Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, what would you like to know? I’m a 30 year old hospital counselor that is currently working in data entry. (Long story for another time) I live in a small town in Texas that barely has 200 people and spend most of my time writing, working, and taking care of those close to me. Besides working I enjoy reading, and comic book collecting. By that I mean Calvin & Hobbes, Peanuts, Dilbert, Garfield, the Far Side, etc. you name it I probably have it.
Well, what’s the data entry story?
Haha cut to the chase did you? Well I worked as a hospital counselor for at risk teens for the past three and a half years. However about a month ago an electric fire burned down the private clinic where I worked. No one was hurt, but the clinic will take quite a while to repair.
discreetly slides oily rags and lighter away from Colourblindness
For the short term that meant I was without work. (Got a small claim from insurance, but not enough to last long on) and so got a job in data entry.
Not what I want to do but it will do for now. I loved the counselor position and I hope to get back to it one day. In the meantime I will be happy with whatever hand life deals me.
When did you first become interested in horror?
When I was young I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies (something about corrupting a young mind or some such nonsense) so instead I watched older B-movies that didn’t have ratings.
I guess the ‘no corruption’ plan backfired a bit if you wound up writing horror! Was there a specific moment you knew you wanted to write in that genre?
I have to admit, writing has been a passion for me ever since I was little. Monsters and mystery seemed easiest along with sci-fi. I think one moment that outshines any other was I wrote a short piece for a friend of mine and he told me that it was the scariest thing he ever read. After that, I fine tuned my skill to understand horror better.
Where do you find inspiration? Have real life experiences ever made their way into your work?
Honestly? My mind sometimes goes at 50 miles an hour, thinking up story ideas. My parents say I had an overactive imagination as kid. Played with legos, did creative puzzles, anything to stay alert mentally and I also read a ton. I devour books like they are food. If I’m not reading than you know something is definitely wrong.
Yes, plenty of my work has been drawn from real life. One that comes to mind is concerning the story “Thank you from Your Child’s Kidnapper”. This is based on a real life experience where I received a mysterious letter at my duplex that I had just moved into. It was addressed to the previous occupant and was clearly from the mind of a deranged individual. I reported the letter to the police, but that moment never left my mind. Years later, took it to craft a strange little story about how far one would go to regain what they lost.
How did you discover NoSleep? What prompted you to begin writing for it?
Long time lurker here haha.
I started writing there because I loved the atmosphere of the roleplay and the community involvement that it encourages. It’s something that makes nosleep unique and engaging. You never know what sort of story you might read and it made me challenge myself as a writer which is something I always enjoy doing.
What NoSleep stories and/or authors have had the strongest impact on you?
Besides the previous one that I mentioned, there are several stories that come to mind that make me wish I was a better writer myself. Not in any particular order here are a few of my favorites:
And now my trifecta of awesome authors that have affected my writing:
What is the most terrifying thing you have personally experienced?
I don’t want to get too dark, but I’ve experienced a lot of tragedy in my life. I lost my mom when I was barely a year old to cancer, and lost my grandmother the next day. Never knew them. Lost my close friend in a car accident when I was about 13.
But personally? Likely the moment I almost drowned when I was swimming in Dallas at a friend’s pool. I thought I had mastered my fear of water. I was wrong.
There was also a time I had staph infection in my leg and almost lost it. Had to take nearly 10 needles in my leg to prepare for a nurse to dig into my leg to get the infection out.
Much of your work deals with the concepts of life after death, immortality, and how the living are affected by the people they have lost. Does this history of tragedy influence that outlook?
It certainly does. A wise saying that I follow is “those who have struggled, have lived.” Suffering shapes us, it can define us. It’s actually the entire basis for the motto on my homepage.
Horror happens. It happens every day to hundreds of thousands of people that we may never meet. The writings of loss and tragedy that I write can touch many, many people that I will never encounter. And if my view on these important topics can help another person make it through a hard time than I’ve done my job.
You’ve designated a universe of your writing as “Modern Lovecraft.” His literary approaches included recurring locations and themes, and the work expanded to include other writers. How do you see your own fictional world developing?
