Hi Readers, welcome to Thursday! I have a Lovecraftian inspired interview for you today with the author Joshua Chaplinsky and his novel Kanye West – Reanimator. Enjoy!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I could, but that would be boring! I write to escape that life.
What inspired you to write?
I loved to read as a kid, and always knew I wanted to write. I got sidetracked by aspirations of screenwriting for a while there, but I’ve finally buckled down and gotten serious about writing fiction.
What inspired your novel?
It’s really more of a novella, or glorified short story. I was re-reading Lovecraft, looking for short story inspiration for a Lovecraft themed anthology, when it hit me. Herbert West—Reanimator… Kanye West—Reanimator. I have an associative mind that way.
What is the genre?
I would call it a hip-hop themed parody of the cosmic horror genre.
What draws you to this genre?
I’m drawn to genre in general—horror, sci-fi, anything weird. It allows so much opportunity to tell interesting stories.
How did you develop your plot and your characters?
I basically used the framework of Lovecraft’s “Herbert West—Reanimator” and inserted Kanye West as the main character.
What inspired your protagonist?
The life and times of the one and only—you guessed it—Kanye West! Also, the character of Herbert West, obviously.
What inspired your antagonist?
Interestingly, I would say Kanye West is his own worst enemy, so he is the antagonist as well as the protagonist in my story.
What was the hardest part to write in the book?
Hm… the part where Kanye kills his own mother. I felt I was walking a thin, dangerous line there.
What was your favourite part of your book to write?
Probably the part where Kanye kills his own mother. I had a lot of fun with that.
Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
Part time. My “Clark Kent” job is working in film and television. The boring, officey part, not any of the cool jobs.
What are you currently reading?
So much. I just finished the new Brian Evenson novella from Tor, called The Warren, coming of age werewolf novel Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones, and Disappearance At Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay, his awesome followup to the awesome Head Full of Ghosts.
Who would you say are your favourite authors?
Easily Zeroville author Steve Erickson. Nobody does what he does. And Brian Evenson has become a recent favorite as well. If you like your literature weird and different, these are your guys.
How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
Jeez, that’s tough. It changes from day to day, but right now I’d say:
Zeroville by Steve Erickson
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Blackbox by Nick Walker
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
What are your future projects, if any?
I’m currently concentrating on short fiction. I’ve got a story in the upcoming radio-themed horror anthology Lost Signals from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, one in the upcoming horror anthology Final Masquerade from Lycan Valley Press, and a story in a Wu-Tang Clan tribute anthology from New English Press called This Book Ain’t Nuthin To Fuck With. All three should be out later this year.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t do it! Just kidding. Read and write as much as possible. And then read and write some more.