Kevin J. Anderson has more than 140 published books, 56 of which have been national or international bestsellers. He has written numerous novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune universes, as well as steampunk fantasy novels Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives, written with legendary rock drummer Neil Peart, based on the concept album by the band Rush. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series, the Terra Incognita fantasy trilogy, the Saga of Shadows trilogy, and his humorous horror series featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie PI. He has edited numerous anthologies, written comics and games, and penned the lyrics to two rock CDs. Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta are the publishers of WordFire Press.
i write. i make up stuff. i adventure hard, so you don’t have to.
Josh Vogt is a talented up-and-coming author, my former executive manager, and now an editor at Paizo Publishing. Here’s his take on monsters
We all have different fears. Heights. Spiders. Clowns. Puppets. (So, in other words, don’t ever stick me on a clifftop facing a giant spider that has a clown puppet.)
And they hide in all sorts of different places. Under the bed. In the closet. On dark back roads. In your office shared fridge. Or in a bathroom stall.
Now, I’ve never been a huge fan of all things scary in life. There’s a phrase I’ve heard tossed around that basically says, “You can laugh or you can scream.” I always prefer laughter, and believe if you learn to laugh at your fears, at the monsters, it can take away much, if not all, of their hold on you.
Monsters can still be fun. They can be fascinating, even, as you try to understand them and why they do what they do–or why they even exist in the first place. I also think it’s intriguing to see how the definition of “monster” can be so dramatically different from person to person.
What’s monstrous for you? Is it even always a bad thing, or do we need monsters to inspire us to overcome them? How would you go about defeating yours?
When I approach monsters, especially in my storytelling, I often tend to do so with laughter as my soundtrack, rather than screams. Now, that doesn’t mean the monsters aren’t serious and can’t cause nasty consequences, but it very much shifts the tone of the story and how the characters within it act.
That’s why my Cleaners series, starting with Enter the Janitor, has a more humorous bent to it–a level of inherent absurdity when you consider janitors working for a supernatural sanitation company, wielding mop and squeegee to take down monsters like dust devils, sewer creatures, or all sort of magical muck.
But that’s not the only approach, of course. And one of the best ways to see the enormous variety in how we deal with fear and monsters is in the Monsters Story Bundle going on right now. Just in time for Halloween, it’s the perfect way to add both laughter and screams to your reading list. Experience everything from dinosaurs and werewolves to zombie detectives and attorneys championing the rights of monsters in their city.
I hope you’ll take a look and enjoy many of these marvelously monstrous stories!
Monsters Story Bundle is available from StoryBundle.com, and includes up to a dozen monster stories for any price you want to pay (minimum $5). The other tales include The Love-Haight Case Files by Jean Rabe & Donald J. Bingle, Jurassic Dead by David Sakmyster & Rick Chesler, Pack Dynamics by Julie Frost, Working Stiff by Kevin J. Anderson, Empty Roomsby Jeffrey J. Mariotte, For This is Hell by Aaron Rosenberg & Steven Savile, Enter the Janitor by Josh Vogt, The Wolf at the End of the World by Douglas Smith, Monster Academyby Matt Forbeck, Helmet Head by Mike Baron, and Mammoth Dawn by Kevin J. Anderson & Gregory Benford. Story Bundle available until 5 November 2015.