Simon Jacobs on Writing Horror and Nailing Tone
In Conversation with Alex Higley and Lindsay Hunter on I'm a Writer But
Welcome to I’m a Writer But, where two writers-and talk to other writers-and about 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 we’ve got going on that week. Hosted by Lindsay Hunter and Alex Higley.
In this episode, Simon Jacobs (String Follow) joins Alex and Lindsay to talk about nailing the tone of his new novel, starting with a very tight draft and “blowing it out from the middle,” finding an agent, being the son of a successful writer, revising the book to make space for the reader, childhood haunted houses, and more!
From the episode:
This book, and most of my writing, is very tone-driven. The tone of this book is sort of sly, very self-aware, very closely observed. I got to this weird tone, and I was like, okay, this is a space I’m really interested in exploring. And what if this book that has horror elements, what if the most horrific thing about this book was the mysterious narrator and the perspective from which the book is written?
Simon Jacobs is from Dayton, Ohio, and lives in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of the novels String Follow (MCD/FSG, 2022) and Palaces (Two Dollar Radio, 2018), and of two collections of short fiction: Masterworks (Instar Books, 2019), and Saturn (Spork Press, 2016), a collection of David Bowie stories. His other fiction has appeared in Tin House, Black Warrior Review, Joyland, and Paper Darts.