An Interview with Frank Cavallo

Published June 11, 2017 by MommaCat

FrankCavallo

 

Welcome to Cat After Dark, Frank! It’s so nice to meet you. I’m glad that you were able to take time out of your schedule to let us get to know you a little bit better.

Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here!

Are you a full time writer or do you hold down a regular job as well?

In my non-writing life I’m a lawyer. I’ve been at that for about 16 years now, all on the defense side. Initially I worked in juvenile court and then for the last ten-plus years I’ve been trying cases exclusively in felony court, what we call the Court of Common Pleas here in Ohio. Recently I started handling an appellate case load. That’s mostly brief-writing, so I’m still writing even in my non-writing time.

What are you working on now?  What does your publishing schedule look like for the future?

I usually balk at answering this question. The only time I ever discussed an active, unfinished project in an interview it later fell apart.

However, in this case I am legitimately between books, so I really don’t have anything to reveal–or to worry about jinxing. I’ve got three or four ideas sitting on my desk, in various stages of outlining. Some are just sketches. Eventually one of them will pick up steam and I’ll run with it.

What are some of the things you enjoy doing when you’re not working? And how would you spend your time if there were no restrictions in place – either time or dollar-wise?

I love to travel, that’s probably my one great passion after writing. At last count I’ve visited just over 40 countries, and I’m always trying to add to the list. 

If I had as much money and time as I wanted, that’s all I’d do. I would write for a few months non-stop, then take a month or two off to fly to some far-flung spot, backpack around, sample odd food, tour ancient ruins, look at exotic wildlife, etc.

countries

Pick a country…any country..,

When did you first start telling stories? Do you remember your first story?

I do! I was in the third grade. It was Halloween and I wrote a monster story for class, I believe it was a Dracula story (but it might have been a werewolf story, I’m not sure which one I did first, but I know I did versions of both). Anyway, the other kids passed it around and seemed to like it, so I wrote a few more. I’ve been doing it ever since. 

If you could spend the evening having drinks with any one person from history, who would you choose and why? Language is not a problem.

I’m not believer in any particular religion, so none of the standard answers of Jesus, Buddha, etc. have much appeal to me. Second, my tangential relationship to government in my work-life leads me to believe that most political figures, however great their achievements or bold their leadership, are essentially cut from the same cloth. Most are willing to lie or cheat to get to those positions, and probably have to be that way in order to succeed. So I’m not interested in meeting any of them, even the great ones.

That leaves artists, thinkers, philosophers, maybe military types. Not much interest in the latter bunch, but I do think Leonardo, Shakespeare or Einstein would be on the list. However, if I had to pick one and only one, I’m leaning in a different direction. What I’d probably do is pick a fairly random, otherwise-anonymous person and find out everything I could about him or her.

I’ll give you my reasons, briefly. A few years ago I was at the Topkapi palace museum in Istanbul. There’s a section there with grave markers from the Roman era, going all the way back to the days of the East/West split of the Empire. The engravings are haunting, not because they’re unusual, but because they’re so mundane. They’re just like what we write now, two-thousand years later. People missed their parents. They mourned their spouses or their children who died too young, etc. Except for these markers, these people are completely unknown, unremembered and lost forever.

There are literally billions of people who have lived and died over the ages and we know virtually nothing about them. Not only are their names lost, but everything about them: what they cared about, who they loved, what they dreamt about, what they thought the world they were giving to their children would look like. I want to sit down with one of them. I want to find out all of those things from someone that history has forgotten.

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Would you go on Dancing with the Stars if given the opportunity?

No, never. Absolutely not. I don’t care what they pay. There isn’t enough money in the world to get me to do that. I hate dancing.

What are your three favorite books? And what are you reading now?

Seriously tough question!

1) Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Conqueror” (originally titled “The Hour of the Dragon”) is the first book I really fell in love with. I bought it as a used paperback for five cents at my local library sometime in middle school and read it repeatedly until it nearly fell apart.

2) Frank Herbert’s “Dune” I read one summer in high school, and it opened my eyes to what SciFi can be. It was huge and epic and tackled real, heavy issues. It showed me that speculative fiction could be so much more than spaceships and laser fights.

Dune

3) Super close call on #3 but I’m going to go with Clive Barker’s “The Hellbound Heart.” It’s the first book I read as an adult that just knocked me over and made me say “wow, I wish I could do that.”(Honorable mention here goes to Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere.” These two books are so close that if you asked me on another day, in a different mood, I might very well have reversed the order.

