Archives

All posts for the month October, 2014

AN INTERVIEW WITH JEFFREY THOMAS

Published October 31, 2014 by MommaCat

JeffThomas2013

 

1) What’s your earliest memory about storytelling?

I was in the hospital for a hernia operation at a very young age, sharing a room with my Dad, who was in for a double hernia. While he was in surgery, I started working on a comic book, its cover portraying a lot of battling stick figures. I was simply going to title the comic WAR, and forego any other text, but I got weepy because I wasn’t sure how to spell it. (I think I might have been missing my Dad, too.) Since those days my stories have gone on to have many more thousands of words than just a title.

2) If you could live during any era in any land, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

It would be here and now. I am the sum of all the years I’ve accumulated, all the relationships and experiences and achievements those years have contained, so I need to stay on the temporal trajectory that has defined my existence. Though I would like to visit other time periods, it would only be briefly. Imaginary lands, though…hm…that’s another story. I know I’d like to visit my far-future setting of Punktown, but again…only briefly. Too dangerous to remain there for long. Having said all this, I would very much love to live half of every year in Vietnam, a country I’ve visited nine times to date, and dearly love. My daughter is half Vietnamese.

3) Do you write every day? Would you still write if you didn’t need to make money?

God how I wish I wrote every day — and in the past, I pretty much did — but today my day job and parenting consume most of my time and energy (not that I begrudge the latter). As for money…ha, I make so little money at writing (as is the case for most writers, I’m afraid) that if I was doing it with monetary gain as my main motivation, rather than artistic gratification, I’d have given up in despair decades ago.

4) How much research do you do?

I am crazy obsessive about research. If I’m writing a story set in modern day Viet Nam, for instance, and I say so-and-so got into a car, suddenly I’m Googling what make of cars are on the streets in Viet Nam. Though I do enjoy doing research, it can really slow down the writing process, but the risk comes in potentially slowing down the reading process with an excess of researched material. It has to be balanced, and you often discard more of the fruits of research than you use. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I like to work so much in Punktown; I’m inventing that world, so I don’t have to research it, unless it’s only to look at my earlier Punktown stories for the sake of consistency.

5) What’s your comfort food?

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I could eat them every day. For long stretches, I do! My comfort beverage is coffee; I’m a coffee addict, as anyone who knows me could attest.

6) What if you could trade bodies with one person for one day? Who would that be?

My daughter Jade, I guess, so I could see the world through the eyes of a five-year-old girl. I don’t remember being five. Or a girl.

7) Who are the authors that influenced your life the most?

That’s hard to answer, because it’s difficult to pick only a few names. Different writers have affected me in different ways, and even after all these years I’m still learning more about the craft, and receiving new inspiration, every time I delve into a new book of merit. But if I have to give just a few names, I might mention Ray Bradbury and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Both men transported me to their own marvelous rendition of Mars, and taught me how exciting it is to create a fantastical setting for your characters to inhabit. Bradbury’s THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, being an unrelated series of stories taking place within a single otherworldly setting, has definitely been a big influence on my ongoing series of novels and short stories set in Punktown.

Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre
The Cipher – Kathe Koja
House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski

Oh wait, I can’t stop! I’m a glutton for punishment…

The collected poems of Anne Sexton
1984 – George Orwell
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick
The Godfather – Mario Puzo
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
A Princess of Mars – Edgar Rice Burroughs
Gorky Park – Martin Cruz Smith
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
The Books of Blood – Clive Barker (cheating, I know!)
Daybreak – 2250 A. D. – Andre Norton

8) Who would you like to co-author a book with?

Living or dead? Assuming it’s someone alive, and thus nbomeone with whom I might conceivably collaborate, I’ll say Clive Barker. We both have pretty out-there imaginations and that might make us compatible. In the past I’ve collaborated with two other favorite authors of mine: W. H. Pugmire (ENCOUNTERS WITH ENOCH COFFIN) and my brother Scott Thomas (PUNKTOWN: SHADES OF GREY).

9) What five people – living or dead- would you invite to a dinner party? (Universal translators will be provided)

I have to say Jesus…I’d like to know what he was really about. Yukio Mishima would be fascinating, as would Marlon Brando. Elvis Costello and Norah Jones could sing to us, and Norah is so damn cute.

10) How do you want the world to remember you?

