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Talking with Eddie Generous

Note from Lilyn: V is having internet issues, so I told her I’d get this posted for her. This is the first in a series of interviews that she will be doing. Her second one will be John Lawson about his fantastic All Access Con – so stay tuned for that as well!)

Today we have Eddie Generous from Unnerving!

Thank you for taking the time to introduce us to your latest project that can only be described as EPIC, fun and very ambitious. I’m also impressed by the diversity that it offers readers.

What prompted you to do the Rewind or Die series and what can people expect from it?

I don’t remember what exactly. I was watching some horror movie and the small picture came to me and then I made the little skeleton emblem—probably even stopped my workout short to do so. The big picture, books like VHS horror movies, was simply a crowd-pleaser step, and then having them work in a series was me trying to do something like Hard Case Crime. I fucking love those books, and it turns out Charles Ardai (the editor/publisher of Hard Case Crime) is cool as hell.

People can expect fast pacing, some gore (sometimes a lot of gore), monsters, serial killers, slashers, ghosts, and so on of their nostalgic, VHS-loving pasts, but without the misogyny. Mostly they’re good, fast fun. Many books by women (I’d assumed I’d get an outpouring of men after I stoked a fire with the women-only pitch call, but I was mistaken, so the majority are by women of a variety of backgrounds).

You are trapped in a film before 1999. What film would it be and why?

If it’s a favorite, I guess I’m stuck at the Overlook with the Torrances, but if it’s a horror I think I might survive and test out some theories, it would be Cujo (yeah, I know, both King). Every time I watch it (probably a dozen times so far) or read it (twice now), I think about how Ford seats came out pretty easy in those cheap old cars, and maybe the floor of the trunk wasn’t so firm. Could they Flintstone a little care like that? I think maybe, if nothing else, it’s more breeze the pooch can’t get at. That doesn’t even get into why that woman tried pretty much nothing by way of dismantling her car to make weaponry, always staring at that baseball bat… Like, there’s options, maybe.

Have you ever feared for your life?

I’ve been honestly afraid plenty, but I don’t think it ever got to that level of knowing fear. One time when I was a homeless teen, I knew if I sat on the park bench I was on any longer I’d freeze to death, so I got up and started walking the unfamiliar streets of the city I’d hitchhiked to, decided on Pine Street because I hadn’t been down it yet, and blamo, there was an Out of the Cold shelter. I wasn’t really scared though, but I knew my life wasn’t exactly guaranteed. I haven’t been sick or anything, and physical altercations happen fast in real life, no time to fear for life.

You are an author, voracious reader, and a publisher that also designs covers. Does your interest ebb and flow between these or is there one that you prefer?

If I don’t write, I become miserable. If I don’t read, my writing slows down. So those two are indispensable for me.

The publishing is mostly because if I spent all that time writing I’d clear a million words per year and as it stands, I do about a third of that and can’t find homes for everything. The cover designing is kind of like therapy. I know I need to be working (I think I might be a workaholic) or I feel guilty, but if I’m too tired to read or write or edit, I can zone out and make some stuff. I have tons of covers for books that may never come to pass, but I like doing them…I guess if anybody reading this needs a cover, I might have something you can use on the cheap.

Although you are a small press, you have a reputation for quality, and we have seen the fall of a few presses due to abuse and cash flow. How do you manage to keep Unnerving moving forward and what do you see in the future for Unnerving?

Thanks. I‘ve had some bumps and fuck ups, but I’ve always managed to make a little bit of money. A part of it, I think, is that I’ve said no every time someone wanted to partner up and I only let people piss me off once before I don’t fuck with them anymore.

When I read about publishers scamming authors, I couldn’t fucking believe it. I feel so guilty if someone’s book underperforms. As far as the magazine goes, which is how Unnerving began, I’ve worked in publishing before and it never slipped my notice that the ad sales department was always the biggest department. So I break even with the magazine with subscribers as well as ad space, which is often how I choose podcast guests. Indie publishing is all about helping those who help you. There are some groups in masquerade doing some self-serving deep cover stuff in publishing, once you figure out who they are, you avoid them. Quite often, they aren’t even publishing or writing books, just trying to skim a piece.

The future? Hahaha. I don’t plan ahead very far.

What do you look for in a manuscript or story as a publisher?

