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An Interview with Frank Cavallo

Published June 11, 2017 by MommaCat

FrankCavallo

 

Welcome to Cat After Dark, Frank! It’s so nice to meet you. I’m glad that you were able to take time out of your schedule to let us get to know you a little bit better.

Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here!

Are you a full time writer or do you hold down a regular job as well?

In my non-writing life I’m a lawyer. I’ve been at that for about 16 years now, all on the defense side. Initially I worked in juvenile court and then for the last ten-plus years I’ve been trying cases exclusively in felony court, what we call the Court of Common Pleas here in Ohio. Recently I started handling an appellate case load. That’s mostly brief-writing, so I’m still writing even in my non-writing time.

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

I usually balk at answering this question. The only time I ever discussed an active, unfinished project in an interview it later fell apart.

However, in this case I am legitimately between books, so I really don’t have anything to reveal–or to worry about jinxing. I’ve got three or four ideas sitting on my desk, in various stages of outlining. Some are just sketches. Eventually one of them will pick up steam and I’ll run with it.

What are some of the things you enjoy doing when you’re not working? And how would you spend your time if there were no restrictions in place – either time or dollar-wise?

I love to travel, that’s probably my one great passion after writing. At last count I’ve visited just over 40 countries, and I’m always trying to add to the list. 

If I had as much money and time as I wanted, that’s all I’d do. I would write for a few months non-stop, then take a month or two off to fly to some far-flung spot, backpack around, sample odd food, tour ancient ruins, look at exotic wildlife, etc.

countries

Pick a country…any country..,

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

I do! I was in the third grade. It was Halloween and I wrote a monster story for class, I believe it was a Dracula story (but it might have been a werewolf story, I’m not sure which one I did first, but I know I did versions of both). Anyway, the other kids passed it around and seemed to like it, so I wrote a few more. I’ve been doing it ever since. 

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.

I’m not believer in any particular religion, so none of the standard answers of Jesus, Buddha, etc. have much appeal to me. Second, my tangential relationship to government in my work-life leads me to believe that most political figures, however great their achievements or bold their leadership, are essentially cut from the same cloth. Most are willing to lie or cheat to get to those positions, and probably have to be that way in order to succeed. So I’m not interested in meeting any of them, even the great ones.

That leaves artists, thinkers, philosophers, maybe military types. Not much interest in the latter bunch, but I do think Leonardo, Shakespeare or Einstein would be on the list. However, if I had to pick one and only one, I’m leaning in a different direction. What I’d probably do is pick a fairly random, otherwise-anonymous person and find out everything I could about him or her.

I’ll give you my reasons, briefly. A few years ago I was at the Topkapi palace museum in Istanbul. There’s a section there with grave markers from the Roman era, going all the way back to the days of the East/West split of the Empire. The engravings are haunting, not because they’re unusual, but because they’re so mundane. They’re just like what we write now, two-thousand years later. People missed their parents. They mourned their spouses or their children who died too young, etc. Except for these markers, these people are completely unknown, unremembered and lost forever.

There are literally billions of people who have lived and died over the ages and we know virtually nothing about them. Not only are their names lost, but everything about them: what they cared about, who they loved, what they dreamt about, what they thought the world they were giving to their children would look like. I want to sit down with one of them. I want to find out all of those things from someone that history has forgotten.

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Would you go on Dancing with the Stars if given the opportunity?

No, never. Absolutely not. I don’t care what they pay. There isn’t enough money in the world to get me to do that. I hate dancing.

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

Seriously tough question!

1) Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Conqueror” (originally titled “The Hour of the Dragon”) is the first book I really fell in love with. I bought it as a used paperback for five cents at my local library sometime in middle school and read it repeatedly until it nearly fell apart.

2) Frank Herbert’s “Dune” I read one summer in high school, and it opened my eyes to what SciFi can be. It was huge and epic and tackled real, heavy issues. It showed me that speculative fiction could be so much more than spaceships and laser fights.

