As you may have already gleaned from my scribing thus far, I adore nothing more than to step out of the unyielding confines of convention, fucking conformity with all five digits complete with knuckle-duster, and feeling the tepid blood splurge around my tarsus. It is where I acquire my sanctuary and I’m at my most secure here when facing dastardly peril. When conceiving a pseudonym such as Keeper of The Crimson Quill, you become the recipient of whatever special power you desire, and flee from the trappings of common existence. You make a covenant of intimate allegiance to a location where you exist on your own terms and march to your own drumbeat. Should you want for self-assurance, then your ailments are alleviated the moment you don that guise and become bound not by such limitations and expectations. You establish a more thickened crust, pelt thicker than Glaswegian dialect, and a set of creative balls where the social order has previously rendered you intellectually impotent.
In my infinite wisdom and refusal to tread the path of the many, I have concluded that there are a few posers I‘m dying to be asked, certain clarity I wish to offer. I desire to lay myself out like a sacrificial lamb and await any scavengers’ whetted incisors as they tear through my grateful flesh, ravaging me limb from bloody limb. This Q&A will be discordant to any other, the questions posed and indeed, answers given, will probe deep and Keeper will not be shying away from candor, no matter how brutal. Imagine Patrick Bateman sprawled out on his massage chair, savoring that fine Chardonnay, slice of lemon wedged between his teeth, and Armani silk tie wrapped around his throat. Would anyone else truly decipher the irony and sardonism?
Crimson Quill: Why does the medium of horror get your dick so rigid?
Keeper: So many reasons my deep red associate. To state the more superficial first, it fuels my fire. It’s my porn; my shaft twinges with dark elation every time I complete a revolution. I invariably turn off all lights, set my headphones firmly in place to ensure I have the solitude I crave to maximize my recompense. That rush of untainted adrenaline straight to the heart releases endorphins like Pac-Man pellets and if you’re man, or woman enough, you gobble them up, all the while keeping your eye on the nearest available exit and power pill to fend off any nefarious spooks. Horror reminds me of my beloved father, my positive role-model, and the most awesome man I ever laid my baby blues on. Almost my entire childhood was spent huddled around the screen, eyes like perky nipples, and heart in throat. It became clear at that point that this consumable dark energy enabled me to feel something totally ethereal. Which brings me to my next raison d’être.
I’m a feeder, I need explicit positivity to replenish and further my resolve, and gather that from painstakingly selected fonts. Those who share belief in me. I don’t crave justification, don’t seek validation, I understand my singular faculty. What I do need is affection; both intakes of and outward displays. No half-stepping, or prancing about in a crimson tutu attempting hypnosis and luring unsuspecting internet travelers into my vaults (although that does sound grand but for the tutu). I use the term appraisal when search engines rarely receive that request, and will I ever alter that to review? I think you have already ascertained the answer to that question. When I flourish I shall do so on my own merits and not because I compromise myself to keep up with the Joneses.
Horror is a source of much adoration, strapping allegiances, ferocious loyalty and so many likewise dark souls to feed from and with. As a teenager, I recall laughing so hysterically that I almost birthed a kidney, as a frail old dear lost her footing and clattered down before me like a sack of bent trumpets, whimpering softly. I held any laughter in of course, gripped it within until I was satisfied that she was still in mortal existence, tears forming around my bulging eyes. I then detonated, to the discontentment of the neighboring posse of onlookers and flapping frowners. There exists darkness within me, I don’t yearn for another’s ill-fortune or desire to knead anyone’s face in with a meat tenderizer, nothing quite so sinister. But that blackness is there and, delicious pratfall, all around me. Fellow lurkers share that shadowy inclination and will identify with that which I scribe without qualm.
It’s all ultimately about the love; every one of us strives to make that unique connection. The folk with which we acquaint, the bonds we form, and the blood we spill together is incalculable. Horror is the singular most majestic commune on our free planet and it has been frittered away by unscrupulous executives, ruthless marketing machines, and the gnarled tabloid media. It has long since been crushed by the wheels of industry. No more; it is time for us to stand against the foul tyranny, snuff out these vile cunts and reclaim horror’s embezzled dignity, restoring it like a hand-washed tampon. It became fast apparent that this is where my dark soul can invigorate, creating light from darkness and illuminating the pathway forward for the new batch of horror devotees, giving us grizzled old-hands legitimate reason to commence the upsurge.
Crimson Quill: What process do you follow when scribing?
