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An Interview with John F.D. Taff

Published August 1, 2018 by MommaCat

JohnFDTaff

 

Welcome to Cat After Dark The King of Pain! It’s a thrill to have you here, John, I’ve enjoyed reading your stories for quite some time. I guess the obvious place to start is with your nickname. How did you come to be called “The King of Pain”?

Thanks for having me! And thanks for enjoying my stories.

Yes, my “King of Pain” nickname. When Tony Rivera at Grey Matter Press first read my novella collection The End in All Beginnings, he thought of how he could market it and me. What was it that was the thread that kind of drew all the stories together? What he settled on was the emotional resonance that much of my work has. In other words, Pain. So…King of Pain. I think that when it first got out there, we were both a little embarrassed about it. But it seems to have articulated something that many readers have felt about my work, too. And so we’ve both come to embrace it. Grey Matter is publishing a new collection of short stories from me later this summer entitled Little Black Spots, a reference to a line in The Police song “King of Pain.” If that doesn’t say I’ve embraced the nickname, nothing will.

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

I’m actually pretty busy right now. I’ve got that collection, Little Black Spots, coming out this summer. It’s composed of 50% previously published work and 50% brand, spankin’ new stories. I should be able to make an announcement soon regarding my big, sprawling end-of-the-world novel The Fearing. Me and my four blood brothers—Joe Schwartz, Erik T. Johnson, J. Daniel Stone and Josh Malerman—are working on stories for a follow up to our collection I Can Taste the Blood, this one called I Can Hear the Shadows. I’ve got another big iron in the fire with a group of other authors, for a project that should be announced soon. Then, I’m working with Brian Kirk on a project and with Josh Malerman on at least two other things. I’m hoping to have my next novel, He Left, done this summer. Whew. That’s just for this year and next.

What are some of the things you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I like to read, though that’s getting harder and harder to do, at least for pleasure. Other than that, I love movies, cooking, hanging out with my wife and pugs. We also have a fairly large garden, and I like to tinker around with that. I collect an inordinate number of things, mostly Hot Toys Marvel figures and Star Trek ships. Yes, I’m a geek.

My Sadie!

A post shared by John F.D. Taff (@johnf.d.taff) on

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

I’ve always, and I mean always had a love for reading, and that led to me trying my hand at writing from a fairly early age, if just to entertain myself. I don’t remember my first story, but when I was young I was really into Marvel Comics and Sherlock Holmes and Ellery Queen short mystery stories. I tried my hand at writing and illustrating comic books, and I remember writing little horror/detective story pastiches. I seem to remember writing some story when was probably 12 or 13 that involved a space shuttle disaster—kind of weirdly prescient—though I don’t remember much about it and don’t have a copy of it anymore.

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.

Hmmm…I’ll answer that in two ways. First, who would be fascinating to have a few drinks with? Poe. Wouldn’t that be an evening? I think he’d be all kinds of crazy interesting. Who would be fascinating in a more uplifting sense? Lincoln. Though he probably wouldn’t drink, and I’d be too frankly amazed to drink.

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

My three favorite books of all time? Sheesh. I’ll give you three, in no particular order. First, The Throat by Peter Straub, my all-time favorite writer and one of my (if not the) favorite novels. The Second would be The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen R. Donaldson, which is actually a 10-book series, and as such is a cheaty way of answering your question. The third (or more precisely the 12th) would be Night Shift by Stephen King. That was my introduction to King and his mastery of the short story and as such occupies a special place in my reading heart.

Right now, I am reading Priya Sharma’s lovely All the Fabulous Beasts, a collection of her beautiful short stories, and Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman. I love Malerman’s work. His collection Goblin was one of the absolute best books I’ve read recently, and this new one and its weird western vibe has really hooked me. I just finished Brian Kirk’s upcoming book Will Haunt You, which is a stunner, and Erik T. Johnson’s brilliant dark fantasy Sunday, which he wrote with Michael Bailey. Look for these two books soon.

If you could switch bodies with one person for one day, who would it be? What would you do?

Oh lord, probably someone younger and thinner. And I hesitate to share what I’d do, other than eat and make myself fat all over again.

