Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of your short story, “A Puppet Scorned!” For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the story’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this tell?
Jamie Kort: Thanks! “A Puppet Scorned” is about two sock-puppets that love-knit together and accidentally make a baby sock… but it’s a weird, monstrous baby sock that terrifies Daddy.
The idea was created in discussion with my writing pal. We wanted to take the least scary creatures we could think of and make genuinely scary creature-feature novels. Somehow, I found my way to sock-puppets and I started thinking about how knitting works and how sock-puppets might see the world if they were alive.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in bringing this story to life, and what have been some of your creative influences?
JK: I started out wanting to write the story in a gothic romance style, a romance that goes horribly wrong, and then my writing pal told me a bit about how a psychopath brain works when I asked him if I would be turning my kid into a serial killer by making him a great big Halloween puppet from shells and crab and lobster claws we’d gathered (because my kid is mad for all kinds of shells, claws and monster-type-things). He was on the fence about me creating a serial killer after I described my plan for the shell monster so I thought I better not do it, just in case. Anyway, I started writing the story while thinking about sock-puppets and serial killers and that’s when I started seeing dead animals wherever I went. It started with a dead bat in a box at work (I still have the bat in the box) and then a crow pecking at the soft bits of a dead fox on the road and then my friends started sending me pictures of dead animals they found; it was grim. After a while I began feeling like I didn’t want to see the dead things quite so much, because you can’t un-see them, but when I finished the story I stopped seeing death as often, and I used some of the horror, revulsion and fascination I felt when looking at the corpses and tried to stitch those feelings into the story.
My writing pal has been a huge influence on my creativity. He taught me how to stop thinking and just write, and whatever comes out, that’s fine. Dracula influenced “A Puppet Scorned,” and knitters, of course. You should google some knitters on twitter; they make some wild stuff! We should all be more like knitters. Those people are living the life!
BD: Do you foresee expanding the story into a larger narrative or sequel stories?
JK: Hell yeah!
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JK: I’m working on a story called “The Man With The Haunted Penis.” It’s about a man that has a ghost penis. He’s sad because having a ghost penis is detrimental to his love life. One day he meets a lonely ghost with a physical penis and they become friends. They decide to share a flat together, they meet a nice lady, and they enter a romantic three-way relationship. Then, it gets messed up.
Also, the “Knit-Wear-Wolf.” A horror story about a lady that goes knitting crazy when the moon is full. She knits herself a wolf costume and goes out into the night…Credit for the title of this one goes to my writing pal. This story didn’t exist until he threw that title at me. He’s a genius.
“Somewhere, A Dog Barked” is about a man that can’t sleep because, somewhere, a dog is barking. The man decides to kill all the dogs in the city. It’s a Sisyphean horror, with kebabs, giant rats, and a lot of the bad things about living in the city of Glasgow. It’s an attempt to make an overused phrase entertaining.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about “A Puppet Scorned” and your other work?
JK: I got a nice review here alongside some other cool sounding books!
The goodreads page for my stories is here.
Come and talk to me on Twitter (@JamieKortScrawl).