The Cemetery Dance Interview: The Little Hurts of Aaron Dries

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Aaron Dries

Aaron Dries, Australian phenom, youth addiction counselor, pervasive author of dark fiction and all-around superhero, dissects his collection of little hurts: Cut To Care

Each story in this book hammers home polarizing lessons in caring, whether by choice or by circumstance, and provides a stark look at the terrors of both caring too much and too little.

Tune in as we discuss the finer points of the realities within from a man who lives life on the front lines and has seen the faces that breed there, and those which become the culmination of its tragic circumstances.

(Interview conducted by Rick Hipson)

CEMETERY DANCE: Aaron, it is so good to chat with you again, my friend. And in the middle of the night in Australia no less. To kick things off, what can you tell us about your recent collection, Cut To Care, a collection of little hurts? So many of these tales all but scream of trauma from the front lines of caring.

AARON DRIES: Vicarious trauma is a real thing, and so the stories in this collection are hard-hitting.

Oh, yes.

And they’re really, really personal. But they had to get out of me because those head gremlins were in my head. It’s like a snake that pulls into port with you. You know how you hear about the idea of snakes apprising their prey? Like they stretch themselves out to look like something they’re going to eat?


It’s like I could feel this snake in my bed sizing me up, and I could roll over and I could feel its scales against me and I thought, I need to get this thing out of my life, and I wrote it away. So I’m feeling a lot better, and that there is a book that’s emerged as a result of all this. It seems a little bit on the nose to say it, but it probably was a little bit of therapy on the page. Technically, yes, but I wanted to rattle the reader like I’ve never rattled anyone before.

Mission accomplished.

I wanted initially to grab a reader by throat and say, “You need to take a hard look at yourself and ask some serious questions. If you don’t, you’re done. You’re done.” So, it was a really intense experience, and it was something that I was working on during the pandemic, and I made the shift from working on long fiction. I’ve been writing novels for so long. I’ve been working on a novel for quite a while now, and I’m very close to being done, but I just hadn’t been able to work on it during the pandemic because there was no down time for me during the pandemic. I was at work every day and working frontline and caring for people and helping them to figure out ways to care for themselves. 

cover of Cut to CareIt doesn’t matter that there’s a pandemic and that the world is locking down. Domestic and family abuse ramped up. Homelessness ramped up. Mental health exacerbation ramped up massively. Alcohol and other drugs ramped up. And then you look at the intersection between that and minorities. All this kind of stuff was exploding all around me, and I was… It was the snake — the vicarious trauma snake that I keep alluding to — it was getting bigger and bigger, and it was looking Aaron-shaped, and I knew this thing’s going to eat me alive. If I don’t address it, it consumes you, and it’s a really, destructive thing. So, I’m hoping that this collection connects with people because who isn’t feeling burnt out right now? 

A hundred percent. I wonder if there is a flip side to this because I get the impression as well that — and I want to talk to you about this in more detail — but I think it would be very easy to read your collection and come away thinking, Well, apparently caring too much is not good and we should make sure that we’re not caring too much at all costs. At the same time, I have to wonder that I think a lot of the burnout that’s happening with a lot of folks that went into the pandemic with a lot of addiction issues, a lot of mental health issues, I wonder if all of a sudden a lot of those things came to the surface because now they’re told to stay home. At least, at the beginning, they were told to stay home, they were told to social distance. And I think as a result of that, all of a sudden, these masks that they had to wear around society to fit it in, and we all know the danger of masking. I hate that. I’ve got kids on the spectrum as well, and I’ve seen the damage — and friends as well — I see the damage that masking can have on them. All of a sudden, these masks are put aside because there’s nobody else around but themselves. Do you think that maybe contributed to that extra overboiling point of all these people coming out and suddenly making guys like yourselves on the front line busier? And do you think there’s any positivity that came across that, where people had to face themselves?

