Sunday, September 19, 2010

Devil Fiction Are Me

by Zachary Steele

I write devil fiction.

Or so says the most common tag that libraries use to define my work.  I was, at first, a touch shocked to see the tag next to Anointed, and somewhat put out to be labeled in such a way, but the thunderous beat of indignity lasted about three seconds.  Honestly, I think, 'thunderous,' might be a bit of a stretch.  Maybe it was more of a mild whimpering at the base of a quite bright, and welcoming canyon.  I mean, sure, it has its negative connotations, and it tends to knock you off God's great bandwagon, leaving you somewhere along the side of the road in a black cape, waiving a five-and-dime black wand, with a fade white tip that is as likely to produce a spell as it is a bouquet of lavender lilies, all the while twirling the greased end of a sinister mustache. and laughing in that way your creepy uncle laughs when he's left the table of kids speechless with a grossly inappropriate joke.

But it stirs the pot, in much the same way that inappropriate creepy uncle empties the flask.  And I kinda like it.  Well, not the creepy uncle bit.  I've worked very hard--with nominal success I might add--at not becoming the creepy uncle.

My nephew, however, is a different story.
In the end, though, I had to admit that I liked the moniker.  It's applicable.  I do write fiction that is of the, 'Oh, hey look at this string of religion I am playing with, let's hope I don't choke the dog with it, ha ha,' kind of way.  And, I do rather enjoy the opportunity to waive the banner of discontent that being the writer of devil fiction employs.  I'm on Facebook, and I use it in much the same way.  Sometimes the world needs a little discontent.  It's what breeds heroism.  Or, so many of the comics believe.  So, maybe I'm doing the world a delicious favor, by offering myself as the less-potent, but still somewhat tainted, apple in which to take a healthy chunk from.  Take a bite, and see if you pass out from the noxious venom that flows from my words.  It sounds vicious, doesn't it?  Almost maniacal.  As if I'm on a preordained rampage, a vendetta against the religious world, a crusade against the unholiest of holies.

Or I could just be delusional.

(Actually I'm that kid you sat next to in school that turned beet red every time you sneezed, afraid that the whole class might stare at him by proxy--a word which he would have been able to define, if it matters--who learned rather quickly that if he unleashed his sarcasm, and snark, in the way of words on a page for the world to read that it made him more a cult icon that people admired but never talked to.  But shhhhhhh, don't tell.)

I could also just have an unfortunate affectation with coffee, and all caffeine-based liquids that is quite fortunate in relation to my writing.

But no matter, it's something that I feel quite certain places me in the minority.  At least for a while.  Until someone realizes that satire is a real word, and that it's okay to laugh at our absurdities.  Even the religious ones.  Especially the religious ones.

(I'm also that kid that got hit in the face by a rock in eighth grade, by some random kid who thought that I looked the best target practice he could afford--I was quite poor, and occasionally homely looking, albeit in a graceful kind of floppy shoes way--who is now on a vendetta to find that kid and belittle him with the Almighty power of my verbal wit, and extensive vocabulary, and stuff-like.)

So, providing I'm not reduced to a pile of smoldering ash by a divine reach of God, I can bask in my title, and write on, hoping that there are enough people out there to aggravate, that it affords me a productive career, and gives me all the weaponry I need to continue aggravating them.  That's what writing's all about, anyway, right?  Eliciting an emotional pitchfork or two hundred?  To banter with the best, hobbling from the protruding sting of the pitchfork, waiving a fist, and proclaiming, "This is my right, my way, and I will not go slowly into the night without...without...damn, where's my thesaurus?"

Zachary Steele is the author of Anointed: The Passion of Timmy Christ, CEO, and the forthcoming Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction, and has been featured on NPR and in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Publisher's Weekly, and Shelf Awareness. He can be found boring the world with his thoughts on his blog,The Further Promotion of ME, as well as the bookstore-life blog, There Are No Words.


Peggy Webb said...

Your identity - writer of devil fiction - makes you sound mysterious and slightly dangerous and privy to great secrets none of the rest of us know. All of which are good for your career, I think.

Great blog. Rock on!

Anna Michaels said...

How intriguing! I must read your books.

a gracious plenty said...

loved your blog post. one of the more thoughtful entries i've read here lately. i look forward to buying and reading some of your books.
best wishes.