Interview with Jack Ketchum

Interview with Jack Ketchum

This is an excerpt from the excellent interview that appears on There’s a link below to read the rest! We thank Monica and for allowing us to reprint this portion here:

Weed SpeciesMO: Sort of like Weed Species, which isn’t out yet. Based on actual events.

JK: Weed Species is a small novella. It’s been illustrated by Alan M. Clark. He’s done the cover, and Glenn Chadbourne is doing the interiors. They’re quite nice. Almost allegory, because people aren’t going to know what the hell this thing is until they open the book.

MO: I was really quite surprised by it when I read it.

JK: It’s the most vicious thing I think I’ve ever done.

MO: It is brutal.

JK: And I think the reason it is so hard is, in this case I almost don’t give you any sympathy for the characters. They’re weeds. You need to pluck them. (laughs)

MO: When you and I discussed this story, you seemed almost put off by your use of graphic language in this story.

JK: It seemed to bother me? No, I wanted to bother you.

MO: Well it did. But I got the impression you were also put off by it.

JK: Well yes, of course I’m put off by it. Again, if I don’t make myself feel something, I’m not going to make you feel something. So in this case, I wanted to make you feel repulsed. So I had to repulse myself. So I used those kinds of words, and I used that kind of dialogue, where for example at one point he’s telling this rape victim to talk back to him like he’s Daddy, like he’s the best fuck she’s ever had and all that shit. They do that. Most of this dialog was taken straight out of transcripts. And that’s what they say. And yes, it turns me very, very off, so to turn you off, I used it.

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