Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review Round-Up

The dudes at Booked podcast take on Experimental Film (http://www.bookedpodcast.com/287-experimental-film/). I must admit, I was a bit worried abut this in its initial phases...the part where they made fun of my name, basically. But then they really got goin', and guess what! It's a great review, check it out.;)

Monday, December 14, 2015


The latest sign of my presence on the Web: I did a Things Your Writing Teacher Never Told You column over at Black Gate Magazine for Tina Jens, on the subject of "Plot vs. Character". You can find it here (https://www.blackgate.com/2015/12/13/things-your-writing-teacher-never-told-you-pro-tip-from-gemma-files/). Hopefully helpful! Like everyone else, meanwhile, the rest of my life has descended into a burning ring of holiday, so we may not speak again until 2016. Keep well.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Experimental Film: Unleashed Upon the World

So: Experimental Film is finally out, and I really should be cataloguing the response. Therefore, I'll start with the first official review, from Crows 'n' Bones (http://www.crowsnbones.com/2015/11/book-review-experimental-film-by-gemma-files/). I'm very happy with it, to say the least. And Alyx Dellamonica wrote a piece called "Five Fucking Great Things About Experimental Film," here (http://alyxdellamonica.com/2015/11/experimental-film-by-gemmafiles-five-fucking-great-things/). Very nice indeed, as was Helen Marshall putting Experimental Film onto her part of the Weird Fiction Review Best of the Year list (http://weirdfictionreview.com/2015/11/end-of-year-book-list-2015-edition/). She also talked about it on Facebook, as did my Mom. People continue to talk about it generally, which rocks.

Also, and I can't link to this, unfortunately...Laird effin' Barron reviewed the re-released ebook version of my first two collections that just came out from CZP, in Locus magazine. Thanks to a friend I have a scanned version, but it's very difficult to copy/paste anything from, so you'll just have to take my word for it that it is a KICK-ASS double review. It makes me feel ultra-special.;)

Meanwhile, two very neat reprints: "The Emperor's Old Bones" at Nightmare Magazine (http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/the-emperors-old-bones/), along with an Author Spotlight interview I only vaguely recall doing (http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-gemma-files-2/), plus "Signal to Noise" at Apex (http://www.apex-magazine.com/signal-to-noise/). And Dejan Ognjanovic was wonderful enough to run all the stuff he had to cut out of our interview for Rue Morgue's Lovecraft issue online, here (http://www.rue-morgue.com/#!Why-is-LOVECRAFT-still-relevant-Seven-experts-weigh-in/cjds/5654c8140cf2b6a6e93156c2). Thus far, only one person has called me a "parasite" for continuing to write Lovecraftiana even though I feel able to acknowledge both Lovecraft's continuing influence on horror and his frank racism without my head exploding, for which I'm grateful. We'll see how it goes, I guess.

That's all for now. I'm trying to rough out the next novel, which is exciting and terrifying. Got to turn things around fast, these days.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Rue Morgue spotlight article and interview with me about Experimental Film is now available! (http://www.rue-morgue.com/#!Lovecraft-turns-125-in-RUE-MORGUE-161-November-2015-issue/cjds/562a6acf0cf2f4d93f162199) This makes for a lovely capper to Hallowe'en Week, though the night itself was predictably exhausting. As of Thursday, meanwhile, Steve and I will be travelling down to Saratoga Springs, New York to attend World Horror Con 2015. Fingers crossed that physical copies of the book will be available by then. We're entering the last stage of the process now, and I'm just as happy.

In other news, we're finally at the end of the Litreactor course, though I assume things will muddle along for a week or more. The response, overall, has been very positive, and i'm happy with the work people have done for me; hope they feel the same. A lot of these submissions can be genuinely made viable with just a few small tweaks.

In other news, I've blazed my way through Soren Narnia's frankly brilliant Knifepoint Horror podcast (http://knifepointhorror.libsyn.com/). Somebody called these the aural equivalent of found-footage, and maybe that's true in that they have a documentary-style immediacy, but the effect is far more subtle and directed. Each is framed like a memoir or court testimony, beginning with someone announcing their name and giving a bit of background, then launching into a tale which quickly builds the open-ended nightmare logic of classic Aickman. You're never entirely sure where you're going to end up, and I love that. (Also available on iTunes, for free. Totally worth it.)

I'm counting the Narnia as research, because I have pending stories, not to mention the next novel to think about. But I guess we'll see.;)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Thin Places" and Lovecraft

Stuff has happened, as ever, and I'm slowest to update here, again as ever. Part of that's because I'm three weeks into the Litreactor course and behind on my feedback, after two crazily busy weekends in a row. But the rest is just me being slow, frankly.

First up: my very short horror piece "Thin Places," done for The National Post's Halloween week coverage, is up here (http://news.nationalpost.com/arts/books/thin-places-by-gemma-files). It was partially inspired by having to go to choir camp with my son, but don't worry, none of that ended up happening. The power of pre-visualization in action!;)

Second: I was interviewed about H.P. Lovecraft, the all-female anthology She Walks in Shadows, and how I can reconcile my own dislike of Lovecraft's racism/gender issues far enough to write Lovecraftiana here (http://www.ttbook.org/book/racial-and-gender-problems-hp-lovecrafts-work), on NPR's To The Best of Our Knowledge. Having already been called an idiot for my views at least once since this link went up, I'll preface this by stating that my position on Lovecraft is two-fold: not only can I state without equivocation that he did indeed hold what are now truly unacceptable views while still feeling he has things to contribute to horror culture, but I feel like the impulse to consign him to the dustbin of history constitutes a sort of distancing we really shouldn't allow ourselves, especially if we check off more than one box on the supposed white/cis/male/straight mainstream cultural default.

In Othering Lovecraft, in other words, we're trying to say we're not like like him and never will be--but if there's one thing I believe wholeheartedly, it's that there's nothing more universally human than the impulse to Other other people. Lovecraft's guilt and hypocrisy is thus everybody's guilt and hypocrisy, and we owe it to ourselves not to let ourselves forget that, especially if we consider ourselves fans of horror...because part of an appreciation for horror, maybe the biggest/best part, is the deliberate cultivation of an ability to consider and process our own worst qualities, our most negative traits, with passionate objectivity.

This is a large part of what I was trying to get across in the interview, and if it didn't translate, then that's my fault. But it feels good to say it here, if nothing else.

By the way, "Red Words" is finished, and I'm on to the next one(s). In case you were wondering.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Me Me Meeee

Me shooting my mouth off to Scott Nicolay on The Outer Dark for two freakin' hours plus (http://www.projectiradio.com/gemma-files-every-movie-is-a-ghost-story-the-outer-dark-episode-15-october-13-2015/). Wah! Luckily, I come off sounding pretty good, IMHO. Scott's entire series is amazing, so please do check it out.

I'm also starting my Litreactor course again today, so there's that. Plus two more deadlines, because I am a fool.;)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Happy Happy Halloween (Month)

On October 13, I'm going to be interviewed by Scott Nicolay on his horror-centric podcast The Outer Dark, here (http://www.projectiradio.com/shows/the-outer-dark/). Since all interviews thus far have rocked ass, this is very good company to be sharing, and I'm looking forward to it. Otherwise, everything in my life right now is about completing "Red Words," the story I've been haphazardly slamming at for most of September, so sorry for the absence.