Dune

3) Super close call on #3 but I’m going to go with Clive Barker’s “The Hellbound Heart.” It’s the first book I read as an adult that just knocked me over and made me say “wow, I wish I could do that.”(Honorable mention here goes to Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere.” These two books are so close that if you asked me on another day, in a different mood, I might very well have reversed the order.

Right now I’m reading Mary Beard’s “SPQR” which is a study of the early days of the Roman Republic, the centuries before Caesar that set the stage for what Rome eventually became. I switch off between fiction and non-fiction, and try to read a little of both.

Beard

You just invented a magic portal. Anyone who passed though the portal would be ‘unexisted’. So they would not be missed and life would work itself out. You can send three people through the portal. Who will you send? Why?

That’s another tough one. It’s uncomfortably close to “who would you kill if you could get away with it?” Given my job, I’d be loath to wade into those waters. If I want to be consistent that I am against the use of the death penalty for anyone, no matter the offense, then I can’t in good conscience say that I think I possess the wisdom to use it “properly” if it were left up to my judgment. So I’ll have to abstain on this one.

If you could choose one time and place in history to visit for a day, where would it be and what would you do?

If we’re talking about the entire history of the Earth, then I’d probably visit one day before the Chicxulub impact about 65 million years ago. Take in the last day of the dinosaurs.

What would your death row meal consist of?

A large “Number 8” with everything from Nick’s Pizzeria in Bergenfield, New Jersey. It’s the best sandwich I’ve ever had, anywhere. I’ve literally dreamed about this hero before trips back home to visit. Ham, Genoa salami, capicola, prosciuttini, provolone, lettuce, tomato and onion with oil and vinegar on fresh-baked Italian bread. It is as close to a perfect sandwich as mankind will ever get.

NicksSandwich

How would you like the world to remember you?

I read an obituary recently in which they said the deceased had been “generous and kind to small children and animals.” I can’t imagine being remembered any better than that.

Amazon author page

CavalloBooks
Frank’s website

Twitter

Facebook 

Are you looking for something a little different to read?  Frank’s newest book, published just this past December is probably just what you’re craving. RITES OF AZATHOTH is a well thought out, super descriptive FBI thriller by way of Lovecraftian science fiction epic. Wow! It was a good storyline and if it seemed a little long in the beginning, I got over that once the story got started and I was invested in the plot, I read straight through to the end in with just one sleep break.

Available at Amazon.com

 

RitesofAzathoth

Thank you for an excellent interview, Frank.  You sound like a fascinating person for whom one interview is not nearly enough!  Thanks so much!

 

A 2nd Interview with Catherine Cavendish

Published February 1, 2017 by MommaCat

Catherine Cavendish

Now that Samhain has dropped its horror line, I know that you’ve found a new publisher. Would you tell us about who they are and what your publishing schedule looks like?

I have indeed, MommaCat. Crossroad Press is an independent, up and coming publisher with an impressive track record. They have Clive Barker and Jack Ketchum on their roster – to name but two, of many excellent authors. A number of former Samhain horror authors can be found there – and more will follow in the coming weeks and months. My publishing schedule is hectic. These guys work fast! The Pendle Curse and Linden Manor are already out there, to be swiftly followed by Saving Grace Devine, Dark Avenging Angel and The Devil’s Serenade. At the moment, it looks as if by the time everyone is reading this, all of them will have been reissued. Exciting times.

covers

I love your smile! You look like you’re about to burst out laughing. Tell us what you like to do for fun when you’re not writing.

Thank you. That photo was taken at a special dinner for my mother’s 90th birthday. It may have been the champagne!

champagne

Let’s talk cats now. Who lets you live with them?

A little black lady called Serafina Pandora. Serafina for short. She is five months old and totally rules the roost. She was a rescue, but thank goodness she had not had a rough start in life. She was just a little underweight and very shy. Now she is a sleek, gleaming, well socialized girl who knows what she wants – and how to ensure she always gets it. We love her to pieces.

