Thursday, April 28, 2016

Paul Tremblay Interview

And now, without another moment of suspense...

The Horror Librarian: Your novel, A Head Full of Ghosts, gained some definite buzz both within and outside of the horror world. I found the juxtaposition of innocence and evil in the two sisters to be startling and entrancing. Can you talk a little about your approach to characterization?

Paul Tremblay: Thanks! Right off the bat I knew that I wanted to have two siblings be the main focus of the story, and I wanted the story to be told from the POV of the younger sibling. You know, the one who wasn’t possessed or experiencing a psychotic break.  

I tried to make Merry and Marjorie’s relationship as authentic as I possibly could. The novel would only really work if the reader believed in them, in what they were going through together. Sibling relationships are powerful and complex, particularly at those pre and early teen ages. Rivalry and loyalty can seem like the same thing.  The eight-year-old Merry loves and idolizes her sister as much as she’s confused and terrified of her.

The Horror Librarian: What’s your creative process? How do you build an idea into a story?

Paul Tremblay: It’s different with each story/novel. Generally I tend to jot ideas down in a notebook first. Nothing as structured or as detailed as an outline, at least not in the early going. More like impressions, bits of characters, conceits, or snippets of potential dialogue. A fair amount of doodling too even though I can’t draw worth a lick. From there I either dig in with the first chapter or write a ten page summary/outline of the plot. I’ve done an outline for four of my six published novels. I didn’t write an outline for A Head Full of Ghosts, and I have to say, it was a lot of fun working without that pre-made map. I wasn’t flying totally blind as I had the three part structure and the beginning in end and mind before I started.  With Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, I did write a lengthy summary first. Of course, as I got into the book, I veered from summary (and gave myself permission to do so), and that’s a fun part too; those unexpected moments that really brings a story to life.

The Horror Librarian: You’ve served as editor for several prominent magazines, including Chizine and Fantasy magazines. What is your favorite part of editing? Least favorite?

Paul Tremblay: My favorite part was discovering great stories from new writers, or writers who were new to me. It really is exciting to come across something totally original and unexpected, particularly if you’ve just been through a rough patch in the slush.

Least favorite part is getting back passive aggressive or (not so passive) responses to rejection letters in which I included feedback. It’s part of the reason why I quit slush reading, honestly.

The Horror Librarian: It always astonishes me how unreceptive some folks can be to feedback. What writing/editing tools can’t you live without?

Paul Tremblay: My laptop. I envy folks who can write their stories longhand. I’ve tried but I can’t do it. I need a keyboard and cut and paste and delete and all the rest.

The Horror Librarian: What are you working on right now?

Paul Tremblay: I’m working on a new novel outline. I also have a handful of short stories I’m supposed to writing, and in the near future, I’ll be writing an introduction to John Langan’s upcoming collection from Hippocampus.

The Horror Librarian: Awesome! List five things that are on your writing desk.

Paul Tremblay:
--Empty mug of tea (just finished drinking it)
--Stacks of CDs I need to bring down to the basement.
--Plush Larry Bird doll.
--An assortment of books (including The Damned UTD by David Peace, Child of God by Cormac McCarthy, The Story of My Teeth by Veleria Luiselli)
--A black notebook.
The Horror Librarian: Thanks, Paul! I’m looking forward to reading Disappearance at Devil’s Rock!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Paul Tremblay Bio

This week's very special guest is...Paul Tremblay!

Paul Tremblay is the author of the novels Disappearance at Devil’s Rock and A Head Full of Ghosts. His other novels include The Little SleepNo Sleep till Wonderland, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, and Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly (co-written with Stephen Graham Jones).

His fiction and essays have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Supernatural Noir, and numerous Year’s Best anthologies. He is the author of the short speculative fiction collections In the Mean Time and Compositions for the Young and Old and the hard-boiled/dark fantasy novella City Pier: Above and Below. He served as fiction editor of CHIZINE and as co-editor of Fantasy Magazine, and was also the co-editor the Creatures anthology (with John Langan). Paul is currently on the board of directors for the Shirley Jackson Awards as well.

Paul is very truthful and declarative in his bios. He once gained three inches of height in a single twelve hour period, and he does not have a uvula. His second toe is longer than his big toe, and yes, on both feet. He has a master’s degree in mathematics, teaches AP Calculus, and once made twenty-seven three pointers in a row. He enjoys reading The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher aloud in a faux-British accent to children. He is also reading this bio aloud, now, with the same accent. He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts and he is represented by Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management.

Email Paul here: pnuke33 at verizon dot net

(source: Paul's website)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

William Gorman Interview

The Horror Librarian: You’ve been described as a ghost folklorist. How did your interest in folklore and ghost stories begin? How does it play into your writing?

William Gorman: My grandfather collected ghostlore, and clipped articles out of the local newspaper whenever he saw a haunted house story or something like that. So I discovered all of these wonderful things lying around at an early age. Then, when I was nine or ten, my mom bought me a book called Hauntings: Tales of the Supernatural, and I was pretty much hooked after that. I look for the otherworldly elements in everything now . . . and it shows up in most things that I write.

The Horror Librarian: What’s your writing process like? Are you a pantser or a plotter? How do you get from idea to complete book? Also, I imagine you do a fair amount of research for your stories.

William Gorman: I like to do a rough outline first, just something leading from Point A to Point B. Then whatever way I take to get there, that’s the process really. I wander about until eventually I arrive at that ending I envisioned. Sometimes the ending even changes. Yes, a lot of research goes into the true ghost stories though.

The Horror Librarian: Writing and researching true stories behind the legends must creep under your skin at times. What scares you? Was there a particular story or legend that lingers in your mind to this day?

William Gorman:  There’s a story about an abandoned farmhouse south of where I grew up, where a huge hulking farmer supposedly died of a heart attack one night and fell on top of his petite little wife, trapping her and crushing her slowly to death in their kitchen. The place still stands empty, out amongst row after row of dead dried cornstalks, and there have been sightings of the couple’s ghostly white faces peering out the darkened, glassless windows in the dead of night. That one always sticks with me.
The Horror Librarian: Do you have any writing superstitions or habits?

William Gorman: Surprisingly, no.

The Horror Librarian: What is your next project?

William Gorman: Right now I’m working on the sequel to BLACKWATER VAL and on another collection of short stories.

The Horror Librarian: List five things that are currently on your writing desk.

William Gorman: Laptop, telephone, vampire skull, candy, and a sock monkey . . . and here’s the photo to prove it!

 The Horror Librarian: Thanks, William! It was fun!

Monday, April 18, 2016

William Gorman Bio

This week's special guest is...William Gorman!

William Gorman grew up listening to ghost stories and dark fantastical yarns from his grandfather—a magician and former ‘mentalist’ during the last great, fading days of vaudeville—told to him in porch shadows on warm Illinois summer eves. His first book, a collection of local myths and legends titled GHOST WHISPERS, was published in 2005 and spawned the popular Haunted Rockford tours and cemetery walks now operating in his hometown.

In his spare time he hangs around with German shepherds and listens to classic rock & roll, and enjoys rereading the old-school maestros of supernatural fiction he grew up on whenever he can.  He now lives in Ohio, where he is at work on his next novel and a new collection of ghostly tales.