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An Interview with Benjamin Kane Ethridge

Published February 1, 2016 by MommaCat

BenjaminKaneEthridge

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?

Target (cart attendant, cashier, graveyard shift stock team), Substitute elementary school teacher, Environmental compliance inspector, Program/ Project manager

Being an aspiring published author is different for everybody.

How much did winning the Stoker Award so early in your career change your perceptions toward your writing and writing as a career?

The biggest thing I found was that I didn’t have to work as hard to be published. Trying to get published is probably just as much work, initially, as the writing itself. Once I won the award and started selling more books, I would be invited to anthologies and receive book deals (of widely varying degrees). Although rejection isn’t a thing of the past by any means, a new idea came to be: pre-acceptance. Publishers were willing to buy what I was going to write, and that was very strange; it makes you question the quality of your own fiction, whether it will ever really be judged the way it had been previously as a novice writer.

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

I am working on the first novel in a series for JournalStone books. SLAUGHTER MAN: MOON CITY TALE. It’s a SciFi adventure with a little hard boiled mood. It’s taking longer than I expected because dumb errors have cropped up and life has decided it needed to keep on happening. But the novel shall get done soon. It shall.

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

Yes, my Slaughter Man novella from the Limbus INC anthology comes to mind. I worked with a lot of decent, blue collar guys in my day and I wanted to create a story about someone who reminded me of them. It’s great to have a character that will keep you excited throughout the writing process, a person that will not always make the choices that will make the story easy to write, and therefore the entire creation becomes that much more realistic.

THIS HOUSE… on the surface appears to be a haunted house story. At the very least it seems to question how a house gets haunted. But the reader learns something very different by the end. Would you talk about your thought process as you sat down to write and tell us how the writing flowed (or didn’t)?

I sat down to write a haunted house story that would be the Ethridge Haunted House story. I wanted it to be mine. With everything I write, there are those who may appreciate my intentions and those who may not. Some people can go on reading and watching the same types of books and movies and be completely happy with experiencing similar stories but with differently arranged dominoes that ultimately spill out to the same destination.

I’m not judging. For me, I’m the same way with some genres, but not for haunted house stories. I just cannot be worked up about them anymore, even if they’re well done. After Matheson’s HELLHOUSE and King’s THE SHINING, every other take felt like eating saltines with varying degrees of saltiness. Now, I know I’m discounting quite a bit of lore and literature here, and while there are some literary greats who have been absolutely innovative in the genre (enter Shirley Jackson), I cannot say I’ve really been affected by the “bad place” story since having childhood nightmares about Jack Nicholson limping through the snow with an axe.

The horror factor isn’t what compelled me, by the way, to remember such images. I was more interested in considering wow, what happened to that kid’s father? Can you imagine if one of your parents changed into such a violent manifestation of their former self? The guy was an abusive alcoholic and the end result of that flaw exploited to the horror-ith power really intrigued me. I was more interested in what haunted a human being, and I didn’t want to involve the supernatural in that study. I’m not believer. Not in the supernatural, or the natural though. This is fiction and so I don’t need to answer to other convictions or even my own. I don’t want to write about people who conjure up false mental demons and spirits. I want to write about mental demons and spirits who conjure up false people. THAT is fascinating to me. Is it scary? Yes, I think if you put yourself in the shoes of any of the characters in THIS HOUSE… it would be terrifying to have such little control over the parasitic chaos in your life.

I wrote this novella a couple years back, but I recall it flowing steadily from start to end. Back then I was averaging around three thousand words a day. So I probably had a draft in under a couple weeks.

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

James Joyce, Stephen King, Madeleine L’Engle, Robert Jordan, Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Matheson, Emily Dickinson, and Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

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

Somebody dying with huge regrets. I want to know where the thoughts go toward the end. I want to know how that process of acceptance feels. Coming out of something like that would give a person stronger psychological armor than anything else I can imagine. It’d be a blessing to live a life with such knowledge.

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

Oh boy. I should be incarcerated for the lack of reading I’ve been doing lately. I need to finish my Tom Savage novel (because he’s awesome and all his books are great books). I also need to read more of my fiancé Sara Brooke’s work, because she writes tight, wonderful mainstream horror, which I could stand to learn enormous amounts from. And I need to read the last Wheel of Time book. The series ended and I’ve still not finished it—and I’ve enjoyed Sanderson’s piloting of the conclusion thus far.

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

Jesus Christ – not because I’m Christian, but because I want to see if he really looks like old school Kenny Loggins as all the cheap paintings portray, or if he looks like a Cro-Magnon Charlie Manson as the latest forensic anthropological studies suggests. I just want to know.

