Everything– but especially the fact that it really is the city that never sleeps!
So you collect dolls. How many you got, if you were to give it a rough estimate?
Oh gods, are you going to make me count? And do you mean whole dolls or parts of dolls? I have lots of doll heads, lots of doll tootsies and arms and a few torsos.
And do I count the voodoo dolls and the Japanese Kokeshi dolls (wooden).
Looking around my living room (there are some in other rooms) there are dozens of all kinds and made of all materials. You can see the “problem” in the attached photo of my radiator in the living room.
You have a collection you edited called Alien Sex.
Uh, what’s that one about?
Ummm. Alien sex of course 😉
No really-it’s an anthology of science fiction stories about gender and human and not so human relationships.
The “aliens” are sometimes just other species on this planet. A few funny stories, some black humor, but mostly dead serious. One of my favorite anthologies. (And one of my first).
I suspect that Tom Waits might be an alien. Do you think Tom Waits is an alien?
Oh yeah. With that voice? You bet!
What kind of food you feed your cats? I do with that Blue Wilderness indoor formula for the dry, and usually either wilderness canned, or sometimes Weruva.
Proplan soft food and Wellness hard food. Proplan is expensive but my cats have become very choosy and refuse what is known as “pate”-so I now try to buy a variety of flavors and chunky stuff with gravy. Mixed with the cheap stuff. I’m hoping it’s just the hot weather but they’re both off their feed.
How many hours do you read per day?
A few hours–mixing different kinds of reading- manuscripts for Tor.com or whatever original anthology I’m reading for and previously published stories for the Best Horror of the year, and any other reprint anthology on which I’m working.
How many hours, on a good day, do you dedicate to editing?
Sometimes not at all. Depends on deadlines. Other times a few hours. When editing short fiction, I can’t edit more than a few stories a day and need a break between each one.
Joyce Carol Oates has a story that’s going to be in one of your new collections, which is about birds?
Well, I didn’t know for sure that she’d be doing one for that anthology -I approach her for anthologies I think she might be interested in and she’ll usually say yes-if she can come up with an idea. If that happens, I might get a story from her in a few days. Otherwise, I don’t expect anything. So the first I knew she was working on this one was when she tweeted it -that was quite a surprise.
Did you happen to see True Detective season 2, and the part with the dude in the bird mask? That was like, my favorite part.
Here’s a pic of it.
(What I just asked about her bird antho, it fits, sorta…)
Not yet-no spoilers!! I watch everything on netflix DVDs so am awaiting its release.
You have a favorite pizza place in NYC? Am I an asshole for asking?
Actually, the one several blocks from me -a little hole in the wall called Village Pizza (on 8th avenue at 13th street)-when I have someone over whose helping me out with my tech, I often order in from there.
You’re not an asshole -I hope everyone gets pizza there–it would help them enormously.
Too many–good n plenty, red twizzlers (the traditional kind that are chewy not the crap you often get now), See’s chocolate lolipops. Cotton Candy.
Did you know cats have no sense of gender?
No-how do they know and what does that mean? That they can’t sense gender in other cats? (Unlikely, or there wouldn’t be cats yowling like they’re being tortured 😉 )
Or do you mean they can’t differentiate the gender of humans? And again…how could that be determined?
(I don’t know, someone told me that the other day. I think they meant they can’t tell it about themselves… I have no idea, actually.)
You drink a lot of coffee?
Not much- usually a cup in the morning. Unless I’m out with people all day-then often we stop for iced coffee.
Have you ever seen anybody actually slip on a banana peel? I haven’t. I’m crying foul, Looney Tunes.
Nope. But I bet it’s happened at least once in real life–where would Looney Tunes get the idea from otherwise? And they can be very slippery, those banana peels.
I would watch out for them if I were you.
Well played, Datlow. Well played.
Do you think Guillermo Del Toro would ever cast Benicio Del Toro, and have Guillermo Navarro help him with the cinematography? That’d be a confusing set. “Hey Del Toro… wait, I mean Benicio. Cool. Now where’s Guillermo?”
You’re too silly! I’m not familiar with Navarro-but they’d probably call each other Guillermo (or “Big G), Benicio, and Navarro on the set.