I have in fact plans for this world spanning all the way to the end of this year which include introducing locations, and other writers. I will be making the call for support as the theme of the first season becomes clearer. The first season will include ten series and when we reach the halfway point I think a theme will be apparent to the stories.
There are several subtle nods to other works sprinkled throughout your writing. “Something Sinister is happening to the Prisoners at Kingsport Correctional,” for example, slips a Lovecraft reference into the title. Is this a way of pulling other writers into your work?
Definitely. The Easter Eggs, recurring themes, locales, people are meant to encourage a connected universe similar to how something like the MCU is done, each part can be done separately but also tie in to the grander scheme of things.
Is your goal in creating this mythos to write one unifying narrative arc, or will the interconnected stories be ongoing and indefinite?
That’s a tough one. Yes there is a narrative arc but sometimes elements that I mention in certain stories don’t come up again for a while. There will definitely be an ongoing and expansive narrative being laid out where the main plot is laid out but also other stories could be told.
For example, at the end of the story, “Eight Unmarked Graves in Dunwich County” it is revealed that Stephen from the Kingsport story is now actively recovering files for the organization he works for. The files stretch back decades so there could be any number of ways to use this to create new story paths.
How much creative control would you give to hypothetical collaborators in your mythos?
There are certain high points I have mapped out that I would want to ensure happen, but in regard to using the characters and concepts, as long as they stay true to form I wouldn’t be against others stepping in to fill in blanks or even create new aspects to the mythos. A collab of this nature is a team effort, so as long as we come to an agreement on narrative structure and focus on what each story is trying to add to the mythos, I don’t see a problem with the narrative being expanded beyond what I alone come up with.
Speaking of collaborators, why did you encourage so many people to ruin Disney for all of us?
Haha ah Disneyland. Well I noticed a trend on nosleep about the Magic Kingdom, first everyone always picks Disney World and it usually involves the supernatural. I, along with my good friend u/Firstbreath1, agreed that it was time for a change.
That’s essentially really in every aspect of what is considered a trope. If you are tired of seeing the same old thing, be the change you want to see. It can really lead to more creativity when you do this.
Have any of your stories ever involved research? If so, what was involved?
The one that springs to mind immediately is “For Services Rendered” in the story I wrote about an encounter with a Romanian demon. I looked over tons of web articles, took out library books and checked Google Maps to get the feel correct for a place I have never visited.
Same goes for my series about “My Best Friend in High School Confessed a crime to me” while very meta of some aspects of my life, a lot is fictional and I had to look up streets, parks and even distances in Twin Falls Idaho to make sure I got the details right.
Every story takes some measure of planning, but I think stories like these that go the extra mile really are appreciated by the audience.
Other than Lovecraft, what are some of your biggest influences from media?
My favorites were the monster movies like Godzilla or The Creeping Terror. Universal Monsters have a special place in my heart as does Vincent Price (to me he will always be the Duke of Darkness) as I grew older my tastes expanded to a variety of horror, my favorite being psychological or dread inducing and then I have a special place in my heart for The Thingbecause it helped me see that the unknown can sometimes be the most frightening thing of all.
Other than writing, what are some of your hobbies? What other creative mediums do you enjoy?
I enjoy playing some video games, especially role playing games like Final Fantasy or Zelda. I have tried my hand in developing some computer games and some drawing when I was younger. I found out quickly that I’m not a great artist haha. I dabble in it from time to time and it seems the style of comic strips is the one I can handle the easiest. As long as I don’t draw their legs. (Don’t ask)
So you don’t actually enjoy spending your free time dining at French restaurants with
a mysterious hivemindbabes?
Depends on how hot they are. Haha. Actually I love eating French and Italian food but my favorite is probably Mexican. I like women the same way, spicy!!
You’re a frequent contributor to /r/TwoSentenceHorror, a sub for micro-sized scary stories. What do you find most appealing about writing that form of extreme flash fiction? Do you find the length restrictions hinder or encourage your creativity?
I like constrained writing because it makes you think outside the box. It’s the same reason I like to scour r/writingpromptsfor ideas, writers shouldn’t be afraid to expand their ability and skills.
