Alex’s arachnophobia may be old fashioned, but he’s able to live a life of relative peace despite it. That all changes when a spider moves in next door. His girlfriend is sick of his attitude and begs him to give the new neighbor a chance. He overcomes his fear, but finds a twisted sexuality in its place. His attraction to the spider affects all areas of his life, and changes everything he thought he knew.
I read and reviewed Arachnophile last year in November when the latest books in the new bizarro author series had been released. I loved it, seriously this series makes me so happy. For a start it gives new authors a helping hand to get out there and find a readership, second it gives people like me who like a bit or a lot of strange with their reading a very satisfying go to place. Arachnophile was a beautiful strange entertaining read that I highly recommend checking out. If you are a bizarro fan you’ll love it and if you are new to bizarro its a great place to start.
Thank you to Betty for the review copy and for taking part in the interview.
Please tell me about yourself
I’m an author and illustrator from Canada and my interests lie in mostly the horror and weird realm of things. I grew up reading Weekly World News and old horror comics. My favorite stories are ones where terrible things happen and my favorite art is unsettling. This quote by Edward Gorey sums up my creative process pretty well “My mission in life is to make everybody as uneasy as possible. I think we should all be as uneasy as possible, because that’s what the world is like.”
Can you share something about yourself that no one knows
I’m a pretty open book, but any of my social media friends and followers probably don’t know that I used to read A LOT of the Babysitter’s Club.
What are you reading now?
I just finished an extreme horror collection called DOA II and it was fantastic. Slowly getting through The Ritual by David Pinner – beautifully written but I’ve been taking my time with it.
Some favourite books and authors
Alice in Wonderland, forever. Stephen King has been a constant favorite over the years. I’ve been reading Kealan Patrick Burke’s novellas lately and really enjoying them. Joe Hill’s books and comics are fantastic.
What is your work space and writing routine like
Full of cats and clutter. My writing routine hasn’t settled into a real routine yet, it seems to change month to month and depending on what I’m working on. I try to write FAST though, get the rough draft out as quickly as possible. I usually do at least a general outline so I know how to get from point A to point B, or at least what point B is.
How did you discover the bizarro genre and become one of the NBAS?
I had read a bit of bizarro (mostly Joe R. Lansdale) before I really knew what bizarro was, but I’ve always loved weird horror and things that take you in a new direction. I got to know Garrett Cook, this year’s NBAS editor on facebook and took a few of his workshops. He liked my stuff and helped warp it. I had been writing kinda predictable horror before that, but he was able to show me how to bring the true weird outta my soul. He invited me to participate in NBAS and it was (and is) an awesome experience.
Your debut novella Arachnophile is an awesome read, please tell everyone about your new books
Arachnophile is surreal and wet and buggy. I tried to put myself in a Lynchian Eraserhead frame of mind while I was writing it. Alex is a conservative guy who is just trying to live a normal life. The problem is, he’s afraid of spiders. Maybe not such a huge problem, but giant spiders are firmly intermeshed in the society in which he lives and its impossible to avoid them. Against his will, a neighbor spider weaves her way into his life in a way he never expected. You can pick it up here.http://www.amazon.com/
I’ve just finished writing a novella inspired by a nightmare. A girl is saved from some thugs by her grandfather. The thing is, her grandfather has been dead for years. When he brings her back to his new apartment to explain, he doesn’t seem quite himself, and she finds it impossible to leave. I’m hoping to have it released this year, so keep an eye on my website athttp://www.bettyrocksteady.com or my facebook https://www.facebook.com/
I did! Even though my book is strange and obviously fantastical, I wanted it to have a flavor of realism and an understanding of spiders apparent. The thing is, before writing it, I was actually a bit of an arachnophobe myself! I watched quite a few spider documentaries and read a lot of articles about how their bodies and reproductive system work. By the time I was done with that and with writing my book, I found myself undergoing a change of heart similar to Alex. I think spiders are pretty cool now and they don’t gross me out nearly as much.
Betty Rocksteady is an eclectic author and illustrator from Canada. Her early exposure to Stephen King, The Weekly World News, and EC horror comics shaped her into the woman she is today. With art and fiction, she explores personal fears and resonances.
My debut novella, Arachnophile, is part of this year’s Eraserhead Press New Bizarro Author Series. Release date November 5, 2015!
I do monthly illustrations at Theme of Absence
Here’s some short fiction available online: