Saturday, May 29, 2010

When is Sex Appropriate?

When is sex appropriate in a horror story? When is it not gratuitous? Must it advance the plot or is it enough that it aids in character development? If it doesn't do a damn thing for character development is it still appropriate to throw it in there?

I may seem like the last person to answer this question. I have occassionally been accused of gratuitousness in regards to the sexual content in my writing, though I would argue that I have never written a single sex scene that hasn't either advanced the plot or helped define the characters involved. If anything, I write a lot of plots that revolve around sex but plot-driven sex is not a crime. I think I'll Twitter that.

So when is sex appropriate in a horror story? When it would be appropriate in life, which is to say anytime and any place where children are not present and you are not in any imminent danger. That's my answer. Short and sweet. I'm sorry if you were expecting some long drawn out essay but I just don't feel it's necessary.

Art should imitate life as much as possible and in life you need no justification for having sex other than a mutual attraction. I'm not suggesting that everything that happens in life should go into your novel. The daily minutia of life needn't be included. You don't need to know every time someone passes gas or picks their nose. But sex? That's a bit too big to ignore and how a person makes love says as much about who they are as where they were born or how they were raised. Who they make love with tends to be important to the plot. If someone has sex with the main antagonist of the story how could that not be important?

So, in my mind, sex is always appropriate where it would not seem ridiculous. When it is natural, it is right and looking at the broad spectrum of human sexual behavior, both moral and amoral, I would challenge anyone to find a scenario that would be "unnatural". People fuck. Deal with it.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Everyone Dies Famous In A Small Town

My newest novella, "Everyone Dies Famous In A Small Town" is now up for pre-order at!

Mika Shaw is a promiscuous, drug-addicted, schizophrenic who lives in Bishop, California, a small town in the Eastern Sierras where there's nothing to do but drink, get high, and have sex. Plagued by bizarre hallucinations, reality and nightmares co-exist in her mind, indistinguishable from one another.When her closest friends begin dying all around her under increasingly violent and bizarre circumstances, Mika is terrified that this time the nightmares aren't just in her head.

The Paiute believe that malevolent spirits called Pahoha, water-babies, live in the Owens River. The Pahoha have pale skin and black eyes and their voices sound like the cries of young children summoning strangers to the lake to be drowned. Sometimes they look like lost loved ones, dead friends or relatives calling from the other side. To see them is to be fatally cursed... and Mika has seen them.

You guys are really going to like this one.