As a child growing up in the South with cerebral palsy, Benji Carr developed an eye for the bizarre and quirky, which provided all of the stories he told his friends and family with a bit of flavor. Working as a journalist, storyteller and playwright, his work – whether the stories be personal tales of struggle and survival or fiction about cannibal lunch ladies, puppet romances, drag queen funerals, and perverted killer circus clowns – has been featured in The Guardian, ArtsATL and Pembroke Magazine. Onstage, his pieces have been presented at the Center for Puppetry Arts, Alliance Theatre, and as part of the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival in Manhattan. He lives in Atlanta and helps run the online literary magazine, Gutwrench Journal.
IMPACTED is his first novel.
What’s new and exciting in your life as an author?
IMPACTED came out over the summer, and it’s been doing pretty well. I have a story called “Marthasville” coming out in the Georgia Gothic anthology this year. Blood Bound Books published my story “Nougat” after I performed it at KillerCon.
What is your connection to the American South?
I grew up in Buford, and I live in Atlanta. I’m a UGA grad and a member of the Phi Kappa Literary Society. And I’m a fan of the culture, its music and its literature.
How has that connection to the South informed your work as a writer?
I grew up around natural storytellers, the gossips and the smart alecks. In the South, the stories are all soaked in Baptist shame, which gives them a different, darker flavor. And there’s a touch of the wild in them. Even though I was a fairly dainty kid, I still have stories of running through kudzu, getting poison ivy, getting run over by a Big Wheel and accidentally burning my face on an electric fence. There are a million different layers in every story, from the tacky to the genteel.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I’m trying to write another book for my publishers at The Story Plant.