I definitely do think that. I think also that the pandemic raised awareness about what’s been going on for a long time for a lot of people, and it’s made having the conversation for people to actually be able to ask for help a lot easier. It has brought conversations around health and well-being into every family’s home across the world. And these were things that people kind of shuffled aside, and in some ways ghettoed people into environments where they could only ever function wearing a mask. The mask of I’m okay. I’m so okay that my cheeks hurt from smiling so much when inside I’ve got terrible things going on. So if there are things that are positive about what we’ve all been through as a planet recently, I think it’s absolutely that we’re giving ourselves the permission to say that we’re not okay, and I think that only good things can come from that. I guess what I’ve also been saying too in terms of the ethos behind the collection, I deeply feel like it’s optimism in this collection compared to this other stuff that I’ve written. There are a couple of happy endings, sort of. The final story in the collection is called “Shadow Debt” and I…

Oh, I love that story.

Thank you, and look, you’re working in your line of work. That’s kind of your universe. It’s a story that’s set primarily in a nursing home.

Yeah, you nailed dementia specifically so bloody well and so eloquently, and it’s such a sneaky thing and it’s very insidious. It really sneaks in. It’s the snake that kind of sidles up to you that you just don’t know it’s there. 

Yeah, yeah. And all the characters in that particular story are all people who probably historically have worn those masks, or have reached a point in their life where they realize, I need to actually take this off and to say that I’m struggling, that being a caregiver is something that’s really difficult right now, and I need you to come to the party with me, and I need us to be hurting together because hurting in isolation the way we are is tearing our family apart, because we’re all grieving the loss of something. And as you know, when it comes to dementia, this particular story… Dementia is many, many losses stacked back-to-back. With the diagnosis, there’s the side effects of medication. There’s the condition itself and the way it erodes the brain, and so you lose your loved one again and again and again. And each time you come back, there’s a little bit less, and too many, many, many deaths, and it’s incredibly difficult to do in isolation. I really wanted to make sure that with that particular story that the women in the center of it, because it’s a story primarily about women, of generations of women, each generation within the same family, basically saying, We’re stronger together if we admit that we’re hurting and that we’re hurting bad, and that we’re really, really sad that dementia is taking a toll on our family.

In this particular story, for those who haven’t read it, is a woman in her seventies whose husband is in a memory care unit. He has Alzheimer’s. He’s not doing well. And on the way home from the nursing home on a stormy day, this woman pulls over and actually saves a young teenager’s life. She was on a cliff committing suicide, and the woman brought her back and saved this girl’s life, and then the girl ran. In the wake of that, it’s almost like death in the wake of that suicide, and it’s taking little bits and pieces from this woman.

I wanted to write about reluctant caregivers. No one asks for that on their family, you know.


I wanted to write in about people who step up to the plate and say, “We didn’t ask for this, but your grandfather, your father, my husband, he is a good man and we’re going to stand by him even though it hurts us. But we have to do this together.” Meanwhile, this debt that she’s going to have to repay because of somebody that she saved manifests in the stripping away of tiny little things in her home. Opening up the pages of a favorite book and the pages are all blank. Looking at photographs on the wall and all of a sudden the photographs of her and her husband aren’t there, are missing pieces.

All of these little things. A record that she associates with her husband that’s playing, and then all of a sudden all the grooves are gone, and so the needle is just wiggling all over the place. I mean it sounds like a theremin. Like it’s these sudden little evaporations which is what the dementia process kind of is like in terms of the way it erodes away, I imagine, the human brain. And the things that are taken away, a little bit of hurt is replaced in those who live on, and I wanted to kind of honor that. So even though these stories are sad and depressing in many, many ways, and really, really scary, I hope that we’re honoring people by their hurt, but then I think to some degree we remember and mourn people as a way to honor people.

For sure.