Right now I’m reading Mary Beard’s “SPQR” which is a study of the early days of the Roman Republic, the centuries before Caesar that set the stage for what Rome eventually became. I switch off between fiction and non-fiction, and try to read a little of both.

Beard

You just invented a magic portal. Anyone who passed though the portal would be ‘unexisted’. So they would not be missed and life would work itself out. You can send three people through the portal. Who will you send? Why?

That’s another tough one. It’s uncomfortably close to “who would you kill if you could get away with it?” Given my job, I’d be loath to wade into those waters. If I want to be consistent that I am against the use of the death penalty for anyone, no matter the offense, then I can’t in good conscience say that I think I possess the wisdom to use it “properly” if it were left up to my judgment. So I’ll have to abstain on this one.

If you could choose one time and place in history to visit for a day, where would it be and what would you do?

If we’re talking about the entire history of the Earth, then I’d probably visit one day before the Chicxulub impact about 65 million years ago. Take in the last day of the dinosaurs.

What would your death row meal consist of?

A large “Number 8” with everything from Nick’s Pizzeria in Bergenfield, New Jersey. It’s the best sandwich I’ve ever had, anywhere. I’ve literally dreamed about this hero before trips back home to visit. Ham, Genoa salami, capicola, prosciuttini, provolone, lettuce, tomato and onion with oil and vinegar on fresh-baked Italian bread. It is as close to a perfect sandwich as mankind will ever get.

NicksSandwich

How would you like the world to remember you?

I read an obituary recently in which they said the deceased had been “generous and kind to small children and animals.” I can’t imagine being remembered any better than that.

Amazon author page

CavalloBooks
Frank’s website

Twitter

Facebook 

Are you looking for something a little different to read?  Frank’s newest book, published just this past December is probably just what you’re craving. RITES OF AZATHOTH is a well thought out, super descriptive FBI thriller by way of Lovecraftian science fiction epic. Wow! It was a good storyline and if it seemed a little long in the beginning, I got over that once the story got started and I was invested in the plot, I read straight through to the end in with just one sleep break.

Available at Amazon.com

 

RitesofAzathoth

Thank you for an excellent interview, Frank.  You sound like a fascinating person for whom one interview is not nearly enough!  Thanks so much!

 

An Interview with Stuart R. West

Published April 30, 2017 by MommaCat

stuartwest

 

Please tell us about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

Hey, MommaCat, thanks for letting me yak away on your blog. Demon with a Comb-Over has just been released (it’d been out earlier, but the publisher went under) with a new prequel along for the ride. It’s a (pseudo-autobiographical) tale about a crappy stand-up comedian (that part is true; well, I at least bombed on open-mic night) who ticks off a demon with a comb-over (that part’s not so true).

Dread and Breakfast was released last month. It’s a terrifying (oddly amusing) tale about a bunch of people stranded at the world’s worst bed & breakfast during a Midwest winter storm. It plays heavily on my fear of guys named “Kevin” who constantly shove muffins at you at such places. And it proves the old axiom: fear antiquing.

I’m wrapping up a horror short story collection, starting a new thriller called “Chili Run,” and will soon dig into my third Zak and Zora mystery (the series about a vapid male stripper and his very put upon, no-nonsense detective sister).

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

Depends on what day you ask me, MommaCat. Hmm. Dick and Jane books. Elmore Leonard. Dr. Seuss. Chuck Dickens. Stephen King. Donald Westlake. John Farris.

Who would you like to have drinks with?

The above-mentioned writers would be a hoot-and-a-half to tie one on with at a round table drinkathon.

Maybe Trump. So I could get him liquored up, ruffle his awful hair and say, “Okay, Don…what’s REALLY going on? You’re joking, right?”

If you could live in (or just visit) any world, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

I’d say Willy Wonka’s factory. But now we’re being lead by an orange Oompa-Loompa, so that’s not fantastical enough. I definitely want to avoid Katniss’s world. My life expectancy kinda’ plummets there. Perhaps I’d like to live in Stars Hollow. Yeah. Everything there is cute and whimsical.

Most authors have held many many jobs on their way to becoming successful. What are some of the jobs you have had?

I did have a devastating, very short run as a stand-up comedian. But I euthanized that deal and everyone owes me a huge thanks for it.

For several years, I worked at a public relations firm where my duties included driving Whizzo the clown around town while he chain-smoked and hawked loogies out the window (he couldn’t drive because of his huge clown feet). I also got to see Dr. Joyce Brothers in her underwear (public relations is a dangerous and ugly job at times).

