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Hello, all. Mystreve here, conducting the first-ever CPW Writer's Lounge interview. The author I chose to be the first, is one who really needs no introduction around here (unless your name is “Ted” and you’ve been living in a cave). If you wrote a creepypasta legend like "Abandoned by Disney", you probably wouldn't either. To kick off these interview sessions: Slimebeast.
Mystreve: How are you doing, sir?
Slimebeast: Alright, I suppose. Yourself?
M: I just managed to kill my 26th housefly with my thoughts alone. I might call Guinness after this.
S: That's fantastic, good luck breaking that world record you mentioned and I can't wait to see the photos.
M: To get a background, and you can make it brief if you want, when did you start writing?
S: It's a bit difficult to say, but when I was a kid my Mom would draw a scenerio (like a man walking off a cliff) and then I'd have to come up with an explanation that would save him. For example: "There's a trampoline factory at the bottom!"
That's probably where all this began.
M: To branch off of that, what turned you on to writing short horror stories?
S: I'm a big fan of monsters and the like. It's the standard story where I used to be terrified and sickened by posters and covers for horror movies, and eventually I became attracted to the same concepts.
Going back to childhood (this will surprise NO one who has read my work) one of the first stories I wrote in Nursery School was about a murder plot between talking animal friends. People were disturbed, but hey, it's not like the plot was successful.
M: You probably anticipated this, but I'm really curious about Abandoned by Disney. And I'm sure you get a million questions about it. The way you wrote it almost feels like you really DID see a section of Disney that shouldn't have been seen; perhaps a childhood incident warped by adulthood memories? Is some strange memory you had, the muse for the story?
S: Abandoned by Disney? Really? All this time I thought "What to do with Human Baby" was the one everyone was spreading around. Weird. XD
But yeah, no specific incident in my history concerning Disney. I went there a couple times way back when, but the only bad thing that happened was an allergy to sunscreen that kept me in the hotel for one of the trips.
I guess the whole thing comes from the time when we all realize that someone or something isn't real. It can be horrible and traumatic when you see Mickey take his head off, or a certain someone removing his beard to take a coffee break at the mall.
I don't know if that's part of the reason people identify with the story, but the intent was at least partially to reference the idea of discovering something beloved is entirely not what you had been told.
M: I liked the humor you peppered throughout the story. "The secret society of homeless bums" made me chuckle, and caught me off-guard amidst the impending dread surrounding the environment. Overall, how do you view some humor in a horror story? Do you think it takes away from anything? Do you think it adds to a reader's empathy to a character?
S: I think that humor is almost entirely necessary to a horror story. Some of the things we find most horrifying are "funny". Clowns, for example. Dropping in a laugh or two right before something awful can be a powerful tool... and something really, really fun to do. :)
Look at all the horror movies that are considered classics. There's humor in them all. What's one of the most memorable lines in Jaws?
"We're gonna need a bigger boat!"
Still one of the scariest films.
M: Agreed. That's a timeless classic for any horror fan or fan of good writing, period. I enjoyed your first-person dialogue in Abandoned by Disney. The character seemed very down to earth. Is the character more YOU, someone you know, or just some guy with a penchant for discovering the unknown?
S: Well, it probably sounds like BS, but most of my narrators have some crucial personality flaw that leads to whatever horrific events follow. One of my favorite shows, and a huge inspiration, is the original Twilight Zone series. The main characters usually had this same problem - something within themselves that influenced the story more than any supernatural events.
With the blogger in Abandoned by Disney, I think he wants to achieve noteriety for himself. Something to post on the internet that will make him a small "celebrity". He got it.
He's not really based on anyone I've known, though some other characters in other stories are.
M: The first story I ever read of yours was "The Field Out Back", about a year ago. I wasn't searching for it; just hit the "random" button here and up it came. Still one of my favorites of yours. Mainly because I can recall many field areas like that as a kid, that no one really paid attention to or developed. Did you draw from some experience like the one that happened in that story?
S: Yeah, that field existed out behind the house of myself and the neighbor kid. Pretty much everything is true or based on truth except for the supernatural element.
