Benjamin Knox is a repeat offender, and that's why we love him so much. He has a story in the 2012 Bloody Parchment anthology, and this year he's done it again, appearing in The Root Cellar and Other Stories. So, Ben, tell us a little about yourself.
(Ah my favourite subject)
comedy. Like horror and sci-fi movies before they had CGI in them. I think that
I like to write horror with my own dream-like and sinister twist to it, but I also write pulpy fiction to balance out all the seriousness. Short fun stories were I can just let my imagination and silliness run riot. It helps me to take a step back and not take things too seriously. If I’m stuck with a particular tale--banging my head against the keyboard--then I often take a break from it for a day or two to write something deliciously silly. Then when I turn my attention back to the serious story again, I get a fresh perspective and I’m amazed I got stuck in the first place.
Tell us a little about the background of your story which appears in the 2012 anthology.
We follow our narrator as they waste away from some unknown degeneration in their remote and isolated home, trapped in their own mind reality unravels around them. There is a sense that someone or something is approaching, but is it real or is it some waking nightmare spawned by a delirious mind?
Are there any interesting anecdotes relating to its creation?
I got sick and my girlfriend and I were joking about “man-flu” and how it always seems like the world is ending when a man is ill. That got me thinking about more serious degenerative illnesses.
Stylistically I wanted to capture that eerie feeling you get in some dreams or nightmares when you know, just know, that something sinister lurks nearby. The sort of dream were nothing overtly scary happens yet you’re transfixed with utter dread.
I combined this spooky dream like quality with an aspect of the Body Horror theme I was working on at the time. Wither is one of three stories I wrote in quick succession, unconnected but with a similar feel, though it is in my opinion the best of the three.
What do you like about horror as a genre?
(I could write reams about this)
Horror can take itself seriously but it can also take the piss out of itself. I find the fact that I can write a seriously ultra-creepy story one day and then go and do something completely out-there and pulpy (like a good ol’ fashioned B-movie) the next day, and have them still sit side-by-side in the same genre very liberating.
What scares you?
Seriously, I read a lot of quite grisly horror and shrug it off because it’s fantasy, made-up, cathartic. But some of the things you find on the news or stumble across during research are just terrifying.
I actually had to stop myself during a research session once because some of the things real people do...*shudders*...
Where can people find you online?
At my website: www.benjaminknox.net
But I also have a tumblr blog where I share my work and repost things that relate to the work I do or inspire me. http://benjaminknox.tumblr.com/
I’m also on facebook. Benjamin Knox, author