When you write, do you usually listen to music? If so, what type? Does it affect your storyline?

Yes, I generally have music going when I write, to help me set the mood. But I can’t listen to music with lyrics, as it makes it difficult for me to write. So a lot of classical music and soundtracks. But music plays a huge role in my writing, showing up in my stories and helping to define characters. I also love musicians who are great lyricists, as I look to song lyrics to help me with titles.

What were your favorite books growing up?

I loved anything Sherlock Holmes. Books on ghosts and UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster and the Yeti and Bigfoot aWnd other paranormal stuff played a major role in my reading list. I also loved books like the D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths and Book of Norse Myths. Science fiction (Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein) and fantasy (Tolkien, Donaldson,Vance, Silverberg, Zelazny) also played a huge part in my reading as a teenager. When I finally got into horror, it was Poe, King, Straub, Rice, Garton, Ketchum, Barker. They were the biggies.

How would you like the world to remember you?

If I’m remembered at all, I’d like to be remembered as a writer that people liked to read. And, of course, a helluva nice guy.

lbs

Well, since doing this interview last spring LITTLE BLACK SPOTS was delayed.   So, I still haven’t read it as it’s still going through the editing process and has a publishing date of September 11, 2018.   Keep watching the Random Reviews page since I’ll update that as soon as I finish what is sure to be an awesome read.  

Be sure to follow John on Twitter.  Keep up with his incredibly prolific writing schedule. His webpage is worth checking out – don’t forget to bookmark it!  And as you can see from beautiful Sadie’s picture above, he is also on Instagram.  One of these days I will figure out how to maneuver my way around there…

 

 

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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 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!

An Interview with Kristin Dearborn

Published August 1, 2016 by MommaCat

KristinDearborn

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

My second full length novel, Stolen Away, was released from Raw Dog Screaming Press in June of 2016. My third novella, Whispers is coming out in October from Lovecraft Ezine. There are a few other short stories coming out in the not too distant future, but those are like Fight Club and I can’t talk about them yet.

If you were to make a deal with the devil what would you ask for?

I feel like this is going to be the most boring answer, but I’d do the whole “sell my soul for talent” kind of thing like an old blues guitar player on a crossroads at midnight. I know those deals are never as good as they sound, but I don’t think I could resist.

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

It sure would be nice to have one more Richard Matheson tale, wouldn’t it? I wonder what he would think of 2016, and what he’d be coming up with these days. He’s got some of the hardest hitting horror in the business.

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

I know it would be awful, and I’d probably die in about three minutes, but I want to go to Westeros. I want a dragon or a dire wolf, and I want to fight the white walkers above the wall. I think it’s such a richly depicted world that even though there’s nothing good going on here, I want to try my hand at the game of thrones. In reality, I’d just be a peasant and get murdered (or worse) before I turned 5.

Describe your perfect day.

My perfect day includes something outdoorsy like hiking or rock climbing, or maybe motorcycling. I’d wake up early and adventure all day, with excellent company. Beautiful sights would be seen, and by the end, I would be exhausted. Then I would eat something ridiculously awesome, probably something in the beef or salmon family, there would be epic dessert—ice cream? Cake? Both? And then, because this is my perfect day, there would be a hot tub, and horror movies. I consider myself lucky that I can make pretty much all of this happen (minus the hot tub) with some regularity.

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

I think it would be pretty neat to experience a day as a gentleman. Peeing standing up, getting the good side of the patriarchy…I don’t need to be a famous dude or a particular person, I just want to be a guy for a day.

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

I just got back from NECON and my birthday is in early August, so I’ve got more books than I know what to do with. I’m currently reading (and loving) Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones. After that I think End of Watch is up, by Stephen King. For my birthday I got myself the entire Locke and Key graphic novel series, so I’ll chew through that, and then I think it’ll be Alan Moore’s Neonomicon. I just got a hammock, so I hope to do a lot of this reading from that vantage point in my back yard.