Flash fiction to me has a balance of humor, horror, and a twist that you don’t see coming. Any restriction on writing to me encourages me to think about “why do I do things the way I have been doing them?”
By thinking outside the box, it really helps me think deeper about longer stories. Anything that keeps my mind active to me is a resource I don’t want to just ignore.
You’ve taken part in numerous collaborations with your fellow NoSleep authors, and are a regular participant in /r/NoSleepTeams. What do you most enjoy about working with other writers?
No one gets where they are without help. And on nosleep, it is such a pleasure to find people with the same tastes and styles that I have.
Personally I want to thank u/Hayong for encouraging me in the early days and telling me I wrote good stories and had potential. And to the other writers who have reached out to me and helped me learn how to make a name for myself on nosleep, it’s truly humbling. We’re all in this journey together and if we can’t help each other, than we might be wasting our time here. We writers need each other.
Nosleepteams is a whole other monster and it’s an amazing experience to see how others think and then to reorganize your thoughts to mesh with them. I hope to continue to contribute as much as possible. To the teams I have been on with u/Discord_and_Dine, u/GeoronimotheThird, u/TomerJ, u/PocketOxford, u/unkempt_skullduggery, u/ConnorWrites, u/atleastimgenresavvy, u/millersminion and any I forgot, I I love working with new people and hope to continue to meet new ones to work with in the future.
Do you ever explore writing other genres besides horror? If so, what other styles of writing? Which do you prefer?
I’ve written a ton of sci fi and actually find it to be considerably easier, especially from a third person POV, like novel length stories. As far as which I prefer I would say, I like the stories that have a personal impact on the reader, where they will make you feel something that you can’t experience any other way.
How much time do you spend writing in an average day or week? Do you have any rituals that help you focus?
I make it a habit to write at least 1000 words every day. It may not be anything significant but it gives my brain a chance to unwind when I write I can focus on all the crazy thoughts that run through my head from that day. Usually I devote at least 1 or two hours every day. Generally if it’s on my mind I will write it down. (That way I don’t forget)
When crafting a piece of fiction, do you generally start with an outline or simply begin writing?
Outlines do start first in my head with a general concept of “what if” and then I go from there. A lot of my stories focus on the mundane aspects of life and then insert something horrific or otherworldly. Once I have an outline I will craft a plausible title and then start from the beginning. Although my outline will focus on major points I want to hit in the story, I also like to surprise myself and let the writing simply feel natural. That way I can still come up with fresh ideas as I go, and I feel this makes the writing seem more like a conversation.
Are there any topics you feel are too controversial for you to address or that you prefer not to explore in your writing?
As much as I have body horror, intense gore and infanticide in my stories you would think not. But I don’t write about pedophilia or necrophilia ever and I never intend to. I refuse to let my mind even consider having those topics in a story.
Several of your stories touch on child abuse, and you’ve previously mentioned your interest in the case of Candace Elmore, a child who died during a controversial attachment therapy session. Do you think your work with at risk youth factored into your interest in that gruesome topic? Has it played a role in the way you write child characters?
Children are innocent. More often than not they are victims. I think the reason I write about them is because it’s a topic that makes people uncomfortable to admit that it actually happens. But it does. Every day. Not trying to get preachy but I don’t think I could write about an evil child. Because it goes against the norm. (Not saying I won’t, just haven’t thought of a way to do so) Children see the world in a different way, and they are so trusting and once that trust ends, childhood does as well.
My job definitely has played a role because I have seen so many kids and teens suffer from stress, suicidal thoughts and abandonment that it is definitely a subject I feel drawn to because their stories need to be told.
As for Petscop and the case of Candace, I think reality can be far scarier than anything horror can conjure up. I hope one day I can write a story that powerful that will affect people’s viewpoint and maybe change their thinking.
What are your feelings toward NoSleep’s immersion/believability rule? What impact, if any, do you think the suspension of disbelief format may have when transitioning your work toward a mass audience unfamiliar with NoSleep?
The immersion and the way that writers use real time to their advantage makes Nosleep feel like the old style serials you might see in a magazine or newspaper.
