Last year the horror anthology series Channel Zero spooked audiences on SyFy. Now season two, called Channel Zero: No-End House, is set to premiere on SyFy tonight at 10 p.m. EST. Nick Antosca, the creator of the show, got his professional start writing horror books, and he said the new season has a John Carpenter feel and is inspired by Brian Russell’s creepypasta tale, “NoEnd House.” He also told Cemetery Dance Online about his literary inspirations and how he approaches writing horror, no matter the medium.
(Q&A conducted by Danica Davidson)
CEMETERY DANCE ONLINE: I was hoping you could tell me about what horror literary influences you have for Channel Zero and otherwise? And what did the different writers teach you?
NICK ANTOSCA: I started as a novelist and for many years exclusively wrote fiction, short stories, and novels. When I was very young I started reading—actually the first book I ever read was Bunnicula. So, you know, even as a small child I was horror oriented.
But obviously Stephen King was a big influence. Thomas Ligotti, the short story writer, has been a particular influence, and Shirley Jackson as well.
Thomas Ligotti’s stories are really existential philosophical horror. In particular his collection Teatro Grottesco. They are about a sense of dread in the world rather than something jumping out and eating you or somebody, you know, waiting in your closet and stabbing you.
It is the kind of dread that lingers with you for days after you read the story. And it feels like experiencing a nightmare. And that kind of dread is what I try to create in Channel Zero.
And how do you approach writing horror in book form versus writing horror for television?
That is a really good question. I wouldn’t say philosophically the approach is different. You are speaking in a different language. The language of cinema is different from the language of literature.
You have to think about images differently. I mean the connotation of a word is different from the suggestion of an image. And I think when I am writing TV or film I draw directly from my nightmares when possible.
It is kind of a purer translation because the language of nightmares is imagery. It is one thing that particularly draws me to TV and movies. I think it is easier to recreate the nightmare on screen.
Danica Davidson is the author of how-to-draw book Manga Art for Beginners and the Overworld Adventure series for kids, consisting of Escape from the Overworld, Attack on the Overworld, The Rise of Herobrine, Down into the Nether,The Armies of Herobrine and Battle with the Wither.