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

I’ve tried to get away from the idea of guilty pleasure reading and let all my flags fly. A well-structured romance novel can hold my interest just as well as a well-structured horror novel. The thing I most feel guilty about is the amount of goddamn time I spend reading my Facebook page, particularly when I find myself staring at my phone and have an open book in my lap.

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

There’s a part of me that wants to list my closest friends here, but I can do that literally any time I want to. I would invite Stephen King for sure, as he is my favorite author. JK Rowling. Edith Wharton, another favorite. Freddie Mercury, John Lennon…um, now I’m feeling kinda guilty that they’re all fairly recent pop culture figures (minus Edith, but she was kinda poppy in her day). Maybe I’d throw in E.A. Poe, though he might bring the party down. Maybe I’d do Mark Twain instead, so Edith would have someone to hang out with. Or Shirley Jackson. Or JFK…

How do you want the world to remember you?

Two of my heroes are JK Rowling and Stephen King. Not only are they two of the finest writers of our times, they’re also both huge philanthropists. JK Rowling has been bumped off the Forbes list of billionaires because of her charity contributions. King too spends a lot of his hard earned money on philanthropy, focusing his energy in the state of Maine. He focuses on local communities (a baseball field in Bangor), education and libraries, and the arts. He’s given millions of dollars to our shared alma mater, the University of Maine. Both King and Rowling aren’t afraid to get sassy on Twitter, standing up for liberal causes they believe in. One of my favorite moments came when King knocked Maine’s idiot tea party governor down a peg or two after LePage accused him of not paying his share of Maine state taxes. Likewise, Rowling isn’t afraid to hop on Twitter and slap down haters, particularly conservatives.

This was my long winded way of saying I want to be like them. So talented it makes you sick (probably because I made a deal with the devil), but using my powers for good instead of evil.

Thanks for letting us get to know you, Kristin!  Looking for more?  Check out her Facebook and web page and be sure to follow her on Twitter.  Keep scrolling…I got to read STOLEN AWAY!

www.kristindearborn.com

https://twitter.com/narfnitsirk

https://www.facebook.com/kristin.dearborn

STOLEN AWAY is available at Amazon.com

9781935738848-Perfect.indd

STOLEN AWAY is Kristin Dearborn at her utterly demonic best.  This is true horror, and fairly graphic.  Visions of hell, rampaging demons, drugs and rape all play a part in this story.  But so does hope, and the main characters are likable. DEMON has a child with human women and has no interest in joint custody.  We’ll just see about that.  Collectors will recognize the cover art Daniele Serra and I think that’s reason enough to spring for the paperback to display on your shelf.

An Interview with F. Paul Wilson

Published July 1, 2016 by MommaCat

FPaulWilson

 

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

Panacea is out July 5. I’m writing a sequel of sorts, The God Gene, now. Not really a sequel, simply another mystery-adventure with the same two lead characters. Lemme tell you, it was with no little trepidation that handed in Panacea — my first non-Repairman Jack novel in many years. It’s a significant departure, since the Jack books are noirish crime stories with a fantastic back story. Panacea is a continent-hopping mystery adventure in search of the legendary cure-all. But the publisher loved it and even wanted another like it. Thus, The God Gene.

And sometime this year Tom Monteleone and I will finish The Silent Ones, third and last in our YA series, Nocturnia.

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

Tons. In no particular order: H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Sax Rohmer, Bill Blatty, Robert Heinlein, Victor Hugo, Robert B. Parker, Poul Anderson, Raymond Chandler, Larry Niven, Dashiell Hammett, Charles Dickens, Fred Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth, Henry Kuttner, Charles Fort, and lots of others whose names escape me at the moment. And I suppose I shouldn’t leave out EC Comics, Captain Video, The Shadow, King Kong, the old Flash Gordon serials. Anyone and anything that grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go.

I’m standing on the shoulders of all of the above, but the one still influencing me thematically (not stylistically), is H. P. Lovecraft. His cosmic horror, his materialistic take on the universe as indifferent at best, but most often malign, shook up my worldview when I was in my teens and has stayed with me since. It echoes all through the Adversary Cycle and Repairman Jack novels, and even into Panacea.