Suspension of disbelief I feel is necessary in any form of media whether it’s for writing or movies. Any story done well, should incorporate the feeling that the story could potentially be real, and if you’re lucky it can have a further impact on your audience than you ever anticipated. So switching to a different format wouldn’t really change the way I write, I think it would more than likely allow me to use the nosleep format to make other writing more impactful.
Do you have any favorite reader reactions to your writing?
Oh wow where do I start? Can I call out names? Is that allowed? If so here you go:
“YOU CAN TAKE MY LIFE BUT YOU WILL NEVER TAKE MY CONTAINERS!”- u/FlyingKiwiNZ
“Ouch oof oowie my bones”- u/namb00
“Beautiful. So worth digging through the spam posts. My hat is off to you sir. It felt chilling and I have a new fear of worms”- u/sociallittlebird
“Fuck the ocean”- u/fuckin_ash
“Oh my god”- general reactions from a lot of stories
“Omg what the f did I just read”
“Well… f me”- u/byfelsdisciple
“Damn it the thought of this being real… I can’t…”- u/suspecto84
“I can’t tell if I’m touched or seriously disturbed. That means you do a good job. Great story”- u/DentalSpider
“100/100 this story is the best thing I have ever read”
What story or project are you most proud of?
This is a tough one. I think it would likely be the story entitled “I was a ghost for 53 years” because I was considering a way to work around one of the rules on nosleep (where the protagonist must be alive) and I realized the way the story flows could easily overcome that rule.
My growing mythos is one that I am especially proud of when readers make connections or see Easter eggs that I place in the stories, and it’s a project I feel I have a surplus of avenues to explore so no worries on running out of ideas, at least not anytime soon.
Another personal achievement I am proud of was writing a 24 part 24 hour story during The Purge. Although lack of sleep was not fun.
That was definitely one of the highlights of The Purge! What were your feelings on The Purge overall? Do you think NoSleep should ever have another one?
I wish more people had done horror and not wasted their time shitposting. It was like being given the keys to the kingdom and wasting all day throwing turds on the wall.
If we ever do another Purge I think the one rule should be no shitposting. But anything else should go. Sci fi, third person pov, fantasy, fan fiction etc. it would be fun, just no shitposters.
You’ve been hired as the casting director for a series of movies on your work. Which movies do you include, and who do you cast?
That’s a tough one. Surprise surprise I have a list. For each work here’s a cast of the crew I would include.
Bryan Cranston as Uncle Randy
Miles Teller as Will
Dane Dehaan as Charlie
Lucas Till as Rob
Lily Collins as Liv
Emma Watson as Marcy
Bryce Dallas Howard as Jesse
Kiefer Sutherland as Byron
Ben Hanisch as Ryan
Kylie Rogers as Chloe
Charlize Theron as Margo Purifoy
You wrote “Vomit.” Why did you do that to us all?
You liked that one did you? 😉 don’t lie, it made you cringe. That’s actually the start of a pure gross horror story I’ve got planned. To be honest the reason I wrote it is because I wanted to push the limit on how gross could I go. (I haven’t gone as far as possible yet) and yes, I hate vomiting too. Disgusting. And I have a weak stomach. So why not write about it?
Jots down “weak stomach” on a list that appears to be titled “Colourblindness vulnerabilities.” Hey, uh, while we’re sharing things, what’s the story behind “330”, the number you use to link to your subreddit at the end of your stories?
It would appear that is not in our database. If an item is not in our database, it does not exist.
Staring contest ensues. Colourblindess emerges victorious.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since you began posting to NoSleep?
Titles, titles, titles, and timing. These two things mean so so much as to whether or not your story will do well. An opening line needs to draw your audience in and intrigue. And if you use ambiguity in your writing, don’t make it too confusing or you might lose your audience.
As a successful author on NoSleep, do you have any advice for new contributors?
I’m not sure I would consider myself successful so you flatter me by saying that. First piece of advice is don’t stop writing and don’t depend on upvotes. You will see it said a thousand times, luck is a major factor to Nosleep and I believe continuously posting will help you to make a name for yourself in the community.
Write about what you personally have experienced and write about things that interest you, and always always seek the help of others. I think the best way to learn is by those who have come before you.
