Recently J. Ellington Ashton Press asked me ten "down and dirty" questions about my writing. As always, I try to talk about different aspects of my career in each interview so they don't become monotonous and boring, and definitely have something new to offer with this interview.
Those of you who follow me might wonder what I published with JEA Press since this is the first time I've talked about the company. In September 2014, JEA Press released an anthology titled Rejected for Content: Splattergore (Volume 1) that contained short stories too bizarre and/or gory for other publishing houses to accept. In this anthology is a story by me under the pseudonym Matthew Arkham called "Lust Among the Reefs," a touching tale of consensual tentacle sex.
Now that I have your undivided attention, let me provide the full story.
The genesis of this twisted saga traces back to April 2012 during the Ravencon Convention in Richmond, Virginia. I sat on a writers panel discussion called "There Is a Line: Handling Potentially Offensive Themes." At the end of the panel, a gentleman issued a challenge to the writers to come up with a tentacle sex story for inclusion in an anthology he was pulling together, the proceeds of which would benefit oceanographic research. That was the type of challenge I could not slither away from, and two weeks later I submitted "Lust Among the Reefs" -- and received an immediate rejection. The story sat in the dark recesses of my computer for two years until JEA Press issued their call for submissions to Rejected for Content. I thought "Lust Among the Reefs" was perfect for an anthology that touted itself as "the most hard-core, profane, gory, explicit short stories available" and submitted. After a debate among the editorial staff about whether or not to accept it (that's how intense the story is), JEA Press decided to include "Lust Among the Reefs" in Rejected for Content. And so, after one rejection letter, my first pseudonym, and an FBI watchlist profile for highly suspicious and disturbing Google searches, I can add to my bibliography my first foray into inter-species erotica.
All joking aside, "Lust Among the Reefs," like all the stories in Rejected for Content, is meant for mature audiences and should not be read by anyone who gets grossed out or offended easily. I had fun writing it and pushing the limits of what I thought I was capable of as a writer, but this is one story there definitely won't be a sequel to. (However, kaiju sex is a genre that has not been delved into yet.)