Who the hell are you?
Nobody, hence the name. Actually, I’m a dark-fiction / horror author from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I flirted with an English Major and eventually stood her up for a Masters in Philosophy and Computer Science from the University of Minnesota.
I like pancakes, artists, art teachers, Suzanne Vega and the color black.
I don’t like lutefisk, Bruce Springsteen or those small dogs that people put in their purses. Get a real dog fer crissake, my cat could kick that dog’s ass, and she’s been dead for years.
Where the hell is Minneapolis?
The word “Minnesota” comes from the Ojibwe, and translates as “the land where milk is a spice, and any day above Zero Degrees (Kelvin) is to be cherished.”
Minnesota is also where Minneapolis can be found. Minneapolis is from the street gang the Bloods, and translates as “the city where it never gets over Zero Degrees, and we shoot strangers, children and small dogs on sight.”
Minneapolis is my home. I live just down the street from where Diablo Cody wrote the screenplay for “Juno”. Yes, I did actually see her there at Starbucks, hunched over her laptop, all leopard print and tattoos. No, I never slept with her. In fact, I *so* did not sleep with her that I wrote a song about it.
Many people think that a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy is worthless, and I almost certainly couldn’t disagree with this less. It completely strips you of anything you thought you knew, including any moral or religious upbringing. It instills a healthy sense of paranoia, causing you to doubt everything and trust no one. It consumes so much of your time, that you will have to completely give up on sleep, relationships, television and social activity. Caffeine will become your new God.
There are also disadvantages.
For example, by the time you are done with your four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, you will have amassed enough debt in student loans that you could have purchased your own third-world country, and proclaimed yourself to be ‘smart’. Or, you could have hired a small but dedicated group of people to follow you around all day and point out all the smart things you do. In lieu of a six-year Master’s Degree in Philosophy, you could have a small, dedicated and really good looking group of people follow you around.
Writing. Yeah, I’m getting to that. Just hold your horses.
One strange by-product of Philosophy is that it forces you to write. A lot. It forces you to think both creatively and logically whilst typing at speeds only achieved by replacing your soul with caffeine. When I finished my degree at the University of Minnesota, my Inner Philosopher wasn’t willing to leave, and there wasn’t much else for him to do but write…
Winnie the Pooh said it best:
“Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you.” -Winnie the Pooh
And I think that can be extended to any creative art. Who chooses to become a Sculptor, Interpretive Dancer or an Author of Dark Fantasy-Fiction? No one chooses these things, the spirit of the art possesses them, and they can suffer or cope or self-medicate or create. More likely some combination of the four.
On Being a Horror Author:
There are two “Oh”s I tend to encounter when meeting new people. The first is when people discover that I’m an author:
That’s the first one. It contains properties of surprise, and positive expression. Eyes open, lips curl slightly upward. This is of course followed by:
“What kind of books do you write?”
I sometimes answer, “Dark Fantasy” but I don’t like to lie. Any story with the word “eviscerated” in it falls into one category – “Horror.”
There’s the second one I was telling you about. Eyes narrow, lips purse or curl slightly downward, and sometimes there is a notable shudder.
Like Winnie the Pooh said, it’s “something that gets you.” I didn’t say the spirit of art that possesses people is always a pleasant one. I’d rather be happy drawing pictures of unicorns or something, but you have to play the hand you’re dealt.
On Being a Horror Author from the Midwest:
Let’s be honest, Minneapolis is great… for about three months of the year. But when the temp drops to the point where molecular motion nearly stops there isn’t much to do except sleep, drink, and write progressive rock music / horror novels. Ask Björk, she knows…
Boy, do I hear that one a lot. The studies I’ve done of what used to be called the ‘left-hand path’ are more accurately labeled as ‘Spirituology’ but Spirituologist just doesn’t have the ring that Demonologist has.
I’ve been interviewed on the subject of Demonology and I did write a real Demonslayer’s Handbook, a companion to the series which I might just release someday.
Jagged Spiral is a three-piece ‘Northern Rock’ band from Minneapolis. I really love this band which is a good thing, because I’m in it. I provide bass and vocals, Josh handles percussion, and Colin plays guitars (all of them). We write and produce our own original music. The genre is an evil combination of sharp and slick, piercing and polished, jaggedy and spirally (hence the name). There’s an entire history of the band at this link.
In 2006, the production company Stone Soup Films asked Jagged Spiral to provide the score for their independent vampire movie project called “Pray For Daylight”. We scored the entire movie with clips from early Days From Evil recording sessions and original scoring. We appear in the credits under the temporary band name “Jagged Halo”. In 2007, Pray For Daylight premiered at the Riverview Theatre in Minneapolis.
“Days From Evil” was released on the internet for free in Fall 2007, and the CD release party was held at Club Underground on July 11 2008. You can download the entire album of Days From Evil at this link, or you can visit the Jagged Spiral myspace page.
We play infrequently in the Minneapolis area. Check www.jaggedspiral.com for schedule and updates.