And that’s a natural human thing, and I don’t think we’re exploring that enough in fiction, which is why I wanted this particular book to be about these type of feelings. And, you know, the decisions like I knew that this type of stuff was different from me, like I have tapped into some of these kind of themes in my fiction in the past.


cover of Dirty Heads by Aaron DriesCertainly on some stuff that I’m working on currently, but I knew that this was like a bit of a shift for me. It’s a bit more of a serious book. It’s a definite step away from a lot of the splattery type of stuff that I’ve done in the past. I wanted to let people know to expect a different book from me. I think the cover does that. I wanted to do something that was far more indebted to Murakami and those type of covers as opposed to necessarily the splattery type of stuff that I’ve done in the past or the distinct coming of age body horrorish kind of cover art of Dirty Heads, for example. 


I’m just saying that I wanted to let people know through the design of the book itself physically to expect something different from me, and I hope that it doesn’t scare people away.

I don’t think so, no.

I think there’s some funny stories in here as well. Like I think there’s a story in here called “Cut to Care” which is a three-page kind of splatter punk parable, for lack of a better word, about somebody who’s like… It’s the old expression, I wanna give so much, I would give somebody this shirt off my back, except it’s taken to the hundredth extreme, you know. There’s a story in here called “Nona Doesn’t Dance” which is set in the nursing home of the future, in which we assuage our guilt for dumping people in nursing homes in Western cultures by allowing ourselves to watch kind of school-style end-of-year recitals with the elderly people who live in these nursing homes dancing the way they used to in their youth with the assistance of machines, and the outcome of that particular story I find…

It’s just creepy.

It’s creepy and it’s disgusting, but I think it’s also very funny. It’s so fundamentally absurd, but caring is absurd, and that guilt is often absurd as well. And the fake layer, the fakeness sometimes of caring is inherently absurd too, so I wanted to tap into some of those elements as well. I find some of this stuff a little bit funny.

Well, you really do have to laugh at it to a degree. I remember one resident’s wife where I work. Just an amazing person. Unfortunately, her hubby had strokes and was more in quite a vegetative state so much as dementia. You know, just not vocal, not responsive at all, and this woman was like she deserved to have a cape. She was there almost every single day, weather permitted; was constantly — he was bound to a wheelchair — walking around. She had two kids. She was super busy, kept the family going, and clearly that was her absolute entire life, but it was just incredible too because, at the same time, it was just business as usual, just talking everything matter of fact, almost to the point where I think she maybe, I don’t know if I’d say this, she elevated herself above it a little bit. I think she was very, very aware of the situation and what she had in the memory of what used to be because for her this was about a seven or eight year journey at this point, where the husband that she knew just was no longer there anymore. All that was left was that mask.

It’s an invisible cannibal, you know. It’s like a little invisible Pac-Man that’s coming for the person that you love the most, and the person that you’re describing is this real-world person, is essentially the main character of “Shadow Debt.” And I really wanted to write a story about that person because that person’s a goddamned rock star, you know, and you say that they would be the last person to say, “Don’t come near me with that cape. I’m not a hero here. I’m not that type of person. Don’t glorify me. I’m here because I love my loved one, and that’s all there is. If I’m a good person it’s because I’m still here, but nothing more.” 

But really, deep down they are heroic, and I wanted to write about reluctant heroism in “Shadow Debt” and to make it the story of somebody who’s in their seventies because frankly, when we’re looking at the horror genre, not specifically but broader in all of literary kind of fiction, the elderly are invisible again. They’re either the cute little pandas that we kind of roll around or we villainize them in ugly ways by making them seem scary. And look, I like this stuff as much as the next person, but I didn’t want to do that either.

cover of Bubba Ho-Tep by Joe R. LansdaleI think one of the best stories about aging out there is Joe Landsdale’s Bubba Ho-Tep. I think that that is a story that I was really thinking of when I was writing “Shadow Debt,” but the two could not be any more different in execution, but they are unified in that they’re about giving sight in a heroic narrative to a part of our population that the rest of us isn’t comfortable looking in the eye at and saying that they’re still here because we fundamentally have anxieties about admitting to ourselves that that will be us one day.


