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An Interview with Keith Deininger

Published March 16, 2015 by MommaCat

Keith

1) What’s your earliest memory about storytelling?

When I was very young, before I could read myself, my parents used to read to me, so I can remember the books that made an early impact like Go Dog, Go!, Where the Wild Things Are, and a lot of Dr. Seuss. I especially remember the stories that creeped me out. Like that story about the green pants stalking that poor Dr. Seuss person through the dark forest. I’m sure I don’t remember the story right, but I’ve always had an over-active imagination and I had nightmares over that one.

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

Wonderland seems like a pretty cool place. One of the things I can really appreciate about it is that things don’t have to make sense. There’s freedom in that.

3) Would you talk about your upcoming books and the production schedule?

Why, certainly. The Hallow comes out in February and it’s a trip. It’s a drug- fueled nightmare, creepy and wildly disturbing, and one of the craziest things I’ve written to date. It also happens to have been the easiest to write. I wonder what that says about me?

Within, my third novel, comes out in May, and it’s about a small southwestern town with a disconcerting history. It’s also about madness. When I was in the thick of writing this one, I was having a lot of nightmares. It really got to me for a while. I came to grips with it later, but I think it turned out to be a very unique piece and I look forward to seeing what people think of it.

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

Now that I’m finally almost finished with the Song of Ice and Fire books, I can get back to some of the things I’ve really been wanting to read. I’m planning to read a couple of the more popular horror titles to come out last year (Bird Box by Josh Malerman and Revival by Stephen King) as well as begin working on my science fiction/fantasy education. When I really got into writing horror, I looked for all the classic horror titles I could and read them all so that I would know about the genre in which I was writing. Now that some of my writing is straying into a more fantastic realm, I need to know what’s been done and what’s out there. I know I want to read more China Mieville and Ursula Le Guin, and some heavy-hitting science fiction authors like Asimov, Heinlein, Arthur C. Clark, etc. The list goes on…

5) What have you never taken the time to do that you really want to do? (bucket list item)

I would like to spend more time backpacking and spending time in wilderness areas. I’ve traveled a little, but the problem with travel is that people get in the way. Cities and crowds of people are not appealing to me. Paris is the same as London is the same as New York City. Who cares? They all have basically the same kinds of places to drink. It’s the wild areas that are important, those places where one is present in the moment and can really learn about one’s self (where the booze isn’t needed). I haven’t done enough of that sort of thing. I spent my youth looking out, trying to be an extrovert when I’m really an introvert, when I should have been looking within.

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

For one day? I would love to live in the body of a rock star. Trent Reznor in the early 90s, performing, getting high. Exhilarating.

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

Clive Barker! He’s still my favorite and I’ve read absolutely everything he’s ever written. He’s a writer and a true artist, dark, fearless, and with a hell of an imagination.

Although what I like to say is that Stephen King taught me to write with heart and style and honesty; Peter Straub taught my subtlety and technique; and Clive Barker taught me never to hold back my imagination, even to the point of the disgusting and the cruel.

There are many, but those three are still probably my largest influences to date.

8) Do you find it difficult to meet deadlines and maintain a family life?

Yeah, a bit. Family life is getting more and more complicated every year and a part of me would like nothing more than to hide from it all and just write. That’s impossible, of course, and my life would crumble and not be a happy one without my family, but it is difficult to juggle everything. Balance in all things. One must be content and stable in one’s family and professional life in order to be reckless and free in one’s creative life.

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

Off the top of my head…Clive Barker, Albert Einstein, Alfred Hitchcock, Alan Moore, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, and Hunter S. Thompson to rile them all up. Okay, that’s more than five, but it’d be an interesting party, probably learn some things.

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

Honestly, I would like to leave a lasting legacy and make a significant impact on the literary world. I would like to be read long after my death. I would like to be remembered for my imagination and vision. I would like to think I helped people to be more open-minded and tolerant with each other. I don’t know if this will ever happen and that’s okay too, because it’s in striving, in the quest, we find peace.

Keith can be found on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and on the web . Look for him and chat him up!

Thanks for a great interview Keith. It’s been wonderful having you here, please stop by and share your books with us again sometime!

