Author’s Notes from Practical Demonkeeping

Practical Demonkeeping

Some years ago, while I was working as a waiter, I read an essay by a famous big-time literary agent, who said that horror could be combined with virtually any other literary element and make for an effective story. The exception to this rule, he went on, was whimsy. No one, he declared, had ever been able to successfully combine horror and whimsy. So I thought to myself, What the hell does this guy know, just because he represents the biggest horror writers in the world? Ill bet I can write a great whimsical horror story — and oh my God, I forgot to take the salads out to table five!

So lacking any funds to go anywhere to research a setting, I decided to set the story in the seaside village in California where I was living at the time; a place where every tomorrow seemed like yesterday, and people passed their days without the anticipation of anything ever changing; a place, in short, that needed to be shaken up. The best way to wake up my sleepy little village, I thought, was to give them something to do. Like, for instance, get rid of an ancient man-eating monster, so things could go back to the way they’d always been.

Did it work? Can you actually combine whimsy and horror and make an effective story? You, gentle reader, must be the judge of that. Have fun.

Christopher Moore