Tell us a little about yourself. submitted by
I'm just a guy in his early thirties living in the oven that is called Phoenix, Arizona with a wife (If you're reading this, hi honey!), cat, and two ferrets. After too many stops and starts I've finally started going to school consistently and am officially starting at ASU in the fall studying Biomedical Engineering. I'd eventually like to work on artificial limbs.
Or turn people into cyborgs.
On top of delivering pizzas and school I also do a little bit of Amplifier repair work and deal Craps and Blackjack for various casino party companies. When did you first become interested in horror?
The first books I could ever remember reading were the Goosebumps books by R.L. Stein. That combined with the fact that my father was a big horror fan himself (He let me watch Alien for the first time when I was about eight years old) eventually led me to start reading Stephen King. I can't definitively say when I first became interested in horror as a genre as it's basically been around me all of my life in one form or another. Was there a specific moment you knew you wanted to write in that genre?
I wrote stories of all types for a long time without any real direction on what type I wanted to focus on. While I did read a lot of Stephen King and grew up with him I also read a lot of Sci-Fi and Fantasy along the way as well. When I really decided to focus in on horror was after reading "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski for the first time when I was eighteen. That was when I learned that horror wasn't just scary monsters or people in hockey masks chasing horny teenagers around a lake. It evoked that deeply unsettling feeling that you can't define and makes you more terrified because you can't.
I knew I wanted to evoke that feeling in people. That feeling of 'something's not right but I can't pinpoint it'. A terror and looming dread hiding in the periphery of your vision that you think you saw for just a second but when you look is no longer there.
I don't think I've gotten there yet. But I'm working on it. Where do you find inspiration? Have real life experiences ever made their way into your work?
I try to find inspiration anywhere I can. A lot of my ideas come from thinking about something weird that I saw or can't explain and coming up with some sort of story around it. A good example of this is the sign in "I deliver Pizzas"
. I can't speak for the extradimensional abilities of the street, but the sign and street are real and it's really goddamn weird. Especially since the sign says 'no exit' and the street it's on actually does have an exit.
Sometimes it's something mundane that I see if I can make weird or creepy (like Canada Geese
, for example).
One of the biggest fears I have is losing control of my own mind and will to some type of disease like Alzheimer's and that's led to a decent amount of ideas. That has served as one of the major inspirations for a couple of my stories, the main one being "I was a test subject for a medical experiment..." How did you discover NoSleep? What prompted you to begin writing for it?
I actually got an amazon recommendation on my Kindle for the PenPal ebook quite a bit ago and bought it with no knowledge of its origins on reddit. When I looked up more information about it I found the creepypasta channels on Youtube (CreepsMcPasta and MrCreepypasta specifically) and listened to the other stuff they had.
It was a number of years later that I finally found where the hell all of these stories had come from. I had stopped writing for quite a bit of time when I turned twenty three because of the amount of rejection letters I got from various Litmags and was fed up with trying to get published anywhere.
A little over a year ago while browsing reddit I found the writingprompts
subreddit and thought it looked fun so I tried that for a little while. It's good practice but the most notice I got over there was a response that was essentially an extended rickroll. When I looked for a subreddit dedicated to original writing not based on prompts I stumbled on this little corner of the internet. Was it difficult transitioning from the WritingPrompts format to writing for NoSleep?
It's a fun activity and great practice but I had pretty much no problem switching to the NoSleep writing format. I had already been listening to the stories on the more well known youtube channels for a little while and caught the general idea of how the stories should be formatted pretty quickly, although there have definitely been a few stumbles along the way (Mostly the believability rule).
But honestly I just enjoy writing horror stories so much more than the Scifi/Fantasy stuff that permeates that sub, and as anyone can tell you that if you enjoy it it's hardly work. Do you have a favorite writing prompt you wrote for the sub? [WP] When the king dies, a 100 floor tower falls from the sky and the crown returns to the top floor. Many climbers form adventuring parties to reach the top in hope of being the next ruler. Posted by u/lordhelmos
I enjoyed it so much I ended up writing 12k words that made up the beginning of a novel. Unfortunately I have a terrible attention span and it didn't manage to hold my attention at the time enough to finish it. Although once I get my short story collection out it's my plan to try and flesh it out into an entire novel. I think it'll be nice to have a bit of a departure from my usual stuff. What NoSleep stories and/or authors have had the strongest impact on you? u/1000vultures
definitely as it's the first piece of fiction I'd read from the subreddit. u/The_Dalek_Emperor
is another favorite (I know I'm not the first to say it, but Borrasca
is an absolute masterpiece).