So I wanted to write a story about that person. And that’s why “Shadow Debt,” which is the final novella in the collection, is my favorite in the entire collection. This may have started with “Damage, Inc.” which is about social workers who go into the home of grieving families and act as dead loved ones to give the families the opportunity to say goodbye, and then a worker does this too well and the family won’t let them leave. It may have started with this, but I knew that when I wrote the last story in the collection and it was the last story, and it was “Shadow Debt,” I knew that I finally… I started this instead of my own kind of healing process so that I could write that story. And I knew that the collection was done.

Yeah, that might have been my favorite element to it as well, that’s through the girl that she saved.  She ultimately, and in some other aspects of course — I don’t want to give too much of it away — but I loved the fact that what is called the situation. So I love the fact that the situation for this older, beautiful, regular old lady next door kind of thing that the situation puts a spotlight and forces this woman to identify as sort of, I don’t know if I’d call it evil, but certainly a dark desperation within her — a capability for evil that she had no idea that she was capable of, and it forced her to basically be at this crossroad where, like you said, she can choose to go in this direction and maybe preserve something even though the inevitable is still always going to be the end result for her. But because of her goodness, it really is that struggle for her where it’s like, Well, sure this will put me in a better position but is the damage something I’m capable of? Is that something I want to be capable of? And then I love the fact that it really puts her on the precipice of what does she do? Is she going to jump along with this other girl? Or…

Yeah. For me, when I was writing that story I’m like, ah, well, this story has evolved into Richard Matheson’s The Box, you know. Here’s the box that arrives on your doorstep. Push it.


Push it and you’ll get a million dollars, but somebody who you don’t know will die. Would you push the button? In that story, in “Shadow Debt,” that is the kind of moral dilemma that she’s faced here. She’s like, Would you do something really, really terrible to save somebody just for a day basically? And what type of caring is that? And who are you really caring for? And sometimes the way we care for ourselves can be an ugly thing.

Look, I am not interested in stories that are about good versus evil. I’m really not. I’m interested in stories in which people are in the pursuit of goodness, and for some people that may mean goodness is to do something terrible or to do something really, really beneficial. And then I’m interested in the way that the people who are trying to do good are layered with anxiety and in some cases evil, and people who do terrible things have the potential for good. I’m only interested in moral ambiguity when it comes to fiction in my own stuff, and not in the binary good versus evil sense. And that particular story is probably the one that nails that moral complexity down strongest. There are certainly others throughout, but that one may be strongest, is the one that kind of really drives that theme home because I’m kind of bored by good versus evil stories. I know that’s kind of what we do, but I think we can look deeper.

I think so too, and I think that a lot of what I find fascinating is that you can certainly have folks that are evil that have some goodness to them. But then you could also have some fantastic people that might have a little bit of evil in them that is cause for caution.

Yeah, and we also mess up along the way of trying to do good things.


And there are things where you’re like, Ah, I really should’ve addressed this sooner, and I didn’t because I was nervous to do so. There’s a story in the collection called “The Acknowledged” which is about a guy who is on a bush walk and essentially saves another dude’s life. He had fallen and broken his leg and would’ve been left in the bush to die, saves this guy’s life, and becomes kind of a little bit of a small-town hero for a little period. He gets his fifteen minutes. And the guy that he saved keeps on wanting to say thank you, thank you, again and again, and this actually ends up becoming a nightmarish thing because there’s no way he can ever show his gratitude enough. So what starts off as a present ends up being a visit in the night, breaking in to make food, overstepping all these boundaries, and our main character, who we know has done a great thing, is saying to himself, I should’ve put a pin in this long ago, and I didn’t because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. 

