Sunday, December 20, 2020

For We Are Many by William Becker Genre: Dark Contemporary

 

  • It’s not hard to figure out from reading the first few pages or even the description of

your newest story, For We Are Many, that it’s a pretty heavy piece about mental health.

How does mental health impact your art? How do you incorporate into your stories? 

I’d be lying deeply if I said that ideas about mental health had nothing to do with my work. For

We Are Many is a very blunt and personal piece about suicide, abandonment, and depression. I

tried really hard to get this aimless and hopeless angle into the story. A lot of the feelings of

being suicidal are captured pretty well, in my opinion. I’ve struggled to a large degree with

depression and I’ve been in therapy before. For We Are Many is probably the most personal

piece I’ve ever written. While I’ve never committed suicide (obviously,) there are a lot of things in

there that are very real and true.

It goes beyond my honest attempts to capture mental health. Seventh Circle, which also came

out this year and is available on my website is about societal pressures to lose your virginity

and something of an obsession with another person. It’s about using another person and their

intoxicating presence to fill a hole within yourself.

The Egg, another free short story, was written about confusion about sexuality and my personal

fear of becoming a father. It deals a lot with co-dependence and having your meaning stripped

away.

While not all of my stories are as blunt as saying a main character has OCD, anxiety, or

schizophrenia, I think I incorporate concepts about mental health quite heavily.  

  • Your work is considered fiction, but you’ve said before that you incorporate little

pieces of the real world into your writing, like basing characters and their interactions off

of things you’ve really seen. How does that work? 

This is a hard question to answer. On a more surface level, I will use someone’s name who

has helped me with writing. I have a habit of sending little pieces of writing to certain people and

as a thank you, I’ll name a character after them. For example, I named May Elizabeth Dawes

after my cousin’s girlfriend, Stephanie Dawes.

On a deeper level, there’s a large portion of For We Are Many that is written about infidelity. The

protagonist’s girlfriend has a quite obvious sex addiction, and after cheating on him multiple

times, she insists she’s going to try and “get better.” She turns herself into the victim, even

though she is the one cheating on him. This was based off of a close friend in high school who

cheated on his girlfriend in a similar way. He’s changed his life around for the better, of course,

but it greatly disturbed me when it happened and slipped its way into this story. I also use a lot

of conversations that I hear and turn them into elements of the story.

A lot of my other imagery is based on some of my weirder dreams. It’s probably not hard to

determine how this manifests itself in my work. 

  • Do you implement your personal beliefs or philosophies in your books?

 Yes! One hundred times, yes! I can’t talk a ton about it, but I have a concept floating around

in my head right now for a story called “The Goat and The Whore.” It’s going to be about karma

and reincarnation. I was raised catholic, which I think shows in some of my work, but as I grew

older, I began to gravitate towards some Buddhist beliefs. I really love using the Four Noble

Truths in my work.

I also believe that people have a duality of being inherently awful and inherently good. I rarely

write a character that is 100 percent good. Sure, there are people I write who are more “good”

than others, but most of my people are very human. I don’t like writing protagonists who don’t

make tons of moral mistakes.

I’ve talked countless times about how much each story is based on a thought or fear I’ve had

before, but the one I’ve neglected to mention is about symmetry and infinite loops. I believe that

life is a series of circles and mirrors. We are never exactly in the same place twice, but many

events in our lives mirror one another and echo one another. These “echoes” are most apparent

in beginnings and endings. The first example I can think of is the Seventh Circle. The first

chapter, where our main character falls in love, is called simply “Mia.” This is pretty straight

forward in meaning. The final chapter is called “Persephone,” also known as the queen of hell. If

you’ve read the story, then you most likely have a pretty darn good idea as to why,. 

  • Do you use writing as an escape or as a form of expression? 

Some people might read my stuff and flip either way, and I agree. I think that some of my

work lies pretty deeply on the expression side of things, while also as a form of escape. I’m a bit

fan of creating characters that resemble me or people I know, but also being very nuanced and

quite different. My characters are all connected to one another and me in very specific ways, but

they also exist in something of a vacuum. For example, I relate to some aspects of Roman

Toguri from my second novel, Grey Skies, but I don’t personally find myself identifying as a

broken psychopath.