Since becoming involved and reading the subreddit more I've really enjoyed stuff by u/EZmisery
, and many more that I'm going to feel bad later for forgetting to mention because this place has so many good writers on it. What is the most terrifying thing you have personally experienced?
When I was fifteen my Grandmother was on her deathbed in a hospice. She was in her late eighties and had been sick with pneumonia for a couple of days. When it was obvious she wasn't going to get better my siblings and I were taken out of school. I can remember waiting outside of her room with my brother and sisters while, one at a time, each of us went in to say our goodbyes.
This was a women I had seen nearly every single week for my entire life. She had all of these machines hooked up to her. An IV. A breathing mask. It was hard to actually see the fragile old woman buried underneath the tubes and blankets.
I started crying and couldn't stop. I could hear the looming specter of death in every raspy breath. It was the first time I could ever remember seeing someone that close to death. We're incredibly sorry for your loss, that's heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing. <3 Do you think that experience played a role in your interest in writing stories that explore the concept of an afterlife?
Time doesn't heal all wounds but it definitely dulls it. It was 17 years ago and it doesn't occupy my mind too much lately. But thank you :)
I don't personally believe in an afterlife, but it definitely made me think about the concept more than I had at any point in my life up until then. My parents were never very religious so I hadn't been to synagogue or church enough to really think about it much. It was a nice thought at first to think that my Grandmother was around and watching over us. That she was still capable of feeling love.
Over the years though the thoughts became a bit darker. As I got older the concept became less and less nice to think about. Eternity is a very, very long time and no matter how pleasant would eventually get to the point that it would be impossible to enjoy anything. There is no adversity to overcome in paradise, and hence nothing to strive for.
Paradise sounds boring. And an eternity of boredom doesn't sound like paradise to me. What are some of your biggest influences from media?
I love Brandon Sanderson's world building.
Stephen King, as I said before, has been a huge influence as well. I could only dream to make as realistic characters as him.
Pretty much everything Neil Gaiman has ever done. The Sandman comic book series especially. The Twilight Zone.
H.P. Lovecraft minus the racism.
The Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.
And of course the comedy stylings of the MST3K crew on the satellite of love. Other than writing, what are some of your hobbies? What other creative mediums do you enjoy?
I'm a gigantic nerd and am always up for a good game of Magic the Gathering or a session of DnD. While I don't like puzzles very much I do enjoy solving problems around the house. It makes me feel useful when I can fix a garbage disposal or replace a broken stair railing. D&D, eh? exits out of a tab with an alignment chart spreadsheet of all the NSI mods We may have played a campaign or two before. What's your favorite character class to play?
Warlocks! Whether I'm making a deal for a book of shadows from a celestial or enslaving an imp with the power from an unknown elder god from the great beyond I enjoy the variety of things a warlock can do. Plus getting back spells on a short rest is always nice. Do you ever explore writing other genres besides horror? If so, what other styles of writing? Which do you prefer?
Before nosleep I was mostly interested in Fantasy and Science fiction. On my subreddit
I have about the first 15k words of an unfinished fantasy novel and the first 10k of an unfinished Science fiction comedy novel. I still haven't decided if I'm going to finish either eventually. You've dabbled in humor before with your Possessed Dumbass series. Did you find writing something with more comedic tones to be more fun or challenging?
It's definitely a lot of fun. A ridiculous amount of fun, if I'm being honest, but very hard to pull off in an effective way. If you lean too far into the horror of it than the comedic parts are jarring and out of place and if you lean into the comedy too much than the horror falls completely flat. I honestly don't know how Gas Station Jack manages to do it as well as he does with how many words he's written. How much time do you spend writing in an average day or week? Do you have any rituals that help you focus?