As a writer who created his own universe to immerse himself in, while making it accessible and alive for others. And yet, a writer who was also versatile in his storytelling, up to any challenge. A person who extolled creativity above all else, and embraced imagination to the fullest. And I’d like it said I was a good Dad. That’s the most important thing, isn’t it?

 

You certainly brought Punktown to life for me Jeffrey. And your versatility is amazing.  If you’re as good a dad as you are a storyteller, you are in great shape. I hope you’ll visit Cat After Dark again.   cảm ơn bạn đã ghé thăm

 

Jeffrey Thomas can be found at punktalk.punktowner.com/

Advertisements

RED CELLS by Jeffrey Thomas

Published October 31, 2014 by MommaCat

RED CELLS is the newest science fiction thriller in the Punktown universe. Jeffrey Thomas has a thousand stories to tell and Punktown is a diverse place to tell them.

Originally named Paxton, the name became slurred to Punktown the way names do in the vernacular.  This book focuses on a maximum security prison and the goings on inside. There are a variety of beings both inside and outside the area in which the prison is located.

Like King’s Castle Rock universe or the Star Trek universe no previous books need be read to enjoy this story.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  RED CELLS was a fun read!

 

Buy RED CELLS today at Amazon.com

Red Cells

UNHOLY DIMENSIONS by Jeffrey Thomas

Published October 31, 2014 by MommaCat

UNHOLY DIMENSIONS, a collection of 27 short stories and poems told by the amazingly talented Jeffrey Thomas is now available in digital format. I’ve read Jeffrey’s dark fiction and his Punktown stories, but this was my first glimpse into the Lovecraft mythos.  The stories were spectacular, his technique flawless.  As I read, I expected a tentacle or three to tap my kindle because the alien reading by my side was irritated by my slowness.  Romance, bizarro, horror – it’s all here. Do you Cthulhu? You should.

Buy UNHOLY DIMENSIONS at Amazon.com now

Unholy Dimensions

How do you Rate?

Published October 30, 2014 by MommaCat

Rating books is hard, but it isn’t rocket science. The problem is everyone uses a different system and changes it sometimes according to the site they’re on.  There just doesn’t seem to be much continuity. Wouldn’t it be nice if three stars on Goodreads meant the same as three stars on Shelfari which meant the same as three stars on Amazon?  All three sites are now owned by Amazon.com. We can then worry about bringing everyone else into the fold if we can get the Amazon family on board.  Here’s how I rate:

Five Stars – Incredible, must read, nothing wrong here

Four Stars – I really liked it but it may have had a problem or or two. So what?

Three Stars – It was just OK. Nothing special. What was the title again?

Two Stars – I didn’t like it. It wasn’t the worst book out there, but no thanks…

One Star – I hated it. Probably didn’t finish it. OW! It burrrns!

And here’s where we run into the need for 1/2 stars.  When I review on Amazon and round up or down, I usually say so. It’s normally at the 3 star and under range that this makes a difference – the difference being, did I finish the book or not? Was it really that bad? Why? Was this a research issue or did the writing bore me? Enjoying an author’s work is personal. Giving a fair review is also personal, but it helps if we can all start at the same point and then move on to say exactly why we did or did not like the book in question.

So, what do you think? What’s your system? How do you rate?

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH JG FAHERTY

Published October 16, 2014 by MommaCat

JGFaherty

 

1) What’s your earliest memory about storytelling?

My earliest memory goes back to somewhere around the age of 5 or 6. My father, instead of reading stories to me at bedtime, used to make up his own. My favorites were the ones of Blackie the Cat, an intelligent cat who used to get into all kinds of trouble. I started making up the stories along with him, sort of an ongoing do-it-yourself adventure. My first stab at actually writing a story came in 3rd grade, and it involved Blackie solving a big crime. In middle school, I wrote a lot of comics, mostly politically incorrect take-offs on popular TV shows. 

2) If you could live during any era in any land, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

Probably the 1950s or ’60s. I don’t want to go back so far that there’s no medicine or you have to hunt for your food. I like modern comforts. But those decades were a pretty cool time. You could make a good living in writing or science – the 2 things I’ve always worked in – and life was simpler. Slower. Either that, or I want to live way in the future, where you don’t get sick and when you get old they just put your brain in a robot and you keep going. I love the thrill of new scientific discoveries happening, and I want to see a lot more of them.

3) Do you write every day? Can you imagine a day coming where you stop writing?