I’m sure there’s a lot of folks out there that are kind of maybe seeing themselves as both faces or both sides of that mask, where they’ve got the one they think they should be showing everybody and the one that they see when their eyes are closed. You mentioned a little bit ago that through all the writing that it caused you to make some pretty major changes professionally, perhaps personally as well, and I think you alluded to certainly with your own writing. Would you mind unpacking that a little bit and maybe talking about some of those things? I love talking to people like you that really push through those crossroad moments, and I’m guessing the fact you talked about it so positively you were able to overcome maybe a few demons from the darker sides of those masks. 

Yeah, so, let’s look at a story like “Damage, Inc.” which is the story of one of these social workers going to these people’s homes, but she knows that she’s almost not fit to do her job because her burnout is so severe that she knows she’s not protecting herself, and if she can’t protect herself than how is she going to help others. It’s that old cliché about we’re on takeoff and the plane is starting to shake and the masks are going to drop down from the roof of the plane. Make sure you put the mask on because if you pass out, then your child will suffer, and so that whole idea was very, very strong in that character’s mind. I was having a lot of anxiety about work. I was having panic attacks. I was thinking the compartmentalization between my personal life and my professional life, the lids on those boxes were loose and all of the little gremlins were crossing over back and forth. That’s not an uncommon thing for people working front line to feel like.

And you would kind of even feel it too, you know. We safeguard ourselves when we put ourselves out there on the firing line, because no one else is going to protect us. These industries are so starved for people who actually care, but the systems aren’t built to support every element of the risk, and so there’s things that we have to do to keep ourselves safe.

I read that story and I realized I need to make some changes, so I had a shift in roles. I moved away from going into people’s homes to supporting the teams who do that. Stepping away and helping people in that respect. I took some leave. I engaged with support to help me, which is something we all need to do, and my outlet which has always been my writing, was something that I did a little bit more meaningfully in an attempt to spread out all these toxins. As a result of doing those these things, I felt that those compartmentalisations kind of pulled back into line. It was like working myself through a mental gym so I could feel fit enough to go into that like, yeah, I’m ready now. And the reason all that blurring was starting to happen is because I was tired, and so I needed to have some serious rest. And I’m still working through that period of rest by alternating how much I can work, and still working my forty hours a week and writing. I’m taking opportunities to do things that aren’t on the frontline which is helping me to just bring balance back into my life. And that is enabling me to go to work and not feel anxiety anymore, and it’s also enabling me to come back home and not feel like the snake is in my bed anymore.

Good for you.

And I genuinely think writing this collection has been part of me being able to do that, and I think it’s been a really big part of this, so I’m feeling a lot better I guess is what I’m saying basically.

Good. Now that’s amazing. I’m really happy to hear that, too, because it’s so important on both sides, and I know this is going to come across totally selfish, but obviously the better more balanced that you are, you are going to be more capable of doing that kind of caring and helping to support the people that you go to work to support. And it’s great as well because it helps to keep  those incredible stories going along so that people like me can have that to enjoy, to look forward to, and also to connect to and hopefully get those questions, if not answered, at least start asking those questions about themselves and the people around them, and hopefully start to go towards that light that you offer through the darkness that you discuss in the books.

Yeah, and this kind of loops back to what we were talking about before about how the pandemic has changed us is that having conversations like this about struggles when it comes to mental health stability. I’m lucky and extraordinarily privileged that I have the self-awareness to know when things aren’t right. That emotional regulation is not something that everyone has, and I’ve got the qualifications and the experience to see the red flags and to try to make sure that I combat them in a way that’s safe to me and for other people. Not everyone has that, so I think the fact we’re having this conversation now and talking about it so openly, I don’t know if we would’ve be happening and I don’t know if people would’ve listened to us talk about it quite so much before the pandemic. I think that has changed. 

I love what the Horror Writers Association is doing currently in regards to responsiveness when it comes to mental health awareness in their programs. I think that’s really, really, important that we’re seeing that even in our genre. I think these are important things for us to be talking about in a non-demonized type of way. And look, here’s the thing, the depiction of mental health in horror is something that’s always been a contentious thing. I’m not saying that we can’t write stories about our own fears and anxieties and the ugliness of mental health. I think the conversations we’re having about them are a little bit more… They’re not falling on the deaf ears they once were. It’s not a victim narrative either, necessarily. It’s really about strength and resiliency, and I think that’s a shift that’s new-ish, especially within the writing field and our writing field specifically.

