This week I had the chance to talk to Patrick Marsh, author of The Greenland Diaries and Beware the Ills. Patrick writes dark fantasy and horror with a particular emphasis on monsters. So having him here is a pleasing contrast to Monday’s review of Tales of Mist and Magic since that one ran to the light end of fantasy. I’ve been following Patrick’s blog, What the Basement Said, for a while now and decided it was about time to ask him a few questions. Enjoy!
RF: I’ve noticed you write in journal form a lot. What is it about that approach to writing that attracts you?
Patrick: The journal format is appealing to me for a variety of reasons. First off, after reading so many chapter books in the standard first or third person format, I just wanted something different. I wanted to be part of the story, and when you’re trying to defuse the plot and figure out the characters like you would in a journal entry, you become emotionally and intellectually invested in a story. The journal is a very palatable version of making your audience work for information in your story. Instead of describing everything through an omniscient point-of-view, I’m limiting the details my readers receive, an I make their imagination fill-in-the-blanks. Sometimes when you make the audience work, they feel a closer kinship to the story.
RF: I loved reading your DOL stories when they were on your website and plan on picking up the book version when it comes out. Can you tell us what inspired the creation of the DOL monster?
Patrick: Thank you! DOL 39 is one of my favorite stories, and it really is fun to create. I’m in love with the monster. I wanted to create something truly terrifying and mystical. My basis for the DOL was to create something grounded in science, but also something completely unknown. The basis for the monster was something of a vampire, but more celestial and visceral. I basically took the idea of what if you had to live next to an evil god who was more powerful than you could ever imagine? How would you contain it? We throw so many shackles on god in the effort to control our idea of it. This is the same with the DOL. The DOL is a living nightmare. It is both alive and a legend at the same time. This is how a monster should operate. In a mixture of concrete feelings and complete suspense.
RF: Out of all the monsters you’ve created, do you have a favorite?
Patrick: My favorite monster I’ve ever created thus far are my abominations from my book series The Greenland Diaries. The monsters in this series are unbelievably great. They are both mysterious and concrete. At times, they’re nothing more than shadows in the streetlights. Other times they are towering hooded shapes with claws dangling from empty spaces. Sometimes they’re clouds of spores with blades between their shapes. They throw thorns, move mirrors, and spray paint a language along the deserted highways no one understands. They only exist to kill humans. They never waver from their purpose. They’re like an elemental force, murder to them is air for us to breathe. They’re unknown and unrelenting. They are called the Unnamed.
RF: What’s your next big release or project?
Patrick: DOL 39 will be released on Halloween on the Kindle. This will include the first 25 chapters of the story. I will publish a sequel later this year. Depending on how the Kindle version does, I might publish a paperback version of the story as well. This will be an ongoing series. I’m very excited to get this story into a book format. I’m curious to see how the audience will enjoy the story. The format is unique, and the monster is to die for.
RF: What’s the best way for a reader to stay connected with you and your work?
The best way to stay connected to my work is to follow my blog What the Basement Said through WordPress, email, and Facebook. I publish three or five times a week on my blog. These are often new stories, nonfiction essays, and updates on my current publications and appearances. I love to blog, so you’ll always be in the loop.
There you go! Make sure to check out Patrick’s current releases The Greenland Diaries and Beware the Ills and keep an eye out for the release of DOL 39 later this month! I’ll be reviewing The Greenland Diaries soon as well and I can’t wait!