By my reckoning, we are 24 days from the Apex 10th Anniversary event at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, KY. This day also marks the release date for my new book For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher.
Each day I hope to write a countdown post until we reach the big date. Each post will relate to Apex Publications and/or For Exposure. This is the second one!
Religion has always played a prominent role in my writing. In fact, it still informs my genre leanings. I’m always drawn to shows and movies that have a religious/mythological aspect: Lost, Battlestar Galactica, and so on. I attribute this to my grandmother. She was a pious woman. The kindest and sincerely good individual I’ve known. She attended church her whole life and lived her life in a Christian manner the best she could. The best parts of Christianity she tried to instill in her family: love, generosity, kindness, acceptance, charity, and more.
She loved taking her grandchildren to church. My youngest brother didn’t attend to often. Her other grandchild lived in Ohio. So usually, I accompanied her alone to every Sunday service, most Wednesday night services, and many of the church’s extracurricular activities. Church never was a spiritual thing for me. Instead, I went because I loved the shared time with my grandmother. I wasn’t a mommy’s boy or daddy’s boy (Is that even a thing?). I was a granny’s boy! (Sorry mom. Sorry dad.)
The church we attended was across the street from where I lived. It’s a tiny building that holds 100 worshipers at best.
Even though this church is a deep well of inspiration for my horror and dark SF, it has also shaped some of my fondest memories. Churchs typically function as makeshift community centers in the poorer parts of our country. Big Creek Baptist was no exception. The church sponsored or held many events and activities that united the hill-folk in fellowship.
While Big Creek Baptist Church scared me into becoming a genre fan (Thanks, Lord!), it also holds a place close to my heart.
“Such beautiful hair this one has,” she’d said. “Did’ya get it from your momma’s side?” It’s a common refrain he hears, particularly from the older folks. No Sizemore in memory has ever had red hair, and members of the small community never fail to note the aberration.
–Excerpt from For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher, Prologue
Actually, people never stop commenting on my red-fro until I started going bald in my late 20s. People rubbed my head like a Buddha’s belly for good luck. As a misinformed youth, I hated my hair. As a misanthropic adult, I would give up my right pinky finger to have it back! :)
If I can find a picture of my red-fro, I’ll post it. This weekend I visit my parents and they have albums filled with little Jason photos…
On June 20th, we celebrate my 10 years of being a genre publisher. Event page is here. Event info is below.