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 wish Henry Kuttner were around to write more Gallagher stories, and I could do with a couple more Hogben tales.

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

I’d very much like to live in Barry Schenck’s Retropolis. You can find it at http://thrilling-tales.webomator.com/ It’s sort of the way the present was supposed to look from the perspective of the 1930s (if that makes any sense). Check out the website or check out the 1930 film Just Imagine. (Full feature at http://tinyurl.com/h4bomxf – it’s awful in the way only early talkies can be, but visually it’s a jewel. Watch the first 3 minutes to get an idea of the retrofuture I’m talking about.)

This wouldn’t be an interview with you if we didn’t talk about Repairman Jack and The Secret History of the World. How far into writing your books did you realize you could convert your stories into one epic world? Were you influenced by anyone? Is there a story behind the story?

Well, the Secret History sort of grew. It starts with Lovecraft’s materialist, mechanistic universe – his so-called cosmic horror – amplified by the Fermi Paradox which boils down to: Where is everyone?  With billions of Earth-type planets in our galaxy with the potential for supporting life – many of them much older than ours – why haven’t we been contacted?  The answer could be that sentience and sapience don’t occur very often in the universe. What if the human level of sapience is so rare that when it occurs it attracts… attention? What if we are under the scrutiny of (to quote Wells) “intellects vast, cool and unsympathetic”?  Lovecraft and Charles Fort (who declared “We are property”) mined that vein, and I’m following in their footsteps. Those unsympathetic intellects have shaped human history from behind the scenes, that’s why it’s called the Secret History.

Humanity being the plaything of vast, unknowable forces percolates through The Keep, The Tomb, and The Touch even though they were all intended as stand-alones. I started another completely unrelated novel with the working title The Chadham Clone. I meant for it to look like Rosemary’s Baby or The Omen on the surface but actually be something different (just as The Keep looks like a vampire novel for a while, but it’s not). I wanted to use an evil entity other than the tired old Antichrist, but who? Then I realized I already had that entity in Rasalom from The Keep. I needed a suburban setting convenient to Manhattan, and realized I already had one in Monroe where The Touch took place. I became intrigued by the challenge of tying those two novels, and The Tomb as well, into Rasalom’s reincarnation, bringing the books full circle. It worked so well that I suspect my subconscious might have been linking them all along.

Things grew from there. The result was an outline for a 1,000+ page novel. Nobody was going to publish that, so I broke it down into a trilogy that became Reborn, Reprisal, and Nightworld. When I was done I called all 6 novels The Adversary Cycle, and that formed the foundation of the Secret History. When I brought Jack back in 1998, he was already part of the Secret History, so I used him to expand on the story.

We also know that you are a medical doctor specializing in family practice. But like Repairman Jack, do you have plans to retire? What will you do when that time comes?

I’ve been a part-time physician working 2 days a week for quite some time now (I’d never have been able to write all those books had I been full time). I’ve got a few more practice years left in me. I love my patients, but the government and the insurance companies are conspiring to drive me insane. As for writing, I’ll probably keep that up till I die or develop full-blown dementia.

And Jack? He’ll be back. I have no doubt that a suitable novel will come along and I’ll bring him in from the pasture and put him to work. Can’t say just when, though.

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

Willie Dixon in the late 1950s. I’m writing “Little Red Rooster,” “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “I Just Wanna Make Love to You,” “Spoonful” and other blues classics. I’m doing session work for Chess Records, I’m playing upright bass in Chuck Berry’s band. I’m not a household name, but I’m defining the Chicago Blues sound. (Later on, in the 60s, my songs will be covered by the Stones, Led Zep, Cream, the Doors, Hendrix, even Dylan.)

Willie Dixon

Then again, maybe Kim Kardashian – pre-Kanye, of course. I mean, what’s it like to sit on that butt?

Kim Kardashian Paper magazine cover

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

Just started Watched Too Long by Ann Voss Peterson and J.A. Konrath. The books ahead haven’t been published yet – ARCs by Norman Spinrad and Charles Stross.

