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!