Spring-although there hardly is any in NYC-I love the gingko trees on my block, with their teeny tiny gingko leaves getting bigger and bigger. And the magnolias (although the blossoms only last a few days so sometimes if I’m out of town I miss them). And the white pear trees around the corner from me.
Thanks for taking part in this babbling only semi-coherent exercise in thought patterns. Anything coming up you’d like to plug?
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven is out NOW from Night Shade and The Monstrous is coming out from Tachyon in time for Halloween. Also, a bunch of my anthologies are now available as audio books
Thanks for the fun interview!
Confession. I prefer a lot of sequels to the originals. The Unforgiven II, Murmaider II: The Water God, Blade 2, Predator 2, Aliens. So, when I found out I could do another interview with The Twisted Twins, The Soska Sisters, The Terrible Twosome (I made that one up) I jumped, again, at the chance.
Only fitting to have a second interview with twins. However, I’ve never had any one make it to the second round. I’m going to have to get even weirder for this one. Or just make it longer. I’ll probably just make it a longer interview.
I did not prefer Bad Boys 2, but this shit just got real.
You two were the first ones to pop my interview cherry. Does the term “interview cherry” make you uncomfortable?
S: I rather like it. There have been a few interview cherries we’ve popped since popping yours and I’m beginning to feel like a Mrs. Robinson in that regards. Maybe it’s because I have a birthday coming back. Either way, thank you for having us back!
J: I take a real pleasure in your interview deflowering and my part in it. I hope I was gentle. I don’t think I called after. I’m such a dick.
All joking aside, it’s been roughly two years since we first, um, wrote words back and forth to each other. You have a new film out, and you’ve gone through a lot in those two years. So, I’m sure the question on everyone’s minds is…
Do you have a third deformed twin you keep chained up in your basement you feed fish heads, and only release to film inserts, and to edit, and do rewrites?
S: No one is supposed to know that. I mean, no comment.
J: Oh. I wasn’t joking. And everything you’ve heard about Bertha’s existence is a vicious rumor. She’s actually quite charming.
Why do people use the phrase walking on eggshells? Doesn’t this analogy imply that in a normal day, you would be able to walk on eggshells without cracking them? That’s impossible, unless you are a small creature.
S: It is silly, isn’t it? I remember reading that humans used to be much smaller, shorter, tinier people. Maybe when the term originated, humans could in fact walk on eggshells during socially awkward situations whilst feeling uncomfortable.
J: And why wouldn’t you just throw out the egg shells? Are they, like, from cooking? Put that shit in the trash. No one likes a mister messy.
Doesn’t this interpretation also imply that a person is like a weak, crackly membrane you can break?
Or, is it just to describe the sound? In that case, why not use the phrase walking on thin ice, or walking on broken glass, like that song?
S: I like just announcing, well this is awkward. I’m an awkward person so I usually feel like that in any social interaction, thank God I have Jen who can behave like a normal, functioning human being.
J: I like the phrase “walking on thin ice.” To picture it, it looks beautiful and often when you trek out on thin ice you’re gleefully unaware of your situation.
S: BLT, but with jalapeños. I put spicy shit in everything.
J: Egg salad. I eat them so rarely they’ve become this great delicacy to me. I love Beef Dips! With garlic butter and a little horse radish. Delish.
Favorite Canadian thing?
S: Deadpool. He’s my babes.
J: To prevent a comic cat fight, though I bow to the magnificent magnificence of Deadpool, I’ll say Wolverine. We got the two best heroes.
Favorite version of The Thing?
S: John Carpenter’s THE THING. If some moron didn’t decide that CGI had to be put over ADI’s awesome prosthetics in the newest one, someone might have actually been able to enjoy it.
J: John Carpenter’s! By far! The new one without CGI over all the beautiful work that ADI did would have been stunning. You can see it here:
Do you like Thing from The Addams Family?
S: I like the Charles Addams’ cartoon version better. Originally he was a decapitated head that rolled through the mansion. Isn’t that fantastic?
J: Yes, we prefer head. Um… yeah, I’ll stand by that.
Do you still plan to try and make an Addams Family film someday, or have you given up on that?
