Monday, February 13, 2017
Mares in the Night Author's Notes: "Old Time Radio"
As you’ve likely noticed by now, I have a deep, abiding love for the old pulp entertainments of the early twentieth century. I don’t know why that is, exactly--I suppose it has something to do with the entertainment of that time containing the roots of what would morph into our modern-day genre fiction. Regardless, once I got the idea of a haunted radio show, it allowed me to scratch a number of different itches.
The first and foremost was creating my own pulpy, proto-superhero in The Remnant. It’s funny: I suppose all writers get bit by the bug at an early age, when escapism hits us the hardest and we’re especially taken with flights of fancy. But that’s not the reason I’m compelled to write as an adult. Nowadays, it’s because I’ve got something to say, and I need to get it out whenever and however I can. Art is the sharing of a feeling, after all, and I’ve got plenty of those to go around. But still there’s a love for all those silly genres I was so enamored with as a kid, and a desire to play around in those sandboxes, as well. And that’s really what my work boils down to (at least, at this point in my life): eliminating the line between the literary, “This means something more” world and the genre stuff that exists only for its thrills, chills and spills. Blending the pulp with the personal, if you will. Don’t know how often I’m successful in that aim, but it’s always the aim whenever I sit down to start a new project.
Which brings us to the story itself, and why I was compelled to combine weird superheroes and eyeball-creature zombies with the story of a man so wrapped up in his own grief, he winds up losing everything as a result. I suppose the overriding theme of “Old-Time Radio” is the importance of dealing with grief properly, and making sure it doesn’t swallow your life whole. Time heals all wounds, they say, and you certainly need it to put some distance between you and whatever ailments you’ve already been through or have yet to experience. But you also have to be careful, because time isn’t going to hold its breath for you. Time doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether you’re happy or sad. That son of a bitch races ever towards the finish-line, uncaring and indifferent as to whatever your plight may be. And it’s something that we only have so much of, when you get right down to it.
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