Now so far, all my published writing has been erotica. But of course, that's not all I make covers for, and it's certainly not all I read. In the past year or two, I've been scanning around for new material and especially new genres that might interest me. One of the worlds I've explored is Bizarro fiction. One of the more famous exponents of this genre is a young feller-me-lad named Jeremy C. Schipp, and he very kindly consented to an interview. First, the goss...
Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Cursed, Vacation, and Sheep and Wolves. His shorter tales have appeared or are forthcoming in over 60 publications, the likes of Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, Withersin, and Shroud Magazine. Jeremy enjoys living in Southern California in a moderately haunted Victorian farmhouse called Rose Cottage. He lives there with a couple of pygmy tigers and a legion of yard gnomes. The gnomes like him. The clowns living in his attic–not so much. His twitter handle is @JeremyCShipp.
Willsin Rowe: As a writer, you’re often categorized under Bizarro fiction and/or horror. If you were forced at flaming-pie-point to categorize yourself, what term would you use?
Jeremy C. Schipp: I write funhouse-mirror-monster-mayhem fiction with a side of heart.
WR: Mmm...heart. I’m a recent convert to the world of Bizarro fiction. When I read it, I feel much like a young man who’s recently lost his virginity. It fills up my senses like a knight in the closet. I get lost in it, but don’t profess to any great understanding of it as yet. Can you explain Bizarro fiction for newbies like myself, or even for the uninitiated? Or, indeed, should you?
JS: I could explain Bizarro to you, but I’d have to cut you open and anthropomorphize your organs and talk directly to your spleen. That’s the only way. Well, the only really interesting way. And I can’t do that to you, because I forgot my magic anthropomorphism powder.
WR: And my spleen only speaks Danish. (In its favour, though, it eats its words and goes Dutch). There are, inevitably, critics of Bizarro. Why can’t you just write nice, sensible stories starring Kathryn Heigl, instead of...whatever that stuff is?
JS: I tried that once, but Kathryn Heigl ended up escaping my story and punching me in the face. As a human being, she’s a sweet person, but as a character, she’s really mean. I’m still afraid to speak her name. Also, I can’t write nice, sensible stories. Even if the tales start out that way, an evil clown always shows up and makes things uncomfortable for everyone.
WR: Last work function I went to only really got going when half an evil clown arrived. But then, I was working in advertising...Now, let’s get down to tin tax. Is there one in your state? If not, should there be?
JS: I live in the State of Confusion, and here there’s a tax on tin sporks, which is weird, because tin spoons and tin forks aren’t taxed. In my opinion, all tin utensils should be taxed, except for shrimp forks.
WR: Well, most countries agree that a spork is a luxury item. It's the liger of the culinary world, after all. When the yard gnomes and the attic clowns declare war, which side will the Smurfs take?
JS: You would think that the Smurfs and the yard gnomes would team up, since they wear similar hats, and you’d be right. Good job.
WR: I have a nose for it. Which known planet should we re-name, and what should we call it?
JS: Pluto isn’t considered a planet these days, but I think if we re-name it to something really awesome, maybe the scientists will let Pluto join the reindeer games again. Maybe Pluto should be called Dragonsphere or Ninjagod.
WR: I’ll start Bedazzling the placards. We’ll march in April! Well, we may... Anyway, what are you planning for your next birthmark?
JS: The next time I’m born, I want a Dragonsphere birthmark right next to my Ninjagod tattoo.
WR: What’s your favorite three-syllable word?
WR: What’s your least favorite three-syllable word?
WR: What’s your least uninteresting three word sentence?
WR: Have you ever written a three word letter?
JS: Dear Willsin:
WR: Have you ever written a letter with Word 3?
JS: Yes, that’s how I wrote the letter to you when answering the previous question.
Well, I tells ya...that was fun! If you've been thinking about dipping your toe, or indeed any section of your body, into the world of Bizarro fiction, then I heartily recommend giving it a whirl. And you could certainly do worse than these two collections what I've stuck in here around this awesome sentence.