’d write would ring hollow.
CV: Write about what you know, and you should know yourself better than anyone. I went to a reading and signing by Neil Gaiman (or was it Iain Banks?) I’ve been lucky enough to meet both, but I think this time it was Mr Gaiman who said horror writers have better mental health and lower suicide rates than other authors, because they pour their pain into their work. Comedians, apparently, are the most messed up. I write because I have to, because the pain becomes too overwhelming when I don’t. I write to try to understand and to let others know they aren’t alone. I write so people with different experiences might find some empathy, but mostly I write to purge it all and survive another day.
Carmilla Voiez is a new voice in the world of horror. While the imagery harks back to the writings of Clive Barker and H P Lovecraft, her voice is uniquely female. Starblood is perhaps the first true female horror story ever written, dealing with both sexual violence and the struggle of a woman trying to make sense of a senseless world.
Carmilla grew up on a varied diet of horror. Her earliest influences as a teenage reader were Graham Masterton, Brian Lumley and Clive Barker mixed with the romance of Hammer Horror and the visceral violence of the first wave of video nasties. Fascinated by the Goth aesthetic and enchanted by threnodies of eighties Goth and post-punk music she evolved into the creature of darkness we find today.
Find out more about Carmilla on her website