Chuck McKenzie is a science fiction and horror author. I knew Chuck's words before I met Chuck the person - he has the honour of authoring the first story in Clan Destine Press' This Fresh Hell anthology. My own work also appears in this anthology - right after Chuck's. When I've been in group art shows, I often bond with painters whose work neighbours mine - we are wall buddies. Chuck is an anthology buddy. We met IRL at the Sydney launch of This Fresh Hell - he travelled for this despite being Melbourne-based. I could see what a down-to-the-bones horror fan he is. Mention anything horror-related at all: Stephen King's Danse Macabre, Jordan Peele's Us - and he will beam with recognition and dive in.
In addition to horror, Chuck is dedicated to cats. He has a lifesize cardboard cutout of his big ginger boy, MacReady McKenzie, and recently published Conversations With My Cat. Having spent formative years trying to win a cat's affection and feeling sure she was absolutely hurling curse words at me, I found it hilarious.
Chuck McKenzie. Photo: supplied
Chuck McKenzie is the 16th in my series of creatives to take five questions.
When my creative process is stuck, I reach for... my laptop. The very act of writing, even when I'm not in a rut, eventually gets the creative flow going.
The weirdest thing about being a creative human is... the sources of my creativity. For my horror fiction specifically, it's 90 per cent personal trauma - the awful things I've been through in my life, or the terrible things that happen every day to friends, family, and complete strangers. It sounds like a weird thing to inspire creativity, but there it is.
The most unusual object in my house is... probably an antique pair of 19th Century pince-nez that I recently inherited from my late mother. I believe they belonged to my great-great grandparents.
I celebrate my achievements by... indulging in a wild night of quiet reflection. Maybe a social media post. Most often, just sharing my achievements with my partner, and her doing the same in return.
Something in the world that already exists that I wish I had created is... empathy. Only because I'd make damned sure it was practiced universally.