You seem to have a fascination for the ‘backwards’ story line. Would you talk about that?
First of all, thank you for inviting me to be part of your interview series! I appreciate it very much. As for backwards story lines, I’d generalize it more to say I’m interested in all aspects of time. I like stories where time is treated differently than we typically view it. I absolutely love writing those kinds of stories. My best examples are Miranda, The Gray Zone, Secrets, and The Memory Tree, but others tread close to the same turf. Why? Who knows? Maybe it’s something in my DNA, but it’s an area I’ve always loved, both as a writer and a reader. I think everybody has things that they’re captivated by. Time is one of mine.
If you could live during any era in any land, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?
Right here, right now. I love my life, and wouldn’t change a thing. If I was somehow forced to change to another environment, well, I’d probably just want to go someplace warm. The “when” doesn’t matter as long as I had something I can type with.
You mentioned you were working on a book called Soul Mates. Without divulging too much, could you tell us a bit about it?
Soul Mates will be published by JournalStone on September 11, 2015. In some ways, it’s a very personal novel, with the main female character modeled after my fiancée. I’ve been mulling over this story for more than five years, and this was the year to finally tell the story. It’s part love story, part thriller, and part supernatural mystery. I hope it will resonate with my readers, and I think it will. The protagonist (Alannah) is a woman who has an identical twin sister, who is a bit more rebellious than Alannah. The other main character is a disgraced magician. I’ve always enjoyed magic shows and wanted to write about them for a long time. The characters evolve very significantly through the novel and there’s some blistering shocks in store for them. Hee hee. I think that’s about all I should say at this point.
What are the next three books you’re planning to read?
These could change, but right now I’d say The Amazing Mr. Howard by Kenneth Harmon (looks like a great twist on the vampire genre), Submerged by Thomas F. Monteleone (one of my favorite authors), and The Top of the Volcano by Harlan Ellison (even though I’ve previously read all the stories the book contains, I know I’ll love re-reading them).
What have you never taken the time to do that you really want to do? (bucket list item)
You know, that’s a tougher question than it should be. I’m now 59 years old and I’ve had amazing opportunities my whole life. I’ve traveled to many places, had two successful careers, been able to read thousands of wonderful books and write a bunch of my own. I’m in the best relationship of my life and getting married this summer. When I look back at all this, what could I possibly want that I haven’t already enjoyed? The only thing that comes to mind is attending more horror conventions, but sometimes that’s not possible due to timing.
What if you could trade bodies with one person for one day? Who would that be?
Probably Stephen King. It’d be interesting to see what it’s like inside his head.
Who are the authors that influenced your life the most?
Stephen King, Thomas F. Monteleone, Jack Finney, and Rod Serling all come to mind pretty easily. I’m sure there are lots of others. I think writers get influenced by dozens of other writers and they never even know it. These four I know for sure.
If we were to look in your refrigerator right now what would we see?
Hang on, while I go look . . . okay, we’ve got bread, deli meat, and cheese. Grapes, eggs, milk, apple juice, and Coke Zero. Hmm, it doesn’t seem all that interesting, does it?
What five people – living or dead- would you invite to a dinner party?
Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, Steve Jobs, and Jesus Christ.
Your collection, Little by Little, in currently nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. This isn’t the first Stoker nomination you’ve received, but I’m guessing the feeling doesn’t change much. Would you talk about the awards a bit?
I’m so very fortunate. Truly. I’ve been nominated three prior times for The Memory Tree, Ursa Major, and Miranda (which won). The thrill never changes. I was incredibly happy all four times because it helps to confirm that I’m doing something right with my work and that it appeals to readers. I’m in a category with four other very talented writers, and that’s an amazing honor, regardless of who wins on May 9.
What’s happening with the film version of Ursa Major?
It’s coming! There’s been lots of pre-production work so far, and I am thrilled with the screenplay. The producers have lined up a live grizzly bear as well as hired an animatronics special effects company in England. Filming is planned to begin sometime this year, and hopefully it’ll be in theaters next year or 2017. It’s taken quite a while to get to this point, but the producers love the book and want to make a faithful adaptation. I believe that’s exactly how it will turn out.
What’s up next for you?
In 2015, I have two books being released. Soul Mates (mentioned above) and a currently secret project. I have been asked for several short stories, and I’ll be writing them shortly. I’ll be starting my next novel at the end of the summer. It’s working title is Joe, the Dead Guy. We’ll see if that sticks. That one will be published in late 2016 by JournalStone. I also hope to find time to finish a sequel to Scavenger Hunt. I have about 25,000 words complete, but it’s been on the back burner due to other commitments for a while now. We’ll see!
How do you want the world to remember you?
This sounds horrible, but I don’t really care how the world remembers me. In fact, I doubt many people will remember me at all. I do care how my family remembers me, though. I hope they will think of me as somebody who was nice to them, and who tried his best to make them happy.
At this point I normally say thank you to the author and hope that I get to talk to them again. But John has something special he wants to give to one of my followers, the lettered edition of The Gray Zone. There were only 26 copies printed. It’s a beautiful hardcover with a lot of material that was not included in any other edition and artwork that didn’t appear in any other edition. All you have to do to enter to win in a random drawing to be held on May 13,2015 is be a follower of Cat After Dark and send me an email saying “I want that book!” I must receive your email by 12:00 noon mst on 5/13/15 or your entry won’t count. Only one entry per person. Include your name/nick with the email. If your name is drawn you will be contacted via email and have 24 hours to respond with your mailing information or the prize will be forfeited and another drawing will be held. This will continue until the prize has been given away. Emails should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Cat After Dark by clicking the follow link (not the Twitter link) on the right sidebar about the middle if the bar. Good luck!