This week we are chatting to Cody Sexton, the man behind the excellent Anxiety Press. Thanks Cody for indulging our curiosity.
PNM: When did you start A Thin Slice of Anxiety?
PA: Technically I’ve owned the site for about four years now. It started out strictly as a book review
site, but then, a little over a year ago, I decided to transition it over into a literary magazine of
PNM: What was the initial reason for developing a literary magazine?
AP: I suppose the reason stems from the desire to do all of those things that people who start
magazines all seem to get to do, things that I was always denied. Growing up I longed to engage
in the many things that would elevate my own level of sophistication. Back home the closest
thing to a “literary journal” I had access to was my father’s subscription to the now defunct
magazine: Premiere. (Although occasionally I would sometimes come across a few discarded
copies of BookPage at GoodWill).
Still, I was in high school before I was ever introduced to a “proper” literary magazine: The New
Yorker. (A diamond in the rough for a kid from Appalachia). It spoke to me in a way I still
haven’t been able to articulate. It was sophisticated. It was thoughtful. Full of worldly
perspective. And I admired it for the way that it made me feel as I held it and considered
everything it had to offer, but not necessarily when I read it. I had never before been exposed to
this type of writing and because of this I became even more obsessed with it and others like it.
PNM: And what are you looking for in subs?
AP: Really I’m just looking for authentic perspectives. I’m looking for writers brave enough to guide us into places of amalgamation, where the unplumbed depths of the known are made and unmade. Encouraging us to explore the amaranthine abyss and ruthless shadowlands which make up the human condition.
PNM: You also have a regular podcast, how would you advertise it in a few words?
AP: A shit show from the demented minds of three of the webs most vociferous miscreants. Where we discuss literature, the ever collapsing state of western civilization, and shit talking until we get bored.
PNM: You recently broadened your team, tell us about your masthead?
AP: I was very lucky to acquire the talent of Courtenay Gray as our assistant editor and Sebastian
Vice as a regular columnist with: Notes of a Degenerate Dreamer, which has been described as
a: “nihilists version of It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Courtenay is an extremely talented writer who captured my attention early on. It’s rare you come
across a talent like hers, especially in someone so young.
Sebastian is someone I deeply respect the hell out of. Not just a brilliant talent himself, but a very
genuine and passionate individual who loves the community we all share. And I tell him this all
the time, but he’s probably the greatest hype man in the biz.
I was incredibly fortunate to be able to bring both of them on board.
PNM: You’re also a press with some books out already and a few more to come in 2022, can you
tell us about them?
AP: Sure. First up we have: Something Happened at 2am by B F Jones, released February 18th. I’m a big fan of
flash-fiction. And Something Happened is executed perfectly, offering the reader a different experience of prose altogether.
We also have two poetry collections:
Screw Factory by Edward Anki, which is coming out March 15th and deals realistically with the
seeming impenetrability of modern life.
Homo Mortalis by Sebastian Vice, which we haven’t yet set a date for, but will be coming out
sometime within the next few weeks, and is a deeply personal collection of autobiographical and
And we also have our first anthology coming out this spring: Anxious Nothings Vol. 1, which we
hope will be an annual print journal focusing on disreputable storytelling, written by and for
disturbed sweethearts, dipshits, degenerates, miscreants, decadent depraved reprobates,
rumormongers and gloryhole habitués of all demographics.
We have several other books in the works, dates have yet to be announced.
All the current Anxiety Press books can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/shop/athinsliceof
PNM: You’re a writer yourself, tell us about your books and writing process
AP: I have written three books over the past three years:
American Bullshit: Essays at the Margins, which is basically a manifesto of sorts. In it I take apart and critique every capitalist/American ideal I can. Ideals people hold dear. Why? Because fuck em’ that’s why.
All the Sweet Prettiness of Life, which is an epistolary novel written from the perspective of a man at the end of his life chronicling his experiences over the course of one summer during his youth.
Then there’s Too Many Things Came to Nothing, which is a memoir told in essay’s and stories.
As far as my process is concerned it’s sort of all over the place. With my schedule being what it
is and subject to change at any moment, I tend to write wherever and whenever. I actually do a
lot of my writing on my cell phone believe it or not. Evernote is great for that.
I try to make the editing portion of my routine much more regimented, which to me is where the real writing takes place anyway.
PNM: You mix memoirs and fiction in Too Many Things Came to Nothing what prompted you to go for this hybrid format?
AP: The decision really just came down to theme. If you read the book it’s something you’ll immediately notice. The essays and stories all share the same theme; mainly loss.
I also wanted to keep the reading experience fresh and not stale. And I’m all about upending
expectations, so I think it works.
PNM: Desert island question: top 3 books?
AP: Pet Sematary by Stephen King, still one of my top favorite novels and one of the first novels I
The Dwarf by Pär Lagerkvist, which is a brilliant literary representation of the human ego.
And then probably: The Elements of Moral Philosophy by James Rachels. This was a book
which sort of set me on fire with Philosophy. Haven’t looked back since.
I’m sure if you were to ask me this question next year however, the list would change.
PNM: And what’s on your TBR?
AP: Kill all Normies by Angela Nagle
Canceling Comedians While the World Burns: A Critique Of The Contemporary Left by Ben
The Columbine Pilgrim by Andy Nowicki
Donnybrook by Frank Bill
And then a couple of biographies which is a genre I’ve been enthralled with recently.
The tyranny of my TBR never ends.
PNM: Favourite band?
AP: NIN. I’m a big fan of Trent Reznor. His influence/music really helped me tap into a secret
storehouse of aggression that I carried around with me as a kid, helping me control that energy in
a way. Plus their music just fucking rocks!
Cody Sexton is the Managing Editor for A Thin Slice of Anxiety and founder of Anxiety Press.
His is also the author of American Bullshit: Essays at the Margins, All the Sweet Prettiness of
Life, and Too Many Things Came to Nothing