And tell us about where you live. Across the pond from me is all I know. (I’m in Utah in the US)

We divide our time between my mother’s house in Liverpool and an apartment in North Wales. The apartment is housed in an unusual building half way up a steep hill, so the ground floor varies, depending on where you are at the time. It is also 260 years old and we have a friendly – well, let’s call her a presence, shall we? She turns up now and again and announces her ‘visit’ by doing strange things to the washing machine or turning lights on. Nothing sinister. Oh, and she seems to like cats, so that’s a bonus.

Most authors have held many many jobs on their way to becoming successful. What are some of the jobs you have had?

I worked in advertising for a number of years, and also in redundancy and career counseling, helping unemployed (or under-employed) adults of all ages find sustainable employment. I have been an Advertisement Administration Manager, Sales Manager, Customer Service Manager and University Administrator.

Do you read paper books? Or have you gone digital?

I love both. To me, there is nothing more comforting than to be in a room surrounded by books but, when you’re traveling or attending medical appointments where you have to wait around for hours on end, a Kindle is so handy.

What are you reading now?

At the moment, I am researching ancient Egypt for a trilogy I am writing for Kensington-Lyrical, so any by Dr. Zahi Hawass (‘Cleopatra: The Search For The Last Queen of Egypt’, ‘Curse of the Pharaohs’ to name but two.)

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

Kerry Greenwood’s Miss Phryne Fisher Mysteries, Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swenson mysteries, but I don’t mind who knows I read those! I also return to childhood favorites for comfort reading now and again Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers and St Clare’s Stories and, for some reason, Jane Shaw’s Crooks Tour – but we’ll keep those among ourselves!

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

Keep at it – writing and learning your craft.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

I would love to be more self-confident. I keep working at it.

Here’s just a few of the many places you can find Cat Cavendish:

Amazon

Website/Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Thank you for having me again, MommaCat! My best to you and your kitties. See you on the dark side…

hissing_cat

Boo!  It was great hearing from Cat Cavendish again, wasn’t it?  I’m so glad her titles are available again.  The hissing cat above is just a bit of inspiration for her upcoming Egyptian books.  She can’t go wrong with a cat in them.

If you’re new to her writing, she delivers delicious chills and frightening thrills.  Her work is historically accurate and she writes for everyone.  I wouldn’t class her books in women’s fiction or British fiction, but in true paranormal, occult or horror.

THE PENDLE CURSE is a story of time travel and witches.  Four hundred years ago, ten convicted witches were hanged on Gallows Hill. Now they are back…for vengeance. Laura Phillips’s grief at her husband’s sudden death shows no sign of passing. Even sleep brings her no peace. She experiences vivid, disturbing dreams of a dark, brooding hill,and a man—somehow out of time—who seems to know her. She discovers that the place she has dreamed about exists. Pendle Hill. And she knows she must go there. But as soon as she arrives, the dream becomes a nightmare. She is caught up in a web of witchcraft and evil…and a curse that will not die.

Buy it at Amazon.com!

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 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 John McIlveen

Published April 1, 2016 by MommaCat

john mcIlveen

John McIlveen, Bram Stoker nominee for his first novel, HANNAHWHERE,  is Cat After Dark’s April guest. No foolin’!

You currently work for MIT. Would you talk about your position there?

I am an Electrical and Mechanical Designer and coordinator for the qualification and of certification cleanrooms, and for the toxic gas monitoring systems at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington MA. I work in FSD Engineering. We are a part of the US-DOD so I will mysteriously disappear if I say anything else.

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

I have recently finished a big fat mainstream novel titled GONE NORTH, which (from fly leaf) is the story of Thalia and Emma Holden, two sisters from the Lower Ninth Ward in 1961. Raised in a home of limited means but abundant love and happiness, life is as good as it’s ever been, despite the vicious battles for and against racial segregation across America, and right there in New Orleans. When nineteen-year-old Emma Holden accepts a job with a prominent white family outside of Boston, a job that would enable her to attend college, it seems a dream opportunity. And then tragedy strikes, claiming the life of her parents.