S: Very much so, but you have to have a certain type of resume to pitch a project like that because it is such a money maker. It’s property of Paramount and that’s a studio that we have only begun meeting rad people in. We have a story for a Charles Addams original take film version. I think what he was going for with the cartoon strips is vastly interesting and the best way to go about with making a new film. I don’t even care if it’s me that does it, I just want to see the original take come to life.
J: We would love to. Of course, we don’t own the rights, but if we could work with Paramount one day to bring them to life in a way that embraces Charles Addams’ original work, we’d be delighted. It’s very possible. If a thousand people write to Paramount and ask them to get us to make an Addams Family film or if the online world starts a massive petition, it could happen sooner than you think. The power is always in the hands of the people.
Have you ever watched the show All That , which was on Nickelodeon in the 90s?
S: Nope. I was more of a DARKWING DUCK woman myself and those rad X-MEN 90s cartoons.
J: I missed it. If Sylvie didn’t watch it, I didn’t. BIG Darkwing fans, though. Anything superhero and we were all over it. I remember watching the line up with X-men on Saturday mornings. Much of that was more accurate and true to the comics than most of the films. It’s really too bad to see them stray so far from the characters that we love. The characters and stories from the comics are the whole reason they even have a fan following. Oops, geek rant out of nowhere. It happens.
Favorite thing from the 90s?
S: My lovebird, Bobo. But in the 90s world, it was the Smashing Pumpkins.
J: Buffy The Vampire Slayer. That show had a huge impact of me and played a big part in me becoming the woman that I am today. And explains why a spend so much time in graveyards with pointy things.
Favorite thing from the 80s?
S: Being born. That was awesome. That and the Tim Burton Batman movies. I saw BATMAN RETURNS in the theater and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life.
J: BATMAN RETURNS and WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. Also, pretty much every piece of music to come out of the 80s.
Does Eli Roth always have crazy eyes?
S: Crazy intelligent. The man is brilliant, an encyclopaedia of everything cool in the genre.
J: Like in THE LIFE AQUATIC? When Steve Zissou had the crazy eye? I’ll say yes. The man’s crazy like a fox.
Do you know what part of Massachusetts he’s from? I’m sure I could Google it, I’m just lazy.
S: I could Google that, but I thought Boston. I know it’s the east coast. I think.
J: Newton! And I Googled that so no one be proud of me or anything.
Why is Katharine Isabelle so awesome? Is she awesome? She seems pretty awesome?
S: It’s like ridiculous how awesome she is. Like with the level of talent she has and good looks, you’d think there has to be something wrong with her. You know, to balance it out. But after making the film with her, traveling to promote the film, and everything in between, she’s down to earth, hilarious, and just awesome. It must be witchcraft.
J: Yeah, yeah. It’s PROBABLY witchcraft. She’s so cool you wouldn’t believe it. She’s accidentally hilarious as she claims she’s never intentionally funny. She’s fun to be around and just an all around amazing human being. She’s smart, she’s outgoing, she’s caring, and she’s not hard on the eyes. She’s awesome incarnate.
Do either of you practice with throwing…is ninja stars the correct term? Is that an offensive term? Iduhknow?
S: Jen’s the weapons expert. I just look like her. When you are a twin and your sister is so good at shit like that, everyone looks at you like so why don’t you know that shit?
J: Yeah! I smuggled them in from LA to Vancouver cuz you can’t get them here! And allow me to extend my most sincere thanks to the ever watchful US border patrol.
Has Freddy Mercury come back from the dead to visit either of you yet? I actually got a lot of traffic the last time I had the picture of Freddy Mercury on the site, so I’m probably going to insert a picture of him below your answer again.
S: I fucking wish. The world needs Freddy Mercury more than ever these days.
J: WHY has no one attempted to raise him from the dead?? I LOVE Freddy. He was one of a kind. There is no one living or dead that was everything he was. That voice, that presence, that sass. Freddy was the real deal. Oh, now I’m missing Freddy. If ghost or spirit Freddy is reading this or some necromancer with the ability to raise him is, come on over. We’ll have a few drinks and call over some cute boys.
Do you like David Bowie? (Obvious ploy to bump traffic by inserting David Bowie picture.)