Joyce Brothers

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

Again, I’ve gotta’ pull the Trump card. I’d call a press conference, say “Just kidding” and grab the nearest person to me and declare him/her president.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

Sorry, MommaCat, I never plan ahead. On anything. Writing or reading.

If you won a billion dollar Powerball all by yourself, what would you do after the check cleared? Would you say screw the bills and buy a solid gold kazoo? Or something else?

First, I’d buy a new house with certain requirements: swimming pool, Jacuzzi tub and theatre room. Then I’d toss some to charity and all that crap.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing or reading?

I love to watch terrible movies from the ‘60’s through the ‘80’s. The golden age of awful.

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Easy! Andy Kaufman, Adolf Hitler, Salvadore Dali, Charlie Sheen and Phyllis Diller.

How do you want the world to remember you?

With clean underwear please.

Boxers-vs-Briefs-title

 

STUARTDARKFICTION(1)

Demon with a Comb-OvRer (featuring The Book of Kobal) available in Kindle format and paperback.

Dread and Breakfast: Kindle and paperback.

Stuart R. West Blog: Twisted Tales from Tornado Alley

Amazon author page Facebook Twitter

I read DEMON WITH A COMBOVER way back in the wayback when it was published by Samhain.  You can find my review by clicking on the Random Reviews link on the right hand side of the page.  I probably should have asked Stuart for an interview then, but, nooo.  I had to wait for them to go out of business! All of his books are well written, and combine horror and humor.  That’s really hard to do.  But, when it works what you get is a fun read. Sometimes we want gore and scares, but sometimes it’s good to sit back and relax a laugh a little.  Stuart is a sure thing if that’s what you’re looking for.  Check out his books and see what you think.

An Interview with Glenn Rolfe

Published April 1, 2017 by MommaCat

glenn-rolfe-author-photo

Please tell us about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

I’m currently talking about my re-released pieces. My first novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS, the story of an evil-as-all-hell spirit that takes up residence at a small Maine inn and wreaks all sorts of havoc, has a new eBook edition from Matt Shaw Publications and a new, beautiful print edition from Shadow Work Publishing. Two of my Samhain Publishing novellas just came back out in new editions from Crossroad Press, too. ABRAM’S BRIDGE is a small town mystery/ghost story. Has more of a Ketchum vibe with real life horror at home. THINGS WE FEAR is probably my most ambitious novella in regards to how many issues I tried to tackle within its pages. Each character has their own fight with fear, and of course, it all comes together like one immense car crash. Those are available now.

My next new release will be my novel, BECOMING. I’m aiming to get it out for April 1st. 

This one is about a town where people are vanishing or changing. The stranger things get, the more trouble my three main characters realize they are truly in. Inspired by a mix of James A. Moore’s RABID GROWTH and King’s THE TOMMYKNOCKERS, I’m excited for people to read this one.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

For me, King, of course, and Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Bentley Little, and more recently Ronald Malfi and Brian Moreland.

I love the way King and Ketchum work horror into reality. That’s what makes them so huge. Little is just nuts and fun, Laymon had a way of bringing this insanity and viciousness into a pulpy, movie-like realm and keeping you at the edge of your seat. He got a bit ridiculous at times, but like the other, he was fearless in his writing.

Malfi and Moreland are the two authors I look at as my modern gold standard. To me, they’re head and shoulders above the rest right now. They should be publishing with the majors. They are my next King and Ketchum. Their writing is beautiful and characters and stories are fresh and inspiring.

Who would you like to have drinks with?

Well, I had a drink in my hand and a good buzz when talking to Jack Ketchum at a Samhain after-party…does that count?

That was cool. I’d love to have a beer and take in a Red Sox game with King. Can we get that arranged?

If you could live in (or just visit) any world, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

Man, I’d love to visit Australia. It seems so cool. I mean, besides all their freaky, poisonous critters. I’d consider moving to the west coast of the US, too. New Mexico, Arizona, or maybe Oregon or Northern California.

Most authors have held many many jobs on their way to becoming successful. What are some of the jobs you have had?

Too many. I loved delivering newspapers in the middle of the night. Did that for a long time for extra money. I’d listen to Coast to Coast AM and get all freaked out. Also worked at movie theaters a few times. Free movies is always a great benefit. My current hotel job allows for a lot of reading time during the day and writing time on my overnights.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

Axl Rose. I’d love to get up there with that voice and those songs, with Slash and Duff and just go for it.

AxlRose

What are you reading now?

