Welcome to this week’s Superversive Sunday Spotlight. Every week we will chat with a Superversive author that you really should be reading.
This week we welcome Superversive author, J.D. Cowan:
How long have you been writing?
I started writing seriously about a little under a decade ago. I vividly remember going into one big chain book store and being disappointed with what was on the shelf and how none of it appealed to me, at all. So I decided to write the sort of stories I wanted to see.
Which writers inspire you?
Many writers! Flannery O’Connor and G.K. Chesterton showed me how powerful morality could be in a story. The pulp greats such as Abraham Merritt, C. L. Moore, and those in classic Weird Tales, made me understand just how much wonder you could cram into such a short space. Everything I write comes from all of the above, in some capacity.
So, what have you written?
I first seriously started publishing four years ago in 2016 with my fantasy action YA book Knights of the End. I have since released four other books (with two more close to finished), about 17 shorter pieces that range from novelettes to novellas to short stories all in collections such as the Planetary Anthology series, magazines such as StoryHack, and on my blog at wastelandandsky.blogspot.ca. Lastly, I just put out my non-fiction book entitled The Pulp Mindset: A NewPub Survival Guide which aims to inspire creators dealing with the destruction of the old publishing world and to help them adapt to the new one. I do not intend to slow down anytime soon!
What draws you to Superversive writing?
For a very long time I had only seen subversion in everything from the television to the movie screen and to the book page. It grated on me, but I couldn’t explain just what about it bothered me. It was when I discovered the concept of Superversive writing that it made sense. Superversive is normality. Stories are meant to connect with the audience and bring them to a higher place. Subversion does the opposite—it overturns their world and brings them lower. This is the opposite of what art is supposed to be. I was attracted to Superversive writing in order to show, like the old Weird Tales masters, that the world is a much bigger place than we first thought.
What are you working on at the minute?
I have two books with an editor right now, and am currently doing extensive editing on another I hope to be out by the end of the year or the beginning of the next. I also have a couple of short stories I need to polish, another that needs to be finished off, and yet one more that I really want to write soon. In other words, I’m working on a lot!
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
When you’re a writer you have to read in order to get a gauge on the sort of stories you are trying to write. However, I find I cannot read authors with broken moral compasses. Thus I am usually going between reading pulp and classic literature written before 1940, and more recent NewPub authors such as Declan Finn, Brian Niemeier, Cirsova Magazine, and others that attempt to raise the audience up instead of pushing them down. It contributes quite a bit to the weird fiction I write.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Anyone who wants to can find me at my blog wastelandandsky.blogspot.ca where I talk about art and entertainment, past, present, and future. There’s a lot of great stuff coming down the pipeline, and I hope to highlight it there!
Thanks for sharing J.D. Be sure to check out J.D.’s books and be sure to check back next Sunday for our next chat with a Superversive author.