Within by Keith Deininger

Published March 16, 2015 by MommaCat

I’ve chatted with Keith Deininger often via email regarding WITHIN and thought readers might be interested in bits and pieces of those chats as well as my impressions regarding this new novel.

The original spark of inspiration came from a random re-read of The Great Gatsby. Keith said that he kept thinking about the beginning of the novel, where Gatsby is this mysterious figure we know nothing about. What if his motives were more insidious? And so he came up with his own mysterious figure, Mr. Klimt, and went from there. It, of course, became something all its own and very different from The Great Gatsby, although there are still a few subtle thematic parallels, such as the idea of the American dream gone bad.
WITHIN is, at its core, a haunted house story; a haunted house that extends its ugly fingers into the entire town of Mesa Rapids. So, it’s a ‘haunted town’ story. He wanted a setup that would allow him to pack as many uncanny, nightmarish things into the narrative as possible.
He told me that he had a lot of his own nightmares while writing it, especially early on. A couple of them made it into the novel.  I don’t think that’s unusual.  I think Keith has a lot more bad dreams than he admits to.  But isn’t that what makes for a great horror writer?
He also wanted to experiment with multiple viewpoint characters. The original manuscript had several sections from all sorts of different people living in Mesa Rapids, but it had to be cut because it was too convoluted. I did read a very early draft that was nothing like the finished version. It was extremely interesting to get a look into the very first stage of a work and then jump to the final without a glance in between.
WITHIN is a study of perception and madness. It’s also bleak. Colin, Maddie, Zach, and Lauren each struggle with their own psyches, although Colin’s descent into madness, I think, is the most horrifying.
WITHIN – Buy it at Amazon.com
Within Cover

The Hallow by Keith Deininger

Published March 16, 2015 by MommaCat

THE HALLOW is a well written, thought provoking, trippy experience. In the beginning of this novella the main characters discuss the end of the world and how they think it will happen. The characters do a lot of drugs and go back and forth to work.  In other words, they live dreary, ordinary lives.

There is more than meets the eye in this little novella and I’ll be the first to tell you that my first reaction was that Keith was remembering his college years and drug dreams. But he’s much more devious than that and after reading THE HALLOW again pieces began to fall into place.  Whether they fit or not remains to be seen!

Buy THE HALLOW today at Amazon.com

The Hallow cover

An Interview with Willie Meikle

Published March 1, 2015 by MommaCat

Willie Meikle_

1) We’ve talked about DANCERS before, how it’s both of our personal favorite of your short stories; would you talk about that story a little bit and how you came to write it?

It was the second story I wrote, and the first I sold, way back in 1992. The writer’s magazine, WRITER’S NEWS in the UK ran an annual ghost story anthology and I had a go. I had an idea of an old man in a snowy cemetery, and it just grew from there. It got 2nd place in the competition, earned me 100 pounds, and has since appeared in three newspapers, been read on three radio stations, appeared in six foreign languages and been made into a short movie. Not bad for something that took me two hours flat out to write while sitting on a train :—)

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

I like the comforts of the present day right here, but if I had to go somewhere else, it would probably be The Shire, for a beer, a smoke and a chinwag with Bilbo and Gandalf before all that nasty business with Sauron.

3) What are the next three books you plan to read?

On the shelf I have:  Ray Russell’s SARDONICUS, Adam Nevill’s HOUSE OF SHADOWS, Dashiell Hammett’s THE GLASS KEY.

4) Do you consider yourself handy around the house?

Nope — apart from in the kitchen. I can cook pretty well but any kind of DIY is mostly beyond me.

5) What’s your comfort food?

Apart from beer? Pizza — homemade with a lot of chilies and more cheese than is healthy.

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

Stephen King. I’d smuggle a chapter of mine into his current WIP.

7) Where is the last place you went on holiday?

Alberta in Canada, staying in Banff and Jasper and driving among the Rockies in late April while the snow was still on them. We had a great time.

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

Of the dead, William Hope Hodgson. I’d love to work on a Carnacki novel with him. Of the recently dead, David Gemmell — I’d have loved to do a Jon Shannow, Jerusalem Man novel. Of the living, Brian Lumley to work on a new NECROSCOPE book or Michael Moorcock to resurrect the Eternal Champion.

