Chuck Palahniuk, author of “Fight Club,” is best known for his violent, at times nihilistic novels. But in a CBS profile, he shared his love for the Christmas holiday. Palahniuk took the network with him as he strung up lights on the forested land of his Portland, Oregon property.
“Every year there’s more of them, but the circuit breakers can only handle so much,” Palahniuk told CBS’s Christina Ruffini.
He also set up elaborate Christmas gates, covered with giant glowing winter snowflakes and other holiday lights.
In his Substack newsletter Saturday, Palahniuk shared a text Ruffini sent him Friday: “Dear Chuck — the CBS News investigation into your Christmas display — and also some stuff about your writing — will air tomorrow in the second hour of CBS Saturday Morning.”
She quipped, “If you hate it … well … I’m very far away and hard to murder. Many have tried. Best, Ruffini.”
During the segment, Palahniuk also visited the Los Angeles Theatre with Ruffini, showing off remnants of the “Fight Club” scenes filmed there and discussing his time as a movie theater projectionist. According to Palahniuk, he still has nightmares about missing the moment he was supposed to switch film reels.
When it comes to writing, Palahniuk said that he keeps his work fun by finding “a line that you’re terrified of crossing, and you cross it anyway.”
The author’s connection with the macabre may have started when he was young. He volunteered as an orderly with a local Washington state hospital when he was 13 years old.
“I loved cleaning operating rooms,” Palahniuk said. “It sounds very Jeffrey Dahmer, but I was so fascinated by all of these things.”
Palahniuk initially studied journalism before deciding to focus on fiction, but his intense stylings didn’t go over well with a writers’ workshop he joined.
“The leader of the workshop said, ‘Chuck, people don’t feel safe with you anymore. You’ve got to find a different workshop,’” Palahniuk said.
Each of his stories starts as ideas dashed off in a notebook, often in the wee hours of the night, according to the writer.
“When I wake up at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, filled with that fantastic middle-of-the-night anxiety,” Palahniuk said, “I funnel all of that angst into whatever the crisis is for the character.”
You can find more of that angst in Chuck Palahniuk’s new book “Not Forever, But For Now,” available in stores. It’s a combination of the British cozy mystery genre with a story about addiction, he notes.