Nick Antosca was named our featured author this month for his short story "Amphibian."
Nick Antosca. 23 years old. Average height and appearance. Last night he looked out an airplane window for the first time in six years. He saw his house. The glow of suburban sprawl is lifeless green and looks like another planet, one made of light, becoming visible through the black crust of ours. It’s like something hatching.
He wrote a novel called Fires. He was 20 then. Now it will be published this December, 2006, by Impetus Press. Impetus Press, which has the attitude, "Fuck commercial publishing."
Fires. Part of the book involves a boy locked in a basement for eight years. Also a huge forest fire. Someone wears a kabuki mask and wanders through a burning suburb. Nick Antosca grew up in a suburb across from a field with two tired horses. Before the suburb it was New Orleans, where Nick’s dad painted houses and his mom was an elementary school teacher. Someone dumped their car in Bayou St. John and threatened to kill them, so they left New Orleans. Sex, drugs, and violence are in Fires but the book is about other things, like how to ignore suffering.
Nick Antosca wrote not-seriously for a while. If you write while you are drunk or high, your writing will be shit. If you write because you think women like to sleep with writers, your writing will be shit. One of his shit poems got nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and it was still shit.
Then he realized he wanted to do this forever because he sometimes liked how it made him think and feel, but he wanted to write things that weren’t shit, so he wrote Fires. He wrote some short stories too. They were published in various places. One appears, August 2006, in the inaugural issue of the New York Tyrant. It’s called "Sexual Anthology" and consists of sex scenes. There are brain tumors, squirrels, screams from another room, and a lot of detail drawn from things that happened in the "real world."
Now there is something else he’s writing, a thing called Midnight Picnic.
Midnight Picnic, which has drowning and blackberry picking and prison rape. And a game of Putt-Putt golf in the afterlife. Maybe it will never be published because he discards a lot. But here are two excerpts.