I love David Bowie. I like his earlier stuff though. David Bowie, David Bowie, David Bowie. (There, that’ll get me some more traffic.)
S: Jen once put up a picture of a cyclops kitten and it got like an insane amount of traffic. You should put it up and see what happens. Buffy is big for traffic too. David Bowie is the man. I dig this stuff.
J: ha ha, put up a picture and tag for Buffy the Vampire Slayer for my 90s answer, too. That was the only other thing I’ve written that anyone really gave a shit about. I lie and say that it’s because it was a well written article, but I’m just living a lie.
Favorite website that isn’t this one, because this one sucks?
S: This one. Wait, this one isn’t an option? Dammit. I read WWTDD.com a lot. It makes me lol.
J: eFukt. It’s a lol and a half. The editing is clearly done by someone having fun with his job. Also, if the name doesn’t give it away, it’s NSFW.
What do you think of self-deprecation? Is it endearing, or self-defeating?
S: You never want to be too high on yourself, so it’s a good thing. I’m a self-laothing artist, so I have to believe it’s a good thing.
J: Defeating, ultimately. You have to cut yourself a break. It’s one thing if it’s done in jest or for the sake of humor. But you gotta love yourself, flaws and all. That’s true love. Anyone can love you for your good traits, but real love is when you love the flaws all the same.
I love you Sean. I love you too, Sean. Make sweet love to me Sean. Not now, I’m not in the mood, Sean. You’re never in the mood anymore Sean. Look can we not fight, Sean!
Um, moving along…
What do you think of narcissism? I have absolutely none. I just know that I’m a really sexy, funny, fiercely intelligent James Bond like person. And I am the best writer ever. Better than that prick Dickens.
S: My narcissism balances out my self-loathing so I can somewhat function.
J: It’s a fun word to say and usually chock full of charm. I like people who come out and say they’re narcissistic. At least they’re also honest and comfortable in who they are.
Do you have any advice for up and coming directors, or writers, or creative of any kind? I guess what I’m trying to ask is, how do I sell this novel about Gophers who make a plane and fly to Serbia? Look for Gophers Fly to Serbia out this summer from Bullshit Made up Press.
Look it up, it’s a real small press.
S: I would say make a film that you would pay to go see in the theatres, but not a film only you would want to pay to see. Right now, the technology is at a point where anyone can make a film and they do, but what defines people and projects from one another is the stories they tell and most importantly how they tell them. A lot of people want to work in film and decide, well I’ll just make a film. But why? Why does your film need to exist? What is it saying? I apply this to everything I read and a lot of scripts and films don’t have any reason worth existing. It’s just a found footage or zombie or everyone dies thing without a voice and without a soul. Find your story and your ‘why’ and work your ass off, dedicate everything you have into your film, don’t give up, and you will be successful. I’m looking forward to your gopher film adaptation. Animal attacks are big business.
J: Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it. We did it and there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do it for yourself. Don’t wait around for someone to come along and make it happen for you. Don’t bitch that you can’t get funding. It’s tough for everyone and people are not likely to take a chance on an unknown and unproven filmmaker. You have to show them what you’re capable of. Go out there and make your own movie. Come up with something, some concept, that really excites you because you will be talking about it for the rest of your life and it will have to drive you. Write a list of your assets. It will amaze you how much you have available. People who will come out and help, people who will act for you, wardrobe you own, props, exotic animals, a business or a friend’s business, a local church, your school, just anything. Write it all out and try to put as much of that stuff that you have into your film to bring up your production value. Welcome advice. Someone telling you your film is the bees knees won’t help you improve it. You need to be able to take criticism, especially in the editing process. If something isn’t working or if people bring up the same thing over and over again, you’re not getting what you want across right. You have to change it up or cut it. Be critical with yourself. Be your own hardest critic. By the time you show your work to someone and its less than perfect, you’ve already made your first impression. And please choose a title that sticks out. there’s a lot of competition out there. You owe it to yourself to set yourself apart from the rest.
Are either of you Unforgiven II? (Hey, the numbers just went up again, what do you know?!)
S: Look at how smart you are.
J: I hope so! I want those outfits. I wonder what’s going on there.
Favorite comic series of the moment, other than something with Deadpool in it? Y’all be obsessed with some Deadpool.
