Interview with Chance Raymond

How many books have you written?
One short story, BLACK LAB, and one long short story, (or documentary), DEATH AND DIARY OF FRAZIER PAINE. The life story of RUSSELL POND is in three novellas: NIGHTMARE, TOWN AND COUNTRY, and ALLEGORY, which covers the character's insanity at ages eighteen and nineteen. Each novella is a story in its own right and can be enjoyed separately; when the reader chooses to tackle the ALLEGORY, they can connect the dots to a complex network of information and become convinced they have worked out the puzzles and solved the mysteries.
What is the story behind your latest book?
NIGHTMARE... TOWN AND COUNTRY… and ALLEGORY is the life story of RUSSELL POND. It ends with him inside a grave he digs in his front yard at age nineteen. It fairly begins when his personality splits at infancy because he mistakes his fathers chest for his mother's breast and tries to breast feed. Thus emerges an ongoing conflict between a confused but otherwise normal child in his early years. But by age ten, two more personalities develop, one being the Sleep Walker, and one being the alleged "killer child" referred to sometimes as Ice Pick , or Shank. One theme in the story is perceiving some of the causes and reasons his schizophrenia develops as it does. But there is also a violent plot against his life. His grandfather's motive being racial prejudice, although the book doesn't reveal the child's race. Other haters want to steal his inheritance, and his more powerful enemies, the Factory, fear he may not cooperate with their scams, or will possibly even expose their crimes. Then too there are over five other murders in the story. The narrative also challenges hypocrisy, corporate greed, socio-economic class distinctions, police brutality, crooked politics, etc and etc and etc, but as a comedy, without being riotous. The story isn't designed to attack society or the establishment, but as seen through the eyes of one confused teenager, "coming into own", but then suddenly handicapped by a suspicious serious head injury… Some of the story revolves around what the child saw through a white linen curtain over his bed window that later relates to an imaginary writing spider in a huge web he peers through in his teenage insanity. Some of the story is linked to a coloring book his mother drew that maps out the puzzle and destiny of the character, Russell Pond.
Does the schizophrenic character have hallucinations or is he playing in his imagination?
[It is important to understand that Russell Pond does not see visions or have hallucinations but plays in his shell and sees himself in his fantasies. As with music videos, some people exaggerate and pretend to be inside their daydreams as they listen to their favorite lyrics put to melody. Any parts of his creations which seem to some as spiritistic or occult in nature are strictly psychological with no exceptions. The writing spider is as imaginary as the curtain and isn’t an omen but [subconscious rationale]. It is not uncommon for a person who is sleeping to create a problem in their dream and work out a solution. Russell Pond admits the writing spider is not real and that his dead mother is unconscious and lifeless in her grave. He struggles through memories to identify a danger his mother warned him was coming by pretending a writing spider is trying to tell him something inside the grids of a linen curtain. After a series of mysterious head injuries in his childhood and adolescence, he becomes immersed in fantasy, and unprepared to face the lurking forces which have their own hidden motive to destroy him. Similarly, the three birds and the snake are not hallucinatory but are things imagined...Although conditions like death, places like the grave, and things like darkness, the moon, snakes, spiders, etc. in word usage is often reasonably descriptive of the darker, tragic, creepy side of life, and is appropriate and actually necessary in truthful context, and also entertaining, such stigma is by far not the rule, and neither is it dominant in honest, accurate, modern and ancient writings, or in general or traditional, socially acceptable writings and speech. Similarly, every language labels various words as slang and sets aside other common words in use as socially unacceptable. Otherwise we’d all be possessed and prejudiced instead of the lesser situation of being affected and influenced by the environment of life we share and know. The moon, darkness, spiders and snakes, etc. all serve a natural purpose and there is no logical reason for anyone who has seen a dead body to fear the dead, but the actual reason to be frightened is because death is the opposite of life. Since fear does not entirely shape our lives or mold our hope for the future, why should we let past ages yet employ superstitions and sensational fears which came to us through myths, philosophies, false doctrines and teachings of spooked, religious denominations, horror stories, and so forth? Such obvious misunderstandings seem to yet copyright literature and stunt how we sort, read, write, and understand it. Further, many people even think the common definition of words such as black and white, night and day, dark and light, excuses them to form national and racial prejudices, and even teach lies about so called Divine curses, justify various hatreds, and so on. The story does not follow that pattern.]
Published 2016-07-23.
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