I just started Stephen King’s IT and Michael McDowell’s THE ELEMENTALS. I’ve never read either of them. I’m already in reading heaven.

I’m also going to squeeze in Kristopher Rufty’s new one, SOMETHING VIOLENT.

Do you have any guilty pleasure books/authors? You know the ones…stuff you don’t let your friends see you reading.

Not really. I don’t care what people think. I can admit to enjoying Dan Brown, can’t I?

THE DAVINCI CODE is amazing. I don’t think “page turner” has ever been more appropriate.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing or reading?

Hang with my wife and kids and listen to tunes or watch movies.

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Stephen King, Bruce Springsteen, Noel Gallagher, Quentin Tarantino, Steve Irwin.

How do you want the world to remember you?

However they want, just remember me! I hope to leave a few great books behind.

He’s off to a great start!  This is one author you won’t soon forget.

Follow him on Twitter 

Facebook

On the web 

I read Abram’s Bridge.  This was a ghost story that was every bit as poignant and heartwrenching as anything to come from the pen of Willie Meikle. Originally published by the now defunct Samhain, it is currently being published by Crossroads Press.  I believe it was Glenn’s debut novella.

It depicts the dark side of life in a small, rural town.  Secrets are handed down from generation to generation.  You’ll be glad you read this.

Buy ABRAM’S BRIDGE at Amazon.com

abrams bridge

An Interview with David Whitman

Published March 1, 2017 by MommaCat

david-whitman

Please tell me about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

I have two upcoming books. The first is a short novel entitled The Witch, the Murderer, and the Devil in Black. Martin Kent can channel the souls of the dead into animals. He roams about his small town with his dead wife, who is in the body of a deer. When a tragic experiment causes the death of every animal in town, Martin embarks on an angry quest to get his wife’s damned soul back from God. He enlists the aid of an elderly woman, who can speak to the dead, and a murderer. It is set in the Victorian era. This novel is finished and I am currently waiting word on finding a home for it.

The second is a follow-up to my critically acclaimed novella Deadfellas. It is entitled Deadfellas 2: One Step Beyond. It is a surrealistic dark comedy that mixes The Wizard of Oz with Hitmen and zombies. I have been working on this for about a decade. It’s nearly complete, and so far I am very proud of what it has become. It is certainly not just a repeat of the first and it is quite epic in its scope and weirdness. The first Deadfellas can be found on Amazon Kindle and Apple Itunes.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

Two authors that have influenced me the most are Philip K. Dick and Joe R. Lansdale. As a teenager, I read and re-read PKD’s work obsessively, even collecting obscure works from the 1950’s and 60’s. I think PKD is an absolute genius–a writer can get an idea for a whole novel in just one of his paragraphs. It is a joy to see that the world has embraced his work and that he is no longer just a cult writer.

I read Joe Lansdale’s work in my early twenties and his words just went through me like lightning. He rewired my brain and showed me that there were no rules as far as the imagination goes. The first work I found by him was his collection BY BIZARRE HANDS–it was like explosives went off in my mind.

pkdick

Would you talk about how you and Weston Ochse came to collaborate on SCARY REDNECKS AND OTHER INBRED HORRORS (and APPALACHIAN GALAPAGOS).

Weston and I met through an email message forum around 1998 and found that we both had similar influences. We were both young and eager and soon collaborated on a few short stories. We sent those stories to a publisher and immediately they wanted more. Scary Rednecks was born. Weston has gone on to win the Bram Stoker award and has become one of the most prolific writers in the business. I am very proud of him and so happy for any success he achieves. I still feel our novella “Up Shits Creek with a Case of Beer and No Fucking Paddles” (from APPALACHIAN GALAPAGOS) is one of the best creative projects I have ever been part of. I have faith that it will one day be made into an excellent film.

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I loved Harlan. That was a very different tale from REDNECKS. What brought that story to life?

I was heavily influenced by John Hughes films, such as The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Also, a film called Pump up the Volume was very influential. I wanted to create a story that had the elements of those films, but also took a darker and more adult bent. I found the writing of that novel to be more emotionally draining than I had expected and I think it shows in the finished product. I am very proud of HARLAN.

Do you have any plans to turn one of your short stories into a novel or novella?

