This is the first of several giveaway posts meant to celebrate the second anniversary of my website and share the things I’ve been focused on this past year.
I have a ton of strange special interests.
For the past six or seven months, one of my most obnoxious interests has been cannibalism in fiction and nature. Normally, I’m a big baby. I can’t watch most horror movies and only made it three episodes into the Hannibal series before I had to turn it off. I don’t do body horror.
But then, I had two back to back hits with fictional cannibals and hello new conversation topic that made the people around me incredibly uncomfortable.
First, there was Cassandra Khaw’s incredible 2015 novella Rupert Wong: Cannibal Chef (a bit of a misnomer because he’s cooking people for ghouls, not himself but I LOVE the title).
Look, that was the book that made me a Cass Khaw fan before I got to know her and realize that she’s super sweet on top of having a delightfully dark mind. (Now I’m a lifelong fan!!) Cass has some of the most vivid writing and when applied to describing a character butchering and cooking humans for his ghoulish bosses, it’s truly an experience that I didn’t expect to have!
Then I got into Tokyo Ghoul.
I swear that everyone in my department at school regrets the day I stumbled across the anime on Hulu and proceeded to watch the first season on repeat for like the next month before powering through the first manga series.
It was entirely my thing. I loved (most of) the characters, the way the fight scenes and other violent moments were rendered, and the fact that I wound up with questions about things like well… how being a ghoul would work.
In the series, ghouls can only eat food made 100% from humans so I had a lot of questions about how that would work and I was beyond obnoxious about it.
Despite the fact that I normally can’t stomach body horror or incredible gore, I literally could not stop talking about cannibalism in those two series. I had questions and thoughts about ethics/economics of cannibalism, people cheese, and bone bread.
It was well… pretty gross. I’ll admit it. I hyper fixated like nobody’s business for a while and it even became a running joke that if you needed an “expert” on cannibalism in the department (for whatever reason), it’d be me.
I’ve had strange special interests before. I was a criminal justice major before I switched to history for my first two degrees and my god if I told you all the things I fixated on during my undergrad period, y’all probably wouldn’t know what to do with me.
I’ve had an Ancient Egyptian phase, way too much of an interest in the workings of 1920s politics, and an early focus on horrible unexplained deaths spurred by a sixth grade reading textbook that my middle school probably shouldn’t have let us read. This new special interest – fueled by Cassandra Khaw’s gorgeously gory writing and the messy messy drama that is Tokyo Ghoul –is just one in a long line of weird things I’ve got an interest in writing/reading about.
Now I’m nosy and would love to hear about the strange shit that you lovely people have fixated on over the years. So, respond to this post with a comment about one of your strange special interests (past or present) for a chance to win Kindle copies of Bill Schutt’s Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History and Cassandra Khaw’s Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef.
One person will win, but hopefully, we’ll all be entertained in the process!
(Giveaway is open to anyone with an Amazon account. This should work for folks that have an Amazon account regardless of where it’s from. Winner will be contacted via email the following Monday so make sure you leave a correct email address when you leave your comment. Comments are moderated but I’ll approve them promptly!)