Just about. Occasionally there are days when I can’t, such as being sick, or traveling. I doubt I’ll ever stop writing, but there are dark times, when nothing’s working and you’ve just had 5 rejections in a row, where you wonder why you’re doing it and if you shouldn’t just go back to photography or something.

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

A Strange and Savage Garden by Tim Waggoner, Ancient Enemy by Michael McBride, and Deeply Twisted, by Chantal Noordeloos. Actually, I read Chantal’s book, a collection of short stories, a year ago, but I’ve been feeling the need to read it again.

5) What’s your comfort food?

Hmmm. Tough decision. Depends on the day. Burgers. Pizza. Tacos. Chinese takeout. Coffee. Mashed potatoes. Spaghetti. Grilled cheese & tomato soup. Sadly, as you get older, eating comfort food isn’t allowed as much as it used to be.

6) What if you could trade bodies with one person for one day? Who would that be?

Another tough choice. Michael Schenker, just so I could experience being able to play the guitar the way he does. Stephen King, so I could really see what goes on in that mind of his. And Justin Verlander, because he’s dating Kate Upton.

7) Who are the authors that influenced your life the most?

Again, no simple answers here. At an early age, I read dinosaur books, and that stoked my love of science. At around 7 or 8, I discovered the Hardy Boys, and that stoked my love of scary stories. After that, I think the first book that truly impacted me was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne. Frankenstein was another. All of those turned me into a voracious reader. In middle and high school, it was Alan Dean Foster, James Blish, David Gerrold, Karl Edward Wagner, and eventually Stephen King, who became my ‘hero’ throughout high school and college. Put Peter Straub and early Dean Koontz in there as well.

8) Who would you like to co-author a book with?

Well, Stephen King would be at the top of the list. I’d learn so much, and I’d have my name on a best-seller! After that, either Jeff Strand, Michael McBride, or Joe Hill. People whose styles are different than mine, but that I really appreciate.

9) What five people – living or dead- would you invite to a dinner party? (Universal translators will be provided)

Carl Kauffeld – head herpetologist at the Staten Island Zoo in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. His books on field biology entertained me for many years.

Bruce Springsteen – I would love to have discussions with him.

Richard Bothner – my mentor in college and grad school. He’d be so stoked to hear what I’m up to now. And he was hilarious.

Karl Edward Wagner – another genius writer I’d have loved to meet.

Jesus – let’s find out the truth for once and for all, and put all the religious bullshit to rest.

10) How do you want the world to remember you?

Preferably as a guy whose next book made it big, and he had a long and successful career in writing, lived to a ripe old age, happy with his family and healthy to the end. (BTW, those next books are Legacy, coming this winter, and The Cure, coming out in 2015.)

***Thanks for having me on your site, I enjoyed it!***

 

I enjoyed having you here, Greg.  It was great meeting you.  I hope that you’ll come back to Cat After Dark again!  

A CASTLE BY THE SEA by JG Faherty

Published October 15, 2014 by MommaCat

Halloween night.  A carnival.  A young couple heads for the Tunnel of Love.  If you watched those old Karen Black movies from the 1980’s you know what’s coming.  And you’re almost right. But this is JG Faherty and he’s rockin’ Halloween!   As I started reading CASTLE I couldn’t have been happier; I love this type of story.  But I was wrong.  There was so much more depth to the tale than I was expecting. Just when I thought it was over BAM! Here come even more thrills, chills and enigmas.

One version of this novella was published on its own in print and e-book a few months ago. Another  version due out this month with three other novellas might be another purchase to make.  WHAT WAITS IN THE SHADOW will be released by Samhain Publishing in October.

Buy today at Amazon.com!                             

CastleByTheSea

 

But this at Amazon.com!

cover

Fatal Consequences by JG Faherty

Published October 15, 2014 by MommaCat

FATAL CONSEQUENCES published this past July by Samhain Publications is the story of Alec Winter.  Alec is haunted by guilt of his own cowardice.  While camping with his family, he ran and hid when a bear attacked.  The story continues a year later.  What remains of the family is attempting to pull itself together and move on.  Alec’s guilt is as bad as it ever was.  To compound matters, something is killing people associated with helping the family originally.

This horror  novella is filled with suspense, grief and is just what you want for Halloween.   I think you’ll love it as much as I did.

 

 Buy it now at Amazon.com.

FatalConsequences300-final

%d bloggers like this: