When Chris Fisher asked me to do a blog post to help promote my story – “Live Nude Girls” – in the latest issue of Relief my mind jumped to several immediate possibilities. I felt I could talk on a range of topics like:
- The writing life
- How when someone like Neil Gaiman, fantasy author extraordinaire, goes on about not believing in God and then writes stories populated by Gods and uses them as a metaphor to explore human life and the human condition I immediately being to believe that his atheism is not at all what he thinks it is.
- On the nature of being a MA graduate with an MA in theology and most of a BA in creative writing but no job what-so-ever so if you want to hire me to do some freelance writing work please contact me.
In life – as both a human being and as a writer (not all human beings are writers, it’s a much longer process for us) it is important to have a nemesis. If possible one should indicate their nemesis in writing and make several public declarations of the relationship. I should point out that having a Grown-Up-Professional nemesis relationship and, say, a Deep-Wish-For-Harm-To-Fall-On-the-Guy-Who-Made-your-Life-Torture-In-Grades-4-And-5 are much different things.
I am sure that you have already begun to ask yourself: why be the nemesis of Mr. Hill. Because he is Stephen King’s son and had publishing connections from the earliest glimmer of a desire to publish? Is it because in ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ he took what could have been a clichéd King-esq horror novel and instead – through a truly unique lead character – gave us a story that was as much about growing old and taking stock of our lives as it was about past sin? Or is it because he is doing what I want to do with life – writing comics and books (the comic I created but was not allowed to write? Apparently it’s coming out soon!)?
Yes. It’s that one!
But I won’t belabor the point – part of the fun of having a secret nemesis is that you get to keep your funhouse mirror life justifications to yourself in, say, a journal or in mad midnight ramblings.
In the end I feel Joe Hill would be a good nemesis because he seems like a nice guy – that as he ridicules your work he may actually say something nice about it. And I feel he may not agree with my weird pre-Acclaim Valiant Comic book fascination but he would get it.
So, Mr. Hill I want to do what you do: write stories of wonder that plumb the depths of humanity. And I’m a few years behind you. But I will catch up. And, oh lets say in 10 years, I want to challenge you to a Duel-to-the-Death on the top of the empire state building.
But before that – can we get a beer? Maybe poke around a used bookstore and would you autograph my copy of ‘Heart-Shaped Box’?
Jason Hubbard Derr is a theologian, author and independent scholar living in Vancouver, BC with his lovely new bride. Jason is a contributor to PopTheoloy.com, has been invited to submit to an academic journal and will soon see his MA thesis published. He has most of a BA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University and and all of a MA in Theology from the Vancouver School of Theology. Jason’s story “Live Nude Girls” can be found in Relief Issue 3.2.