Q: I read that the characters and stories in The Bedlam Bible books are based on real people/events. Is this true? If so, where are these people now?
A: Well, yes and no. Each story has true elements sprinkled throughout, but of course it’s been bent, stretched, and skewed. The end result is nearly totally different than the real life story that inspired it.
As for the folks who inspired it, yes, all of these characters are based on people I know/have known. Almost always, though, a single character is based on the personalities of two or more real people and blended into some new person.
Where are they now? Many of them live in the Ashland, KY or surrounding areas (where I spent my teen years), some of them are family, some are friends. Many of them are good people, but over the years they’ve failed in keeping their minds healthy. Some are so far gone they seem like mutants. At least three of them are actual monsters.
Q: Why is this series called The Bedlam Bible?
A: Initially, my goal was to write a short story collection that focused on people struggling with their own mental health. I thought of the many stories I had brewing within, several dozen at least, and realized the book would have to be Bible-sized to contain them all. After realizing I was writing a Bible of sorts, the ‘bedlam’ part manifested naturally and almost immediately. Bedlam is defined as “complete disorder and confusion” and also as “an institution for the mentally ill.” I find my stories fit both definitions to a T.
Q: What are the insects chanting in Hearers of the Constant Hum? What does it mean?
A: The bugs are chanting, “Ashok burn right hand of men. To Neptune, rebirth in blue fire.” If you’ve read the book, then of course you already know that, however if you’re still wondering what it means, then I wonder how closely you paid attention.
Look, there’s no direct translation for these words. That’s not the point. They weren’t written to explain the meaning of life… they weren’t written to warn us of some oncoming danger… they ARE the danger! The focus of the entire book is “progress,” and it challenges the reader to to think of all the things we’ve lost along this road of so-called progress.
The book is very forward in its message. We know the danger of progress. At some point our curiosity will get the best of us. Some things are better left unexplained, especially if there’s danger within it. That’s the point. The insect message is the next step in our evolution, it is what causes us to become the post-human. Why pursue it? Is this progress worth what we will lose?
If you’re upset that you weren’t given a direct explanation of the insect message by the end of the book, then you’re just proving my point. You’ve been warned of the dangers contained within it. You’ve seen what it does to people. You’ve seen what it could potentially do to the human race at large. Yet there you are, determined to figure it out. Through this incessant quest for knowledge, humans will bring about their own extinction.
Q: I have heard that the short stories, for example “The Mermaid’s Gallows”, are a part of Automated Daydreaming. Does that mean they appear in the novel as chapters, or is it still worth reading the short stories if you have read the novel?
A: The short stories have been altered slightly in order to fit the narrative of Automated Daydreaming, however not so much that most would even notice. For example, Demolition Ya Ya as a stand-alone piece is presented in 29 chapters. Automated Daydreaming’s version of DYY is 30 chapters, and that final chapter exists only to shed light on Bricker’s and Gordon’s role within it. If you’ve read Automated Daydreaming, then it really isn’t necessary to read the stand-alone versions of the individual stories. With that said, if you’ve read the stand-alone stories, but have not read Automated Daydreaming, then I would suggest reading the novel. These stories were all written as hallucinations/dreams of Bricker Cablejuice has he undergoes this wild experiment. Reading them on their own is perfectly fine, however you’ll be missing out on the real story they’re all telling.
Q: What’s the deal with the Light Creep character in The Astronaut Dream Book? Will we be seeing more of him later on in the [Bedlam Bible] series?
A: The light creep is haunting the Eighth Block Tower and yes, we’ll see more of him in Book 5: The Ballad of Old Joe Booth. I really can’t wait to share his story with you all, but I have to finish up Book 4 first!
Q: How many books of The Bedlam Bible will there be?
A: Seven in total. 1—The Tower, 2—White Fuzz, 3—The Astronaut Dream Book, 4—Fight Tub, 5—The Ballad of Old Joe Booth, 6—Holus Bolus, 7—12 Residents Dreaming
It’s my goal to have Book 4 and Book 5 published later this year.
Q: What is wrong with you, son?
A: I don’t know. Whatever it is, it’s getting worse with time.
***Thank you all for sending in your questions! If I missed yours somehow, let me know and I’ll get back with you.***