Firstly, I see if the person can write. If the writing’s wack, I’m off the hook in about a paragraph. If the writing passes the fairly simple initial test, I get into tone and can tell pretty quickly if the person’s never read a copy of the magazine or is just throwing their trunk shit at me. Most stuff just doesn’t fit. If you write a story for Nightmare, The Dark, Lamplight, Black Static, probably there’s a couple more, like 75% of the time it isn’t what I want. I like action over feelings. So if your story is about a sad person in a sad situation being sadly sad, I don’t want it.

I also do searches of words within manuscripts. Rape being one word, and if the story’s about to go Liam Neeson avenging the rape he didn’t experience himself, or the rape reads like somebody might jack off to it, I’m not interested. Probably I can get touchy with stuff sometimes, but fuck it, I’m only one man and there’s too much else out there for me to consider if something’s nuanced right (this is with longer stuff, the shorts I’m more lenient on because it’s easier to understand quickly what the author is intending).

Many publishers have a list of tropes they will not consider. Any that you tend to roll your eyes at these days?

Lovecraft. No thanks.

You have self-published many of your own collections and have been traditionally published. Any advice for authors doing both?

Pass a gatekeeper before you dive in and kick out a book. You might suck ass and not realize it, even if you’ve made a ton of reviewer friends and they all pump you up. Also, don’t rush until you have your voice down. Remember EVERYBODY has a book out and you’re not special for doing so. It’s not hard as authors try to make it seem, they’ve just been watching too much TV when they should’ve been working. Not everything you write is worth publishing. Then again, books go away and nothing matters as much as you think.

Also, reviews are good, but the golden outcome authors tell each other is pure El Dorado. Indie horror is a small, small place, if you send out too many review copies, there’s nobody left to buy it. And why would anybody buy a book someone’s giving to everyone for free?

I’d started doing the collections myself for a few reasons. First off, hardly anybody wants to publish collections. Secondly, nobody wants how many I put out (I did four this year). Third thing, the scraps they bring in help to offset my anxiety about potentially losing money with Unnerving.

How can authors overcome the stigma of self-publishing?

Accept that the new world isn’t the old world. Hardly anybody reads so hardly any books get published. Also, traditional publishing is creatively stifling (there are exceptions, what up Severed Press!). I talk to authors who get contracts with the bigger publishers and it’s like a book every year and a half or two, and I’m thinking so what happens to the five books you write in between?

It’s taken me forever to understand this, but the simple view should be, fuck it. The world is on fire and it won’t kill you if you blow hard on a book. Just write ten more. Write fifty more, maybe you’ll get lucky and write something incredible and original. Also, think somebody’s going to go through your hard drive and rescue your manuscript if a truck runs you over?

Seriously, find out if you suck or not from strangers and if you don’t suck, do whatever you want. If you suck, write until you don’t. If you get a big contract you’ll being doing all the same promotional work anyway, unless it takes off right away, and then if you fail, you learn how advances work. Or try for a big deal and succeed and do whatever it is people do when that happens.

For real, you are speck of dust in the history of humanity, do whatever makes you happy or at least less aggravated.

Self-Promotion! Nothing is considered shameless in this space. What projects do you want us to follow and how can people connect with you?


RAWR, a novella, came out in late October. That’s about a prehistoric she-bear who finds herself in modern Canada and gets a taste for human meat. I did that one with Severed Press (the bestselling book I’ve had, so maybe a good spot to check out, if you’re a fan of big beasties).

DANCING WITH THE DEAD is out December 17 / just came out (edit for interview release date or whatever), it’s the fourth collection of shorts I’ve done this year. Stories written from 2014-2019, many of them published in wee magazines and whatnot, but most of those have gone extinct. Anyway, there’s a mummy, a western, a haunted house, some light fantasy, and lots of blood.

PLANTATION PAN, a novella, is out January 25 from Omnium Gatherum. It’s a sequel to The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen, and is one part sci-fi, one part eco-horror, and one part cosmic. I’m excited about this one.

UNNERVING MAGAZINE ISSUE #12 will be out February and there are some very big changes coming to the magazine. Going to be more fun, with recurring segments, more non-fiction, and then some sexy stuff too.

REWIND OR DIE the novella series mentioned above. The first three books come out in January, then two more in February, and so on, all the way to twenty.

All my stuff is easy to find on my personal site: and all the other stuff is available on I’m on Twitter @GenerousEd and also at @UnnervingMag

Published inInterviews
©Sci-Fi & Scary 2019
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