short stories

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An Interview with David Whitman

Published March 1, 2017 by MommaCat

david-whitman

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

I have two upcoming books. The first is a short novel entitled The Witch, the Murderer, and the Devil in Black. Martin Kent can channel the souls of the dead into animals. He roams about his small town with his dead wife, who is in the body of a deer. When a tragic experiment causes the death of every animal in town, Martin embarks on an angry quest to get his wife’s damned soul back from God. He enlists the aid of an elderly woman, who can speak to the dead, and a murderer. It is set in the Victorian era. This novel is finished and I am currently waiting word on finding a home for it.

The second is a follow-up to my critically acclaimed novella Deadfellas. It is entitled Deadfellas 2: One Step Beyond. It is a surrealistic dark comedy that mixes The Wizard of Oz with Hitmen and zombies. I have been working on this for about a decade. It’s nearly complete, and so far I am very proud of what it has become. It is certainly not just a repeat of the first and it is quite epic in its scope and weirdness. The first Deadfellas can be found on Amazon Kindle and Apple Itunes.

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

Two authors that have influenced me the most are Philip K. Dick and Joe R. Lansdale. As a teenager, I read and re-read PKD’s work obsessively, even collecting obscure works from the 1950’s and 60’s. I think PKD is an absolute genius–a writer can get an idea for a whole novel in just one of his paragraphs. It is a joy to see that the world has embraced his work and that he is no longer just a cult writer.

I read Joe Lansdale’s work in my early twenties and his words just went through me like lightning. He rewired my brain and showed me that there were no rules as far as the imagination goes. The first work I found by him was his collection BY BIZARRE HANDS–it was like explosives went off in my mind.

pkdick

Would you talk about how you and Weston Ochse came to collaborate on SCARY REDNECKS AND OTHER INBRED HORRORS (and APPALACHIAN GALAPAGOS).

Weston and I met through an email message forum around 1998 and found that we both had similar influences. We were both young and eager and soon collaborated on a few short stories. We sent those stories to a publisher and immediately they wanted more. Scary Rednecks was born. Weston has gone on to win the Bram Stoker award and has become one of the most prolific writers in the business. I am very proud of him and so happy for any success he achieves. I still feel our novella “Up Shits Creek with a Case of Beer and No Fucking Paddles” (from APPALACHIAN GALAPAGOS) is one of the best creative projects I have ever been part of. I have faith that it will one day be made into an excellent film.

westono

I loved Harlan. That was a very different tale from REDNECKS. What brought that story to life?

I was heavily influenced by John Hughes films, such as The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Also, a film called Pump up the Volume was very influential. I wanted to create a story that had the elements of those films, but also took a darker and more adult bent. I found the writing of that novel to be more emotionally draining than I had expected and I think it shows in the finished product. I am very proud of HARLAN.

Do you have any plans to turn one of your short stories into a novel or novella?

There are a bunch of short stories that speak to me and seem to want to be revisited. I very rarely write a short story with a solid sense of closure. I believe that style makes the reader ask questions and want more. My latest novel (mentioned above) was born from a short story. I also want to start writing screenplays and there are so many of my stories that seem to have potential to be bigger. I have a short story in my collection DELIGHTFUL AGONY entitled “Some of Us are Looking at the Stars”. It is a sort of science-fiction retelling of APOCALYPSE NOW. I think that it would be perfect for a longer tale.

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

I would probably choose someone with a lot of security clearances–a world leader or perhaps someone in the Pentagon. I am a huge conspiracy and UFO enthusiast. I would immediately seek access to the Roswell files.

roswell

FYI – They’ve been declassified recently. Whether everything is out or not remains to be seen.  MC

What are you reading now?

I am reading George Martin’s GAME OF THRONES. I also recently read some John D. Macdonald. I have been taking my time with the Travis McGee novels for a long time now–reading one every few years. It is like revisiting a long time friend.

gofthronestravism

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

I am a huge Star Trek fan. I will occasionally read a Trek novel because I can finish one in about five hours. I don’t really believe in the concept of guilty pleasures. I think you should proudly like whatever you want to. If it makes you happy, just own up to it.

startrek

How do you want the world to remember you?

I want to be remembered as a good father and husband. I certainly won’t mind being remembered as a writer. With a book, the author gets to live forever in a way.

David Whitman – Facebook
David Whitman (davidwhitman666) – Amazing Pinterest pins!
all David’s books are available on Amazon.  Check em out!
 bodycounting
 BODY COUNTING is a short story collection that is easily devoured all at once.  With so many collections I find myself reading a story here and one or two there an going back a coupe of weeks later for another dose.  Not so with BODY COUNTING.  With a mix of strange, weird, horror, sci-fi and one very odd (to me) story  there’s a great read just waiting for you.
I’m so glad that David agreed to this interview!  Thanks for visiting CAD today and please come back soon.

 

 

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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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