This interview is being included in the 2013 Women in Horror Interview Series. Every February, Women in Horror Recognition Month (WiHM) assists underrepresented female genre artists in gaining opportunities, exposure, and education through altruistic events, printed material, articles, interviews, and online support. You can find out more about WiHM here:
Joslyn Corvis mostly writes short stories, with a focus on true supernatural and YA supernatural/fantasy. She is working on getting a series published entitled Forever Gothic, but on the side she continues to write short stories, articles, reviews, and of course, Golden Girls fan fiction.
Pimped to Satan
Horror at its raunchiest!
Story by Joslyn Corvis
Cover art by Dan Dillard.
“I probably would’ve called the story “Brosmary’s Baby” if I had to choose a name.”—from reader Ed Rendon.
Phil answers an orgy party invite on Gregslist, but what he thinks is going to be a night of complete sexual debauchery turns into a life-changing experience after he gets knocked up by Satan.
Q. I’ve really enjoyed reading the interviews and spooky ghost stories on your blog at http://gothicgenie.wordpress.com/ – they are usually pretty serious, so I was surprised when I read the description of “Pimped to Satan”. It is so funny. What inspired you to write something so humorous?
A. I am always interested in a challenge and the feedback lets me know if I’ve successfully pulled off what I set out to do. I was thinking about how panels of men were designated to rule on women’s reproductive health and thought, “Hmm, wouldn’t it be hilarious if men could get pregnant?” A lot of the humor in the story reflects my own, but I was wondering if other people would find it as funny as I did. I think I was half-asleep when the thought hit me and being a horror writer, I was able to get someone pregnant in a style that’s been done to death, only change it up with a male character becoming the carrier of the Satan-spawn. And that’s where I gave it a semi-original twist. Or at least that was my intention.
Q. What genre(s) do you consider the work to be in?
A. I would be sooner to say comedy-horror as opposed to horror-comedy. And sub-genres would probably be slacker-stoner comedy or male-oriented humour. However if there is a sequel, it may be more geared toward horror-comedy because I’d really like to lay the horror on thick and show off the capabilities of the Satan baby.
Q. I think that independent publishing offers authors the opportunity to publish in multiple genres before we get pigeonholed. Can you tell us a bit about what genres you have worked in?
A. Oh, Lord. Well, I’m not proud of it but I may as well come clean. I’ve done romance. Twice, but in my defense it was for contests and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity.
I wrote a poem for the Wergle Flomp Bad Poetry competition in the style of those bad love poems we are all guilty of writing in our teen years and I had to submit to a vanity press for eligibility. Didn’t win Wergle Flomp but the vanity press published it in their anthology and put it on audio CD. The vanity pub contacted me later to submit another poem so I did a serious one, just in case anyone was following my work. I also did a true supernatural book which is thankfully out of print, but all of the previously mentioned pieces were published under my “other” name.
However, true supernatural is my passion and that’s where I’d originally wanted to make a name for myself, but I roll old-skool like the writers who inspired me back in the day. I don’t “investigate” like most nowadays; I just get the story and put it into my own words and with paranormal investigation going mainstream I wasn’t sure if that style was falling flat. But I’m like Mulder: The truth is out there! I want to believe in all that stuff so bad. But what really got me started on writing horror fiction was that in my youth, that genre was just lame to say the least. As I started connecting with modern writers and seeing their work I was just floored by how scary fiction can be! So I had to try my hand at it and was surprised at the feedback because I really didn’t think I could match up. Oh, I did two nonfiction pieces, one on anxiety and one on caregiver stress. Nonfiction is so hard when the subject comes from a place of emotion because it ends up riddled with details and editors want you to stick to the facts.
