Thursday, August 3, 2017

Interview with Matthew Brockmeyer, author of Kind Nepenthe

Interview with Matthew Brockmeyer 





Author of Kind Nepenthe

When did you decide to start writing stories?
I’ve actually been writing stories for as long as I can recall. I remember making little picture books with my mother when I was four and five, earnestly trying to write a detective novel when I was in third grade, lol. There is something about stories. What they teach us about ourselves, the world, and each other. As well as how we can get lost in them. The way they transport us and take us to another place, and make us feel so deeply. It’s almost like a drug.

Why horror and suspense versus the other genres?
Horror is the ultimate genre for me. There is that roller-coaster thrill that gets your blood pumping and your adrenaline going and is so much fun. But there’s also a much deeper aspect to it. By defining and exploring what we fear, we can’t help but look into the deepest parts of what it means to be human, to exist on this plane, and to be mortal. In many ways, what scares us define us.

But I’m always one to try to elevate the genre by including literary works that many don’t consider horror—such as Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridianand Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho—into the cannon. I see Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain as a Gothic horror story in the southern tradition. One of the best.
Horror’s a funny thing in that so many other genres have elements of it. So many works borrow from the tropes and style of horror. Especially children’s stories and movies, which can be so creepy and scary. Many of them based off of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which is another example of stories that could easily be seen as part of the horror cannon and tradition.

Who is your favorite character in Kind Nepenthe and why?
That would have to be Diesel Dan, one of the side characters whose story becomes entwined with the narrative of the protagonist. Diesel is an ex-con who basically abandoned his family for a life of methamphetamine and prison. But now he’s older, staying out of trouble, and trying to make amends with his estranged son, who is going to be a father. Diesel sees the opportunity of being a grandfather as a new start. But his son is on the same path of drugs and violence that consumed him.

He’s a very flawed and human character. He wants to set his son straight, but doesn’t know how to do it. He’s always used violence as a means to get what he wants, and struggles to find other ways to persuade and communicate. He’s basically the sympathetic heavy. Readers seem to really like him, despite his sometimes-questionable ways.

What are your plans for the next writing project?
I’m outlining a novel right now. It’s a historical piece set in Northern California in the 1860s, but it would still fall in the genre of horror.

It was a brutal and ugly time back then. The Federal Government was so ensconced in the Civil War that they couldn’t do much to enforce and regulate the law or keep the peace. Gangs of armed militias ruled the land, administering their own form of law and justice as they saw fit, committing many a heinous act, including the near complete genocide of the natives. This is the backdrop. There are many supernatural elements to it. The main storyline is about a sheriff who realizes his adopted son has a monster lurking within him.

What are you reading right now?
I just finished Ottessa Moshfegh’s collection of short stories Homesick for Another World. It was fabulous. Extremely literary, but at the same time very dark, gritty and edgy, filled with weird and unsavory characters. Ottessa’s stories are the kind that, when you finish one, you’ve got to put the book down and just start thinking about it, trying to figuring it out. Sometimes they leave you kind of stunned, and you’re, like, what in the hell was she trying to say?

I love short stories. They’re an amazing art form and so different from the novel. Little nuggets that can spin your head around and make you look at the world in a different way. I write a lot of short stories as well. I have a collection that will be coming out sometime in 2018.

Dogs or Cats?
Why one over the other? I love them both. I mean, they’re quite different animals. You can’t sprint
down the beach with your cat playing fetch. But you can’t watch in fascination as your dog crawls to the top of a tree and meows down at you. We live on a homestead and small farm, so we need our dog to protect our livestock and guard. But we need our cat to kill mice and moles and voles. They’re both affectionate and sweet and I love them each dearly. Our dog is a Saint Bernard/Great Pyrenees mix that is around 120 pounds. Her name is Thunder. Our cat is jet black with yellow eyes. The epitome of the Halloween witch cat. Her name is Luna.

Thank you Matthew for allowing us to get a peek into your world. I'm looking forward to reading Kind Nepenthe and getting to know the characters. 


Kind Nepenthe

Matthew V. Brockmeyer

Rebecca thought she'd find a hippie paradise when she moved to the desolate back hills of Humboldt County. A place to commune with nature and teach her five-year-old daughter how to live off the land. Instead she discovered a nightmare.
Coyote is a washed-up pot grower. Strung out on pills and dealing with dropping prices and looming legalization, he wonders if it's even worth it anymore.
Diesel Dan abandoned his son for a life of methamphetamine and prison. Now he wants to make amends. He's going to be a grandfather. But his son is on the same dark road of drugs and violence that once consumed him.
These characters will come together in an explosive ending that will leave you stunned and breathless. But more than just a gripping horror novel, Kind Nepenthe is a deep examination into the nature of love and greed, lost ideals, and the essence of evil in one of the last frontiers of the American West.


Bio: Matthew Brockmeyer lives deep in the forest of Northern California with his wife and two children. His work has appeared in numerous publications, both in print and online, including, among others, Infernal Ink Magazine, Timeless Tales Magazine, Not One of Us, Alephi, Body Parts Magazine, Dark Fire Fiction and Pulp Metal Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Cultured Vultures where he writes book reviews and interviews authors. His debut horror novel Kind Nepenthe is now available on Amazon and other book sellers.

The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt  


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