When I was first starting to write on here I kept myself on a strict schedule that I've since lapsed on. As of now I average about three days a week and four hours a day. So, about twelve to sixteen hours a week? Now that I've actually thought about it I should probably put more time into it.
As for rituals, a nice playlist of music in the background always helps settle the writing vibes in the right way. When crafting a piece of fiction, do you generally start with an outline or simply begin writing?
The only outlines I've ever produced are for the novels that I've tried working on. When it comes to anything shorter than that I let the idea ruminate and stir in my head for a day or two before I decide to write it down or not. If it gets past the brainstorming stage I just write it down as fast as I can without worrying too much about it. Being pretty critical of my own ideas most of the time I find that outlines don't really work for me unless I have to keep track of a lot of characters over a long period of time. Have any of your stories ever involved research? If so, what was involved?
For some of them, definitely. The most research I've ever done was the story about Canada Geese
migration patterns. Despite that research I somehow still managed to call them Canadian Geese by mistake. I actually managed to find a couple of scientific papers about the average and top sizes for populations of them and figure out exactly where they end up and where they go.
As for most of the other stories, a little bit of research always goes a long way to making it sound more realistic and believable. Which of course is the backbone of this subreddit :) In I Closed Twenty Two Doors Today the narrator suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Was the true horror of the story an unknown entity making its way into the narrator's home or panic from a miscount?
Whichever one scares you more. What inspired the concept of The Thing in Manzanita Hall?
I wanted to make as truly unique of a monster as I could so like any good writer I smashed a bunch of ideas together until something I felt was good came out of it.
I have a bit of a soft spot for stories told from the perspective of someone who finds something they probably shouldn'tve seen. Sinister is a really good example of this type of story and I wanted to make something like it. Demons make an appearance in many of your stories. Is that a topic that interests or terrifies you?
Definitely more interesting than terrifying.
I feel demons are a great concept to use in place of the more terrifying aspects of humanity. They can be the memories you want to forget. They can be the symptoms of mental illness. They can be the metaphysical concept of infinity given life. Your work often includes general theological themes, notably in your most popular series, I was dead for six minutes and saw Heaven. I'd rather go to Hell. Why do you think so many people feel religion marries well with horror?
Religion tries to describe concepts so far beyond the realm of mere mortals like us. It tries to describe in words things that are, by definition, indescribable by words. Horror is similar is a lot of ways.
Of course there's also the fact that so many people are terrified of religion in general. A gathering of people sitting in a room once or twice a week getting told about how if they do things that this one book says they'll be given everything they want, but if they deviate from that then they'll be sent to a place of indescribable torture. No room for error and no room for disagreements.
Given that, it's not surprising that it makes such a good horror topic. You've been involved in several collaborations with different NoSleep authors. Are there any challenges or unexpected benefits in working together with others?
I love doing collaborations. Despite how a lot of people see writers, sitting alone in front of a computer typing to themselves, I'm of the idea that the more cooks baking the pie the better it gets. The more eyes you have looking at it the more opportunities you have to catch mistakes and make your own work better.
The biggest challenge, of course, is keeping a good schedule. Like in any creative endeavour it can be like herding cats, as u/deathbyproxy
can attest to when everyone was working on our giant october collab last year with the Skinner Foundation. You use the name Tim for characters in several of your stories. Are these all the same Tim, or separate Tims? What's the significance behind the name?
I'm not going to lie here. There's no intended significance behind the name and is most likely just a giant coincidence because I've never noticed it myself. Although there was a Tim I met a couple of years ago that is probably one of the worst human beings in existence.
My Aunt is married to a Tim as well though and he's a nice enough guy. So, to answer that question, I have no clue. Will we ever see more installments of the series about your best friend?
I was intending to write a fourth part for this story, I really was. I even had two separate ideas about how to end it that I got halfway through writing before realizing they just weren't good.
I don't know what it was about this story specifically that I had so much trouble with. And from some of the feedback it seems like some people were just as frustrated by the unintended ending as I was, although the last part I posted still sorta works as an ending so I'm going to leave it as is.
I may end up finishing it at some point but I wouldn't expect it anytime soon. Are there any topics you feel are too controversial for you to address or that you prefer not to explore in your writing?
