Ten Fives of a Wicked Mind: Todd Keisling
For those of you that don’t know him, Todd Keisling is an author who dips into his fears and makes them yours. And he’s pretty damn good at it. Need proof? Check out any of his Ugly Little Things short stories series.
He’s also released two well-received novels, A Life Transparent and The Liminal Man. Both are part of his Monochrome trilogy.
He’s a great writer, great guy, and great friend. Let’s see if we can open that skull cap and find something special…
Ten Favorite Books That Would Surprise My Fans
Although I do maintain a steady diet of horror fiction, my tastes do go beyond the bounds of the genre. Here are ten books that fans of the Monochrome and Ugly Little Things may find surprising:
- The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster
- The Stranger – Albert Camus
- The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
- Shadow Without a Name – Ignacio Padilla
- The Summer Son – Craig Lancaster
- The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
- 44, The Mysterious Stranger – Mark Twain
- City of Light, City of Dark – Avi & Brian Floca
- The Cheese Monkeys – Chip Kidd
- Neuromancer – William Gibson
Ten Favorite NIN Songs
My first two novels wouldn’t exist without the music of Nine Inch Nails. Rather than try and narrow down a definitive “Top Ten” list (which would be impossible for me to do), I’ve selected ten tracks that never fail to take me back to the Monochrome.
- Every Day is Exactly the Same
- Into the Void
- The Line Begins to Blur
- We’re in This Together
- The Way Out is Through
- The Day the World Went Away
- Copy of A
- I Would For You
Ten Favorite Things About my Wife
My wife, Erica, is my best friend and my hero. We’ve been together ten years, married for six, and she’s managed to make me smile every single day. That’s over 3,652 smiles and counting.
- She loves to cook. When we moved in together, my mother told her to fatten me up. Mission accomplished.
- She is the female MacGuyver. She’s the only person I know who can fix a broken car seat with a piece of tape and a wire clothes hanger.
- She’s incredibly weird. She has an obsession with plushy things with big eyes. I’m convinced that she’s building an army.
- She understands and respects my creative space.
- She loves my work! Even the weird stories!
- She introduced me to the work of Clive Barker, so in a sense, I owe much of my writing career to her.
- She’s an amazing artist. She paints, she sculpts, and she makes incredible book covers.
- She endures my resistance to all things Dr. Who. Sorry, Whovians. It’s just not for me.
- She’s resisted the urge to murder me in my sleep (although I’m sure there have been times when she’s wanted to).
- She isn’t a sociopath (I think). Let’s just say that I’m thankful she hasn’t read Gone Girl.
Ten Short Stories I Wish I’d Written
Here’s a selection of stories that left me in awe. They serve as constant reminders that I always need to step up my game. Almost all of these are available over at Pseudopod.
- “Night Fishing” by Ray Cluley
- “The Pit” by Joe R. Lansdale
- “In the Hills, the Cities” by Clive Barker
- “The Screwfly Solution” by James Tiptree Jr.
- “The Bungalow House” by Thomas Ligotti
- “The Night Wire” by H.F. Arnold
- “The Yellow Sign” by Robert W. Chambers
- “Pickman’s Model” by H.P. Lovecraft
- “Lizardfoot” by John Jasper Owens
- “That Ol’ Dagon Dark” by Robert MacAnthony
Ten All-Time Favorite Cartoons
. . . Because sometimes you just need to kick back and watch talking animals maim each other with mallets and fireworks and shotguns.
- Looney Tunes
- Duck Tales
- Ren & Stimpy
- The Maxx
- The Head
- Batman: The Animated Series
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (The Original Series)
- Rocko’s Modern Life
And finally, I grabbed Todd to see what he thought his scariest works were, and to find out what we can expect from him in 2015.
What do you consider to be your scariest novel/short story?
Great question! I’d have to say A LIFE TRANSPARENT is my scariest novel, mainly because it deals with a few existential themes that terrify me: Losing my identity, losing my sense of purpose, being completely forgotten—and being eaten alive by giant white monsters, too. Especially the monsters.
Scariest short story? Definitely THE HARBINGER. It’s what I would consider my most “classic” horror story, dealing with a doll maker in a creepy West Virginia town. If small town alienation doesn’t bother you, then the lifelike child-sized dolls certainly will.
What do you have planned for release in the near future?
I’ve got a few things up my sleeve for 2015. First off, there will be a digital release of UGLY LITTLE THINGS: VOLUME ONE coming out around the end of this month. This one’s a recent development and I’m really excited that we got the okay to make it happen.
My goal is to have five new releases in the ULT series this year. I’ve got a pair of ULT stories in the editing stage that will be coming out this spring/early summer. The other three are in various stages of completion, and provided there are no snags, they’ll be out later this year as well.
Finally, I hope to make some major progress with the first draft of my third novel (and final entry in the Monochrome Trilogy), titled NONENTITY. Needless to say, this will be a busy year!
Thanks for playing, TK!
Find more Todd Keisling…
Come back next week for my review of Russell James‘s new novel, Dreamwalker (Samhain Publishing, 2015)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!