Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker nominated author of Cursed, Vacation, and Sheep and Wolves. His shorter tales have appeared or are forthcoming in over 50 publications, in 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 his wife, Lisa, a couple of pygmy tigers, and a legion of yard gnomes. The gnomes like him. The clowns living in his attic - not so much. Feel free to visit his online home and follow him on Twitter.
Heather: Hello Jeremy, thank you for doing this interview with me. It’s such an honor to host you on my blog! Let’s start off with your basic question: What made you start writing?
Jeremy: Thank you for the interview! When I was 13, I just remember thinking, “I like books. I should write one.” And so I did, and I’ve been writing about a book a year ever since. I have to thank my parents for instilling in me a love for storytelling. They read to me all the time.
Heather: What does your writing schedule look like?
Jeremy: I try to write at least a couple hours every day. I usually write in the evening, when the attic clowns are napping. That way, they won’t interrupt me by throwing moldy pies at me face or squirting rubber chicken tears at me using their fake flowers.
Heather: Which short story in Fungus of the Heart was the easiest for you to write?
Jeremy: “Boy in the Cabinet” was probably easier, because I was already so familiar with that character. My family often plays a game where we make up little stories and share them with each other. My stories almost always feature the Boy in the Cabinet, as well as a character called That Old Meatball. Perhaps I’ll write a tale about That Old Meatball next.
Heather: Which character in Fungus of the Heart is your favorite and why?
Jeremy: I’m quite fond of Soapy from “Monkey Boy and the Monsters.” I’m a big fan of anthropomorphic bars of soap in general, and Soapy is particularly cute with his appetite for carnage and his deep thoughts.
Heather: Do you have any works that will be sprouting in the future?
Jeremy: I’m writing a middle grade fantasy novel as well as a new horror story collection. I’m also constructing a yard gnome-style hut made entirely out of sporks and spambled eggs.
Heather: Any advice for those aspiring writers?
Jeremy: Eat copious amounts of peanut butter. If you’re allergic to peanut butter, almond butter will work. If you’re allergic to peanut and almond butter, magic beans will do the trick. Also, read and write every day. Don’t let rejections get you down. Follow submission guidelines.
Heather: What is a source of inspiration for you?
Jeremy: Horrible things that happen in the world. Beautiful things that happen in the world. My family, my friends, strangers, ghosts, monsters.
Heather: Who is/are your favorite writer/s?
Jeremy: I love Haruki Murakami, Lois Lowry, Amy Tan, Arundhati Roy, Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell, John Ajvide Lindqvist.
Heather: Anything else you want to add?
Jeremy: Here are some free stories: http://jeremycshipp.com/onlinestories.htm
And here’s a big salamander: http://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2008/01/080124132336-large.jpg
Heather: Thank you again for letting me host you on my blog, Jeremy!