Q. How do you feel about independent publishing?
A. The marketing will kill you. Not to mention the amount of people that have probably deleted me because they’re sick of hearing about my latest promo, and I feel like an unwelcome solicitor. I’m just glad most of my social networking circle involves people that understand that the only way to get your work out there is repitition. And by the time you make your million via independent publishing, most of it has already been spent in increments as a weekly allowance, and that’s if you’re lucky! However, I’m really not in it for fame and riches. I’m in it because I love the feedback which is really helpful in knowing whether I’ve struck a potential audience and in honing my skills. I love that I can put my work out there and give it life! It’s just a matter of finding people to read and support my work and figuring out what works when it comes to marketing.
Q. How do you feel about traditional publishing?
A. It’s my dream. I feel like they’ll be involved in the dirty work of promoting, and they’ll have connections that are more likely to buy if it’s endorsed by a big-name traditional publisher. I have been trying to get my YA supernatural book series, Forever Gothic, represented and while it’s received some amazing feedback from agencies, they’re not representing at the moment. But even those glimmers of hope are what it’s about. I have to beef it up with more words because a few have said it falls just below word count. But yes, it’s something I’m working on and I’m glad that indie publishing is available just in case I don’t make it with a traditional publisher. I just feel like this particular series would be much better suited to the traditional route, plus it would give me more time to write instead of trying to act as my own agent, editor, and all the other roles that go along with publishing a book. By the way, since anti-bullying is a huge stance of mine, it deals with two goth kids and a cheerleader who happens to be a witch, and the issues of bullying and cliques play a small part in the books. I wanted it to be realistic and show high school through the eyes of outcasts, but without bullying overshadowing the positive experience. And there’s a huge focus on supernatural.
Q. Women are still underrepresented in horror – how do you feel about being a woman writing in a still male-dominated genre?
A. I think that’s why “Pimped to Satan” was such an important piece for me. I guess I felt like people had this idea of who I am, and I kinda have this image of being a bit bubblegum-goth. Maybe a little more “bubblegum” than “goth.” So I wanted to reflect what I’m capable of, and I wanted to gear it toward my own morbid funnybone. And because it’s male-oriented humour, as I call it, I thought it might have a bigger draw. As you mentioned before, you get “pigeonholed” if you are in it too long and I thought, while I’m still nameless, I have that opportunity to challenge myself and see what other people think of it. My hope was that it would attract people who aren’t into reading because of the sheer, well, jack-assery of the content. As far as being a woman in an industry that is predominantly male, I never really thought about it. I just hoped my work would stand out on its own merit, if it has any. To go back to Forever Gothic for a moment, the main character is female and I wanted to portray her in the best possible light because we need girls in fiction that people can not only relate to, but see as a positive influence.
Q. Is it weird to be in the interviewee seat instead of being interviewed?
A. Very. Almost Twilight-Zoney.
Q. What can we expect from Joslyn Corvis in the future?
A. Well, I’m currently independently contracted to write for an e-magazine about music. Whenever I had to write a report in school, I would try to revolve it around music. In history I was able to get away with a report on “The Evolution of Rock N Roll.” You can tie music into just about anything so I tried my best because it’s always been a passion of mine. So this gig is super exciting for me! Also, I’m hoping Forever Gothic will find representation because once I get the word count up I’m going to begin actively seeking agents again. I hope to find more true supernatural stories, and I’m working on a short-story compilation. I might put out a sequel to “Pimped to Satan” if the inspiration or demand strikes since it’s been suggested. I’d probably call it, “I Was Pimped to Satan, Too!” for additional cheese factor. As far as what to expect, though, I’m not quite sure. My goals are always too high and my expectations are always too low, but hopefully I’ll just maintain the steady rate that I’m going at now and if more opportunities come up, I’ll have no complaints!
Q. Where can people buy your books and connect with you on the web?
And Twitter: @JoslynCorvis
And I started Youtube channel after a couple of personal requests, but I finally relented out of boredom. There is a Pimped to Satan promo somewhere on my channel among my other mindless videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/gothicgenie
And I think that’s about it.
Thank you so much for having me! It’s been a pleasure chatting with you!