Yeah, that’s very interesting to consider that because I read a quote that made me think, Huh! I hadn’t really thought about that but it makes a lot of sense, for they were stating that one of the beautiful things about the horror genre and the folks that play within it, how often they’re the most kindest, down to earth, giving people that you’ll ever come across because predominantly the horror genre is made up of a lot of folks that are to some degree broken. And it’s through the horror genre and through exploring those terrors, and of course that’s the beautiful thing about horror is that it really does explore those terrors, the anxieties of both very real and very subliminal, and it was… Then I thought there’s a lot of truth to that. There’s a lot of truth to that regarding the folks within the horror community being somewhat broken, so that is fantastic that HWA is providing some more awareness, more honesty, and some more resources for folks to be able to pick up on. 

Totally. I think within the horror genre, we’re all outsiders. I think we’re all the ones growing up who felt like we didn’t necessarily belong, and at the time when we’re younger and when we’re having those feelings, they can be incredibly toxic and demand a lot of you and absorb a lot of your energy and consume you and be incredibly destructive. But for those of us who get through it, I think it helps to arm us with a particular type of empathy in which we can look at ourselves and those around us with a really non-condescending but empathetic eye; not a sympathetic eye, empathetic. They’re a very different thing.

Very, yeah.

And I think that is something we see more than anywhere else in the horror arena. We’re outsiders talking to people who have felt like outsiders. That’s where a lot of our readers are as well. Our universes within the horror genre are violent, grotesque, scary, splattery faces in which every anxiety is explored and exploited. But it’s a safe space. I genuinely feel like it’s a safe space.

I agree.

And I think that, yeah, are we all kind of floundering naked? Yeah, but there’s not a lot of judgement, and I think that’s really, really beautiful. And that’s why, for me, community within the genre, as a writer finding your people is so, so important because it’s nice to know that you’re not showing off your little hurts and your scars to no one, and it is also nice to know that people do have your back as well throughout that process.

I was on a panel recently where they were like, What advice do you give to new writers? And there were a lot of people who were like, Ah, you know, you should be working this many pages a day, things like that. And I thought, you need to find your people? You need to find your community because not only is it great to have people who’ve got your back, other writers — especially horror writers — are really, really great people. So many of them are friendly, funny. They care. A lot.


I remember seeing a Tweet to that effect not too long ago, and I was like, wait, I think you’re right. I think there’s truth to it, but it comes from us being outsiders. I think that’s where it comes from.

Yeah, absolutely, and it’s interesting because it’s almost like in some ways we can just feel like we’re just a collection of broken toys that are discarded in a little dusty box, but at the same time to find other people who are like that as well. And it’s like, alright, well, we’ve all got missing pieces, but together we can almost find those missing pieces with other people, or just knowing that it’s okay to miss a few pieces here and there because there’s still the rest of us that is going to be of use to somebody else if not ourselves.

Well said, Rick. That to me, what you said just then, is exactly what the collection’s about. It’s all the missing pieces. It’s all the people in the toy box, and I think that’s a celebration, you know what I mean? I think that’s the optimism and the happy ending that I feel is kind of inherent in between the lines in this collection. I think that’s where that is. I think it’s us saying again the removal of those masks, and say, look, I’m missing bits and pieces but we’re all missing bits and pieces, and we are perfect in our imperfection.

A hundred percent. Very well said. Aaron, I would love to ask, if I can, one last question here before you collapse?

Of course. Anything.