S: Not Deadpool written by either Daniel Way or Brian Posehn? Dan Schaffer’s DOGWITCH is brilliant. Feminist punk rock attitude with a female lead that is multi-dimensional very much a real woman whilst being a hardcore witch with wild mood swings that doesn’t give a fuck. A big recommendation for any comic nerd to check out.
J: I’ll read anything with Daken in it, Wolverine’s hot as hell, badass bud guy, bi~sexual son. He’s such a complex and brilliant character. You think, “oh, Wolverine has an edgy son? That’s gotta be lame” but I’ve fallen in love with him in a way I didn’t think I could love any new characters. He was created by Daniel Way. He’s recently been killed and written just AWFULLY by Rick Remender in UnCanny X-Force. I’m pretty pissed about not only how he was written but by how see-through emotionally manipulative his death was. Total turd of turds. Not as bad as SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, but not far off. I guess I can’t expect a “second stringer” characters to be treated respectfully when ol’ Spidey gets killed because they ran out of ideas. It’s BRAND NEW DAY bad. And… oh, look. Another nerd rage rant. You’re lucky today 🙂
Have you ever broken a heel on set? I have.
Wait, I mean…
S: I can’t remember, I feel like maybe and if so, it was duct taped and we went on with the day. Good for you for knowing we wear heels everyday to set and life.
J: Actually never! I have fallen hard on my ass more times than I’d like to admit running in heels, though, thank you very much. At least I have good cushioning…
Did you think of that comment above as a gay porn joke, or as a transvestite joke?
S: I’m shocked when I hear a man hasn’t dressed in drag or worn heels. I’ve worn pants before, it’s no big.
J: I think everyone looks better in heels. It’s a great work out, strengthens all those lovely leg muscles, and puts your bum where it should be. Just awesome.
Do you think Tom Hardy is dreamy? (Holy shit, my site just exploded!) Seriously though, man can act. Film Drunk called him “pillow lips,” in some article about the new Mad Max, and I’ve started to refer to him the same way. I know y’all love you some Fassbender.
S: Katie loves Tom Hardy, Jen loves Michael Fassbender. I think both are cool actors. I really don’t know if there is anyone I’d say is super dreamy. I have more of a thing for directors.
J: I love me some sweet sweet Fassbender. It love him for being the most talented actor living right now. I’m blown away by everything that he does. Whether he’s Magneto or an android or a sex addict, he is 100% there. After SHAME came out, everyone thinks I just love him for his endowments, but I maintain that there is a very talented man connected to that member.
What’s your favorite horror film you’ve seen recently?
S: THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ROSALIND LEIGH. It’s coming out with MARY in a part of Raven Banner and Cineplex Entertainment’s Sinister Cinema Horror Series in Canada, so Canucks should definitely hit up the theatre to check it out. It’s very mature and atmospheric filmmaking, I just loved it.
J: Same! I was blown away by it!!
Favorite horror film of 2012?
S: DREDD. I watch that shit all the time as a treat for myself. Shitty day, watch DREDD. Awesome day, watch DREDD.
J: Are we allowed to say DREDD? I guess, fuck it, it’s our answer. It’s ours to abuse however we want. DREDD. And PITCH PERFECT!! And, oh yeah, AMERICAN MARY, ha ha
If you had the choice of coming back from the dead as a vampire, but you had to drink the blood of kittens, would you?
S: Sure, man. I have no soul. Sorry kittens.
J: Sadly, yes. I would totally value getting to hold a kitten so often.
How many cats do you have?
S: I have Buffy, a tortoise shell kitty that lives with my parents, and Logan, a maine coon, that lives with me. When we moved into our apartment, we didn’t have a yard for our outside kitties, so they stayed at our folks’, then Jen claims a home isn’t a home without a kitty, so we bought a brother and sister.
J: Four? Yeah, for. Elektra is my kitty here at home. She’s a Calico and they’re supposed to be good luck for artists. So everyone go out and by one now, ha ha Was any of your family in American Mary? I thought I saw another Soska credited other than you two, but wasn’t sure…
S: Both of my parents were. My dad was Dr. Janusz and my mom was the female officer in the end of the film.
J: Yeah! What she said!
