These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

MASHED Interview with J.L. Boekestein.

MASHED is an anthology of 17 sensually sinister stories curated from over 200 submissions from around the world.

Each story is a unique blend of horror, humor, food and sex, resulting in tales that will leave you both scared and slightly turned on, while laughing out loud and contemplating whether or not you should have your next meal.

Stories including:

“A Woman’s Corn” – By J. Donnait
“Charlie’s Chunky Munching Meat” – By Stephen McQuiggan
“Halloween Nosh” – By Brandon Ketchum
“Biscuit: A Love Story” – By Grivante
“Burnt Scrambled Eggs” – By Devon Widmer
“The Disagreeable Dinner” – By Mark Daponte
“Sugar” – By Darla Dimmelle
“The Henry Problem” – By John Grey
“Nibble, Nibble, My Wolf” By – J.L. Boekestein
“The Wrath of the Buttery Bastard-Taters” – By Alex Colvin
“Sauce” – By Steven Carr
“The Care and Feeding of your Personal Demon” – By Maxine Kollar
“P.A.C.D. : The Kitchen of Tomorrow, Today!” – By R.A. Goli
“Arabica” – By Cobalt Jade
“Toilet Manners” – By Eddie Generous
“The Stray” – By Calypso Kane
“The Tall Man in the Hat” – By Nicholas Paschall

Do you like food? Sex? Horror? Humor? Then this book is for you! Guaranteed to leave you scared, aroused and possibly a little hungry.

From the twelfth to the twenty-fourth of June, get inside the minds of twelve of the authors from the anthology. Find out what inspired the stories, what other projects the authors are involved with, and generally get to know the authors better.

Today, get to know more about J.L Boekestein and Nibble, Nibble, My Wolf.

In the age-old first date manner, tell me a bit about yourself.
A first date? My, know what you got yourself into… :-)
Dutch, male, born in 1968, living in The Hague, published since 1989. So far five novels, a few novella’s, a children’s book, some anthologies and over 300 stories have been published. Since 2015 I mainly write in English, with some modest success.
For a living I am civil servant doing things with computers. Other hobbies include photography, a little bit of illustrating, friends, movies, museums and exploring some alternative life styles. I’m one of the editors of a Dutch fantastic magazine Wonderwaan and a Dutch suspense magazine Moord & Mysterie.
Well, if this is our first date, what do you want to drink? And I love the way your eyes smile.

Who has influenced you most as a writer?
I know Mashed is a horror anthology and my story “Nibble, Nibble, My Wolf” is a horror story but my roots aren’t in horror at all. This might come as a surprise, but I’m influenced very much by the science fiction and fantasy (& mystery) writer Jack Vance. In my youth he was hugely popular in the Netherlands. He really knew how to portray other cultures and worlds and his fantasy was filled with scoundrels. Besides, he had a lovely ironic sense of humour. Others writers are Fritz Leiber with again scoundrels and subtle dark erotic and horror undertones, Tanith Lee who basically wrote hot and sexy as hell, Clark Ashton Smith who came pretty close to Jack Vance in many respects, and the Dutch writer Robert van Gulik who detective stories set in ancient China.
So no H.P. Lovecraft, or Stephen King, Robert Bloch, Clive Barker and such. Sure, I’ve read some of their work, but it didn’t shape me (much) as a writer.

What are your favourite books and why?
Like most writers I’ve devoured books, but in my case I’ve stopped reading pretty much years ago. Writers aren’t automatically readers, au contraire! For me as a writer I got to the point that very few books by other authors have to offer something new. Quite often I see what that other writer is doing, setting up plot lines, dropping clues, and so on. After a few chapters I basically know how the rest of novel will be.
Of course there are books that surprise me. Some in a negative way, they are just plain bad, but some are very good. I usually try novels trusted friends recommend (or have written themselves), but I think nowadays I read less then ten books in a year.
Anyway, this was basically a very long reply saying that I don’t have favourite books. :-)

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
I guess I never wanted to be a writer, in the meaning of someone making a living from writing. I solely write for my own pleasure. As a kid I loved making up stories and writing them down came the logical thing to do. If I have to guess, I would say I was around twelve when I started doing that. Wanting to write stories which got published, happened much later. I think that started around when I was eighteen.
I was reading a series of anthologies and I thought ‘These stories are crude! I can do better.’
So I started writing real stories (begin-middle-end) and they were pretty bad. Never one to be plagued by doubts, I kept at it and slowly I improved. Entering competitions with feedback helped a lot, as well as doing several writing workshops. My advice for aspiring writers would be: write, write, write and don’t look back to much. Read what you can on the art of writing, but don’t over think things. Just write.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
Dressed in my fur coat with a bottle of absinth on moonless nights I evoke the spirit of Apollo and start writing with my quill on virgin parchment and…
Heck no. I us a notebook and write in busses, trains, waiting rooms of the dentist, and any other spot possible. That said, I prefer to start around 8 am in a coffee house, drink a cappuccino and eat some cake, flirt with the waitresses and write until lunch. After that I usually go to the cinema, a museum or visit friends. Of course this is only on my day of and in the weekends.
When I’ve finished a story I sent it of to my proof readers and I will start the next story. I have a list with interesting calls for submissions (theme, deadline, link). I usually pick the next one and starts with the story. Coming up with an idea can take –on average- an hour. If I haven’t got a good idea after a few days I abandon the story and pick another one. Writing the story takes two or three weeks max.

How did you become interested in writing this particular genre?
You mean erotic horror? My theory is that there are two kind of horror writers. You have the horror writers who basically are afraid and write horror to confront and conquer those fears. The other kind of horror writers are just sick bastards who like to fuck around with the mind of people.
I can’t feel fear anymore, but I am (sweet) sadist and horror stories are a great way to play around with my readers. Erotica, like fear (or disgust, which I consider as a mild form or fear), is just another rusty crowbar to bash open the soul of the reader (The good old death & sex). It is fun to in combination with horror because you can get people aroused and fearful at the same time. A delicious dish for a sadist like me.

What was the inspiration behind your MASHED story?
Because of the combination of horror and erotica I really wanted to write a story, but I had difficulty finding a hook with the food-theme. When in doubt, go back to the basics, the archetypes you find in myths and fairy tales. I ended up with Hansel and Gretel and the witch with the gingerbread house. Horror, erotica and food! I only had to write it.

With over two hundred submissions, what was your reaction upon finding out your story had made the cut?
So many? Wow! I’m always delighted when a story is selected. I’m Dutch, English isn’t my first language and I don’t think I’m a great stylist. But I do like to tell a story and yes, it’s an ego boost when people think you tell a good story. I write for pleasure, being published is a kind of cherry on top.

Each story is a mix of horror, humour, food, and sex; what kind of reaction should a reader expect to have upon finishing your story – will they be more turned on or terrified?
That depends on how sick you are! Or how experienced… I hope they can appreciate how mean the story is. The protagonists do sexy stuff, but they are pretty warped. The story is a balance act. I’ve written more horrifying stories, but they didn’t have an erotic element, and I’ve written more arousing stories, but with far less horror elements. I hope the mix works in my story.

Do you have another writing project in mind or in the making? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
I have at least six stories I want to write the next few months. Currently I’m working on a Cthulhu Mythos story, after that an erotic shape shifter story, a gay super hero story, a body horror story, a steampunk story and I’m probably forgetting a few. In the back of my mind I have this idea for a novel with lots of demons and kinky sex, but I’m not really a novel writer. I usually get bored around 20.000 words.

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