As for controversial topics, that's hard to say. Horror is meant to push the boundaries and buttons of the people that are reading it in the worst ways. There's a fine line between effective horror and just plain horrifying. As for myself, there are a couple of subjects that I won't mention by name that I'm personally not comfortable talking about. Moreso because I don't have the experiences or knowledge to portray them correctly than out of any fear of offending someone. What are your feelings toward NoSleep's immersion/believability rule? What impact, if any, do you think the suspension of disbelief format may have when transitioning your work toward a mass audience unfamiliar with NoSleep?
It can be frustrating sometimes when a story gets removed but the believability rule is what makes the subreddit unique. I wouldn't have it removed or changed for any reason, otherwise the sub wouldn't be what it is today. As for transferring to a different audience, I think it'll help out with making a more believable story and characters. There are obvious stories that wouldn't make sense out of the context of nosleep but I think most of them work just fine as standalone pieces. Do you have any favorite reader reactions to your writing?
I loved pretty much all of the comments for I was dead for six minutes and saw heaven
. It was a nice combination of theological discussion and the most amount of discussion about the story of anything I've written. It was really cool to see all of the speculation and discussion about the story and possibilities.
Also, I silvered a comment for a particularly funny joke and he sent me a picture of his pet hedgehog. And it was adorable. What story or project are you most proud of?
My favorite story I've written is The Lost Ones
. I think it's the story where I hit the best balance of 'What the hell is going on' without adventuring too far into the 'This isn't interesting' category. What's the most valuable lesson you've learned since you began posting to NoSleep?
Not everyone is going to like what you put out. No matter how popular or how successful something is, there are going to be people who hate it and feel the need to let you know. A hard lesson to learn, to be sure, but a necessary one.
You can't please everyone. As a successful author on NoSleep, do you have any advice for new contributors?
I don't think of myself as that successful but the best advice I can give is to be persistent. Most of the time, in pretty much anything, people end up failing because they stop trying when they hit resistance. The first story I ever posted got about 350 upvotes and was narrated by one of my favorite narrators on Youtube.
The second story got a grand total of five upvotes over a day before I deleted it.
The next couple of stories after that didn't even break fifty.
Persistence is key. What are your short-term and long-term writing goals?
Short term - Finish editing my goddamn book. I've been taking too long with that. I promise it'll be out before October! There I go setting a hard deadline for myself.
Long Term - Gain the ability to pay rent with my writing Community Questions:
From PLF__0519TTV: What got you in to horror?
The genre has been around me my entire life so it's kinda hard to pinpoint an exact movie or book that really solidified my interest in the genre. If I had to make a shortlist, it would probably be the Goosebumps books, the movie Alien, and The Stand.
Submitted anonymously: Are there any stories you've wanted to tell that you couldn't due to NoSleep's rules?
Even though my main focus is on the stories I post here I still enjoy writing in other genres that definitely don't fit on Nosleep. I enjoy the worldbuilding aspect of Fantasy and Science Fiction a lot and want to explore that a bit more.
Submitted anonymously: What's your favourite story that you didn't write?
It's a toss up between PenPal, Borrasca, and The Strangest Security Tape I've Ever Seen. All three are great in their own ways and it's hard to pick one over the other two.
From Colourblindness: Your demon possession stories were massively popular. Do you intend to ever return to the concept again?
Definitely. Once I flesh out an overarching story with them a bit more you'll definitely see the Cranberry Ginger Ale swilling meat suit inhabiting immortal concepts again.
Submitted anonymously: Have you ever been to Cawdor or Cawdor Castle?
Unfortunately no, but I would absolutely love to visit it someday.
Submitted anonymously: Is it Canada goose or Canada geese?
Canada Goose if one, Canada Geese if multiple. Just whatever you do don't call them Canadian Geese or else you'll definitely get corrected by angry Canadians.
Submitted anonymously: Other than the geeses, what do you think the creepiest thing about Canada is?
What's with the bagged milk? WHAT AREN'T YOU TELLING US!
Submitted anonymously: If you were able to spend the day with any figure in the horror community (author, director, actor, etc.), who would you choose and why?
Ari Aster (Hereditary and Midsommar).
