***EDIT: While I still stand by many of the sentiments in the following blog, I am not going away.***
It has been a very trying couple of weeks. Scratch that. It has been a very trying four months. The last couple of weeks, however, completely broke me.
First, I faced some drama over the cover of Saint Sadist. I won’t recap it here because I’m exhausted. Also, we managed to resolve it, even if I hate that it happened at all.
That bit of drama PALES in comparison to what else has transpired though. Long story short (and I will keep it short because it’s already been reported on extensively), the indie horror scene–like the movie industry, like the wrestling business, and like the music world–has an abusive men problem. The two prime examples are a prominent male author sending inappropriate messages to several females in our industry, then subsequently harassing one of these women for speaking out, and a renowned male bookseller assaulting his girlfriend and attempting to rape his own daughter.
To say that I now think of this so-called community as a hostile work environment is a gross understatement.
Couple this with rising COVID19 numbers in my state, racial tensions that could be eased today if our government only cared to do something about violent police, a series of transphobic comments by arguably the most powerful cis-woman in the world, rampant cancel-culture (yes, some deserve to be called out, but not every campaign is noble), our president’s constant use of the U.S. Constitution as toilet paper, my own social isolation, and the impossibility of work/life balance when my kid is home during the workday, I’m fucking exhausted.
Some things to know about me: I will never stop writing. Writing nurtures me. It cleanses and soothes me. It helps me and I used to think it helped others. Also, I am a person of my word. All preexisting obligations to publishers, even gentleman’s agreements in which I have yet to sign a contract, will be fulfilled. These include: the release of my dinosaur apocalypse novel Extinction Peak through Section 31 Productions, turning in a story for a top secret literary smut anthology, letting Grindhouse Press publish my story “Primitive” in an anthology this October, the release of a top-secret omnibus, and the eventual publication of my collaboration with Ryan Harding.
Once all these obligations have been met, I’m out. I’ve had it with the scene’s hostile cliquishness, abuse and harassment, and blatant favoritism toward people who later turn out to be abusers.
I will continue to post regular content to my Patreon. Posts will be accessible to the public, all pledges optional. I have a job. I don’t need the money, but I certainly won’t reject it either.
Also, I will continue to occasionally blog here. It can be very therapeutic and if I wasn’t always on Facebook and Twitter, I’d do it more often. Guess what accounts I’ll be staying away from for the foreseeable future.
Lastly, Sean Duregger will continue to produce excellent audiobook versions of my work and I will co-host the brand new Dark Corners Podcast with Rita Goodall.
That’s all I really have to say today. My tribe knows who they are. I would follow any one of them to the ends of the earth and I know they would do the same for me. If you are part of my tribe, thank you. You can follow my Patreon (again, pledging is optional), follow me here, support Sean’s audio productions of my work, and subscribe to the Dark Corners Podcast (all social media for the show is handled by Rita).
This is Lucas Mangum, signing off.