You touched on it a bit earlier about expansions of some of the stories in here and breathing additional life into them such as potential film adaptations. You were kind enough to share the short film adaptation of “Damage, Inc.” and holy crap, did that sucker hit home. I want to ask you when the rest of the world can see this so we can discuss more openly about this brilliant thing you sent me?

poster for the short film Becoming Emma BraintreeYeah, totally. I’ll give the pitch to people listening. So “Damage, Inc.” has been adapted into a short film called Becoming Emma Braintree by an Australian film maker named Joshua Koske. I was very much involved in the creation of this thing, and it’s been doing the circuit for about a year in terms of the festival run, and it’s won a hugely unexpected amount of awards. And it has been seen by far more people than we probably ever anticipated that there ever could be. No one is more surprised than me and Josh. It has been so warmly received. It also won awards at last year’s Stokers in the film competition it was entered in. In that particular competition, we won Best Screenplay. For it to be received by horror people so well, it was like mind-blowingly kind of affirming. If you like the movie, just wait until you read the book. Like it’s one of those things that as soon as the story seeps out there, there was interest right away. 

It’s really hard to talk about what happens next. Ultimately, eventually the film as it currently is will eventually be available to other people to see. We’re holding off a little bit because it may not be the end of this thing. These things aren’t real until they’re real but we’re certainly shopping it around for something feature length. There’s certainly interest on that front based on the concept itself, the original story, and the strength of the short film. The short film adapts in a really, really efficient way the first half of the novella, and there is a longer feature length version of this story that is written, that Josh and I have written, that expands and obviously encompasses the entire short story but fleshes it out even further in ways that I find really exciting to help us to nail down some of the conceptual stuff. And there are things in there that I’m really, really proud of and that I’m like, damn! Why didn’t I think of this when I was working on the novella? That’s the gift you get back from collaborating with other people because there are elements when I saw the film, I was inspired by how good it is as the creator of the original story, and its an extremely faithful adaption. I was so impressed and charmed by it and by the effort, and I mean I was there on set every day. This was a film that was made during COVID-19 with incredible restrictions in place by young filmmakers who absolutely had everything to prove and who knocked it out and made something that is as professional as you’re going to get.

I agree.

I’m inspired by their efforts too, and so that inspiration is now something expanding into new evolutions of this particular story, and that might not have necessarily happened if Josh and his team hadn’t initially responded to it. There’s a relationship that forms through the process of adaptation and looking at your work through a different kind of media lens unexpected even to me as the person who made all this stuff up. Look, I would love to see Becoming Emma Braintree or DAMAGE INC. or however it’ll eventually be titled up on the big screen, but it’s also the short film has opened the door to opportunities for Josh and I to collaborate on a number of other things.

Do you think we’ll see a Books of Blood sort of theme, with I know that Clive Barker was doing with Seraphim Films?

Wouldn’t that be great.

Oh yeah.

The production company associated with the creation of that particular short film likes what I do and likes the way that I see the world, and actively invested in working with me on looking at a lot of my projects. There is one that’s not got anything to do with healthcare, but it is an adaptation of my work that is very close to being a reality that’s ever been, and it’s exciting but you don’t want to say anything because you don’t want to jinx it, because the film industry is incredibly exciting, but it also runs on the edge of a razor.

You gotta hope for the sake of hope, but don’t hold your breath.

That’s fine. About as far as I’m concerned, it’s not real until its real but it’s exciting. Super duper exciting.

Suffice to say, Aaron, we’re all excited to enjoy what’s in store for the future of your work. I know I for one will be holding my breathe until I can enjoy more of your beautiful dark craft. Until next time, thanks so much, my friend.

Rick Hipson is a Canadian genre journalist living in Kitchener Ontario with his partner in crime, young spawn and two cats who insist they aren’t vying for world domination. For over twenty years Rick has written for a variety of small press publications in print and online which no longer exist through, assumably, no fault of his own. He continues to share his love for dark culture entertainment through his film and book reviews, interviews and articles, which can be found through Rue Morgue Magazine, Cemetery Dance and Hell Notes.

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