Anyone who knows me has probably heard about my reading and writing interests at some point - i.e. typically weird and/or dark. You may have heard me read at the informal writing group I haunt on occasion, or at The Lost and Found Show (which incidentally is happening tonight - the theme object is Cameras). After reading some of my more visceral pieces at a writing group I am fairly accustomed to people who don't know me approaching warily, as if afraid I might bite, or possibly produce a bloody claw hammer from somewhere - that said I was gratified to see a piece I wrote that made me want to throw up at the time, and then again later when editing it, had the same effect at the group. It was incredibly refreshing to hear Jack Ketchum say something similar. It was one of many things I took away from the evening. I keep thinking of the word kindred.
Because here's the thing. Despite the subject matter he writes about so prolifically, Jack Ketchum is a straight forward, matter of fact, (dare I say it) flat out personable nice guy. And I don't say that about many people. Highly approachable, I felt like I could have spoken to him for hours. I have also been a long time fan of Richard Laymon, and when I asked Jack if he was familiar with Richard's work because they worked in the same area(ish), he laughed, and related a story about how he had known Richard for five years before he knew who he was, that their interests were so similar, and that they became friends by approaching each other through writing around the same time.
Laurie Lamson and Jack Ketchum also discussed some of the exercises from Laurie's book Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror: Speculative Genre Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers, which is definitely on my list to grab. I am intrigued by the exercises.
The few pictures I took from this event are here: http://www.davidstewart.photography/center-for-fiction-jack-ketchum-laurie-lamson
The center for fiction, Jack Ketchum and Laurie Lamson are expressly authorized to use unaltered copies of these pictures, anyone else must have permission in writing. The entire album can be downloaded, and prints are also available for purchase under the Buy button. Altering my pictures, including removal of the watermark, is specifically out of bounds unless expressly authorized in writing. If anyone needs watermark free versions for something, please Contact me.