Author Interview: Jeremy C. Shipp

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Today I am interviewing Jeremy C. Shipp, author of the new horror novella, The Atrocities. 

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DJ: Hi Jeremy! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Jeremy: Hey DJ! Thanks for having me. I like what you’ve done with the place. 

I am a professional geek, a yard gnome enthusiast, a spork collector, a cat whisperer, and a taqueria frequenter. My writing swirls together elements of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and magic realism. I’ve published over 10 books and baker’s dozens of short stories. I live in Southern California in a semi-haunted Victorian farmhouse alongside a few lackadaisical ghosts.

DJ: What is The Atrocities about?

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Jeremy: Here’s what the back cover has to say: 

When Isabella died, her parents were determined to ensure her education wouldn’t suffer.

But Isabella’s parents had not informed her new governess of Isabella’s… condition, and when Ms Valdez arrives at the estate, having forced herself through a surreal nightmare maze of twisted human-like statues, she discovers that there is no girl to tutor.

Or is there…?

In a recent review, Mallory Heart writes, “If Agatha Christie had fallen through a Lovecraftian Portal, and then penned a locked room mystery, with illustrations by William Blake, the result might resemble the vast estate, ‘The Atrocities,’ and its family, in this stunning Gothic panorama.”

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Atrocities? 

Jeremy: I’m a big fan of authors such as Charlotte Brontë and Shirley Jackson and Daphne Du Maurier. I wrote The Atrocities because my love of gothic fiction transmogrified into a rather interminable longing to create a gothic-inspired work of my own. 

DJ: What is the world and setting of The Atrocities like?

Jeremy: The Atrocities takes place in Stockton House and the surrounding grounds. I set out to create a house of grotesqueries and beauty that is as much a character as any of the human beings. I wanted a place that, over the course of the story, becomes uncomfortably, vividly real in the mind of the reader.

DJ: There are many different definitions of horror in genre, so I’m curious, when you write “horror”, how is it that you try to scare your readers? Do you go for gore? Shock? Maybe build up tense moments? Or perhaps it is the unknown?

Jeremy: Horror is definitely a spectrum of a genre. These days, my stories tend to elicit fear through atmosphere and surreality and empathy for my characters. In general, I attempt to explore real-world horrors, like the loss of a loved one or the pain of isolation, in bizarre and unexpected ways. I also like creepy monsters.

DJ: This may have skipped some reader’s attention, but The Atrocities is actually a novella. It seems to me that novella is gaining a rise in popularity again: what is it about the novella format that you like? Do you feel there is a particular advantage to telling your story that way over the novel?

Jeremy: I find the novella the perfect vessel for a horror tale. The length is long enough to immerse the reader in a complex reality, and short enough that one can potentially consume the whole thing in a sitting or two. The real world won’t have as many opportunities to break up the tension or mitigate the impact of the horrors (or the beauty).

DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began writing The Atrocities? 

Jeremy: As an admirer of gothic fiction, I wanted to utilize some of the tropes and elements of the genre while at times turning these devices on their heads.

DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from The Atrocities that you can share with us?

Jeremy: I had a lot of fun writing Robin’s dialogue, so I’d like to share a snippet: “I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I’m watching a movie in town tonight with my friend Michi. She’s a sweet sort of person, only her taste in cinema puts my nose out of joint, as they say. I’ll ask you, Miss Danna, what sort of person designates Waterworld as her favorite movie of all time?  Not to be crude, but the man drinks his own urine. I suppose I prefer heroes with a little more decorum.”

DJ: Now that The Atrocities is released, what is next for you?

Jeremy: Not to be a Nebulous Nelly, but I may or may not have a secret book that will be released at some point in the near or distant future. Other than that, I’m either going to keep writing books and stories, or I’m going to ritualistically burn my quill and sell yard gnomes door to door. I haven’t quite decided yet.

DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?  

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/jeremycshipp 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jeremywriter

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jeremycshipp

Website: http://www.jeremycshipp.com

DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about The Atrocities that we haven’t talked about yet?

Jeremy: One of these things is featured in The Atrocities:

A. An axolotl in a top hat.

B. A marmoset in medieval armor. 

C. A capybara in a tutu. 

D. A fennec fox dressed like a Minion.

DJ: Is there anything else you would like add? 

Jeremy:  Just a bit of unsolicited advice for whoever’s reading this: If you see a doll swallowing human organs, do not bother her. She’s in the metamorphosis stage of becoming alive and needs to concentrate.

DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions! 

Jeremy: Thank you kindly.

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*** The Atrocities is published by Tor.com Publishing and is available TODAY!!! ***

Buy the Book: 

Amazon | Barnes & NobelGoodreads | Kobo

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6C722C45-7410-42F0-A13B-A573BFC308DFAbout the Book:

When Isabella died, her parents were determined to ensure her education wouldn’t suffer.

But Isabella’s parents had not informed her new governess of Isabella’s… condition, and when Ms Valdez arrives at the estate, having forced herself through a surreal nightmare maze of twisted human-like statues, she discovers that there is no girl to tutor.

Or is there…?

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60E48880-0395-41F7-AEEA-1D8A9E62AA61

About the Author:

Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Cursed, Vacation, and Sheep and Wolves. His shorter tales have appeared or are forthcoming in over 60 publications, the likes of Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, Withersin, and Shroud Magazine. Jeremy enjoys living in Southern California in a moderately haunted Victorian farmhouse called Rose Cottage. He lives there with a couple of pygmy tigers and a legion of yard gnomes. The gnomes like him. The clowns living in his attic–not so much. His twitter handle is @JeremyCShipp.


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One thought on “Author Interview: Jeremy C. Shipp

  1. @lynnsbooks says:

    Haha – some lovely twisted answers here (looking at the organ eating doll) that fit perfectly with the tone of this book. I really enjoyed it. It definitely succeeds with the gothic vibe. And I love the authors chosen here – Jane Eyre is such a wonderful gothic novel. I was torn between wanting the story to be longer – so I could enjoy the oddities of the house, and not wanting it any longer because I wouldn’t be able to cope.
    I hope for more gothic works – perhaps something a little longer next time.
    Lynn 😀

    Like

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