Saturday Special Report: 2023 Dark Dozen- Lucas Mangum
Today's Dark Dozen Interview is with Lucas Mangum.
His story, Face-Melting Disaster Porn, will be featured in this year's DARK DISASTERS Anthology.
Read on to see how he takes on the Dark Dozen!
When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I knew it pretty early on. From the time I was six or seven, I was writing pulp stories into chapbooks and giving them to family. Sometimes, I would sell them to neighbors.
If you had three sentences to pitch your work to a new reader, what is your pitch?
I’ve been called “your favorite horror writer’s favorite horror writer” and been told that I write with a child’s imagination. I’ve also been told that my work “brings the triggers.” The most accurate way to describe my work is that I’m the sort of writer who doesn’t like to get pigeonholed; no two books of mine are the same, though there is a unifying voice and perhaps some similar underlying themes.
What is your favorite thing about being in the Horror industry?
Easily, it’s the friendships. While I have a good neighborly support system where I live, there are people in the horror biz I know that I can call anytime for any reason. Having a shared interest in horror gives those relationships another layer of depth.
What’s the one thing that scares you the most in this world and have you ever written about it?
My big fears tend to work in cycles. For example, when I was afraid of becoming a parent in a world that seemed to be getting scarier, I wrote Gods of the Dark Web. When I was afraid that wouldn’t be able to heal from my own childhood in time to be a good father, I wrote Saint Sadist. The unreliable nature of reality during the Covid years led to Digital Darkness. And so on… Lately, I’ve been obsessively worrying about climate change, so that may work its way into a book sometime.
Tell us about a scene in one of your stories or someone else’s that you would not want to be stuck in and why? Name the book and author, if not you.
I can’t point to one scene in particular, but the entirety of Come Closer by Sara Gran comes to mind. It’s a novella about a woman who’s possessed (or having a mental episode—it’s never made clear), and it’s told in first-person from her point of view. Nothing is scarier than losing control of one’s own actions, and that book depicts it masterfully.
Darkest or most disturbing horror movie ever watched:
Cannibal Holocaust or Nekromantik for me. Where movies like A Serbian Film and Martyrs still feel cinematic, Cannibal Holocaust and Nekromantik feel like home videos found on accident, and that makes their content all the more disturbing.
Darkest or most disturbing horror novel ever read:
Come Closer, for the reasons I mentioned above.
Darkest/ Worst Way to Die:
If you had one hour to speak to any living author, who would it be and why?
At the risk of sounding cliché, it would be Stephen King. I don’t know what I would ask him. Seriously, I have no idea. I’d rather have the conversation unfold organically.
What has been one of the proudest moments of your writing journey?
I’ve had multiple people tell me that Saint Sadist inspired them to write more fearlessly. I can’t think of a bigger compliment than that.
Who are you outside of being an author? What makes you tick other than the worlds and stories you create?
I’m a dad, a husband, and a fan of the genre. Going out into the woods makes me instantly feel happy. I like to sing and cook. I also co-host Make Your Own Damn Podcast, a celebration of genre filmmaking with an emphasis on DIY projects.
What is a piece of advice that you WISH someone had given you early in your career?
Even if you’re just starting out and wanting to get your name out there, that doesn’t mean you have to say ‘yes’ to everything.
Lucas Mangum is a horror author living in Central Texas. He’s a father, husband, and a fan of trashy movies. When he’s not working on a book, he’s co-hosting Make Your Own Damn Podcast with bizarro legend Jeff Burk or walking in the woods. His newsletter, posted every Monday, can be found at LucasMangum.com.
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