There are a bunch of short stories that speak to me and seem to want to be revisited. I very rarely write a short story with a solid sense of closure. I believe that style makes the reader ask questions and want more. My latest novel (mentioned above) was born from a short story. I also want to start writing screenplays and there are so many of my stories that seem to have potential to be bigger. I have a short story in my collection DELIGHTFUL AGONY entitled “Some of Us are Looking at the Stars”. It is a sort of science-fiction retelling of APOCALYPSE NOW. I think that it would be perfect for a longer tale.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

I would probably choose someone with a lot of security clearances–a world leader or perhaps someone in the Pentagon. I am a huge conspiracy and UFO enthusiast. I would immediately seek access to the Roswell files.

roswell

FYI – They’ve been declassified recently. Whether everything is out or not remains to be seen.  MC

What are you reading now?

I am reading George Martin’s GAME OF THRONES. I also recently read some John D. Macdonald. I have been taking my time with the Travis McGee novels for a long time now–reading one every few years. It is like revisiting a long time friend.

gofthronestravism

Do you have any guilty pleasure books/authors? You know the ones…stuff you don’t let your friends see you reading.

I am a huge Star Trek fan. I will occasionally read a Trek novel because I can finish one in about five hours. I don’t really believe in the concept of guilty pleasures. I think you should proudly like whatever you want to. If it makes you happy, just own up to it.

startrek

How do you want the world to remember you?

I want to be remembered as a good father and husband. I certainly won’t mind being remembered as a writer. With a book, the author gets to live forever in a way.

David Whitman – Facebook
David Whitman (davidwhitman666) – Amazing Pinterest pins!
all David’s books are available on Amazon.  Check em out!
 bodycounting
 BODY COUNTING is a short story collection that is easily devoured all at once.  With so many collections I find myself reading a story here and one or two there an going back a coupe of weeks later for another dose.  Not so with BODY COUNTING.  With a mix of strange, weird, horror, sci-fi and one very odd (to me) story  there’s a great read just waiting for you.
I’m so glad that David agreed to this interview!  Thanks for visiting CAD today and please come back soon.

 

 

A 2nd Interview with Catherine Cavendish

Published February 1, 2017 by MommaCat

Catherine Cavendish

Now that Samhain has dropped its horror line, I know that you’ve found a new publisher. Would you tell us about who they are and what your publishing schedule looks like?

I have indeed, MommaCat. Crossroad Press is an independent, up and coming publisher with an impressive track record. They have Clive Barker and Jack Ketchum on their roster – to name but two, of many excellent authors. A number of former Samhain horror authors can be found there – and more will follow in the coming weeks and months. My publishing schedule is hectic. These guys work fast! The Pendle Curse and Linden Manor are already out there, to be swiftly followed by Saving Grace Devine, Dark Avenging Angel and The Devil’s Serenade. At the moment, it looks as if by the time everyone is reading this, all of them will have been reissued. Exciting times.

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I love your smile! You look like you’re about to burst out laughing. Tell us what you like to do for fun when you’re not writing.

Thank you. That photo was taken at a special dinner for my mother’s 90th birthday. It may have been the champagne!

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Let’s talk cats now. Who lets you live with them?

A little black lady called Serafina Pandora. Serafina for short. She is five months old and totally rules the roost. She was a rescue, but thank goodness she had not had a rough start in life. She was just a little underweight and very shy. Now she is a sleek, gleaming, well socialized girl who knows what she wants – and how to ensure she always gets it. We love her to pieces.

And tell us about where you live. Across the pond from me is all I know. (I’m in Utah in the US)

We divide our time between my mother’s house in Liverpool and an apartment in North Wales. The apartment is housed in an unusual building half way up a steep hill, so the ground floor varies, depending on where you are at the time. It is also 260 years old and we have a friendly – well, let’s call her a presence, shall we? She turns up now and again and announces her ‘visit’ by doing strange things to the washing machine or turning lights on. Nothing sinister. Oh, and she seems to like cats, so that’s a bonus.

Most authors have held many many jobs on their way to becoming successful. What are some of the jobs you have had?

I worked in advertising for a number of years, and also in redundancy and career counseling, helping unemployed (or under-employed) adults of all ages find sustainable employment. I have been an Advertisement Administration Manager, Sales Manager, Customer Service Manager and University Administrator.

Do you read paper books? Or have you gone digital?

I love both. To me, there is nothing more comforting than to be in a room surrounded by books but, when you’re traveling or attending medical appointments where you have to wait around for hours on end, a Kindle is so handy.

What are you reading now?

At the moment, I am researching ancient Egypt for a trilogy I am writing for Kensington-Lyrical, so any by Dr. Zahi Hawass (‘Cleopatra: The Search For The Last Queen of Egypt’, ‘Curse of the Pharaohs’ to name but two.)

Do you have any guilty pleasure books/authors? You know the ones…stuff you don’t let your friends see you reading.

