In all, seventy-three people have fainted while I’ve read ‘Guts’. For a nine-page story, some nights it takes thirty minutes to read…
My goal was just to write some new form of horror story, something based on the ordinary world. Without supernatural monsters or magic. This would be a book you wouldn’t want to keep next to your bed. A book that would be a trapdoor down into some place dark. A place only you could go, alone, when you opened the cover.
Because only books have that power.
A book is as private and consentual as sex. A book takes time and effort to consume - something that gives a reader every chance to walk away. Actually, so few people make the effort to read that it’s difficult to call books a ‘mass medium’. No one really gives a damn about books. No one has bothered to ban a book in decades. But with that disregard comes the freedom that only books have.
But if you want the freedom to go anywhere, talk about anything, then write books. That’s why I wrote ‘Guts’. Just a three-act short story based on true-life anecdotes. People write to say this story is the funniest they’ve ever heard. People write to say it’s the saddest they’ve ever heard. And ‘Guts’ is by no means the darkest or funniest or most upsetting story from the novel “Haunted”. Some, I didn’t dare read in public.
These are the places only books can go. This is the advantage that books still have.
This is why I write.