Next up in my series of interviews for Wrapped in Black: Thirteen Tales of Witches and the Occult is none other than James Glass, whose incredibly clever and well-told story “The Rising Son” is featured and who likewise was a co-contributor to Wrapped in White.
Michael: Wrapped in Black is an anthology of stories about witches and the occult so let’s get right down to the meat: do you believe in magic and the powers of those who claim to practice it? There’s no wrong answer, of course, but if you say yes and then don’t tell at least a little of the story I am going to be serving some serious side-eye.
James: Yes. I am a practicing witch. I hope that covers the question. Feel free to ask more details in private if you would like to know more.
James: Why not horror? Short answer: because I hate rollercoasters. Long answer: because I’m terrified of clowns ever since I was 4 years old and my parents told me they were going to give me to Ringling Bros. They thought it was funny, I’ve never quite gotten over it.
Michael: As writers, we’re supposed to be tired of being asked where we get our ideas. (Personally, I love hearing myself talk.) Thus, I’m not asking that: I’m not asking from where in your brain your ideas come (unless you want to tell me). Instead, I’m curious as to whether there’s a physical location or activity you find particularly helpful. For my part, I go running when I need ideas. There are specific trails and dark wooded places where I can put my body to work on that repetitive task and my brain will eventually start coughing up inspiration.
James: There is a certain ritual to my writing, one could even call it a manifestation ritual of sorts. Candles are lit, incense burned, and a deep meditative state achieved. From the depths of the meditation come images and sounds, snippets of conversations, flashes of entire scenes. Sometimes I am able to capture all of it onto a written page in a journal, and other times I am haunted by a character with a story to be told. Fewer are the times when the images escape me, but it does happen.
Michael: What work (horror or otherwise) do you most wish you had written, and why?
James: I wish I had written every book narrated by Tim Curry. Because Tim Curry.
Michael: You and your favorite writer are stuck in an elevator while repair crews try to rescue you. What do you ask them? Do you have a grand time together or do they eagerly anticipate their escape?
James: Since I am frequently attached at the hip with two writers, in a way, this scenario is one I am most familiar with in that we frequently get stuck together carrying on conversations. It would be odd to add another person – an outsider no less – to our inner dialog.
Michael: What’s next for you? How can we keep up with your goings on?
James: I am changing my name to Suzanne Madron and re-writing an old vampire series which has been published twice so far. Third time’s the charm, as the saying goes.