Our TRANSCENDENT Authors: a Featured Interview with Goathead “Craig A.” Buckley

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In our new author series, we’ll be offering a clairvoyant peek behind the veil of who and what makes up TRANSCENDENT. Here’s a glimpse at Goathead “Craig A.” Buckley and his story “The Shivering Branch.”



What inspired your story?

On the morning of my wedding, I went off into the woods to bury a dried up coyote corpse that we found in the barn where our reception was to take place. Got me thinking about digging holes on the old family farm; finding some secrets and burying others.

Did you have to do any research? If so, what kind? What did you learn?

Research into the subject of haunted land and the weird ones that walk this world has been largely experiential: the long stare hashishin gaze into the woods at the gloaming, walking, walking, walking, drinking water out of streams and thinking about how power moves across the land and whose voice follows in its wake.

Can you tell me a little bit about your protagonist?

Nameless, formless as she speaks, but speaks of a manifestation of her flesh that appeared in the bad old times when women were used as farm tools and livestock both. She’s one of the weird ones herself, waking into her own and attempting to escape her meat bonds only to discover that meat and spirit are not so easily separated. 

Tell me about the setting you chose and how it influences your work.

My wife’s family owns a farm on the banks of the Ohio overlooking the river and onward over the hills of Kentucky. It has lain fallow for some years and is mostly used for a hunting ground and a place to take kids to let them roam wild. We camp there often. I wander the woods and fields. It feels like an old place. A weird place. It isn’t far from the Serpent Mound of ancient design and my wife has seen UFOs on the land.

What would you like readers to take away from your story?

This world is made of more than the human detritus of modern existence. It is a stranger place than what our senses tells us. Sometimes, we can get a glimpse, a whisper of these other forms of existence. And who the hell knows what we can learn when our minds are let loose down these strange paths.

Which phrase are you most proud of in this story?

“…two-stepping with my shadow until its arms got too long and tangled up in the branches of the trees overhead.”

If your story was front-page news, what would the headline be?

Witchcraft, psychic emanations, mayhem! Remains of strange murder conspiracy uncovered on local farm.




If you had to put your name on someone else’s book/story, which would it be and why?

The Accomplice Series by Steve Aylett. It is the funniest, weirdest book and Aylett is a master of prose. Not a boring sentence in the whole thing.

When did you decide to take writing seriously?

In my early 20’s. I was already a bibliophile with a degree in “how to write like everybody else.” Sometime shortly after college, I decided to write like myself. I am still learning.

If you could choose a single superpower, what would it be and why?

I would polymorph into a great, boogery blob and just roll around town, minding my business, able at any moment to return to human form. See how it goes. Probably get shot a lot, but I’d just blob back together and be just a little shaken by the whole thing. Why? Why, for the fun of it, why not?



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Goathead “Craig A.” Buckley is an author of the weird. Whether that takes him in the direction of horror, SF, bizarro, or surrealistic meanderings down the twisty bits of the mind seems to be contingent on the whim of a silver leaf praying to the moon for annihilation. He has been published on various outlets of the weird in cyberspace. This is the first manifestation of his thought in the meatspace of officialdom. Buckley lives in Cincinnati.


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