New York Onions is based a lot on a family member who overdosed on heroin, but it’s obviously

in this strange, dream-like place that resembles very little of the real world. I would say my work

is not unlike very abstract paintings. It might represent or pull elements from reality, but it exists

as something of a mix between expressionism and escapism. 

  • What drew you to writing horror?

I wouldn’t say I necessarily gravitate just towards horror, but darker work as a whole. Sure,

things like Grey Skies or The Egg are obvious horror, but New York Onions doesn’t really count

as a horror story in the traditional sense, and neither does For We Are Many. I would argue I

mostly write work that is dark and features strange imagery, not necessarily “horror.” It gets

exhausting hearing family members say, “oh, he writes spooky ghost stories.” I don’t think I’ve

really ever written something that resembles a hollywood horror film with lots of jumpscares and

demon possession. My work feels more ethereal and honest than that. Maybe I’m tooting my

own horn and sound like a pretentious jerk with that, but...

There’s something I find easier about writing things that are dark. I love to challenge myself with

different genres and I know for a fact that I’ll write something more positive and family friendly

one day, but that being said, it’s easier to experiment in the darkness. I like to think of writing

darker content as working in a really dark room. I’m not exactly sure where the limits are, how

large the room is, or how much space I can actually work with. It’s easier for me to just feel my

way through and make something that is very grotesque and strange, yet also very natural and

drenched in feeling. Writing work that is more… Hallmark, for a lack of a better word, feels much

more obvious and in your face. It’s like working in that same room and turning on the lights.

Suddenly, you know what’s directly in front of you. You have limits when it comes to genre,

mood, and content. I feel like it’s harder to write something true without being able to

incorporate anything that exists. It’s the reason why dark and abrasive music like Swans is more

experimental and interesting to me than Taylor Swift.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing about a four minute pop-country song about someone’s ex

that I don’t love, but a very fluid composition that’s thirty minutes long and features a sixty year

man shouting obscenities always has a lot more feeling. Once I have my plate more clear, I’m

going to write something more normal and tame as a form of challenging myself, but for now, I

find darker work to be the easiest way to express myself. 

  • You talk a ton about music and how it influences your work. What are some albums

you’ve heard recently that have excited you? 

I listen to an absurd amount of different genres and going through the discographies of full

artists is one of the things I love to do in my free time. I’m currently working as a delivery driver,

so I have a lot of time to listen to music. I suppose it’s easiest to list them out by genre. 

Electronic: Maniac Meat by Tobacco

Country: Black Ribbons by Shooter Jennings

Metal: Pain is God by Pig

Rap: Anti-Icon by Ghostemane. 

  • What’s the worst part of writing in 2020? 

Oversaturation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing to have access to such amazing artists who

wouldn’t have had the same exposure thirty years ago, but it also makes it much harder to get

random people to actually check your work out. In between all of my creative projects, it’s very

difficult to dedicate a ton of time towards marketing. On top of that, knowing where to market

yourself is very hard. Instagram hasn’t been great recently because hashtags have been

blocked in response to election disinformation. Thanks to *whoever* is responsible for that,

cough cough. Currently, I’ve been up close and personal with authors on Wattpad and that’s

been giving me a decent amount of success. I tried for a while to send my stories out to blogs,

but I found that I felt like something of an annoying person just shipping my work off to anyone

who would read it. It was hard to develop meaningful connections with these people who are

more than sick of dealing with indie authors. 

  • What’s your favorite scene you’ve ever written? 

I’m just going to use this one. It’s unreleased right now and for that reason, unedited. It’s

VERY NSFW. It just personally interests me.

“I dreamt again of my birth home that night. I was young again, only my mother wasn’t standing over me, watching me dig into the sand. I was completely alone in the middle of the desert. I glanced around me and saw that the place where we had lived was gone. For miles in each direction, I was surrounded by sand and nothing else. Digging in the vast ocean of sand seemed pointless. I felt

exhausted even in my dreams, but something about the desolation felt wrong. I was out of place. I didn’t belong here.