M: By the way, I had a lot of Transformers toys as a kid. Jealous?
S: Where are they now? That's right, cry.
M: I digress. So, how do you flesh out an idea? I think a lot of writers get writer's block not only BEFORE, but DURING the creation of a story. This often makes for a rushed or bad body/ending to a potentially good read. How do you, as a writer, get around this?
S: I roll ideas around for a while before I start, usually, but I don't get bogged down in any more than the general idea and maybe the end twist. That way when I write there IS no right or wrong way to go with it. Wherever the story leads is fine because I didn't hammer everything into stone before starting.
Messy, I'm sure, but it works for me and I enjoy it.
For example, "Funnymouth" was basically just a name idea. Then I had the photo I used for his picture and thought about including that as a website. That's pretty much what I had before I started writing the story.
M: Branching off of that, any advice or pointers for writers of horror who are just starting out? I see a lot of people who have the desire, but seem to falter when it matters; whether it be poor grammar/spelling or just a stale plot. What matters most when starting out, besides just a desire to write?
S: People always say "Write as much as you can!" and for the most part that's nice advice - however, I'd add "Write as much as you can, and do NOT give a shit about what anyone thinks."
At least when you start.
Don't start out looking to wow people or gain positive attention. Just DO it. Then, you can see what people say and hopefully pick up on some good advice or critique.
Completely ignore trolls. If someone's sarcastic or bitchy, don't give them a second thought. Any legitimate points they make will be made by someone else who ISN'T going to dscourage you in the process.
Listen to people who write and at least consider what they say. Be cautious with advice from people who do not write.
People who write have experience, and people who don't have opinions. While I absolutely love to hear feedback from readers, it's important not to confuse opinion for fact when figuring out what you want to do with your own work.
In the end, that's what it is - YOUR work. Go where you want with it. Make it better in the ways you legitimately believe are better. Avoid changing anything that will make you want to stop.
If constantly worrying about typos will make you stop writing entirely, then write with typos. There are plenty of folks who won't mind point them out later on when you feel like fixing them.
M: That's sound advice. By the way, I saw that your website seems to be doing well. Quite a bit of traffic there. Is it stressful to keep that and life-in-general up, coupled with churning out new pieces of literature?
S: Well, I think my work 'schedule' is so random when it comes to creative endeavors that I just kind of fit it in whenever. I'm really happy that my site seems to be well-travelled, and I'm also kind of surprised because I'm so bad about updating. XD
I give myself a pass on the site for the most part, because of course as I mentioned the most important thing to me is creating the content. I can always link it from the front page later - at least it's written and posted on the forum. :)
M: Indeed. You have your own category on the Creepypasta Wiki. That must feel nothing short of "awesome". What's your current opinion of some of the other stories on the site? Are there any stories here that you are a fan of? And why?
S: Yeah, I actually saw when that happened and was dumbfounded. Despite the fact I'm nowhere near their level, it's very flattering to be set beside Lovecraft and King under any circumstances.
I'll take it. XD
To be honest, I don't really read as much as others probably do. Times when I could be sitting down to read or watch something, I'm usally sitting down to hack out a weird story or draw whatever.
That said, I've been a fan of Jonathan Wojick (Bogleech) for years and his stories are always demented/funny. As I mentioned I'm a big fan of monsters and to be honest I think he's one of the most talented Monster Enigneers (Monsterneers?) alive. I'd urge anyone to read his Noisy Tenant stories and just imagine living in that alternate universe.
I check out other stories from time to time, usually on the Bogleech forum, and I have my likes or "meh"s like anyone else. My favorites, I guess, are a mish-mash of all different one-off stories, etc.
M: Anything more you want to add? I have all day.
S: Day? It's night... It's night right now. You're insane.
M: I blame the houseflies. Anyway, I appreciate your time and thoughts today and congratulations on your success! I look forward to reading any new material you might present to us as well. Please check out Slimebeast's stories on the Creepypasta wiki, and make sure to check out more of his work on www.slimebeast.com.