What are your short-term and long-term writing goals?
Short term goal, finish my first horror novel. It’s 90% done, but still needs fine tuning. Long term goal? I would like to participate in another massive event the size of Alphabet Stew and maybe branch out and get a few of my older sci fi novels published. I figure a reputation of work that is good doesn’t hurt.
From /u/OnyxOctopus: What’s your favorite kind of dog? What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? How do you take your tea? What kind would you like? One lump or two? How many snickerdoodles can I get you? Are you warm enough? If not I can get you a hand-crocheted afghan, would you like one? ❤️
Snorkie. Cookies and cream/ Banana Pudding. With my hands. Anything with cinnamon that’s hot. Heaven sakes is that a spot? How many snickerdoodles can you carry? No. Yes.
Submitted anonymously: Are you actually color blind?
As a matter of fact I am, and it’s not easy to explain but I will try. Most colorblindness is genetic and it can be different for every person that is affected by it. Did you know that there are some versions of colorblindness where they actually don’t see any color at all? It affects men more often than women and it can be difficult ranging from a daily activity like watching a traffic light or being uncertain whether or not your steak is ready. But for some perhaps the biggest frustration is not being able to pursue the career you always dreamt of. Many arts based careers such as design can be nearly impossible for those with color blindness, while some such as being an air force pilot simply aren’t allowed.
From /u/Yuebeo: What’s your address? I still need to send you your package.
You know what, you’re right. I keep forgetting to give you a call too. Can you come outside and we can talk? I’m right outside your door. How long have I been here? I fail to see how that’s relevant. Yes. Yes that is a pool of pee. Did you bring the package? Good. You never saw me.
Submitted anonymously: Which of your stories has been the most difficult to write, and why?
it’s a toss up between “The Day I flew Stand-By” to an exclusive story I wrote after my grandmother passed away. Having to post every hour on the hour for a 24 hour period and maintain consistency was hard. But losing my only grandma that I ever knew was harder for other reasons. Still it’s good I think to challenge yourself to write things that are hard for you.
Submitted anonymously: Who are some of the underrated writers on NoSleep?
In no particular order:
u/scott_savino, u/-TheInspector-, u/Kryptonivich, u/EaPAtbp, u/chrisbird93, u/AsDeathBeckons, u/Andrunes, u/AdelaideofthePasture, u/grey-lavender, u/mythologyloveshorror, u/TuckandRoll93, u/MmKelley, u/tuckandroll91, u/Yuebeo, and several others I know I’m forgetting.
Submitted anonymously: Who is your favorite author and why is it /u/FirstBreath1?
The way they write is fantastic and have a great way to churn out hits in a regular procession. Each story is stellar, with compelling characters and intricate plot twists that you don’t see coming. I think I have read every single story they have ever written except for a fewer older pieces, but honestly it amazes me to see that sort of quality content come out on a regular basis.
What’s that? We aren’t talking about Timothy Zahn?
I don’t wish to disappoint, but the concept of eternal life is something that is constantly on my mind as far as a scenario. I wanted to explore this in depth and discover how it could lead a person to lose their grasp on what was truly important. It causes discussions to be formed about what we as humans value and how to make life meaningful. I think the idea for a story about an obsession with death is similar in some ways to the old obsession people had with living forever.
Submitted anonymously: What book made you cry hardest?
“Where the Red Fern Grows” or “Shiloh.” I’m kind of a softie. More movies make me cry than books to be honest. Musicals especially.
From /u/ByfelsDisciple: What do you think is your most underrated story? Your most overrated?
I will have to be tough on myself for the over rated one and choose to answer it first. “My Tamagotchi is Still Alive” was an unexpected hit and I wrote it in less than 10 minutes so it shocked me to see that one do so well. As for under rated, I am certain every author has a few. First one that comes to mind is an older story called “Lucky” and another story I loved to write was “The First One is Free” But I’m always happy when even one story touches one person, so I can’t be too picky.
