eSpec Books interviews James Chambers, contributor to The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail. Funding now on Kickstarter as a part of their #Make100 campaign, http://tiny.cc/BBAF.
eSB: What is your idea of a bad-ass faerie?
Going back to faerie roots, these creatures tended to be pretty live and let live as long as you didn’t cross them. Stay on good terms with them, show them respect, and they might even help you out now and then. But get on their bad side—and it was awfully easy to do that—and they would make your life miserable. Or steal your children and leave changelings in their place. Or other mean stuff. I boiled that down to a faerie, Gorge, who lives by very clear principles and standards and does not hesitate to mess you up if you don’t live up to them.
eSB: Can you tell us a little about your story, “The Way of the Bone,” that was selected for The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries?
“The Way of the Bone” started with a simple suggestion from editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail. She wanted “heavy metal faeries” for the second BAF anthology. The result was the character Gorge, the greatest musician in the Enchanted Lands, cast out, wings ripped off, magic taken away, and made mortal for the crime of playing forbidden music. Trapped on earth, though, he realized he could regain his magic by playing music for live audiences. Now he’s determined to deliver some payback to the faerie world.
eSB: What would your fae character’s signature drink be and why?
Single malt whiskey, neat. Everything else is for losers who like umbrellas in their drinks. (Which is what Gorge would say.)
eSB: What do you like most about The Bad-Ass Faeries series, and why?
The variety of interpretations of classical faerie lore. When working with myths or other pre-existing notions, my writerly instinct is always to go back to the beginning, the core of what made something fascinating and look for inspiration. I think a lot of the BAF contributors did that and then went in so many amazing, original, and different directions. I love that kind of creativity.
eSB: What is your first recollection of faeries growing up?
The Blue Fairy in Pinocchio. That was one of the first stories I remember reading as a wee lad. Other than that, fairy tales in general. The Elves and the Shoemaker. The idea of leaving little gifts for faeries like bowls of milk and honey to keep them from tossing your house. I don’t remember details of where I encountered those ideas, though. Just vague recollections of more kids’ books. Then of course, Tinker Bell in Peter Pan, but even as a kid I thought she was pretty sanitized for a fairy.
eSB: Tell us something about yourself that is bad-ass.
I once saved a frog’s life by pulling it from the mouth of snake. Ha! (On the other hand, though, I suppose that snake was pretty hungry. And the frog wasn’t especially grateful. He just hopped away.)
eSB: Do you have any plans to expand your story…or write in the same universe? If so, what more can your readers expect?
I already have. Reader reaction to “The Way of the Bone” was so positive that I wrote a follow-up story “Faerie Ring Blues,” which appeared in the third BAF anthology. And Danielle Ackley-McPhail asked me to write novella featuring Gorge, which was published a while back, Three Chords of Chaos. That’s out of print now but it might not be for long (nudge-nudge, wink-wink), and I might just be writing some new Gorge stories as well.
eSB: What are some of your own works readers can look for?
I write in a lot of different genres. Look for my stories in many of the anthologies from eSpec books or those edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Mike McPhail. There are steampunk stories (Gaslight and Grimm), sci-fi stories (Man and Machine), super-hero stories (The Side of Good/The Side of Evil), and fantasy stories (Dragon’s Lure). I also write a lot of horror fiction, which can be found in anthologies such as Chiral Mad 2, Shadows Over Main Street, Dark Hallows II: Tales from the Witching Hour, and Kolchak the Night Stalker: Passages of the Macabre. And I recently wrote the original graphic novel, Kolchak the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe. More of my work can be found in two collections, The Engines of Sacrifice (which nabbed a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly) and Resurrection House.
eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?
I’ll have a story in the forthcoming anthology of small-town Lovecraftian fiction, Shadows Over Main Street 2 and some other short stories coming up in soon-to-be-announced publications. Most other projects are in early stages, all fun stuff but too soon to let the cat out of the bag.
eSB: How can readers find out more about you?
Drop by my website, www.jameschambersonline.com, or catch up with me online on Facebook or Twitter.
James Chambers writes tales of horror, crime, fantasy, and science fiction. He is the author of The Engines of Sacrifice, a collection of four Lovecraftian-inspired novellas published by Dark Regions Press which Publisher’s Weekly described in a starred-review as “…chillingly evocative….” He is also the author of the short fiction collections Resurrection House (Dark Regions Press) as well as the dark, urban fantasy novella, Three Chords of Chaos and The Dead Bear Witness and Tears of Blood, volume one and two in the Corpse Fauna novella series.
His short stories have been published in the anthologies The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible, Chiral Mad 2, Clockwork Chaos, Dark Furies, The Dead Walk, Deep Cuts, The Domino Lady: Sex as a Weapon, Dragon’s Lure, Fantastic Futures 13, Gaslight and Grimm, The Green Hornet Chronicles, Hardboiled Cthulhu, In An Iron Cage, Kolchak the Night Stalker: Passages of the Macabre, Shadows Over Main Street, The Spider: Extreme Prejudice, Qualia Nous, Reel Dark, Truth or Dare, TV Gods, Walrus Tales, Warfear, and the award-winning Bad-Ass Faeries and Defending the Future series as well as the magazines Bare Bone, Cthulhu Sex, and Allen K’s Inhuman.
He has also edited and written numerous comic books including Leonard Nimoy’s Primortals, the critically acclaimed “The Revenant” in Shadow House, and the original graphic novel Kolchak, the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe.
His website is www.jameschambersonline.com.
SOCIAL MEDIA USER IDs
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Twitter – https://twitter.com/mothman1313
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Blog Address – www.jameschambersoline.com/blog/