Thursday, August 3, 2017

Meet Bloody Parchment's Jason Mykl Snyman

Every SA Horrorfest Bloody Parchment anthology has that one story that freaks me out beyond all measure. For the current anthology, South African Jason Mykl Snyman has the (dare I say, dubious?) honour of being That Author. Seriously, his "Mastication (The Wendigo Children)" is not for the faint of heart. I welcome him to my blog today to talk about writing ...  and well ... That Story (which you can pick up in the latest Bloody Parchment anthology).

What darkness lies at the heart of your story? 

Hunger is the first thing which comes to mind. The kind of deep hunger which drives a person mad, provoking anxiety and desperation. That’s the easy way out. I would say the darkness lies in what one person would do to another, in order to survive, in times of extreme hopelessness.

What do you love the most about writing?

I try to tell stories that nobody else has told before. Failing that, I try to tell old stories in new ways. This is the first real horror story I’ve ever written. There’s nothing supernatural about it. No ghosts or creatures or aliens. It’s about ordinary people thrown into unordinary circumstances. Within the human condition, horror can be found anywhere, even in romance. That’s what I love about telling stories – the opportunity to display something real.

Paracelsus once wrote; ‘Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. Only the dosage determines whether it will heal or harm.’

Why does reading matter? 

As a writer, reading makes you a better writer. You pick things up whether you like it or not. One day those ideas might come to fruition, in their own ways. To anybody else, reading encourages the imagination, enhances understanding and develops your personality. People who do not read are not at all unintelligent, but if you’re not reading, you need to be doing an extreme amount of living to be interesting.

An excerpt from "Mastication (The Wendigo Children)"People aren’t very meaty, compared to cows or pigs or deer. The average human body can provide around twenty kilograms of fatty meat and other edible parts such as intestines, liver, heart or guilt-riddled brains. You could eat the skin too, but when Granny died it tasted like mothballs and leather. 
They starved in the land of sunsets, each day of glorious light falling too quickly, and all they had was the darkness and the nights spent shaking in each others’ arms, waiting for naked dusk to regain the snow-bound slopes. Their bellies were the thankless monsters of their very own horror story, never recalling past kindness, always wanting more the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that.

What other things have you written?

My Blog, The Strange Brontides

My short story "What If We Slept" appears in Short Story Africa's Terra Incognita.

"Small Town Blues – or – Things I Lost While Living" (Winner of the Kalahari Review January 2017 IGBY Prize)

"Sweetheart, What Have We Done?" (Jalada Afrika Language Edition) -

"Where The Rivers Go" (New Contrast Issue #172)

"Friday Night" (The Kalahari Review)

This year's SA Horrorfest Bloody Parchment short story competition is currently open. Read more here.

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