Kerry Greenwood’s Miss Phryne Fisher Mysteries, Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swenson mysteries, but I don’t mind who knows I read those! I also return to childhood favorites for comfort reading now and again Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers and St Clare’s Stories and, for some reason, Jane Shaw’s Crooks Tour – but we’ll keep those among ourselves!

If you were to give just one piece of advice aspiring writers, what would it be?

Keep at it – writing and learning your craft.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

I would love to be more self-confident. I keep working at it.

Here’s just a few of the many places you can find Cat Cavendish:

Amazon

Website/Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Thank you for having me again, MommaCat! My best to you and your kitties. See you on the dark side…

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Boo!  It was great hearing from Cat Cavendish again, wasn’t it?  I’m so glad her titles are available again.  The hissing cat above is just a bit of inspiration for her upcoming Egyptian books.  She can’t go wrong with a cat in them.

If you’re new to her writing, she delivers delicious chills and frightening thrills.  Her work is historically accurate and she writes for everyone.  I wouldn’t class her books in women’s fiction or British fiction, but in true paranormal, occult or horror.

THE PENDLE CURSE is a story of time travel and witches.  Four hundred years ago, ten convicted witches were hanged on Gallows Hill. Now they are back…for vengeance. Laura Phillips’s grief at her husband’s sudden death shows no sign of passing. Even sleep brings her no peace. She experiences vivid, disturbing dreams of a dark, brooding hill,and a man—somehow out of time—who seems to know her. She discovers that the place she has dreamed about exists. Pendle Hill. And she knows she must go there. But as soon as she arrives, the dream becomes a nightmare. She is caught up in a web of witchcraft and evil…and a curse that will not die.

Buy it at Amazon.com!

An Interview with Stephen Leather

Published November 3, 2016 by MommaCat

stephenleather

Please tell us about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

I have a new book coming out in a few weeks – TAKEDOWN – which features two characters from my Spider Shepherd series. I have taken his former boss – Charlotte Button – and his friend – Lex Harper – and spun a standalone thriller around them, basically a home-grown jihadist plot. It might well end up being the first in a new series, we’ll see!

Writing-wise, I’m midway through a book provisionally titled THE GIRL WHO GOT BURNED about a female firefighter who is badly injured in a fire and is reassigned as an arson investigator. Years ago I wrote two episodes of a TV show about firemen called London’s Burning but a lot has changed since then so I’m doing a lot of research. I’ve visited a fire station and hope to be taken into a training fire soon. Once that’s done and dusted I’ll be starting work on the new Spider Shepherd novel, which will be titled LIGHT TOUCH. It’s got several plotlines including an undercover cop who has gone bad and an evil jihadist who is being protected by MI5.

 

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

I’ve always been a huge fan of John Le Carre, Jack Higgins, and Gerald Seymour. I read most of their books before I started writing my own thrillers. I also loved the black magic books of Dennis Wheatley and it was those that led me to writing my Jack Nightingale supernatural detective series. I’m also a huge fan of self-published authors Joe Konrath and Mark Dawson, who offer lots of advice on publishing your own work. I’m one of Amazon’s Top 10 UK self-publishers and I’ve learned a lot from Joe and Mark.

 

If you had the ability to bring one author back from the dead to write one more book, who would it be and why?

I love the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams and he died way too young. I’d bring him back to write one more book. Everything he has ever written has had me in fits of laughter.

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If you could live in (or just visit) any world, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

I’d happily visit any world where I can fly. I already have a pilot’s licence but that’s not the same, I want to really fly. I do have vivid dreams where I actually can fly and it’s always a big disappointment when I wake up.

 

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

I always wished I could sing or play a music instrument but I’m not musical at all. I’d like to be Kenny G for the day, just so I could play the saxophone.

sax

 

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

On my desk next to me are RED WATCH by Gordon Honeycombe, about a hotel fire not far from where I live in Maida Vale, London, SOLDIER SPY by Tom Marcus, an MI5 officer’s autobiography, and NOMAD by Alan Partridge alias Steve Coogan. I’m reading that for fun.

 

Do you have any guilty pleasure books/authors? You know the ones…stuff you don’t let your friends see you reading.

I reread my old Enid Blyton books from time to time, especially the Adventure series (River of Adventure etc). I know that world never really existed but I always wish it did.

enid-blyton

 

If you were to give just one piece of advice aspiring writers, what would it be?

Write every day. Even if it’s just a few paragraphs, write something.