Jack the Ripper – so I can turn the bastard in.      Ripper

 

Michael Louis Calvillo – because he was a great friend of mine which I lost too early, and he always enjoyed a good party.

Shakespeare – just to see if twenty different people show up.

Henry Rollins – because he’ll help with turning over Jack the Ripper to the authorities and when he returns to the table he’ll keep the conversation lively.

How do you want the world to remember you?

As someone who lived, and then wrote stories about it.

 

I will remember your stories, Ben. And I’d like to thank you for taking time from writing to visit with us today.  Look for more on Benjamin at these links:

FACEBOOKPINTERESTGOODREADS, TWITTER

February 2 is the release date for THIS HOUSE…  this-house  As I said in the interview, on the surface it appears to be  haunted house story.  And that cover sure grabs your eye, doesn’t it?  Awesome artwork!

But, as you delve into the pages you’ll find much more than you were expecting…  You’ll be glad you read it. Available at Amazon, B&N and the usual booksellers.

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An Interview with Brian Hodge

Published November 15, 2015 by MommaCat

BrianHodge

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

I don’t really fit that mold. I graduated college with a degree in advertising, and worked for a newspaper while writing my first two novels. They both sold around the same time. Then I went to my first convention, the World Fantasy Con, and that went so well it was the final straw. I quit the job, but spent awhile weaning myself off regular paychecks with a janitorial gig I could do in the middle of the night. That was it. I’ve written a lot of nonfiction, too, but those two early jobs were all I did on the outside.

Being an aspiring published author is ______________________.

not for the highly distractible or the easily discouraged.

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

So far, definitely lined up for 2016, I have a novelette called “The Weight of the Dead” set to come out from Tor.com next June, and pieces in various anthologies: 2113: Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush; The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu; Tales of the Lost Citadel; and the fully compiled edition of Dark Screams, the joint project between Random House and Cemetery Dance Publications. Other things I can’t talk about yet, either because I’ve been asked to wait until they’re officially announced, or they’re still in progress.

How important are character names and how do you come up with them?

The right names are crucial, because they can convey qualities or personality traits, or imply ethnicity, or suggest a timeframe, or piggyback on associations we might have about a person of that name. Or you might want to have fun by subverting associations, like with the 300-pound guy whose friends call him “Tiny.” But this is a nebulous thing to explain logically. Usually it comes down to feeling. A name looks right, feels right, sounds right.

If the right name doesn’t pop into mind, I’ll try combing databases to see what jumps out. What names were popular in the 1920s, I looked that up recently. Historical names are trickier. I have a novel-in-progress that’s set in Anglo-Saxon England shortly after the Norman Conquest. While the male names were fairly easy to choose from, the main character is female. The trouble with early Anglo-Saxon names for women is that very few of them carry connotations of being female. Undoubtedly they did at the time, but to our sensibilities now, no. Or names like Milburga … that sort of does, but it feels clunky and stout. It’s that “urg” in there. It’s too guttural. But when I found the name Ælfwynn, I knew I had the perfect name for this character. What a beautiful name. It’s lighter. It has no plosives or hard consonants. It glides. It means elf-joy. I fell in love with it.

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

If that’s ever happened, I don’t remember it. I tend not to work that way. A basic idea always seems to come first, and then right away I starting asking myself “Okay, now, who’s most likely to be around for this situation?” or “Who’s going to be able to help me squeeze as much out of this as I can?” So I end up developing the concept and the characters concurrently, and each side feeds the other.

That first novella I did for DarkFuse that you liked so much, Without Purpose, Without Pity, is a good example. I first had the idea of a Las Vegas cut off from the rest of the world. Then I figured the city’s combat sports culture would still be around, no matter what. I knew I wanted it to focus on a heavyweight boxer and this metamorphosis that was happening to him, which in part was suggested by a Zdzislaw Beksinksi painting. So that meant bringing in the relationship with his trainer, as well. But I didn’t think either one of them was the right mouthpiece for telling the bigger story — culturally, environmentally, sociologically. That’s when I hit on the approach of the narrator being a Joe Rogan or Jim Lampley type … someone already accustomed to being a commentator. Things ricochet around and set each other into motion, instead of developing in isolation.

Which of your stories holds the most meaning for you?

They’re all meaningful, because they’re all reflections of how ideas that emerged out of a specific frame of mind congealed at a particular time and place. The factors can never come together the same way twice. But some works rise above for different reasons.

Wild Horses, my first crime novel, sold at auction right after we moved to Colorado, so all that was very life-changing, and I’ll always be grateful for its role there.

