This is the kind of compilation you get when an author begins to write down the nightmares that woke them in the middle of the night. A vicious vampire, a deal went down wrong, a witch hunt, a machete wielding woman, a wife who’s had more than enough. It’s quite the gamut of ideas that this collection covers.
It doesn’t take long for Mr. Bigelow to reveal he has a rather twisted, sick mind, which comes in handy when writing about probing aliens, beasts with horns, glazed-eyed zombies, and certain witchy creatures. ~ Makenna Hutton, from a review for Horror Bent
“Macabre Moments” by Brian Bigelow is the third book by the author I have read in a very brief time. After “Confessions of a Porn Star Assistant”, which was factual prose, and “Horror Bent”, which was classical ‘demon’ horror I am pleased to find that this offering has changed style and content again. The new collection of stories is widening the spectrum by bringing in the author’s own experienced nightmares. Some are short – like a wife trying to get rid of her husband, others are several parts long, but they never fail to come to a poignant ending. The title is appropriately chosen, these are macabre moments, the writing is at times very light hearted and playful and it is apparent that Bigelow is coming into his own with this collection. There is the promise of a versatility here that makes the author one to watch.
Brian, how exactly did you become a writer?
An idea for a poem hit me when I was 17. It was about nature in Minnesota where I lived at the time and it was published in a couple of places way back in 1982. As an indie more recently larger ideas than poems came to me when I got to live in an empty nest late in 2011.
Why are you writing horror?
I love writing what I love to read. What fascinates you about the subject? I love discovering the eerie and suspenseful think the master for that would be Alfred Hitchcock.
Is this what you read as well or do you like other genres?
I do read other genres also but mostly horror when I’m shopping for my personal reading.
You also wrote Confessions of a porn store clerk. How did you find writing facts rather than fiction?
Actually you end up doing the same research of all things whether fiction or non-fiction which kind of surprised me when I started writing fiction. There are some big differences otherwise. Of course, in non-fiction you usually don’t have dialog, story threads or any of the other elements of good fiction though it takes just as much imagination.
When did you first have the idea for your latest book, Macabre Moments?
The first ideas would have been a year ago, just didn’t turn them into stories until recently. I have so many ideas that haven’t been written yet.
Can you describe it in a few words?
It’s a set of stories based on my actual nightmares.
How long did it take you to write?
It took me three months.
Is it part of a series?
A couple of the short stories are part of larger story lines that haven’t been completely written, “The Ascent,” is one of those and so is, “Liturgy.”
Do you think you will ever write a novel?
I’m working on the ideas for a couple of novels at present, one involves a poor tortured author.
Does that idea appeal or bore you?
Yes, it appeals to me a lot to write a few novels.
How do you write?
Most of my story ideas are written on a Blackberry Curve. You never know when an idea will hit you. I then transfer the Word file to my laptop to begin fleshing out the rest of the story.
What is your writing environment like?
As you can guess, my writing environment is very mobile. I do have a desk at home but it isn’t the only place I write.
How many rewrites did it take you?
For Macabre Moments it took seven rewrites.
Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?
I studied grammar and editing for one, have quite a little grammar and editing library. Probably the best book of those in my opinion is “Eats Shoots & Leaves” by Lynne Truss, probably (though it’s becoming dated now) is William Strunk’s, “The Elements of Style.” I usually also have my computer read the entire manuscript to me while rewriting via text to speech, you’d be amazed what you can hear. It also allows me to create a quality book. The primary responsibility for what has been written is actually the author’s and no one else’s.
Who are your favourite authors / influences?
My favourite authors would be Stephen King, Mary Downing Hahn and Andersen Prunty. Other influences would be Alfred Hitchcock, Twilight Zone, Tales From the Crypt, Hellraiser, Warlock, The Exorcist and many more.
What are your other books and where can we find out about them?
Is there anything else you want to tell us?
More recently, some pieces I’m writing will be published by Perseid Press, the first of which will be, “A Spiritus Renascentis,” in Terror by Gaslight. I think it’s due out in March or April though I’m not positive. Holding the contract in my hands was probably my proudest moment as an author especially since it was my first.
“Horror Bent” by Brian Bigelow was a surprise find for me. I am not hot on short stories to be honest and find myself drifting off after reading a few. I read the book however in one sitting and found it strangely compulsive. The stories are moving through the horror genre, witchcraft, monsters, demons – you name it and they will probably make a small appearance in there somewhere. The author however has given the stories a lot of thought and he explains at the end of the book where his ideas have come from. The stories are very well written, the fact that each story is of different length shows how good a story teller Bigelow is, as he seems to instinctively know when to stop and how far to exploit a theme.
I previously read his “Confessions of a Porn Store Assistant” and found his factual prose there very engaging. The transformation from one bok to the next however into fictional prose is admirable and adapted very appropriately.