Keeper: I’m a creature of habit and require solitude for the dark essence to consume me. So it has become customary for me to sit underneath a festering bridge like a bashful troll, scribbling away in total isolation, aside for the natural beauty of my surroundings. I say that when, right now, I’m perched ominously on a rickety decaying pallet, legs losing any sense of feeling and surrounded by human waste, including dog feces in a plastic bag, and ensnared by rambunctious nettles which have donated their fair share of stinging sideswipes. On occasion a fellow mortal will pass, including possibly the coolest law enforcement officer to ever join the force; the Chong to my Cheech, if ya know wha’ I’m sayin’. I’ve witnessed some fucked up shit here, had pebbles the shape of John Merrick’s top box lobbed at me by pimply little adolescent grunts and once watched on in astonishment as an elderly chap wandered past, muttering complete gobbledygook to himself in a tongue which made Bobcat Goldthwait sound like Clive Owen.
For the most part however, I remain uninterrupted, and flow with constancy as I spray forth Crimson Quill’s cruel narrative. I’m self-taught, openly a technical gibbon who, through necessity over passion, has schooled himself on how to navigate a keyboard and mouse. When I scribe, it has to be the written word and besides, prodding the F11 key with a quill is a more troublesome venture than you would envisage. I scrapped my automobile two months ago; it had got blitzed with me for the last time and I decided to bid it adieu. It looked like a Colombian drug-cartel’s HQ by the time I finally scrapped it and I left behind any rolled up notes and well powdered library card to perish with it. That is when I ventured into my nearby stationers and left with a clutch of writing materials to commence my pilgrimage as Keeper.
The Crimson Quill itself was fashioned within my dark tower, the Savage Vaults, and bled on virginal blood. I can scribe a piece in around an hour and a half, depending on its complexity, but tirelessly type up the results when I return home, thus doubling my workload. You know why that is? I’m a scribe, that is the aptitude I have been blessed with and sentiment is both emitted and received with that much more ease when it bleeds from within one’s exclusive tool. When I take my troll-like position under the bridge, and begin my daily outpour, I access a place which, until recently, I had no concept of how to reach. My soul informs every single word that I scribe and unswerving honesty is the result of this process. That is why I write at such a velocity; should you speak with authenticity then there is no longer reason to procrastinate.
As for the actual process, well, that depends on a number of factors. Should I be appraising a film then I ordinarily have a plan of attack upon commencement whereas, should fiction or poetry be the order of the day, then a single word can often kick-start my flow. I have been known to craft a fable purely based on a solitary thought and have no real clue as to how that is playing out until I reach my conclusion. It’s strange, at times I feel like a passenger, and barely privy to whatever is flooding out of me. I have a theory about this and it brings me great serenity. My father may no longer be with me in a physical sense but his presence is still palpable when I scribe. In some ways he is my ghost writer and I often feel him lending his insight as I work. The power of two is far greater than that of one and I know that he is having a say in me realizing my passion as he was the first to identify it over thirty-years ago and always encouraged further exploration.
I locate inspiration all around me. My dear friend, Silent Shadow, who I see so much of myself in, is my protégée, and this inestimable comrade positively lives and breathes horror. He possesses his own voice and truly has something valid to say but when required to listen and learn he grabs the opportunity with both bloody hands. C. William Giles is a gifted novelist who needed someone to believe in him and I fitted that bill. When I agreed to appraise …of Tortured Faustian Slumbers, that show of faith spurred him on, and he is now submerged in thrashing out his second novel. We feed like famished wolves from each other’s enthusiasm whenever we get chance and have developed a sturdy allegiance over the past few months.
Then of course there is the elusive genius of Bleeding Lotus, whose appraisals bear teeth and take no prisoners, showing an obscene grasp of the written word. If only we could summon him from his dank chamber. Perhaps if I harass him enough he will pop out of his crawl space like a peeping Tom’s wank-cannon in the red light district and show the world what I’m already aware of. He has a talent very similar to mine and it comes from just as ethereal a locale. One day we shall reunite and, when this happens, the chemistry will be nigh-on incalculable. Until then, I shall continue to check under every rock formation until I relocate the elusive Bleeding Lotus. Thankfully, like Silent Shadow, constancy is a given thus, when I track this cat down, we’ll be primed for instant brutality.
These are but three of the many who have galvanized me over the past few months. Those that read and understand my work offer me unshakable belief and the moment when another announces themselves a fan is a truly celestial instance. All of the above gift me the self-assurance to thrive without arrogance and I tread the fine line between swagger and conscientiousness like a tightrope walker. I know of my aptitude, and why the fuck shouldn’t I? Dirk Diggler didn’t tuck away his whopping schlong and focus on a career in radio did he now? No, he fucked every pussy willow he could prise his spam musket into and played to his obscure strength. I’ve digressed from my starting beacon but it’s this which informs the Crimson Quill. My process is elementary; I feed from creativity and positivity, as well as from that muted darkness. I possess the exclusive skill set but it is others that tease the darkness from within me.
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013 (Revised Edition 2015)