I always assumed I’d be writing horror. When I became a writer it was a no brainer. It was a place I felt the most comfortable, and welcomed. When my first book was published I was excited to be included in the splatterpunk genre because that’s where I called home. As I began writing though, something interesting happened. I began to drift further and further from splatterpunk. The Darkness of the Soul was an attempt to challenge myself a little, and it sort of worked. I’m proud of the book and how it turned out, but that was the beginning of the shift away from horror. Legacy 2 is my last full fledged horror novel. Balls out splatterpunk, but it’s deceiving in a way because of how it was released. It was written before Darkness so it feels as if I’m returning back to my horror roots. As a writer I’m constantly exploring, and evolving. All writers do that, at least I think they do.
The problem was that I was no longer having fun writing horror. I wanted to challenge myself and see what I was capable of. Horror was fun for awhile, but it was to constricting. When I began writing Out With A Whimper I was able to write a novel with some elements of horror but there’s a great deal of dark humor to it as well. I set out to create an anti-zombie novel and I did. I threw out all the rules of the genre to create something unique. I was having a lot of fun writing and I wanted to go further. You can say I sold out, but I see it another way. With the new direction I found that I could inject a lot of my own personality into my work, and keep most of the elements people enjoy. The same dark overtones, the same black humor, but most importantly I’m having a great deal of fun. Aware was the moment I realized that the game had changed for me. Would people accept it? Jesus, did I really sell out?
This was just a natural progression for me. I’ve been reading a lot of books outside of the horror genre and that’s crept into my writing. Ideas that I could never explore as a horror author can now be explored and it’s fun. Will people accept the new style? If not there’s a lot of other readers that aren’t horror fans that will embrace the new stuff because it’s so different. I was worried about what fans would say when they heard about the new direction my writing was taking, but in the end, I had to do what I felt was best for me. We all grow and evolve. No one stays in the same place forever. The hard part is expaining why you’re doing the things you do. Some get it, some don’t, but it’s expected.
The one thing I can assure you is there won’t be any attempts to go mainstream. Aware is too weird for that, and as I work on the follow up to it, I can say with some assurance there’s no chance in hell I’ll ever be beach reading material. If anything, I want to challenge people to think a little. To explore subject matter with a weird little twist at the end. It’s still dark, it’s still messed up which is a trademark of mine. I don’t even know what genre the new stuff is called, or could even be marketed as. That’s up to the publishers, not me. That’s why they make the big bucks isn’t it? As a writer I’m just following my gut, and that’s really all I can do. Maybe some day I’ll make a dramatic return to horror or it’s possible I won’t. Who knows. I just hope people continue to read my stuff and enjoy it. To the fans who follow me on this new journey you better strap in. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.