 

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

I love the idea of a dinner party with dead people – I’m sure there’s a serial killer story in there somewhere! I think if I am bringing people back to life I’d go for the real villains of history, just to see if they were really evil or if they just got a bad press. I’d got for Genghis Kahn, Hitler, Stalin, Chairman Mao, and Tony Blair. (I know Tony Blair’s still alive, but I live in hope).

 

How do you want the world to remember you?

I don’t really care whether the world remembers me or not. So long as my family and friends remember me, that’s good enough for me. Hopefully they’ll remember the fun times we had.

 

When  I asked Stephen about Social Media he had the following to say (and I couldn’t agree more!)

I’ve stopped using Twitter. Often it’s a nasty place, and even though it’s often great fun and supportive, the nasty bits have spoiled it for me. I left at the same time as Stephen Fry – he went back, I didn’t. I love Facebook, it’s much more supportive and helpful and I enjoy interacting with fans there. My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/stephenleatherofficial/

I have a website at www.stephenleather.com and Jack Nightingale has his own website at www.jacknightingale.com

Stephen’s newest book PENALTIES came out October 31 wherever books are sold.  It’s a nail-biting thriller bringing together the British and Chinese underworld and the game game of football.- soccer to us Americans.
Gabe is a soccer star on his way to breaking a record for penalties scored. Ray is his brother that he hasn’t seen in years due to his choice of profession. Gabe is happily married with a wife and son. His life comes crashing down around him when the Chinese kidnap his wife and son. He is told to throw the game he is just about to play or his family will be killed. But will they be spared if they lose?

Buy it today at Amazon.com

penalties

An Interview with Kristopher Rufty

Published September 1, 2016 by MommaCat

KristRufty

Most authors have had many jobs to pay the bills in their quest to become successful. What are some of the the jobs that you have held?

Wow…so many. Let’s see—I washed dishes for a family-owned restaurant. That was my first job and to this day, I can’t stand washing dishes and need to wear gloves when I do it. I worked for a farm, sowing seed, picking crops. A lot of hard work. I was the cook in a gas station kitchen, and was told I was the best cook they’d ever had. Which I constantly bragged about. I also worked in a fabric store and was the only male on a staff of about fifteen women. Needless to say, I was a bit out of place, but I still enjoyed it. Worked in management at Circuit City for many years, and then worked in I.T. for a University/Hospital.

Would you talk about your upcoming books and their production schedule?

SOMETHING VIOLENT should be coming soon from DarkFuse. I believe the limited edition hardcover releases in December, with the eBook and paperback following three months later. I have three books coming from Thunderstorm this year, reprints of other titles, with one of them being the first ever print edition of A DARK AUTUMN. I’m VERY excited about that. Sinister Grin has a book of mine coming—hopefully—before the end of the year. 2016 has been…crazy to say the least, good and bad, so I’ve gotten very behind on my deadlines. I’m currently working on three books at once, not to mention three collaborations with other authors. I have a lot to finish. Next year will be very packed with Rufty releases.

Have you always been a storyteller? What is your earliest memory about telling a story?

That’s a good question. I suppose I’ve always been telling some kind of story. My earliest was probably after watching Friday the 13th for the first time. I was five years old, a young’un as my grandma called me. I drew pictures, gory crayon illustrations, of people being slaughtered. I remember laying them out in a row and explaining to my parents that it was about people in the woods getting killed. To this day, I am very surprised by how my parents handled that. Those violent kid drawings hung on the fridge for months. My dad kept them all his life and now I have them stored away. The first ever Rufty creation. Had my parents scolded me for it, I might have thought there was something wrong with trying to scare people. I’m glad they embraced my ideas, even though I know they had to be a little worried about me.

Have you ever devised a character and then written a plot around them?

I’ve tried to, but I don’t think I’ve ever been successful at it. I find that I work better without knowing too much about the character when I’m writing. I allow them to tell me who they are through the story. Whenever people used to tell me that was how they did it, I thought they were crazy. I used to spend a lot of time writing out who my characters were and why they might do this or that. It didn’t take me long to learn that I wasn’t programmed that way. I might have some ideas about what they do or where they live when I begin a story, but I never know how they will react, where they’ve come from, and what they might do next until I get there. Sometimes the characters really surprise me, other times they let me down. But they always keep me guessing.

What is your guilty pleasure book or movie? Is there a snack to go with it?

