I think it depends on the book and on the idea. Typically, I have something I want to say—my world view. From there I chew on story and plot, and make my way like a mole burrowing tunnels underground. Sometimes the tunnels collapse, sometimes they hold true.
For The Missing, I was compelled by the idea of American consumption, and the way it has corrupted the nuclear family. The upper middle class has become so obsessed with the newest cookie of status that it has begun to devour itself. They’re dumber than the working class, who at least seem to understand that this is about survival, ladies and gents, not Google Glass. I should admit here, that I identified with “This is 40.” …Which I suppose implies a little bit of self-loathing with my ultra-violence.
In Audrey’s Door, I wanted to talk about modern single women, in this strange world that lavishes vitriol against them. New York is hard enough, man.
What's your favorite part about writing horror?
The readers. They’re fun and loyal and I like talking to them. I don’t get that from other genres.
List five things that are on your writing desk right now.
I wish this were not true—three glasses of water, two coffee mugs, some spoons (it’s possible they’re stuck to the wood), ARC GIS CDs for my mater’s thesis in toxicology, and William Gibson’s IDORU.
Do you adhere to any writing superstitions?
I like to listen to the same music track thousands of times while working on a specific novel. I also play with Scotch Tape while working, which is admittedly weird. But I can’t smoke because it turns out cigarettes don’t really have vitamin C in them.
What are you working on right now?
A new novel called THE CLINIC.
What are you reading right now?
Gibson’s IDORU, and LeGuin’s new collection from Small Beer Press: THE UNREAL AND THE REAL.