From /u/poppy_moonray: I’m still not entirely certain you, /u/ByfelsDisciple, and /u/BlairDaniels aren’t secretly one person, but for the sake of this question, we’ll assume you’re not. What pieces of their minds (or bodies, if you wanna make it really weird) would you Frankenstein together with your own to create a terrifying sentient amalgamation capable of ruling all of NoSleep in its scaly, taloned fist?
Byfel’s moustache is an entity all of its own. I wouldn’t dare disturb its eternal slumber, even for the sake of conjecture. Blair has lots of kids and ghosts in
my her work and Byfel also frequently has wrinkly old perverts. Given this information I envision the creature would be a black slime old perverted ghost that feeds on children.
Wow that’s the best idea I’ve come up with for these three accounts. Now which one to use…
If you were granted omnipotence for one week, what would you do?
One week seems like a short period of time given the godly powers I have already… but for the sake of this question let’s assume that I am mortal. First thing I would do is figure out why are tomatoes fruit and who decided to name Switzerland such a funny name. After that, I would ride on a dinosaur and create a few thousand planets to watch for amusement. Days two through seven would probably be spent repeatedly eating anything I wanted without gaining weight and playing video games without interruption.
What fruit do you empathize with most strongly? What fruit fills you with an unbridled fury?
Kiwis are so tasty they don’t get enough love and are constantly forgotten in the produce department. Plums on the other hand just don’t taste quite right for me. Something is missing. Some key ingredient. Some secret sauce. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe plums are better but honestly I would want to see the two duke it out and then I will be satisfied.
Fuck, Marry, Kill, Go on a picnic with: The NoSleep mod team
Many napkins are passed to Colourblindness
Favorite boy band song lyric?
drag me down by one direction
Submitted anonymously: What is the greatest album of all time and why is it Metropolis Part II: Scenes from a Memory?
Why is this question on every nosleep interview? Who are you and why are you determined to find someone that loves this album?
Submitted anonymously: If you made a list of your favorite James Bond actors, and you eliminated the bottom six people, what would that list look like?
Daniel Craig in License Renewed
Idris Elba as the bad guy
Same girl from last movie
Resurrect Judi Dench role as M
From /u/FoolishWhim: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Beauty and the Beast, love the movie and love the musical. It’s a classic tale of love and what really matters and teaches a valuable lesson in life. Also the songs are really catchy.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
I close all my windows in my house, I check the time to be sure it’s about thirteen minutes past seven in the evening. The candles are lit. I grab my cloak and step into the cold chilly basement. The air is crisp. The sound of my steps is like ice cracking. There are spiders and corpses lingering near the bottom. I drench myself with the goat’s blood. A dark shadow crosses my face and I know that the presence is already there.
A scaly almost invisible arm reaches out and pulls me close. He opens his mouth wide and a million little tentacles sprout out.
Then I write down what the voices in my head say.
Actually I usually read a lot, and then go on writing prompts or watch movies and think“how could I write something or bring a personal spin to it”
But that tentacled shadow sounds cooler so I will go with that.
Submitted anonymously: If you were able to spend the day with any figure in the horror community (author, director, actor, etc.), who would you choose and why?
Vincent Price. I would want him to read me bedtime stories. No matter what that man says, it’s always going to give me a chill down my spine. And that laugh. Did he go to school for maniacal laughter? If I could just evoke 1% of that, I would be satisfied.
Submitted anonymously: If you had to live in the established universe of any of your stories, which would you choose and why?
The mystical world of Absiphel I write about on r/Sleepspell. Seems like it would be fun to live in. Riding dragons and learning dark arts in Pre-K. That or the world of “Christmas in July on Friday the 13th” cause it feels like a giant goofy video game.
From /u/Colourblindness: have you ever wondered about the possibility of multiple realities, that somewhere out there is another version of yourself that is waiting for the time to end you and steal your identity?
No… no, uh, I haven’t thought about that.
Not until… just now.
quickly goes to check life insurance policy
From /u/Colourblindness: who is sexier, you or me?
You. But only by a hair.
Submitted anonymously: What question did you want to be asked that didn’t get asked?
Why are winged spiders scarier than swallowed needles?
Want to keep tabs on u/Colourblindness? Of course you do! Rather than hiding in his closet, which can be such a pain in the ass, follow him on social media!