A dispatch from the Land Of Lead

Hey there. Been a while… how you doin’? You good? Good. Me? Well…

After my brief run of acceptances, there naturally came a short spate of rejections. Way of the world, peeps. But it still kinda sucks. So I have no real news of upcoming anthologies featuring yours truly. Terror At The Beach should be out very soon, Horror: Odd & Bizarre will probably be another couple months… though I should be hearing back about a number of submissions in the next week or two. So after six weeks of no blog, you’ll no doubt get two posts in relatively rapid succession. It never rains but it pours, they’re like buses, etc etc.

So, I had a bit of a dry spell lately. After bashing out the first draft of a story with the working title of “Rosethorne”, I found myself uninspired to write and also struggling to find enough time to make a decent showing at it – I’m currently rehearsing twice a week with icecocoon and working two jobs in two towns, since my main job has been haemorrhaging hours due to lack of work. Yesterday, after the three-hour commute, I found myself with an idea gestating in the… womb of my mind? Wack analogy… and sat down to get myself back in the groove. It’s something a little different for me, in that it features absolutely no dark or horrific content whatsoever. So is Mum finally going to get her wish, that I will write something “nice” and not “depressing”? Not really, because this brief tale drops its briefs and gets it on, baby. Yep… it’s erotica.

Obviously there have always been elements of eroticism and sensuality in my work, but this is the first time I’ve sat down to write what amounts to a porn scene. There’s a delicate balance to strike here, because you can’t just write “he thrust his stiff cock into her hungry pussy” over and over (or at all – how gross and crass does that sentence sound?) – that would be the equivalent of no-frills hardcore porno, where it’s all meaty close-ups and “ooh fuck yeah” and fluids flying all over the place, lensed with about as much artistry as Uncle Frank’s holiday videos. Like any genre, the key is in the name – erotica needs to be erotic, not just a bunch of naughty words slapped together. It needs to put you there and make you feel what these characters are feeling. It needs to be sensuous, evocative. A good erotic tale should make you put down your book/iPad/phone/whatever and turn to your partner with a glint in your eye, or start flirting with that stranger on the bus, or rub one out in the shower. A lofty goal, but aren’t all the good ones?

We’ll leave that ramble there so I can make a stab at another point: just because I largely write horror doesn’t mean my work is all depressing or morbid or nauseating, Mum!* Like anything at all, fiction works best when it blends a number of feels. For example, many of my tales involve people falling in love (or lust), most include elements of humour, and often the thrust of the narrative is relating the efforts of human beings to overcome darkness and terror to be the best they can be. Love, laughter, hope – all major factors in my work. Sure, sometimes they’re not enough, and people suffer and fail and die… but that’s life for you, and besides, I’m not trying to write the next The Sound Of Music here. (And even that had Nazis in it!) People stick with a book not for tricksy technique or lofty literary ambitions, but because they relate to the characters and want to see what happens to them.**

(Man, I really need to work on my blogging skills… every time I approach a topic, I seem to stumble over and around it like a drunk trying to pick up his wallet instead of making cogent points. Never mind. We’ll get there one day. Practice, practice, practice.)

So I’ll sign off with another list of shit I’ve been reading, hearing and watching. BOOKS: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, Charm by Sarah Pinborough, Doctor Who And Race edited by Lindy Orthia, Blacksad (graphic novel) by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido, Duel by Richard Matheson, Robbie’s Wife by Russell Hill, The Soft Machine by William Burroughs. MUSIC: Missy Elliot, Mastodon, Killer Be Killed, Zoe Keating, Morbid Angel, Lana Del Rey, Public Enemy, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Sunno))) & Ulver, Behemoth, Eels, Tom Waits. MOVIES: Laura, Kiss Me Deadly, Carlotta, Batman, Pacific Rim. Eh, that’ll do.

Thank you as always for your time, and until we cross paths again, be the best that you can be… and maybe I’ll write a story about you. Who knows, it might even be erotica.

– MRD xox

* I should point out that my mother does in fact appreciate my work and has always been unstintingly supportive of my ambitions.
** Unless they’re wankers.


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