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

I’ll read old pulp novels from time to time, but I’m not guilty about them. The snoots turn up their noses but, y’know, who cares? It’s my comfort food. That’s why I wrote “Sex Slaves of the Dragon Tong.”

I do have guilty music, though. I’m a blues guy, but I have a weakness for good harmony and a catchy tune. My iPod hides an occasional song by the Partridge Family, the Carpenters, Air Supply, and others too uncool to cop to. (“Easy Come, Easy Go” by Bobby Sherman – yoiks!)

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

The obvious one is keep writing…write every day. When I started out, writing part time, I found a minimum of 3 first-draft double-spaced pages per day did the trick. That’s 21/week. At that rate you’ve got over 540 pages in 6 months. That’s a decent-sized novel.

In writing those 3 pages per day, avoid tinkering with them. This stalls you by fooling you into thinking you’re still writing. You’re not. And you’re losing momentum. Get those 3 pages down and then leave them alone and go on to the next 3. The time to fix and hone them is after you’ve finished that all-important first draft – what I call the vomit draft. You’ll know your characters better then and can go back and make meaningful edits and additions.

The other is less obvious: Avoid envy. Other writers are going to be more successful than you. Applaud their success rather than begrudge it. Just remember, there’s objective success and subjective success. Objective is counted on bestseller lists and dollar signs. Subjective is defined by you: what are your goals in putting those words on paper? Don’t lose sight of that.

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

Dorothy Parker, Ambrose Bierce, Ogden Nash, Oscar Wilde, and H. L. Mencken. A veritable torrent of wit. Can you imagine the laughs? The unbridled cynicism?

How do you want the world to remember you?

A stand-up guy who poured a mean gimlet and told lots of good stories.

 

You can find Paul on Twitter and follow him, look for @fpaulwilson.  Check out his Facebook page too!  Thank you so much for the interview, Paul.  And thank you for letting me read Panacea.

This is an exciting book! Think Dan Brown meets Michael Crichton. Then, boom! You’re off off on an around the world (Paul’s World – it fits into the Secret History) whirlwind thriller as competing forces attempt to find a cure-all. Can it truly exist? Dead bodies are turning up that were otherwise perfectly healthy…and they shouldn’t have been.  Have fun reading this – I sure did!

Find PANACEA at Amazon.com

panacea

An Interview with David Bell

Published June 1, 2016 by MommaCat

david_j_bell

 

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

My next thriller, SINCE SHE WENT AWAY, will be released on June 21st. It’s about a single mother and her teenage son and their involvement in a missing persons case.

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

I think good stories start with characters. Character drives plot not the other way around. So the short answer is—“Yes!”

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

So, so many. But to name a few: Harlan Coben, Raymond Carver, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rosemary Sutcliff, Elmore Leonard, Ed Gorman. The list could go on and on.

Your publisher must love to see your manuscripts come in. Being an English professor, you have must have the ability to self edit, true? Would you talk about the importance of editing one’s work?

Over time, I think writers learn to step back from their own work and see it critically. But no one can be completely objective about their own work, which is why it’s essential to have good readers to help. My editor, agent, and my wife all read my work carefully and give me a lot of feedback. It takes a village to write a novel…

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

I’d like to hit a baseball like Joey Votto.

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

Who knows? Maybe NO ONE KNOWS by JT Ellison, SEE ALSO DECEPTION by Larry Sweazy, and COMMAND AND CONTROL by Eric Schlosser

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

Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Alexander the Great, Shakespeare, and Rosemary Sutcliff

What if you were given a million dollars with the restriction that every penny must be spent to benefit others. If you got rid of the entire amount within one week, you would receive two million dollars for yourself or lose it all. How would you spend the money to benefit the most people? Limit $1000 per person.

I’d buy them books!

How do you want the world to remember you?

A hard working writer…who lived long enough to see the Reds win the World Series one more time.

Look for David Bell on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @davidbellnovels and on his website.

Look for his newest novel SINCE SHE WENT AWAY everywhere books are sold!. It promises to be a chiller of a thriller! All of Bell’s novels are thoughtfully plotted and character driven. This promises to be more of the same. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

SinceSheWentAway

 

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