We live in a terrifying world–one founded on violence, exploitation and oppression. If I’m going to write about the world we’re in, I’m going to end up writing horror. And SF, to be plausible, has to either engage with this fact or talk about how it could be overcome.
The worst advice I ever got was “Villains need a reason to be villains.” I reject this idea. There are people who do awful things “just because” all the time. The best advice I ever got, “Write first for yourself.” No matter what story I write, it is for me first. If other people enjoy the ride, awesome! Road trips are more fun with friends.
The world is full of strange landmarks, strange objects propped up against basement walls, and disturbing ideas. Horror inspiration comes easier than oxygen.
There’s this manic rollercoaster that comes with writing where you’re up and up, then suddenly crashing towards the ground, only to bank to the left and go back up. It gives you emotional and creative whiplash…
I don’t think writers should focus so much on being careful. I think writers should try to be very brave.
“It’s not so scary in the dark. Turns out I have friends there.”
I like the possibility for the broader, more complicated world that fantasy implies. Sometimes that means I veer toward horror and dark stories.
“…you can only appreciate the light once you’ve experienced the darkness. I have worked with enough people to have no illusions about what kinds of darkness exist.”
I love stories of complicated relationships where love meets hate, the experience of staring into the void and feeling it stare back, and characters who are unapologetic for the consequences of their decisions.
Meet the Author with R. K. Duncan: “I find that a lot of the striking images that occur to me to begin stories with are unsettling, and that I am often interested in characters and plots of questionable morality.”