I’ve been following Evan’s work since his Lambda-finalist anthology Ghosts In Gaslight, Monsters In Steam. His poetry and fiction merges horror and queer aesthetics (and if you want a taster of exactly what that can look out, check out his story in my anthology The Myriad Carnival). On top of all that, he has a book of essay/memoir, The Prep Diaries, due out from Lethe Press next year.
1. Tell me about a piece of yours that you’re particularly proud of…
I’m having trouble finding the right publisher for my short horror story, “Monster Party.” One good friend who runs a payment-in-copies magazine told me he’d absolutely take it for publication, but that it’s so good I should try for a paying market. Other writer friends assure me it’s well written and striking. It may be a little too striking; the narrator is a rapist, and while I have little interest in reading stories that exploit rape as a plot device, I wrote this one for the challenge of writing non-supernatural horror, which I had never done before. As a gay genderqueer feminist, I also wanted to see what it was like inside the logic/ethics of a heterosexual rapist. I thought, What do I find most horrifying in all the world?The answer is human sex trafficking. So, I now have a fine story about human trafficking with a complicated and charismatically horrible narrator, and pro-rate publishers have given me feedback that it’s too intense or that they won’t publish rape stories. I respect the publishers, and I’d also like to get this story finally into the world.
2. Recommend me a novel/short story/poem/collection by someone else that you think everyone should be reading…
I was awestruck by Nadia Bulkin’s story “Red Goat Black Goat” published in Innsmouth Free Press and anthologized in Lovecraft’s Monsters. The story brings us an Indonesian take on Shub-Niggurath, and it is gorgeously diabolical. I need to read more Bulkin, and so do you. I don’t always write in the same richly poetic and surreal style as Bulkin does here–it depends on the story–but if you love my story “The Moon and the Devil and the Ace of Wands” in The Myriad Carnival, I think you’ll shit the bed when you read “Red Goat Black Goat.”
Evan J. Peterson is a 2015 Clarion West writer, author of the speculative poetry chapbooks Skin Job and The Midnight Channel, and volume editor of the Lambda Literary Award finalist Ghosts in Gaslight, Monsters in Steam: Gay City 5. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in Weird Tales, The Stranger, The Queer South Anthology, Nightmare Magazine, Queers Destroy Horror, Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books, Arcana: The Tarot Poetry Anthology, and Aim for the Head: An Anthology of Zombie Poetry. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Minor Arcana Press. His first full-length prose book, a safe sex memoir about Truvada as PrEP, will be published by Lethe Press in 2017. Evan teaches classes around Seattle, including SHRIEK: Women of Horror at Scarecrow Video. Check out evanjpeterson.com for more.