To start off with, he's one of the few directors or writers living today that's displayed grief on screen so accurately and with such deep understanding. He makes it so goddamn terrifying that it becomes scarier than any possible jumpscare that he could put on screen. It's hard not to be terrified when the feelings are so visceral and real.
From Colourblindness: You participated in a nosleep April fools gag where authors swapped stories to confuse readers. What was the experience like and do you feel like you thoroughly confused yourself and or others?
Mine got removed!
Well, the one I wrote got removed. I didn't realize at the time that alternate reality stories weren't really allowed on the subreddit and wrote something about the Mandela effect that I thought turned out ok. The author that wrote the story that I posted under my name turned out so much better than mine I honestly wish I would've thought of something as absolutely nuts as that.
The entire event was fun and probably pretty confusing from the reader's side of things although I imagine the Mods confused the subreddit a bit more when they temporarily shut down the subreddit.
From ByfelsDisciple: What do you think is your most underrated story? Your most overrated?
I think my most underrated story is The Lost Ones. I spent a lot of time crafting that particular story and hoped it would get a bit more attention than it did.
As for overrated, I would say 19 Reasons why I know there's a monster under my bed. It took me about thirty minutes to write and thought it wouldn't get much attention. I did have fun writing it, of course, and enjoyed it as much as any other story I've written but was quite surprised that it ended up at the top of the page for any amount of time.
Submitted anonymously: If you had to live in the established universe of one of your characters, which would you choose and why?
Let me preface this by saying I wouldn't like to live in any of them (as most of them are terrifying to think about the implications), but if I HAD to choose it would probably be the ones with the demons. Unless you seek them out or screw with them they don't care about you.
Submitted anonymously: Which actor who's played James Bond do you think is most likely to secretly be a serial killer? Which one would you most want to eat cereal with?
I wouldn't be surprised if they find women's skulls on Sean Connery's property after he kicks the bucket.
As for cereal, definitely Timothy Dalton. Mostly for the fact that he seems to actually have a sense of humor about himself (if Hot Fuzz is any indication).
Today paper roll; over or under?
Over. What kind of monster puts it under?
Asmodeus, is that you? If it is could I get a new hellhound? The one you gave me chased a car down when it got out of the backyard and I don't have any more room for bodies.
Submitted anonymously: What is the greatest album of all time and why is it Metropolis Part II: Scenes from a Memory?
Are you going to yell at me if I say I'm not much of a Dream Theater fan?
The Shaming of the True by Kevin Gilbert. Seriously, go listen to the entire thing. It's wonderful.
Submitted anonymously: I'm going to McDonald's, do you want anything?
A couple of hashbrowns and a sausage egg mcmuffin please.
From Poppy_moonray: Favorite Greek or Roman myth?
Daedalus. That man had such a tragic life in so many ways. Par for the course when dealing with the Greek gods unfortunately.
Kangaroos: Happy hopping friend, or faux-fanny pack wearing foe?
Does this answer your question?
What fruit do you empathize with most strongly? What fruit fills you with an unbridled fury?
Starfruit is so underrated and delicious and I wish more stores carried it.
Where do you get off just being everywhere, Honeydew? You managed to get yourself in everything and somehow be the worst of whatever you're a part of.
You said we're allowed to ask you anything besides where the bodies are hidden, and we, like, totally respect that. So, uh, hypothetically speaking though, where would you hide bodies if you had to? Just wondering, no reason.
I mean, hypothetically, there's a lot of desert where I live. Hypothetically there's this particular rock that's been spray painted half black just past the city limits sign. Hypothetically, you could turn left at that rock and drive down the dirt road until you reach a wooden sign with "Abandon all hope" written on it. Hypothetically, if you got out of your white pickup truck and walked for a mile due north you might find an abandoned water tank with unmarked crosses along the outside of it. Hypothetically, of course.
If you were to write an installment in the Final Destination franchise, what's the first death scene you would write?
The scene opens with a school trip to Ringling Brothers circus back in the day when they still abused the shit out of lions and elephants. When they bring out the elephant to do it's thing one of the carnies don't lock the cage for the lion all the way and sneaks out into the main performance area. The lion, scared and confused, frightens the elephant to the point that it tries to find the closest exit big enough for it to get out of the big tent, which unfortunately is right through the teachechaperone on the way back to the students and he gets trampled.
