CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Damien (Man, Fuck This House by Brian Asman)

Sabrina Haskins and her family have just moved into their dream house, a gorgeous Craftsman in the rapidly-growing Southwestern city of Jackson Hill. Sabrina’s bored and disillusioned homemaker, Hal, is a reverse mortgage salesman with a penchant for ill-timed sports analogies. Their two children, Damien and Michaela, are bright and precocious.

At first glance, the house is perfect. But things aren’t what they seem.

Sabrina’s hearing odd noises, seeing strange visions. Their neighbors are odd or absent. And Sabrina’s already-fraught relationship with her son is about to be tested in a way no parent could ever imagine. Because while the Haskins family might be the newest owner of 4596 James Circle, they’re far from its only residents…

Meghan: Hey, Damien. Thank you for joining us here today. What is one word you would use to define yourself?

Damien: Genius.

Meghan: Do you see yourself as the “good guy” or the “bad guy”?

Damien: Good and evil are crutches midwits lean on to understand the world around them, this question is irrelevant.

Meghan: What does the plot require you to be? How does this requirement limit you?

Damien: The plot requires me to be smarter than everyone else in my idiotic family. That’s not a limitation, it’s just reality. Although some people have told me I’m a sort of meta commentary on the way children are portrayed in horror, like how Danny in The Shining is supposedly five years old but thinks like a forty-year-old man.

Meghan: What is your quest?,

Damien: To make my mother suffer for giving birth to me, duh.

Meghan: What do you hope to accomplish, find, or become during the course of your book?

Damien: Well, I really want to break Sabrina’s brain. Like totally destroy her mind. She’s always been weird and cold to me, and I didn’t ask to be born, now did I? So anything I do is completely justified.

Oh, and I totally want to win a Fortnite World Cup.

Meghan: What do you like about the other main characters? What do you least like about the other main characters?

Damien: My sister Michaela’s all right, I suppose. My dad Hal is essentially what would happen if the color beige became sentient. And I think I’ve already made my feelings clear vis a vis my mother, Sabrina.

Meghan: When was the last time you lied What made you do it?

Damien: In a way, you could say my entire existence is a lie. The face I present to the world is much different than who I actually am. But it’s a necessity—I can’t have my mother finding out she gave birth to a normal child and not a literal hellspawn!

Meghan: Who have you betrayed lately? What happened?

Damien: I’d much rather talk about my sister, Michaela, betraying me!

Meghan: Would you say that you are an optimist or a pessimist?

Damien: I’d say I’m someone who abhors a reductive worldview. Next question!

Meghan: What is your superpower?

Damien: I’m incredibly smart. Definitely much smarter than the rest of my family, or anyone else I’ve ever met.

Meghan: What is your biggest secret?

Damien: Tie between my love of Fortnite and my Spongebob pajamas.

Meghan: Do you live in the right world? How necessary are you to your world?

Damien: No, I don’t live in the right world. That’s why I’m so determined to remake it in my own image! KNEEL BEFORE ZOD! Er, I mean “Damien.”

Meghan: What is your role in this setting? Are you okay with this role or would you like it to change?

Damien: Ahem. See previous question.

Meghan: Did you turn out the way you expected?

Damien: At ten years old, I’m still turning out. But yes, I fully expect to be a revered genius and be showered with awards and praise for my incredible accomplishments.

Meghan: What, if anything, would you change about your life?

Damien: Not to be born into a family of imbeciles! Why could’ve I have been Elon Musk’s child? I’d rather be 3×56~8+ or something than “Damien Haskins.”

Meghan: How do you feel about your author?

Damien: Complete hack.

Meghan: If the two of you got together for coffee, what would you want to say to them?

Damien: I’m a child, I don’t drink coffee. I’d probably read him the riot act about the climax of the book, though. I would never say some of the things he put in my mouth!

Boo-graphy: Brian Asman is a writer, actor, director, and producer from San Diego, CA. He’s the author of the hit indie novella Man, Fuck This House (recently optioned by a major streaming service). His other books include I’m Not Supposed to Be Here Today from Eraserhead Press and Neo Arcana, Nunchuck City, and Jailbroke from Mutated Media, as well as the recently released Return of the Living Elves. He’s recently published short stories in Pulp Modern, Kelp, Welcome to the Splatter Club, and Lost Films, and comics in Tales of Horrorgasm.

A film he co-wrote and produced, A Haunting in Ravenwood, is available now on DVD and VOD. His short Reel Trouble won Best Short Film at Gen Con 2022 and Best Horror Short at the Indie Gathering, and is currently schedule to screen at several other festivals.

Brian holds an MFA from UCR-Palm Desert. He’s represented by Dunham Literary, Inc. Max Booth III is his hype man.

Find him on social media (@thebrianasman) or his website.

Man, Fuck This House
Sabrina Haskins and her family have just moved into their dream home, a gorgeous Craftsman in the rapidly-growing Southwestern city of Jackson Hill. Sabrina’s a bored and disillusioned home-maker, Hal a reverse mortgage salesman with a penchant for ill-timed sports analogies. Their two children, Damien and Michaela, are bright and precocious.

At first glance, the house is perfect. But things aren’t what they seem.

Sabrina’s hearing odd noises, seeing strange visions. Their neighbors are odd or absent. And Sabrina’s already-fraught relationship with her son is about to be tested in a way no parent could ever imagine.

Because while the Haskins family might be the newest owners of 4596 James Circle, they’re far from its only residents…

Return of the Living Elves
When Christmas supply warehouse manager Jimmy tries to help new employee Tommy find a last-minute gift for his girlfriend, they accidentally unleash a long-forgotten and very seasonal genetic experiment with a taste for human flesh. As elf-zombie hybrids take over the small town of Pine Canyon, California, Jimmy fights to survive alongside a Christpunk named Landfill, and a mysterious, PTSD-stricken soldier. Hold onto your stockings because the goddamn elves are back, baby!

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