The resourceful editor Chris Allinotte has been up to more editorial madness in the form of his latest issue of authors exploring the line between insanity and what makes us normal. Ten Days of Madness represents his gauntlet tossed in the face of psychiatry and its attempt to define the thing they call mad. He is hosting the stories that have made it into his forthcoming anthology on his site.
Chris met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about contemporary insanity and psychiatrists who love Prozac.
Tell us about Ten Days Of Madness.
Ten Days of Madness is the third annual blogfest that has borne the “Days of Madness” theme.
The idea started two years ago on a whim I had to provide an alternative entertainment to the “March Madness” basketball tournament. (It was originally called “Madness in March”).
It was really important to set the event apart by relying on a “no genre” rule. In other words, I wanted devious and cunning plots that would make people wonder about the horrors within a person / character. I sent out an appeal for stories about psychological horror, and got a great bunch of stories in.
After running them for nine days, I decided to try and keep the stories going, and get some increased exposure for my authors by turning them into a free ebook, which I published on Smashwords.
Last year, I ran the same event, and called it “9 Days of Madness.”
So here we are in year 3, and it’s up to Ten Days, with a great bunch of new stories for everyone to get their teeth into.
Do you think we are getting any madder?
I absolutely think we are. We have all the information and misinformation in the world at our fingertips, and no time or inclination to filter it. We’re all of us on overload, and it’s no wonder that people are getting increasingly isolated and strange.
Add to that the anonymity of the internet, and you get a frightening snapshot of us as a people in the here and now. Look at one page of comments on any major news site, or God help you – Youtube, and watch what happens when people feel like they can lash out with impunity.
So yes – we’re definitely getting madder. We should all slow down, and enjoy life a little more. Perhaps with a little short fiction…
Just how crazy are the stories in the latest anthology?
There are some truly crazy stories this year. There’s a few that skirt dangerously close to the “no genre monsters” rule, but even those have some seriously twisted plots. I don’t want to give too much away, as the stories are, by design, brief, but I can tell you that there’s mermaids, and lab coats and murder (oh my!).
It was so interesting to see what everyone took away from the word “frenzy.”
How would you elevator pitch it to a psychiatrist who hates fiction but loves Prozac?
“Hey Doc! How’d you like 18 windows into 9 completely twisted minds that’ll have you popping your little happy pills like Mentos? I’d prescribe a good nights’ sleep afterwards, but that just ain’t going to be possible once these writers have gotten their hooks into your reality.”
Thanks Chris for a sane and engaging interview.
–>Tune into the 10 Days of Madness Event starting tomorrow, 21 March.
–>Revisit past days of madness:
Nine Days of Madness – read reviews and download a free ePUB at B&N or go to Smashwords for free downloads in Kindle and other formats
Eight Days of Madness – read reviews and get a free ePUB at B&N or read it in its entirety online at Smashwords