Ruminating On: Q&A Tagging Shenanigans

Jeff Brackett tagged me in this craziness, so I must comply, lest he showers me with his hose… Scratch that, reverse it… or something like that. Anyballs, here’s the dealio: He tagged me, gave me four questions to answer, then tasked me with finding another author/blogger to pass the torch to. Who I chose will be at the end of the interview. Now, without further anal dew…

What are you currently working on?

Yo momma! Was that rude? Probably…

Anyway, what was the question? Oh, you want to know about my current writing projects! Well then, Unnamed Imaginary Interviewer, why didn’t you say so?

Linton Bowers and I just wrapped up PORT IN A STORM, the first book in a series of three or more, and we’re waiting on beta readers to return from their sabbaticals with valuable intel. After we chew the fat over their suggestions, we’ll ship the book off to editing. And we all know that’s when the real fun starts (cue lackadaisical trumpet!). Then, moving from the back burner to the red-hot eye that is my work-in-progress shelf, we have CHUCKLERS, my collaboration with Jeff Brackett (the sadistic bastard who talked me into doing this interview you’re reading now). In the near future I have JXSAVES, which is the novel-length follow up to my novelette, CRAWL. JXSAVES takes place before and after the events of the first book. I’ll more than likely be combining the two into one big volume when I’m done. Speaking of combining stuffs, my ongoing serial, CRUELTY, is still a thing. Working on getting Episode Five out, then I’m taking a much needed break until August so that I might be able to have the last five episodes spat upon and polished like fine urban china. Let’s see, what else? I have three shorter projects in the wings, either being written or awaiting editing dates, but those titles are for another time.

How does your work differ from others in its genre?

Answering this question would be to assume that I am unique. A fragile snowflake I am not. There are plenty of horror authors who write the kind of stuff I write, which is either horror with heart or themed horror. Above all I think I’m more of a situational author (and yes, I stole that terminology from Stephen King, but it’s apt in this conversation.) I put my characters in a certain situation and see if they survive. I do appreciate a good twist, so I try to throw in a slice of the unexpected somewhere within every piece. This has been well received and hated in equal amounts. Some people don’t like being tricked, and an even greater number do not like open endings. LIFE AFTER DANE and CRAWL are perfect examples of the mercurial tastes of readers. Both books have completely open endings, but one has been better received than the other.

At the end of the day, I don’t think I’m any better or worse than anyone, and I can’t lay a finger on a single quality of my writing that is unique to me. I can be as gory as Edward Lee, as strange as Bentley Little, as verbose as Barker, as introspective as Koontz or King, as classy as McCammon, or as brutal as Ketchum, but I think that is why my work appeals to so many, because I’m able to jump fences like a crackhead with cops on his heels. You never know what you’re going to get when you open one of my books, and I dig that about me.

Why do you write what you do?

Why do you watch reptile porn while slathered in Elmer’s glue? Well, I write horror for the same reason—I like my voyeuristic endeavors coldblooded and sticky. I keed, I keed. I was raised around horror. My sisters (who are twelve and fourteen years older than me) used to love slasher films and bloody action/adventure/science fiction flicks when they were younger, that was before they grew up and had kids, of course. Now they squirm at the mere mention of cartoon violence. I remember being allowed to watch Witchboard and Friday the 13th while they were tasked with babysitting their baby bro. They sneaked me into Robocop the year it was released, and 1987 will always be one of the best years of my life. Then, in 1989, my mom thought it’d be cool to take her nine-year-old son along with her to watch Pet Semetary  at a drive-in with one of her best friends, a chain-smoking, Nurse-Ratched-type lady named Andrita. I recall hiding in the floor space behind the driver’s seat while Rachael has that flashback where her emaciated sister with the twisted spine rushes from the bed toward the camera. Little known fact: The person that played Rachael’s sister was a man. I can still hear him cackling. Anywho, after that, I couldn’t get my hands on enough Stephen King. Luckily, Mom was a member of his book club, and around the third of every month a new tome of terror would arrive. Delores Claiborne was my first taste of King, and I’ve been devouring his work ever since. I guess my choice of genre was predestined. To this day, whenever I’m surfing Netflix or at a Redbox kiosk, I still pick through the horror selections first. Same with the library or bookstores. I have to see what’s new in the scares department.

How does your writing process work?

I sit down and write. Not much else to say on the matter. I’ve recently begun plotting, but only because I’m working on several collaborations, and it’s difficult writing by the seat of your pants when you have someone else depending on you not screwing up all their hard work. Why don’t you ask my buddy, Linton, all these questions? Oh, and while you’re over there, tell him to shave. My balls are getting carpet burn. Here where you can find him:

Twitter: @LintBow

Booklikes: Drawing with Words