With the novella Whom the Gods Would Destroy, not only was I happy with the way it came out, and the reception it got, but I also got the bug to compose and record a soundtrack to it, so the project was hugely satisfying on multiple levels.

As Above, So Below,” the anchor piece for my collection Falling Idols, was a pick for a century’s best anthology, so that was a great validation in and of itself, but writing it was such a trippy experience. Those first few hours after I finished it, I was in this floating daze, like I’d opened some sort of doorway, and if I blundered the rest of the way through, there would be no coming back. I never experienced anything like that either before or since.

And the new one, “In the Negative Spaces,” from Dark City, is right up there, too. I go through phases. For a couple-three years now, I’ve been in a cosmic horror phase, and that one feels like the most advanced thing I’ve done along those lines so far, and the main character ended up really close to my heart.

Let’s hear more about that one. At first glance, Dark City looks like a collaborative effort, but it’s not, really, is it?

No, it’s more along the lines of Dark Harvest’s classic Night Visions series, where three authors would time-share equal portions of a book and do whatever they wanted. Dave Barnett, the publisher at Necro Publications, gave Gerard Houarner and me half a book each to play with. Gerard split his into two pieces, and I did a really long novella.

In the Negative Spaces” came out of my seeing a Facebook thread about how much real estate in high-value places like Manhattan sits empty all the time. You have a large number of condos and apartments that are bought and sold purely as investments, without anyone ever living in them, so you end up having these gilded dead zones. I started wondering what might take root and grow in this life-negative void, or be drawn through this vacuum.

At its heart, it’s about a woman who’s escaped an abusive marriage with not much more than her life, and who lands in just such a place to start putting herself back together again. Then it all starts going off-the-rails weird after she finds a stranger’s dream journal. It has probably the most eclectic collision of research topics I’ve ever woven together: Manhattan real estate rapacity, the Cambrian Period, alternate evolution, life as a luxury tower doorman, DMT trips, Russian mob tattoos … a real crazy-quilt, but the pieces fit.

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

I’m going to be a contrarian and answer this differently than usual. I’ve answered that question so many times, and the thing nobody ever asks is what editors were an influence. An editorial vision can make just as much of an impression as an authorial vision, because it can expose you to a much broader range of individual sensibilities than you can get from one author. For me, there were at least three writers who doubled as editors who made a huge formative impression.

Charles Grant had a substantial body of anthologies I found at the right time — most notably his Shadows series. Karl Edward Wagner’s year’s-best anthologies were key reading. Then there’s David B. Silva. Through his magazine The Horror Show, he introduced me to a lot of established writers and fellow newcomers, and also published several of my earliest stories. I learned a lot from his overall tastes and his direct feedback.

Your answer makes a helluva lot of sense-especially now. Editors don’t get the respect they deserve. – MC

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

The trap here is if you picked something that would make you feel bad for the rest of your life once you had to give it up and go back to your default body. “I experienced this for one day and now I’ll never have it again.” I’d rather have something useful.

So, being heavily into working out and weight training and Krav Maga and that sort of thing, I would choose this former Navy SEAL Commander named Mark Divine. Among other things, he runs a kind of boot camp called SEALFit. The way he approaches the mind-body-spirit triad clicks with me. It would be useful to experience that ultra-elite level of conditioning to bring back as a baseline to really know from the inside what’s possible.

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

I’m going to go through my contributor’s copy of Ellen Datlow’s new anthology, The Monstrous. I also have cued up Bernard Cornwell’s The Empty Throne, the latest in his Saxon Tales series, and Mental Muscle, by Logan Christopher, about the mental side of strength training.

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

Leonardo da Vinci, definitely. With a polymath on that level, that’s like seven people in one. Richard Branson. The world’s coolest billionaire — what could I learn from him? Plus maybe I could parlay the evening into a flight on Virgin Galactic. Helen Mirren would be delightful and tell great stories and keep us all in line. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who I hope would be antic enough to keep things unpredictable, and the after-dinner music would be unbeatable. Finally, John O’Donohue, so we could crack a bottle of Irish whiskey and talk deep into the night.

If you could claim one book as your own – think fame not fortune – what would it be?

Probably The Velveteen Rabbit. There’s something about having done a children’s classic that would appeal, and that one in particular speaks to me. It’s the most beautifully bittersweet thing ever. In one story from several years ago, I wrote “Children are natural animists; everything around them is alive and aware and possessed of deep feelings and exceptional memories.” I never quite grew out of that.

How do you want the world to remember you?

For me, that’s a moot point. It won’t, and I don’t care. I’ll be happy enough just to run out the clock on this existence and be done with it.

