John Milas on the Specificity of Terror
In Conversation with Lindsay Hunter on I'm a Writer But
Welcome to I’m a Writer But, where writers discuss their work, their lives, their other work, the stuff that takes up any free time they have, all the stuff they’re not able to get to, and the ways in which any of us get anything done. Plus: book recommendations, bad jokes, okay jokes, despair, joy, and anything else going on that week. Hosted by Lindsay Hunter.
In this episode, John Milas discusses his new novel The Militia House, the difference between terror and horror, perception versus time, working with Roxane Gay, the real Militia House, writing a speculative literary military novel, the nostalgia of 2010, and more!
From the episode:
“Terror is more specific than we give it credit for. We are very preoccupied with horror as a genre. My understanding is if you’re horrified by something, you’re reacting to something that’s already happened. But with terror, you’re in the windup stage of anticipating something. So the better your imagination is, the worse it is when it comes to something denotatively terrifying, which is built on not revealing something.”
John Milas served on active duty in the Marine Corps and deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. He later earned a BA and MFA in creative writing. He lives in Illinois, where he reads, writes, and watches baseball. The Militia House is his first novel.