On it's way out it knocks down some of the supports and the large tent starts collapsing, causing the crowd to go into even more of a panic. The main character's best friend gets trampled by the crowd but dies just after the escaped lion bites open the jugular of the main character's best friend, leaving to confusion of death order later in the movie. Two of the kids that no one care about die when one of the supports finally collapses and smashes both of them at the same time.
Just as the main character and their love interest look like they are about to get out of the tent alive a stray support rope that was holding up the tent from the outside snaps and smashes the love interest in the face. Just as the main character sees this happen they hear the growl of the escaped lion directly behind them.
From OnyxOctopus: How do you take your tea? What kind would you like? One lump or two? How many snickerdoodles can I get you? Are you warm enough? If not, I can get you a hand-crocheted afghan! Would you like one? ❤
Iced Passionfruit tea, unsweetened. Unfortunately I live in Phoenix and it was 106 today so I'm good on the blanket.
Submitted anonymously: Favorite guilty pleasure song or movie?
Please don't think less of me for this, but I unironically enjoy a couple of Papa Roach songs.
Submitted anonymously: Favorite book?
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.
Submitted anonymously: If your house was on fire and you could only rescue one physical thing (all living beings made it out safely), what would it be?
My Magic the Gathering burn deck. I don't feel like spending a couple hundred bucks to replace those pieces of cardboard.
If I couldn't get that, my wedding photos.
From Colourblindness: As a frequenter of writingprompts myself it pleases me to see you turn up inspiration in unexpected ways! Therefore I want to challenge you with a writing prompt of my own! Make it something unique for me please? “You found out that all of your family are actually puppeteers and they’ve been holding back the secret art of puppetry. Explain why.”
Give me a couple of days and watch for my next post :)
Craving more Cawdor?
Cruise on over to his
NSI would like to say a whole flock of Canadian
geese gooses geeses angry pale duck bois worth of thank yous to the talented and terrifying Cawdor! You're a true gem—but, like, a spooky gem, that the ghost of a small Victorian boy carries in his ghost pockets. <3
We'll see you back here on Monday, August 12th when we speak to NoSleep's own murderous Mary Poppins, that night-crawling ne'er-do-well, NocturnalNanny! We'll be taking questions for her in /NoSleepOOC next Monday. Before then, make sure you follow her Facebook, Twitter, and Userpage so you never miss a new nightmare!
The Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation is seeking to build a casino at this site along CA-11 in Calexico, California. Image from Google Maps The Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation has been seeking an off-reservation casino for more than a decade but the project has been stuck in extended limbo.. The Bureau of Indian Affairs issued the final environmental impact statement in October 2011. Manzanita At Twin Pine Casino and Hotel, California. Reviews For Manzanita! The casino is downstairs and there are plenty of slot machines and a couple of card tables. The bar area has a small stage for bands. The Manzanita Restaurant have a limited menu of entrees that is a bit pricey,but one would find the restaurant small and intimate. To get to there from the Bay Area, one would have to go over the twist and turns of the mountain, but it's worth it. Manzanita is a sweet little beach town just south of Cannon Beach on Oregon’s north coast. Stroll the beach and enjoy the spectacular view of Neahkahnie Mountain to the north. It was here that famed Oregon governor Oswald West was so inspired by the landscape that he declared that Oregon’s beaches should always remain free and open to all. Back in town, Manzanita packs in the culinary ... Manzanita Band awaits BIA ruling on off-reservation casino (August 23, 2013) The Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in California expects a decision on its off-reservation casino this fall, a representative for the tribe said. The tribe has been pursuing a casino in Calexico, near the U.S.-Mexico border for nearly a... Located 5000 ft above sea level in the cool mountain town of Payson, Arizona, Mazatzal is an all-suite Hotel & Casino located just 90 minutes from Phoenix. Come in now and experience the best gaming excitement around as well as the friendliest staff. You’ll have more fun here and even more chances to win! Mazatzal is close enough to get away from it all, so come in now and experience the ... Twin Pine Casino: Manzanita Cafe Inside Casino - See 87 traveler reviews, 43 candid photos, and great deals for Middletown, CA, at Tripadvisor.