Featured Author: Alexander S. Brown
Story: “The Recycling of the Skin”
State of Horror: Louisiana Volume I
Alexander S. Brown is a Mississippi author who was published in 2008 with his first book Traumatized. Reviews for this short story collection were so favorable that it has been released as a special edition by Pro Se Press. Brown is currently one of the co-editors/coordinators with the Southern Haunts Anthologies published by Seventh Star Press. His horror novel Syrenthia Falls is represented by Dark Oak Press.
He is also the author of multiple young adult steampunk stories found in the Dreams of Steam Anthologies, Capes and Clockwork Anthologies, and the anthology Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells. His more extreme works can be found in the anthology Luna’s Children published by Dark Oak Press.
Synopsis: “The Recycling of the Skin” from State of Horror: Louisiana Volume I
Douglas was going to Baton Rouge to visit his mother who had moved there after his father died. Doug is a jerk to everyone and has a bad attitude. His family is wealthy making their money from the family business of fur. Doug recalls being a part of the skinning process and how cruel it is on the animals being skinned alive. Upon arriving at his mother’s luxury apartment, he is surprised to find it basically deserted. In fact the whole building seemed empty, but he goes into the apartment to wait for his mother anyway. While there he notices an odor, but dismisses and decides to drink the good scotch as he waits. He falls asleep and when he wakes cannot find his phone and becomes locked in the apartment. His mother is still missing and strange things begin happening like seeing something climbing on the outside of the building. Soon Douglas is being hunted through the apartment by some sort of flying monster. Survival becomes Douglas’ only thought.
Trapped in its malevolent, cold shadow, his mouth hangs open. For some unknown reason, the scene sends a chill up his spine. It reminds him of the first time his father demonstrated how to skin an animal.
Time to Meet Alexander S. Brown
Charon Coin Press: What inspired your story in State of Horror?
Alexander S. Brown: The fur market. With me being a person who is against wearing furs, I wanted to do a take on the subject without it being too political, yet, getting the point across.
CCP: Is there a reason this particular state appealed to you?
ASB: I live on the border of Mississippi, so LA is only a stone’s throw away. Out of the Southern states, I would have to say Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee are some of my favorites. Reason being is because of the arts, culture, history, and food that comes from these three areas.
CCP: What do you look for in a horror story as a reader?
ASB: I want to be frightened or at least appalled. If I am frightened and appalled, it’s like I get to have my cake and eat it too.
CCP: What is your favorite writing snack food?
ASB: Probably Reese’s or Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips… Or both, together.
CCP: What other works do you have out there?
ASB: My short story collection Traumatized has over 30 outstanding ratings on Amazon.com, my new novel Syrenthia Falls is following in its footsteps, and my single shots stories The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out are all paving the road for me being a proclitic author. Out of the titles mentioned only The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out is for young adults. Sorry kids, you have to be a little bit older before reading the other titles.
Besides my stand alone work, I am an editor for the Southern Haunts series, and I contribute to anthologies such as State of Horror. You can find other short stories of mine in the anthologies: Dreams of Steam, Capes and Clockworks, Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells, and Luna’s Children.
CCP: What is one important thing the readers need to know about you?
ASB: I’m not scared to take my reader there. When you pick up one of my books or stories, remember, you asked for it.
CCP: Who are your favorite authors?
ASB: Stephen King, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, Chuck Palahniuk, Scott Sigler, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Gyllian Flynn, John Saul, and too many more to list.
CCP: What drew you to State of Horror?
ASB: When I met the editor, Jerry Benns, State of Horror was in the process of beginning. He spoke to me about the anthologies and I introduced him to Southern Haunts *I still need to get him to submit one day* being a man that I admire and respect, I knew I wanted to work with him, and when I found out LA and TN were anthologies that were in the works, I ran to my laptop and began writing.
CCP: Do you have a favorite state or state you are waiting to open?
ASB: Come on Mississippi!
CCP: Music or no music when writing?
ASB: I love listening to music when I write and my diversity goes from Beethoven to Tori Amos to Marilyn Manson. When I edit, I have to be in complete silence, even classical music can be too distracting.
CCP: If you could go anywhere in the world right now where would you go and why?
ASB: I would love to stay a week or so in a haunted bed and breakfast. I can’t think of any better inspiration for a horror author.
CCP: What was the hardest part about writing your story?
ASB: Describing how the skin suit worked for the trickster and determining if the trickster should have an origin or not.
CCP: Do you have any writing rituals?
ASB: Sometimes. When September rolls around, I try to get all of my Halloween decorations up as soon as possible, most times within the first week of the month. Writing in a setting filled with Halloween décor has always helped inspire me. For other times of the year, I like to write outside during the day or at my kitchen table late at night.
It is a pleasure to get to know Alexander S. Brown. You will also find one of his stories coming up in the State of Horror: Tennessee this summer. Until then, follow him on Twitter @AlexanderSBrown or on Facebook on his page . And for some of his monthly shorts, visit Smashwords.com, Amazon.com, and Barnesandnoble.com to download his monthly short stories known as Single Shots. These are represented by Pro Se Press and they are known as stories that will be featured in the upcoming book The Night the Jack O’Lantern Went Out. Come back for more author features.