A Quickie with Autumn Christian
Nikki Noir (NN): What’s your darkest fantasy? And why will you never act it out in real life?
Autumn Christian (AC): Oh, okay. Let's get right to the good stuff then! My darkest fantasy is the idea that I may get to be happy. Feral creatures like me, teeth and broken light-bulbs wrapped in a human suit, don't get to be happy. Or so I thought. Over the last two years I've learned that you can both be a nighttime wild and strange thing, but also have a family, a home, and people that love you. I don't have to live in the dark woods with blue flowers and shadows for company.
But the one that I will never act out in real life? My darkest fantasy in that regard is that I'm a writer who lives in a little rural town that would rival the best in a southern Gothic book, and my vampire husband would chain me to my enormous, mahogany desk and force me to write books during the day while he slept. By night, well, you fill in the rest. He's a vampire. I can assure you dark and carnal things happen.
NN: We all have a guilty pleasure. What’s the movie, television program, or music you’re a bit embarrassed of?
AC: Have no shame about what you enjoy. They are not guilty pleasures to me, simply pleasures. I'm not going to be embarrassed of anything I consume for my leisure time enjoyment--and none of you should either! I love both Rubenstein playing Chopin and Britney Spears. I'll read Madame Bovary, and then an erotic novel about a sexy sadistic Catholic priest. I'll watch an artistic film like Mother! and then spend a week binging on The Vampire Diaries. I've really opened up the amount of things I'm able to enjoy now that I no longer worry about fitting into a certain aesthetic, or what people will think of me. I like things because I like them, and they are good. As simple as that. Life becomes a buffet when you're no longer afraid to feast.
NN: If you could collaborate with any small press author on a project, who would it be and why?
AC: I don't know if I'd consider him a small press author, but I'm collaborating right now with pretty much the only person I'd consider it with. Although I think an Autumn Christian/Jeremy Robert Johnson novel might break the space/time continuum. Or actually, maybe it already did and that's how we got House of Leaves.
NN: Tell us about your latest project or work in progress
AC: My latest book, coming out in spring of 2019, is Girl Like a Bomb. I took a break from writing about horror and existential dread to write about sex and existential angst. You can get pre-order a signed copy from the CLASH website.
Here's the description:
Autumn Christian's third novel is a dark journey of self-discovery. An existential labyrinth of love, sex, and self-actualization where the only way out is through.
When high schooler Beverly Sykes finally has sex, her whole life changes. She feels an explosion inside of her that feels like her DNA is being rearranged, and she discovers a strange power within. After chasing that transcendent feeling and fucking her way through the good, the bad, and the dangerous boys and girls that cross her path, Beverly notices that all of her ex-lovers are undergoing drastic changes. She witnesses them transcending their former flawed selves, becoming self-actualized and strong. Beverly gives herself over and over to others, but can she become who she is supposed to be, with the gift and curse that nature gave to her?
NN: Of all the character’s you’ve created, do you have a favorite and why?
AC: It's definitely Beverly Sykes from Girl Like a Bomb. She is the most fully realized, 3-dimensional character that I've created, and her voice just seemed to spring forth from some mystical wellspring inside me. And she is also almost nothing like me--as in she's sexually unrepressed, confident, and goes after what she wants without shame.
Although I will always have a soft spot for the prophet Ezekiel that I created for Crooked God Machine. I have a thing for dark, tall, handsome, and completely irredeemable men.
NN: What’s your favorite philosophical quote or phrase to live by?
AC: "Nature to be commanded, must be obeyed," by Francis Bacon. I'm reminded of it every time I get frustrated with my mistakes, or want something to go according to a plan that I don't quite understand yet. I have to understand what I'm doing in order to understand it well. If you want to build an airplane, you have to understand how gravity and air resistance works. If you want to write a book, you have to understand its guts. I have to work with the machinery of nature, not against it.