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Fanbase Press Interviews Chandler Morrison on the Upcoming Release of the Dark Fiction Novel, ‘American Narcissus,’ Through Dead Sky Publishing

The following is an interview with Chandler Morrison regarding the upcoming release of the dark fiction novel, American Narcissus, through Blackstone Publishing. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Morrison about his creative process in crafting the satirical look at life in Los Angeles, what readers may take away from the story, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of American Narcissus! The story’s premise is described as a deep, satiric dive into a dystopian Los Angeles, exploring four lost souls’ search for love and meaning when the future is incredibly uncertain. What can you share with us about your creative process in crafting this world, characters, and narrative?

Chandler Morrison: Well, I live in Los Angeles, which in some ways already is a dystopia. You could reasonably make the same assertion about America, or about the entire planet, even. It can be difficult to write satire when real life already feels like some snarky novelist’s gross exaggeration. There’s a sense that we’re coming to the end of things. Maybe humans have outstayed their welcome on this little space rock that we’re so intent on destroying. Last Days or not, though, people still yearn for connection. The fact that we live in a world that makes connecting with each other more and more difficult doesn’t erase that fundamental desire. I watch people around me struggle so desperately to find companionship and purpose while rampant capitalism and technology work to snuff it out. I struggle with it, myself. This book was a vehicle for me to explore the question of whether we can win the fight, and if we can, is the victory even worth it?

BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that American Narcissus’ story may connect with and impact readers?

Chandler Morrison

CM: I don’t know anyone who has a whole lot of hope for the future. Everyone is more or less resigned to the fact that our society is a burning hellscape ruled over by corrupt bureaucrats, tech CEOs, and pharmaceutical companies. We live in a golden age of oppressive wealth gaps, social media, dating apps, free porn, fast food, drug addiction, narcissism, artificial intelligence, and loneliness. The capitalist experiment has failed. The human one is perhaps not far behind it. If there’s ever been an unlucky time to be alive and looking for love and meaning, it’s now. I think a lot of people can probably relate to that. On the other hand, if you think Everything Is Fine, Actually, and the world is on the up and up, then American Narcissus is maybe not the book for you.

BD: What makes Dead Sky Publishing the perfect home for American Narcissus?

CM: I can’t imagine doing this book with anyone but Dead Sky. They’ve been behind me ever since my book Dead Inside caused an internet scandal and got dropped by its former publisher-to-be five months before its scheduled release date. A lot of publishing houses reached out to me at that time and offered to put Dead Inside out simply because there was a bunch of buzz around it. But Dead Sky approached me and said, “We don’t even care what book you give us. We just want to work with you.” They had just recently opened their doors back then, and I believed in them, and felt like they believed in me. I still feel that way, and they’ve given me an incredible amount of support and creative freedom. After I’d done three books with them (Dead Inside, Until the Sun, and Human-Shaped Fiends), they came to me and gave me carte blanch on my next one. “Write whatever you want,” they told me. “Write the book you’ve always wanted to write. We’ll publish it.” American Narcissus is the book I’ve always wanted to write, and I’m grateful that Dead Sky has given it a home.

BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?

CM: The notion of an upcoming project is kind of difficult for me. I always half-expect each book to be my last one. In a world without a future, how does one think about releasing another book in two or three years? The Doomsday Clock is at ninety seconds to midnight. Every day, I’m waiting for the bombs to fall. California is seriously overdue for a major earthquake that’ll dump all of us out-of-touch Angelenos into the Pacific. I’m in remission from a rare form of cancer with a 50% recurrence rate. Who knows if I’ll be here in two or three years for another book release. Who knows if anyone will be.

That said, I don’t write to be published. I don’t write for an audience. I’m not concerned about longevity or legacy or anything like that. I write to deal with specific types of pain. Every book is a way for me to venture into the darkness and to see if I can find my way back out. Fortunately for my creative output, I am rather susceptible to pain and have a pretty low threshold for it, so I’m rarely at a loss for material.

To answer your question, I am working on something now—a sometimes-love-isn’t-enough tragedy set aboard a luxury cruise ship, featuring a flesh-eating virus and a cultish new religion. If I’m still around to finish it, and if there are people still around to read it, then I guess that’ll be my upcoming project. But for now, it’s just a way to deal with pain. There’s a high probability that I’ll die or the world will end before it’s done. I’ve said that about every book, though, and American Narcissus is my eighth. Nostradamus I am not.

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about American Narcissus and your other work?

CM: As much as I decry social media as a virulent emissary of the apocalypse, I am not immune to it, so Twitter (It will always be Twitter, I don’t care what Emerald Mine Elon says.) and Instagram are the best places. There’s also a website——for those who’ve managed to remain unshackled by the Holy Doomscroll.

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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