Benjamin Knox is another visitor to my blog who needs very little by way of introduction. Plainly put, he writes some of the creepiest stories I've yet had ooze their way into my inbox. The tale that appears in this issue of Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar and Other Stories taps into two of my greatest fears: relentless aliens who like to snack on humans... and spiders. Trust me, if you don't have an arachnoleptic fit the next time you walk into a spider web, you'll be reminded of this story.
What planted the seed for your story?
The opening scene just popped into my head when I was thinking about fear. What scares me? What would just be an awful situation to find oneself in? It seemed a natural combination of personal experiences fused together to create a nightmarish scenario I'm quite proud of.
What are some of the themes you treated in your tale?
Fear, of course, this is a horror story. Over and above that however there is a little in there about hopelessness and the sense of being overwhelmed by the world around you. Something I think we all suffer from, from time to time. But mostly I just wanted to tell a ripping good yarn.
What are the hallmarks of a great horror/dark fantasy author and story?
Eye of the Beholder and all that. Personally though, I think a story or an idea that lingers with you long after you've turned the last page and put down the book is a good sign. A concept that sits in your mind, nagging and worrying at you. Like evil mimes standing around your bed while you sleep.
How do you approach your creative process?
I divine my ideas from bird signs and animal entrails...
I could write reams about this, as I'm sure could many authors. Basically I behave like Pooh and have a good long ponder, ruminate on multiple concepts, play with ideas and scenes. It's a little like shifting. Eventually I fix on one or two ideas that I not only like but feel I want to write.
As far as the writing itself goes, I have a good idea where it's going before I begin, key scenes in my head. Then I begin chronologically, scene by scene, chapter by chapter, but there is plenty of room to play and let my imagination have a little fun. I know where I've got to get to, just not how I'm going to get there.
That's the fun part.
What are you working on now?
So. Many. Things.
I have the odd habit of pushing multiple project at differing stages at the same time.
I'm just putting the finishing touches on a few mini-collections of short stories, each bound by a theme and collected under the general title of Penny Dreadfuls after the 19th Century forerunner of the pulp magazine.
The first two collections Bizarre Pulp and Creeping Madness should be released soon. If you like my story Strands in the latest Bloody Parchment anthology you'll love these.
Body Horror Triptych will appear a little later as well. With more in the works.
Other than that, Toby Bennet - whose story The Root Cellar is the title story of this year's Bloody Parchment anthology - and I are working together on a super secret Zombie project together. It's my first time collaborating and so far we're off to a raring start. Let's Just say it'll be totally unlike any zombie story you've read before.
If you like being creeped the hell out, badass babes, blood and guts, and some truly grotesque imagery, then stay tuned.
For further strangeness visit Benjamin at his website:
Amazon Author Page
or on Facebook: Benjamin Knox, Author