If a woman hater learned magic, would he be a misogamystic?
S: Yeah, but he’d be harmless. All of his spells would have to occur while his head is firmly up his own ass, so that would be a challenge for him.
J: Oh!! New word creation! That’s fan~fucking~tastic!!
What, or who, are you doing for Women in Horror Month?
S: We did our Massive Blood Drive PSA and shared some articles on inspirational women in the industry. It’s really cool to see how far the event has grown. It’s nice to be a part of that supportive community and it’s a great time to learn about female artists in the industry that you might have not known about before.
J: Always our PSAs and donating blood. I’m a wuss. I make sure I donate at LEAST once a year, though. And I try to make connections with new artists and learn about ones that I didn’t know about before.
I seem to have harped on a show I’ve never watched called Bananas in Pajamas more than is healthy for these Random-Ass Interviews. So, time for a new obscure show I’ve watched very little to ask weird questions about.
Why was the dragon so dumb on Eureka’s Castle?
S: I never saw that. But to answer the question, I would say overcrowding in public schools and not enough one on one attention for student dragons that are struggling with the material.
J: I never saw it. Maybe he was just misunderstood.
Worst movie you’ve seen lately?
S: SILENT HILL 2. There was not a single redeemable moment or quality in the film. Nothing. They should have taken the money that went into it and sent it to a third world country because they obviously had no ability to make a film with it.
J: Oh, YEAH!! Even bad would have said it was bad. Not a single, “hey, that’s alright” moment. Pure crap. Not even worth watching for the car accident that it is.
I saw it. I can confirm this.
Favorite Hungarian phrase?
S: Hungarian has the most vast collection of cuss words that goes everywhere from bestiality to sodomy to incest to scat to what have you. A hungarian can cuss for minutes and never repeat the same obscenity. I think we safe guard that by having one of the most difficult languages to speak. I can’t spell worth shit in Hungarian, but the one that is translated ‘horse dick up your ass’ is a favourite insult.
J: Korva. It can be used at any time for any reason.
Can you say anything about your next film, or is it in the hush stages right now?
S: There are a few that we are focusing our efforts on, but BOB is the one that we are hoping to be filming this year. The tagline is: ‘There’s a monster inside all of us, sometimes it gets out.’ It’s a an original monster movie that will have some pretty fucking rad practical effects from Masters FX.
J: What she said. And also it’s going to be the greatest and best movie ever made ever. That is all.
In American Mary, did he ask “titties and shrimp?” or “shrimp and titties?” I can’t remember.
S: Titties and shrimp. Mary’s chic apartment was right by a strip club where the cast and crew went for a titties and shrimp lunch while shooting, except I don’t think they had shrimp but claimed to have our city’s best burger.
J: Titties come before shrimp.
In American Mary, I’d like to think Billy made it to Vegas. This is not a question, shit.
S: Billy and Mary have both gone as far as they can in their situations in that bar scene. Billy would have definitely made it to LA. At least eventually.
J: Billy for sure left Seattle. He had to get out and away, start something new. He never intends to come back and doesn’t want to know what happens to Mary if she stays behind. He knows it’s nothing good.
Worst email you’ve ever received, if you’re up for the telling. If not, funniest email you can remember you’ve received, and or text?
S: Death threats are unpleasant. I think the more you grow your audience, especially if you are so out there like Jen and me, that there are some crazies that want to bring you down. Theses are people that don’t really know you, but something they’ve seen or read or maybe something they’ve made up in their heads have given them their own justification to hate you. I see what other people in the industry that are far more well known than Jen and I have to go through and it’s not something I like about the job.
J: Death threats, probably. Or the crazy “who even writes this” stuff. We’re in a business where people hate you for just doing your job and because they don’t like you or your films. It’s insane. Why would anyone hate a perfect stranger? After all, we’re perfect.
Thanks again for answering my weirdness. On a serious note, you inspired me to keep my ass actually writing, so thanks for that. It’s not always an easy gig. I mean, I’m running out of weird questions! That and the whole lack of pay and long hours thing. Either way, keep kicking ass. Take no prisoners.
S: This was one of the most entertaining and awesome interviews that I have had the pleasure of being a part of, don’t ever stop writing.