Sunday, September 29, 2013

Answers to Questions: Just for Fun

While my wife watches the series finale to Breaking Bad, I thought it would be fun to answer some of the most-often asked questions of horror and dark fiction authors.  I'll keep it brief. Here we go!

1) What is your favorite horror magazine?

Cemetery Dance is always excellent, though I almost always skip the articles. The fiction each issue is usually phenomenal. Weird Tales is a close second. Great heritage to this magazine. They've recently begun doing themed issues, which are hit or miss for me.

2) Who is your favorite author?

I've read everything Stephen King has ever written, except for three books, one of which is the brand new one, Doctor Sleep. Other favorites include Joe R. Lansdale and Tom Piccirilli. I could easily do a top ten.. or top twenty!

3) What work would you like the chance to write a sequel to?

I don't think I'm the right guy for the job, but I'd sure love to see someone tackle Twin Peaks. I'd gladly go along for the ride on anything  furthering or expanding that story, particularly the fates of Agent Dale Cooper and Agent Chester Desmond.

4) What is your favorite post-apocalyptic novel or story?

I don't think I have one. I own The Stand by Stephen King, Swan Song by Robert McCammon and The Road by Cormac McCarthy... maybe I better get started on them! Now if we're talking Dystopian visions of the future, then 1984 by George Orwell takes the prize.

5) What is your worst fear?

Outliving my children.

6) What was the first work of horror you remember reading?

Many great stories in the Alfred Hitchcock anthologies, particularly Monster Museum and Supernatural Tales of Terror and Suspense. That series introduced me to Roald Dahl, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury and many others. Before that I owned a series of illustrated classics that were square block books with an illustration on every other page. I remember discovering Edgar Allan Poe there.

7) What horror novel would you recommend everyone read?

I would cheat and recommend the Signet Classic three-in-one edition of Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It contains an introduction from Stephen King where he explains that all horror basically originates from these three works (and traditional ghost stories). Dracula is the Other, Mr. Hyde is the Evil Within, and Frankenstein's Monster is the Created Abomination. Pretty much everything since falls into one of those three categories (again, except for ghosts). It is likely that I misquoted King, but you get the idea. And with that recommendation, I admit that I only enjoyed two of those three novels, but I won't say which, because all three are important.

8) What is your favorite book cover?

I like painted covers. A good amount of cool covers came from the Leisure Horror imprint over the years. Favorite cover of any anthology I've been a published in would probably be Zombie Kong (Books of the Dead Press).

9) What music do you listen to while writing (if any)?

Listening to instrumental music while writing is an absolute must. Top composers are Angelo Badalamenti, Philip Glass, and Henry Mancini, among others.

10) What are you reading right now?

I am about a third of the way through Stephen King's Desperation (yes, reading it for the first time). I just finished Tom Piccirilli's Last Whisper in the Dark, which was excellent. I have the newest issue of Cemetery Dance on my desk at work. Also finishing up the Otto Penzler-edited Kwik Krimes, which is a stupid title, but an excellent mystery anthology. Once I have those all finished, I intend to delve deeply into the Borderlands horror anthology series.

Thanks for reading!
Happy October!

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