Suddenly, the sand seemed to slowly sink into the earth where my hands were, creating a miniature canyon that opened into a black abyss. The slit in the sand couldn’t have been wider than an inch, but it seemed to go down forever. I felt a shiver go down my body. The slit called for me. I needed to be inside of it. The blood flowed from my head, all the way down to my groin, filling me with a jittery sensation. The sand smelled of roses and other exotic scents. The hole in the sand

grew ridges along its edges, becoming more organic, more alive, yet still made of sand. My body throbbed with ecstasy, an ecstasy that was so intense that I lost all other sensations. My mouth was watering. I bit down on my tongue. It wasn’t right for me to be here, staring into the slit of the earth. I crawled over the ground, ignoring the grains digging into my palms.

My breathing became the beat of all life, heavy and rhythmic.. I needed to be  inside of her slit, to put my hands inside of her. My right hand grazed the ridges at first, but I wanted more, shoving my index finger into the hole. It was wet and sticky. My penis throbbed beneath my white robes.

Maggots. Neurosis. Rot. Filth. Decay. Circle. Beginning. Growth. Birth. Reclamation. End.

I tore my robes off with ease, as if I was gliding through the clouds. As if they were a weight on my ankles, I felt free once they were removed, as though I could fly off of the ground.

My naked body felt comfortable on the sand, as if the earth was a blanket that wanted to swallow me whole. I took my erect penis and slammed it into the wet, tight, slit. My eyes rolled back in my head with pleasure. Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt. My mind and body were overwhelmed by the sheer bliss.

I was panting in a pool on my own fluids, which seemed to be rejected by Mother Earth. The slit was gone and once again, I was alone. The sun had disappeared, leaving the desert vacant and black. My feelings of arousal had been replaced by a feeling of emptiness. I had satisfied her and she had rejected me. I shivered, rolling in the sticky pool of semen.

My eyes shot open as a cold breeze grazed my skin. It was still dark out, too early for us to start moving again. My face was wet with my own drool, which I wiped with a swipe of my hand. Beneath my blanket, there was another wet spot on the mat that was thankfully not visible. I adjusted my flaccid penis that had mysteriously been pulled from my pants. I sighed, taking my finger to the mat and whiffing the oceanic scent of my semen. Hopefully, no one would notice the smell. I began quietly rolling up my mat.”

  • What other creative things do you do outside of photography and editing?

Right now, I host a podcast called First Degree Tea. You can hear me awkwardly talk about

serial killers and criminals on that. I also created the theme song for that. I also compose a

different score for each new episode. I also edit two other podcasts, one of which is called We

Talk Too Much, the other is Jersey Girls Don’t Pump Gas.

I’ve done some music stuff with JaredMiller, I’ve directed two music videos for Bury Me In Black,

and I’ve edited a few novels, most notably, The Night Made This Decision by Alexis Sundquist.

One of the coolest projects I’ve got coming kind of soon is an audiobook that’s more of an audio

experience. Most audiobooks are just some guy reading in a relaxed voice, which certainly has

its time and place, but I want to make something more exciting. I want to make an audiobook

where I do the narration, but I have a different voice actor for each character, ambiance for each

location, and lots of background music. 


For We Are Many
by William Becker
Genre: Dark Contemporary


The beauty of being able to finally let go is something that Robert has craved for a very long time. 
Just days after his birthday, he prepares to embrace nothing.




William Becker is a young horror author with a mind for weirder sides of the universe. With an emphasis on complex and layered storylines that tug harshly on the reader to search for deeper meanings in the vein of Silent Hill and David Lynch, Becker is a force to be reckoned within the horror world. His works are constantly unfathomable, throwing terror into places never before seen, while also providing compelling storylines that transcend the predictable jumpscares of the popular modern horror.
His first novel, WEEPING OF THE CAVERNS, was written when he was 14. After eight months of writing, editing, and revising, the story arrived soon after his 15th birthday. During the writing sessions for his debut novel, he also wrote an ultra-controversial short story known as THE WHITE SHADE that focused on the horrors of a shooting. Living in a modern climate, it was impossible for THE WHITE SHADE to see the light of day. Following a psychedelic stint that consisted of bingeing David Lynch movies, weird art, and considering the depth of the allegory of the cave wall, he returned to writing with a second story, THE BLACK BOX, and soon after, his second novel, GREY SKIES.





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