With her parents gone, her sister in Boston, and her brother in California awaiting deployment to Vietnam, Sixteen-year-old Thalia Holden suddenly finds her life in shambles, now living with her grandfather and her hard-drinking, lecherous Uncle Carl. She tolerates her new life until a late night encounter makes her realize New Orleans is no longer home. Home is with her sister Emma, and that was where she needed to be.

Carrying only a duffle bag packed with minimal necessities, forty-two dollars, two Steinbeck novels, and accompanied by her three-legged German Shepard, Thalia embarks on an extraordinary Journey from New Orleans to Boston. In her travels, Thalia encounters her greatest fears, going face to face with extreme prejudice, perversity, but also compassion, offered by a diversity of characters ranging from despicable to eccentric, to delightful. Each day Thalia fears for her survival yet hungers for life.

Meanwhile in Boston, Emma struggles with grieving her parents’ deaths and worrying for her missing sister, while caring for the Merrick family, a wealthy but sympathetic family of five, the youngest of which is a fifteen-year-old son with Down Syndrome. To top it off, Emma discovers she has unwisely but helplessly fallen for the boss’s oldest son, who only complicates things by sharing the infatuation.

GONE NORTH is a tale of family, love, humor, conflict, and ultimately hope, involving humanity at its best, and at its worst. A firm publication date isn’t set yet, but it’s in the not too distant future.

I am almost finished a thriller titled CORRUPTION, which is about a Boston drug cartel, babies falling from windows, and a “common day Joe” who is pulled unwillingly into the midst of it all to help the mother of one of the children.

I am ¼ of the way into another horror novel titled ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?, which deals with a new type of “Super Ecstasy” which has some very unnerving after-effects for one poor son of a gun.

I understand that you’re friends with Christopher Golden. How did the two of you meet? Are there any plans for a collaboration?

Chris is a mensch in every way. He has been a mentor and very instrumental in my (and many others) writing career. We met in 1987 at a convention called NECON (www.campnecon.com) which is the best convention – bar none. He was living in New York and working at Billboard at the time, and I was in Hudson, NH working in the semiconductor industry. Ironically, we both ended up in Haverhill, MA. As for collaboration…I’d like to preserve our friendship. Joking aside, I’m not opposed to the idea, but it’d be like the tortoise and the hare; Chris writes full time at high speed with an astronomical output…I’m rather sluggish, seeing as writing is my second career.

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

This list could take pages, but in my opinion, John Steinbeck was a master in every way. Stephen King of course, for story lines. Who hasn’t he influenced in one way or another? Margaret Atwood, because she’s a phenomenal stylist and so amazingly diverse. Harry Crews, who was the king of flawed characters and mastered black humor. John Irving, or more-so his earlier writing. Read A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY and you’ll understand. Rick Hautala, who passed away March 17, four years ago. I befriended Rick in 1984 and he introduced me to the writer’s side of books, and to NECON, and he kept at me to start writing. Finally, Chris Golden, who has been a coach, a teacher, a cheerleader, and most importantly, a fun and goofy friend.

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

William Shakespeare, especially to see his reaction to this modern world (400 years after his death in 1616), and how he would translate it into his writing.

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

My first thought was Kate Winslet, so I could stand naked in front of the mirror all day. Seriously, maybe Stephen Hawking (stressing the “one day”), so I could experience existence from his perspective. To understand what drives him, what keeps him positive, and to see the correlation between his genius and his handicap, if one exists.

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

I am currently reading and enjoying HAVEN by Tom Deady, which is due out later this year from Cemetery Dance.

Next in line are THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill, DEAD WAKE, non-fiction by Erik Larson, and THE GIRL YOU LOST by Kathryn Croft.

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

Always believe in your art and always strive to improve it. (Okay, that was two, but it was one sentence.)

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

(Outside of family and friends)

Jon Anderson – (From the band YES)

Harry Crews – (author – deceased)

Martin Luther King

Stephen King

Marilyn Monroe

Would make for an interesting evening.

 

How do you want the world to remember you?

Fondly

You can find John on his website, on Facebook, on Goodreads, on his Amazon.com author page and on Google+.  You can follow him on Twitter also – @jmcilveen.  Stop by any or all of those and say hello! I think he’d be delighted that you came by.

