C.C. Adams is a writer who pulls no punches. A fixture on the UK indie scene, he joins the Inferno at its deepest, darkest point in Circle Nine with his story ‘Janine Inside Me’. Whilst he was writing his story, I picked up a copy of Forfeit Tissue from Demain Publishing and realised we would be in for something special. Here are C.C’s infernal views on the darker side.
Infernal Clock: What was the inspiration behind your story?
One thing I like to explore is when everyday narratives are become something insidious. Malicious. Twisted. All the good stuff. Without giving too much away, I wanted to take the kinds of characters I imagined would have a pleasant and well-rounded existence and shift them to somewhere harrowing. Yes, you might like to think that you’d never let your loved ones come to harm – but what if that basic status quo has changed? What do you do?
Infernal Clock: What is your idea of hell on earth?
Now this is discomforting here…
One thing I suppose would be hellish is the idea that we as humans are prey. Yes, there are instances where we as human beings succumb to animal attacks; mauled by dogs, bitten by snakes, eaten by crocodiles. Those are exceptions rather than the norm; like how people eat chicken. Or beef. Or fish.
It’s not a pleasant thought that we as humans could be culled and harvested like livestock.
Infernal Clock: The Inferno was created on old ideas of sin. If you had to label the nine levels how, what would you call them? Would you keep it at 9? Increase or decrease?
Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Wrath, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery. No; looks pretty comprehensive to me. I might take out Lust though.
Infernal Clock: They say the Devil has all the good tunes. What song would you recommend as an accompaniment to your story?
Off the top of my head? I’d say it would be ‘Imagine’ – not the John Lennon version, but the cover by A Perfect Circle. Because while the lyrics suggest a peaceful future, the music behind it is haunting and melancholy. When the drums kick in, there’s a sense of fury, whether it’s simmering or spent – but it’s there.
I’ve never been a fan of the original track – each to their own, I suppose, but I heard this cover by accident. All because the ‘Counting Bodies Like Sheep…’ track appears on the teaser trailer for the Fantastic Four (Chris Evans, Jessica Alba) – ‘you know that looked cool.’ I loved that enough to get the artist’s album, which is Emotive. And then I heard the cover of Imagine. Which is one of my all-time favourite covers of any song.
Infernal Clock: If you were able to visit the Inferno, what level would you want to go to and who would you want to see there?
Intriguing. I’m tempted to go with Fraud.
See, I used to have this thing where I wouldn’t lie – that it was dishonourable. I say that remembering at least one job where a call came through for a boss. Boss in question said, ‘tell them I’m not here.’ But the older I get and the more I see, I decide lies aren’t so bad, if they’re done with honourable intent. If someone with a gun visits you at home asking for your child, you might lie to protect your child. But those who lie and cheat without that honour? I don’t wish such hell on them but if they’re sent to Hell, I won’t lose sleep over it.
Infernal Clock: What is the hottest food you’ve ever eaten? Can you share a recipe?
Could be anything! I can do mild spicy, but I’m not a spice fanatic. I have a hankering for Lebanese food and around the mid-range on the Nando’s scale. West Indian heritage and upbringing means I know the taste of Encona hot pepper sauce, as well as the yellow pepper sauce. Although I remember trying to down some Danish schnapps in Denmark years back – and that was hot. Took ages just to sip a mouthful.
Infernal Clock: Who is your ‘favourite’ villain in history or fiction?
You do realise this’ll be a major trip down the rabbit-hole, right…?
Oh, man, where do I begin? I mean, as a Spider-Man fan, I’ve still got several hundred original-issue comics – mainly Amazing Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man and Web of Spider-Man. Favourite Spidey villain? Can’t pick just one – although the Lizard and Electro have always been favourites. As is, I’m still re-reading the Spidey vs Lizard ARC, No Turning Back, which features Morbius, the living vampire. Suspenseful, violent, and very clever. Also pays homage to Amazing Spider-Man #100 – #102.
TV villains, I’d go with Angelus from Buffy The Vampire Slayer / Angel. The ‘demon with the face of an angel’ isn’t one for histrionics, but he has a cold and ruthless humour in place of his humanity. Personal favourite appearances are Passion (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Soulless (Angel). Compelling. “Oooh, provocative. Get me all riled up.”
As for film? Too many films to remember, let alone choose from. One standout has to be the antagonist from Fallen (which is my second favourite film of all time behind John Carpenter’s “The Thing”). And what I like about the antagonist here is that even when Reese is dead, you’ve got a cunning and seemingly invincible foe. How do you defeat that? You know what also sells it? The film hardly has special effects, but from the story point of view, how the …mechanics of the antagonist present themselves is unsettling. You see it in Denzel’s performance – his character doesn’t know which way to turn, he’s out of his depth. At least, he is at first.
Infernal Clock: What is your long-term ambition for your writing?
To run with it as far as I can and make a good living from it. I don’t want or need to be a celebrity with it though. For all the mileage so far, I do my best to stay humble and heed the basics: write good stories that engage and move the audience. And maybe scare the shit outta them.
Infernal Clock: Top-tip for other writers.
For any author who wants to write stories: write. Start a story, finish a story, repeat. That’s the bottom line, the alpha-omega – and it’s so deceptively simple on paper that some people will fall down when it comes to putting it into practise.
London native C.C. Adams is the horror/dark fiction author behind books such as But Worse Will Come, Forfeit Tissue and Downwind, Alice. His short fiction appears in publications such as Turn To Ash, Weirdbook Magazine and The Third Corona Book of Horror Stories. A member of the Horror Writers Association, he still lives in the capital. This is where he lifts weights, cooks—and looks for the perfect quote to set off the next dark delicacy.
Visit him at www.ccadams.com and here:
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/CC-Adams/e/B00J438GCI
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/CC-Adams/e/B00J438GCI
Meet Alice Morecambe.
After two years away, a chance encounter with her ex-boyfriend Kieran proves awkward and sours when Alice lashes out at him, before storming off. An unfortunate turn of events that would soon blow over, right?
Because, unfortunately for Alice, Kieran is …different now.
For the last couple of years, Kieran has kept a tight rein on more than his feelings – but now he’s going to do more than tell Alice how he really feels.
He’s going to show her.
And Alice won’t know what’s downwind until it’s too late.
Downwind, Alice – https://www.ccadams.com/downwind-alice