There’s always a snack when it comes to me, or at least a glass of strawberry milk. Guilty pleasure? I don’t know. I really don’t call many things ‘guilty pleasures’ and just kind of freely admit I adore them. I love cartoons and spend a lot of time watching them. Scooby-Doo is something I watch with a passion, always getting the new movies, investing my time in the new shows. I enjoy watching THE PIONEER WOMAN with my wife and, yes, I really like to watch DUCK DYNASTY. I’m a fanatic when it comes to wrestling and an open comic-book junkie. I read a lot of biographies from Cory Feldman’s to Dave Mustaine’s. I’m guilty when it comes to lots of things, I suppose.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Wrath James White, Bryan Smith, Ronald Malfi, Brian Keene, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, and so many movies and their filmmakers should be added to that list as well: John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, George Romero, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Lloyd Kaufman, Roger Corman, and Trent Haaga…so many. I tend to take a little something from anything I enjoy, even areas that aren’t books, but that tell a great story.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

Bodies? Hmmm…I don’t know if I’d want to trade bodies—well, maybe I’d take Ryan Reynolds’s body. But I think it would be neat to witness the creative process inside some other writers’ brains. Take Stephen King, for example. I’d love to experience how his mind works when a story is brewing. Same goes for Richard Laymon, when he was alive. Just to experience it all unfold into the words on the page would be absolutely amazing.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

Just finished up Adam Cesare’s THE CON SEASON and loved it. I highly recommend it. The next three? I can tell you the next one, for sure. Hunter Shea’s THE JERSEY DEVIL. After that, who knows? I usually go back to my bookcases, sit on the floor and dig through books until one jumps out at me. I got a lot of books from some of my author buddies at Scares That Care III. David Bernstein’s THE SLUDGE keeps eyeballing me, so that may very well be the second book. And a third? I think I’ve ogled Pauline Dunn’s THE CRAWLING DARK on one of my bookshelves long enough and it might be time to finally read it. It’s the last Dunn book I haven’t read, so I’ve been trying to save it.

If you could be a character in a story (and know you could live through it) what book would you jump into and why?

Probably Laymon’s IN THE DARK. That book is packed with thrills and mystery as Jane receives these strange letters from somebody called MOG (Master of Games), and they lead her on some outrageous and terrifying adventures. It was so much fun experiencing that with her, trying to solve the clues and riddles. Knowing I would survive that ordeal would make me much more apt to give it a try.

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Richard Laymon, Stan Lee, Stephen King, John Carpenter, and Bruce Campbell.

How do you want the world to remember you?

Kindly. Just that I tried my best at everything I did. I’d want my kids to remember me as a father who loved them, no matter what, and that he worked hard, even when he failed. That he never gave up and that the impression he left on them would help them in their own adventures and with their own families. I’d hope my wife remembered me as somebody who never stopped loving her and was constantly devoted to her and our family. My friends? I hope they’d remember that I cherished every conversation we ever had and enjoyed our time together.

Look for Kristopher Rufty…you never know what you’ll find!

www.lastkristontheleft.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/kristopherrufty

www.twitter.com/kristopherrufty

Thank you so much for an awesome interview!  I can’t wait to read SOMETHING VIOLENT.  I just know that’s going to be incredible since it’s being published by DarkFuse!  You’ve had quite the busy year, Krist; you sent me three books to read – I can’t say enough good things about them!  And a western?  A horror-western, of course, whoda thunk it?  But, keep reading.  Here they are!

DESOLATION is on Amazon.com

Desolation

DESOLATION is a revenge story.  That’s the short version. It will suck you in and you’ll think be rooting  for one person but with one a few twists Rufty has you going around re-thinking your position and wondering if maybe you were wrong.  And then he gives you a few more details…Wait! Just who are the bad guys here?  Long time time horror fans are going to love this!

Buy VAMPIRE today!

Vampire of Plainfield

THE VAMPIRE OF PLAINFIELD pitted Ed Gein against a vampire.  Don’t know who Ed Gein was?  Open a new window to Google; we’ll wait.

Back now?  Great!  Doesn’t that sound incredible?  It was!  Krist put together the pieces of a story that made so much sense I couldn’t believe it hadn’t hit the major newspapers and World News. This is an absolute must read.

SEVEN BURIED HILL

seven buried hill

Whoever said you can’t choose a book by it’s cover was wrong.  Dead wrong!  Now I’ve never been one for westerns, not the Zane Grey type of westerns at any rate.  I might have been with a Rufty cover, though.  And this book carries Krist’s distinctive voice.  You know that you’re reading one of his books as soon as you realize that this could happen.  The monsters are real.  Don’t let the fact that this is a western scare you. Or maybe you should.  Bwahahaha!

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