Thank you for reading and reviewing my books, and thank you for inviting me to participate in your blog and this interview.

Thank you to everyone who pimped HANNAHWHERE, which helped get it nominated for both The Bram Stoker and The Drunken Druid Awards.

Buy HANNAHWHERE at Amazon.com!

hannahwhere

HANNAHWHERE is the story of twin sisters Hannah and Anna whose mother is in an abusive relationship.  What she teaches the girls will amaze you and give you hope.  If you read only one book this year, make it HANNAHWHERE.

An Interview with Joe Hart

Published March 1, 2016 by MommaCat

JoeHart

 

Being an aspiring published author is_________________.

Not sure I like the term “aspiring” when describing a writer. You either write or you don’t in my opinion.

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

The next book I have coming out is a thriller called THE NIGHT IS DEEP. It is the second book in a series I’m writing about an ex-homicide detective who has a future waiting for him but can’t let go of the past.

lastgirl

Are books 2 and 3 of THE LAST GIRL written and what are the expected release dates?

Book 2 is finished and is the editing stage. It’s due out in September of this year. I’m about a third of the way through the first draft of the last book and that one should be out sometime in early 2017.

It’s clear to me that the world we live in is a misogynistic one. And that’s the premise, at least from the outset of TLG. And that just blows my mind! What made you come up with the idea that men were so destructive that they wouldn’t nurture and revere the few women that remained?

It’s funny because several people have asked that same question, “Why wouldn’t the remaining women be treated well?” When I first came up with the idea of the birthrate for female infants dropping to nearly nothing I asked some of the most important women in my life a question. It went something like this- If there were only a limited number of women left on Earth do you think they’d be treated like queens or like possessions? Every one of them answered (without hesitation) possessions. I’m not sure if even the threat of extinction would stop people (especially men) from trying to take what they want. Pretty sure history supports this.

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

Absolutely. MacArthur Gray from WIDOW TOWN came pretty much fully formed into my mind and I built the plot around him. Zoey from THE LAST GIRL was pretty much formed the moment after I had the general premise for the book as well as Evan Tormer from THE WAITING.

Most authors have had many jobs on their way to a full time writing career. What are some of the jobs you’ve held?

Very true! I’ve worked as an auto mechanic, a line technician at an airport, a customer service agent for Northwest Airlines, an electric motor technician, a personal trainer and manager of a gym.

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

Mr. Stephen King would be at the top of the list. I was reading him around age ten or eleven. I wouldn’t be doing what I am without his work. Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, R.L. Stine, Blake Crouch, Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’Connor, Richard Adams, Harper Lee, Clive Barker, Justin Cronin, Robert Frost, Shakespeare, Lovecraft, Poe, the list goes on and on.

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

My son who has autism. Since he can’t tell me, I would give anything to know what he’s thinking.

What scares you? Have you written about it?

I’ll have to echo King here. Everything. Everything scares me. Losing those who you love most. Leaving them alone. Whatever lurks under the bed at night even after you’ve checked it. Things like that. And yes, I’ve written about nearly all the things that scare me, but there’s a lot less to write about.

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

Oh wow. I just finished Robert Jackson Bennett’s CITY OF BLADES, which was excellent and I started reading THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE. Past that I have a few books waiting on blurbs and whatnot.

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

Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Stephen King, Jackie Onassis, and Michael Collins.

hemingway

How do you want the world to remember you?

Someone who tried their best at what they loved.

Thanks very much for all the great questions, it was a blast!

Thanks for a great interview, Joe! THE LAST GIRL is available on Amazon.com and anywhere else books are sold.

You can find Joe on Twitter @AuthorJoeHart and on his website. Check them out! If you would like to read my review of THE LAST GIRL – click here!

AN INTERVIEW WITH JEFFREY THOMAS

Published October 31, 2014 by MommaCat

JeffThomas2013

 

1) What’s your earliest memory about storytelling?

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

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

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

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

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

4) How much research do you do?

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

5) What’s your comfort food?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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