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

Robert Louis Stevenson — my favorite writer of all time, Alexander the Great — every dinner party needs a megalomaniac, Lao-Tsu for some philosophy, Marilyn Monroe — just because it’s Marilyn, Bessie Smith  for some songs and serious drinking.

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

2014 was another stellar year for me on the writing; another year of maintaining full time status, and some really nice story and book sales along the way.

I’ve had novels and novellas published by the likes of DarkFuse and Dark Regions Press, collections from Dark Renaissance and Crystal Lake, a handful of new audiobooks from Gryphonwood, some very nice Lovecraftian sales, and I repeated the trick of selling a story to Nature Futures along the way to reaching double figures in pro short story sales for the third year in a row.

So there was all of that, which was nice. But I can’t go resting on any laurels yet. There’s a whole slew of things lined up for 2015 and beyond.

Coming very soon Sherlock Holmes: The Hackney Horrors (novella) (TPB) / Dark Renaissance Sherlock Holmes: The Lost Husband (novella) (TPB) / Dark Renaissance Sherlock Holmes: The Long Sleep (novella) (TPB) / Dark Renaissance Sherlock Holmes: The London Terrors (3 novella omnibus) (HC) / Dark Renaissance Myth and Monsters (collection) (TPB) / Knightwatch Feb 2015 Tormentor (novella) (HC) / DarkFuse Apr 2015 The Dunfield Terror (novel) (HC / TPB) / DarkFuse Jun / Jul 2015 The House on the Moors (novella) (HC) / Dark Renaissance Sep 2015 Pentacle (novella) (HC) / DarkFuse TBA Sherlock Holmes: The Dreaming Man (novelette) (HC / TPB) / Dark Renaissance TBA Berserker and Other Cryptids (collection) (TPB) / Knightwatch On the short story front, I have a story coming in a major new Sherlock Holmes collection and a whole bunch of pro Lovecraftian tales lined up in anthologies. There are more audio books lined up, and more foreign language editions, including The Amulet in German, Island Life in Spanish and the three Midnight Eye Books in Portugese.

Alongside all of that, I am contracted for three more novels for DarkFuse to take me up to 2017 at least and I’m currently waiting on publisher feedback on a new Carnacki collection.

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

As a good man and a good storyteller. In that order.

It was great having a look inside your mind today, Willie. Thank you so much for visiting Cat After Dark. I hope you’ll come back and tip a few with us again soon.  

Visit Willie’s blog. Follow him on Twitter @williemeikle. Find him on Facebook.

*Dancers can be found in Willie’s story collection SAMURAI AND OTHER STORIES 

Tormentor by William Meikle

Published March 1, 2015 by MommaCat

TORMENTOR is much more than a book about a haunted house. It has a storyline that will keep you guessing.

When grieving widower Jim buys an old house on a remote piece of land on an island in the British Isles, he gets much more than he bargained for. At first he tries not to let it bother him him as he settles in to a simple routine of daily living. It’s just a stripe of soot after all…

William Meikle mixes love lost and ghostly hauntings better than anyone I have ever read. He is a master of his craft. Buy this book, gift this book. Recommend this book to others.

Available on kindle at Amazon.com

tormentor

The Dunfield Terror by William Meikle

Published March 1, 2015 by MommaCat

I’ve never liked the fog. Anything can hide in it. It’s too easy to get lost in it. Tentacled things taken on their own merit are rather alien looking, don’t you think?  A head, several squirmy legs – all with suckers lining them  up and down.  We’re a mammalian society.  Tentacled things generally aren’t thought of as cute, especially when they are as big or bigger than we are.

In THE DUNFIELD TERROR, William Meikle takes the fog, tentacled things and a rip in space and ties them neatly together for a ride you won’t soon forget.  All this takes place in a small town in Newfoundland in the winter – a town where everyone knows everyone else. And like it or not, afraid or not, one man is determined to save his friends and neighbors.

As the ending builds to it’s final climax I think you’ll agree that Terror is indeed the perfect word to be used in this title.  What a chilling, terrifying read this was!

THE DUNFIELD TERROR is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com

DunfieldTerror

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