Most of my friends know that I am a Lovecraft fan. Some of them also know I spent several years studying Greek, Latin, and Greco-Roman history in college. How could I not fall for a story like “And if Thine Eye Offend Thee”, written by Jonah Buck?
Jonah splits his time between studying law at the University of Oregon, performing stage magic, writing horror, and other disreputable pursuits. He is an avid historian, exotic poultry fancier, fossil hunter, and B-grade monster movie enthusiast.
How did you come up with the idea for your story in History and Horror, Oh My?
Being the scintillating personality that I am, I got the first kernel of my story from reading about the legal aspects of the Byzantine Empire’s guild system in the 11th century. While this topic might sound “boring” or “mega-crazy-turbo boring” to most, it’s actually quite interesting. The Byzantines built this whole elaborate, state-sponsored guild system for certain industries, and they enforced it through some pretty horrific violence.
Gouging someone’s eyes out with hot stakes was a popular method of dealing with troublemakers, and that’s where my story “And if Thine Eye Offend Thee” got its start. There’s already a bracing shot of horror there. Just toss in some demons, mix well, and SHAZZAM. Who needs the latest slasher movie when you have the Byzantine penal code?
Do you have a favorite historical period you enjoy reading or writing about?
Most of my stories take place in the 1920s. There’s a few reasons for that. It’s a really interesting era. On the one hand, you have the rise of radio as mass media, the Prohibition experiment, and women’s suffrage. On the other hand, you have the blight of the Klan, Tommy gun toting gangsters, and geopolitical upheaval. It’s the age of Lovecraft, Ford, Houdini, and Rockefeller. There are a lot of really colorful ideas to play with that are still relevant today.
What are you working on now?
In the near future, I’ll be appearing in Attack! of the B-Movie Monsters: Alien Encounters. I also have a story in the original B-Movie Monster anthology, Night of Gigantis, which you can buy right now. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but along with History and Horror, Oh My!, it’s pretty much the pinnacle of all western literature.
Read Jonah Buck's story for Yourself!
History and Horror, Oh My! is now available in ebook formats on Smashwords and in print and Kindle formats on Amazon.