You can find Brian on the Web  and on Facebook.

Thanks so much for a terrific interview, Brian. I, for one, will remember you for a very long time to come.

Scroll down for a review of Brian’s novella!

An Interview with Shane Staley

Published September 15, 2015 by MommaCat

ShaneStaley

Shane Staley is the managing publisher of DarkFuse. He is considered by many as one of the most influential editors and publishers of the modern era horror scene. He was the founder and editor-in-chief of the legendary specialty press Delirium Books (1999-2012). Staley started his publishing career in 1995 with a ‘zine called The Darklands Project. Since then, he has published more than 300 books in his career and has been a part of launching some of the most important writing careers in the horror genre.

Shane took time from his busy schedule to do a rare interview. This is a peek into the mind of one of the most prolific contributors to dark fiction in the world.

To connect with Shane, please follow him on Twitter (@TheShaneStaley).

You were originally an author, how did you get into publishing?

I think it came mostly from an overwhelming disinterest in the current publishing companies of the time. Each were publishing the same established talents to make a buck, but few were taking on newer and oftentimes more talented authors. So I wanted to change that. At the time I was getting published in the same magazines as some very talented young authors, but the book publishers weren’t picking up their longer works, so I started my own publishing company to get their work out on the market.

As both a publisher and a writer, do you find it difficult to switch hats if you want to sit down and write a story?

Actually, I find it almost impossible to switch gears without having distance between the business and the art. You use two totally different sides of your brain handling the business and creating the art of fiction. I always told myself I’d publish till I was 40, then get back to writing full time, but that hasn’t exactly happened.

Would you talk about the upcoming DarkFuse lineup? What authors do we have to look forward to?

DarkFuse will be streamlining offerings a little over the coming year and focusing on bigger (novel) releases. Our core roster will be returning with new books, including Willie Meikle, Greg F. Gifune, Jon Bassoff and Tim Curran, to name a few.

How did DarkFuse Magazine come to life? Would you tell us about some of the ideas you have in store for us?

DF Mag has always been a for-the-love-of-it project. Somewhere to be able to showcase shorter works which we can’t really do in book format or digital due to the already ridiculous low prices of novels and novellas on the market.

We’ll be experimenting with more serial works and original fiction, as well as some behind-the-scenes non-fiction that ties in with our book line.

I especially love the Tiny Terrors portion of the magazine. Would you expand a bit on that? Can tweets from past weeks be voted on again?

Well, I love Twitter. Love the concept and I use it personally as a creative tool for my own writing, so I challenged authors to scare me (and DarkFuse’s readership) in the defined character count Twitter allows, which is no small feat. Terror packed into small doses is an art in itself and it’s really fun to read what other authors come up with.

Each session we’ll present all the new Tiny Terrors that are submitted by using the hashtag #DFTinyTerrors and tagging DarkFuse’s Twitter account (@darkfuse) to our book club members to vote on which one was the best. Only the past session of tweets can be voted on.

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

I think H. P. Lovecraft was the first author that influenced me and close to the last. I mimicked his stories and prose for years till I found my own voice and style of writing and then I really kept from reading a lot of fiction in the genre because I wanted to distance myself from being subconsciously influenced by others’ writings and styles.

Who is Patrick Kill? Can his books be found anywhere outside the DarkFuse Publishing site?

Patrick Kill is a byline that should never be read by someone seeking good taste in fiction. He writes of a world that has no moral concept and has been banned from exiting the DarkFuse Magazine archives for fear the world will collapse if his work goes viral.

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

They will more than likely be tennis coaching books and tennis autobiographies. Outside of my publishing career, I’m about as driven to be the best tennis coach I can be, so I spend a lot of time going over video and reading within the sport.

If you could claim one DarkFuse/Delirium book as your own—think fame not fortune— what would it be?

It’d have to be The Bleeding Season by Greg F. Gifune. It’s a modern classic, timeless and something that will be as relevant decades from now as it was the day it was first published.

How do you want the world to remember you?

I’m not sure the world has a memory. If it does, and I’m to be remembered, it will be of no real concern, use, or meaning to me. Which is fair, as I will not be able to remember the world.

If that’s too artsy-fartsy of an answer for you, how about this…

Instead of the awards I’ve won, the impact I’ve made in publishing, I’d rather just be remembered by those who personally knew me as the good person I truly am: the friend, the father, husband, coach, etc. as well as for my sometimes strange sense of imaginative humor I’ve carried with me throughout my life.

Too sappy?

Well, too bad! That’s all I got. Now go read a book!

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 

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