Ginger Nuts of Horror
Matthew Warner is a writer in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. His most recent works include The Organ Donor: 15th Anniversary Edition from Bloodshot Books and Dominoes in Time, reprinting nearly 20 years of horror and science fiction stories. He lives with his wife, the artist Deena Warner, and sons, Owen and Thomas. More info at matthewwarner.com.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Like most writers, I have other jobs and things I’m passionate about, the most important of which is my family. My sons are too smart for their own good and probably always will be, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. To support them, Deena and I work as web designers for the publishing industry and public safety. I also spend a significant amount of time learning and teaching Brazilian jiujitsu.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
If I could train jiujitsu and boxing every day, I would. My martial arts school is a great social, physical, and mental outlet. Jiujitsu especially never gets old because there are hundreds of techniques to learn.
Other than the horror genre, what else has been a major influence on your writing?
Sadly, a major emotional driver in my writing for the past twenty years has been my parents’ divorce. I’m not sure I’ll ever fully get over it. Becoming a father has also been a significant force of change. The thesis of Dominoes in Time is that the best fiction should dramatize the events in a character’s life that changed him the most -- those dominoes that fell over to affect all subsequent events. The divorce and my babies certainly are among mine.
The term horror, especially when applied to fiction always carries such heavy connotations. What’s your feeling on the term “horror” and what do you think we can do to break past these assumptions?
Horror too often goes for cheap thrills --the boobs and blood approach -- when it should just aspire to good storytelling. Horror’s tropes are only tools to reach the goal; they are not the goal themselves.
A lot of good horror movements have arisen as a direct result of the socio/political climate. Considering the current state of the world, where do you see horror going in the next few years?
This is a good time for horror, because society has a lot of anxieties it needs to work out. Horror is -- or should be -- not just about entertainment but about exposing people to their unconscious fears and teaching coping skills. Because of recent events, I feel there will be some emphasis on socio-political horrors and megalomaniacal antagonists.
How would you describe your writing style?
Spare, with an emphasis on close-third and first-person points of view, often with a Twlilight Zone-ish twist.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Coming up with worthy ideas. I’d rather build a house than dream one up from scratch.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
Probably not, but there are definitely some topics that make me more squeamish than others. Children in peril really get to me now that I’m a father.
For those who haven’t read any of your books, which of your books do you think best represents your work and why?
Dominoes in Time does a good job of stating my writing philosophy, and it gives an overview of the types of stories I like to write. The Organ Donor has always been well received. I feel I’d make a good impression on you with either one.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
The Organ Donor: 15th Anniversary Edition is the author’s preferred edition of my first novel. It contains nearly 7,000 words of new material in the form of an afterword that describes my true-life encounter with China’s illegal organ trade. I’m currently recording an audio adaptation of a trunk novel, The Dagger of God, just for fun. More on that in early 2018.
They knew it was wrong to purchase a kidney off the Chinese black market. But what the Taylor brothers didn’t realize was that its unwilling donor was an executed prisoner—and an immortal being from Chinese mythology. Pursuing them to Washington, DC, this ancient king will stop at nothing to recover what was once his.
This special 15th anniversary edition of Matthew Warner's acclaimed first horror novel includes nearly 7,000 words of new material, including the author's riveting account of his true-life encounter with China's illegal organ trade.
“A classic of modern horror literature.”
— E.C. “Feo Amante” McMullen, Jr.