Proust Questionnaire with Horror Writer Luke Walker is Lit with Little Lights!

As promised, I would like to share my interview with horror author Luke Walker, on the soon to be eve of his North American release of HOMETOWN. The Proust-like Questionnaire I did with fellow Purgatoruim contributors went over so well, I invited Luke to take a similar questionnaire. I’d like to make this a semi-regular feature. It’s always interesting and entertaining to see how these questions are handled. Luke’s responses solidifies this theory for me. You’re going to enjoy this!

Without further ado, here it is:

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Horror Writer – LUKE WALKER

PROUST(ISH) QUESTIONNAIRE WITH LUKE WALKER

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

 Time spent with my wife. It’s as simple as that.

 2. What is it about the horror genre that connects with you as a writer?

 I’ve thought about this a lot over time and never come up with a single answer. I think it’s just the way I’m built. I like to see what’s going under the surface and in the dark. Some people don’t like to poke around in the places we’re not supposed to talk about and that’s cool for them. I think exploring the more unpleasant sides of life means we can appreciate the light a little more, and appreciate how fragile it can be.

 3. What is your greatest fear?

 Without question, the dentist. You can keep your futility of existence, your self-destructive nature of the human condition, your dying alone and unloved and you can even keep your spiders. Spare me from the dentist.

 4. What is your most preferred genre as a reader?

 It has to be horror. The horror genre covers a much wider area than a lot of people believe which means all the more books and writers to discover. There’s so much to horror than blood and guts and there are definite differences between horrifying a reader, terrifying them or simply grossing them out. Likewise, horror can go into fantastical realms as equally well as it can the mundane and everyday. No matter how many books I read, there’s also more to discover about the genre and more facets to explore.

 5. Which horror writer do you most admire and why?

 Without question, the King. Stephen King has always had that indefinable talent and ability to draw the reader in and to make them want to spend their time with his characters whether they’re the good guys, the villains, dead, alive or somewhere in between. If proof of his ability is needed, it’s in people who’ve never read one of his books knowing who his characters are. Outside the actual books, the man has done so much to bring horror into the world of normal, real things and that is almost always more frightening to a reader or a viewer than horror outside their familiar lives.

 6. Has your idea of horror changed from the time you first started reading it to your perception of it now as a writer?

 I don’t know if my idea of it has changed, but the genre itself has obviously undergone changes from my first readings of 70s pulp novels (all with lurid and garish covers) to now when horror and horrific imagery can be found in many more places. As with any area of fiction, tastes and requirements from readers alter over time; publishers and writers will always respond to that, but it’s obviously important not to force those changes. Readers know what they like and it’s when they’re given an honest tale. The best writers don’t jump on bandwagons; they tell their stories with honesty.

 7. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

 It’s not really a virtue but I have a big problem with style over substance. It’s all well and good being cool and funny, but you need to back that up with something below the surface. I’ve come across a few writers over the last few years who present a persona of the hard living, hard drinking author and then you read their stuff which turns out to be average at best. But their image is celebrated and apparently what sells them so they keep it up. Give me a writer who just wants to tell a tale and can do so over the guy who acts like the stereotypical writer.

 8. What life experience(s) do you draw from when it comes to working in your chosen genre?

 You name it, I’ve drawn on it or will for future work. Most of the time, I do so without realising. It’s only when I finish a piece that I might recognise something from my own experiences and that’s fine with me. An overheard conversation, a joke I heard years ago, a recent holiday, an illness, someone I used to know but might not have seen in a while or being convinced as a little kid that the clump of coats at the bottom of the stairs was a person – I’ll take inspiration wherever it comes from.

 9. What else have you written?

 Hometown is my most recent published work. I have a new novel, Ascent, which will be published in June. I’ve got a collection of short horror stories, Die Laughing, a Lovecraftian novella called Mirror Of The Nameless, and I’ve published several short stories either online or in print. Obviously there are the usual pieces that will never see the light of day; they’re locked away in a dungeon and there they’ll stay.

 10. When and where were you most afraid?

 Luckily, I’ve never been in a position of real fear. The odd thing like doing a parachute jump was pretty hairy, but that was more ‘oh my god the sky is so big and I’m so small’ awe than outright fear. For someone who writes a lot about fear, I’ve been lucky to rarely experience it.

 11. Which talent would you most like to have?

 I have zero talent in a few areas: anything sporty or athletic; drawing; numbers. It doesn’t exactly hold me back but being able to do something like that to a small extent would be a nice change.

 12. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

 A cat. Eat, sleep, get stroked, repeat. Also, cats are cool and everyone knows this.

 13. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

 There’s a hell of a lot of hate around these days. Obviously that’s always been the case, but it’s easier now for people to shout about it and be heard by others who feel the same. The end result is people who feed off each other’s hate and misery and while they don’t feel better about it, they do feel validated. They feel their hate and misery is justified which feeds on itself. That’s about as low as it gets.

 14. What are your three deserted island books?

 Stephen King’s It; 1984; The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler.

 15. Who are your favorite writers?

 Loads. Off the top of my head: Stephen King, Gary McMahon, Edgar Allen Poe, Alison Littlewood, Clive Barker, Pat Barker, HP Lovecraft, Sarah Pinborough, Gene Kemp, Neil Gaiman, Bram stoker, Clark Ashton Smith, Penelope Lively. And more I’ve forgotten and will kick myself for doing so.

16. Who is your hero of fiction?

The kids from IT, the good guys from Dracula and Winston Smith. OK, it doesn’t end well for all of them but they keep going even when everything is as dark as it can get. That’s something I try to bear in mind for my own characters. Real life, too.

 17. What sound grates on you more than any other?

The laughter of children. Joking. A fork on a plate is nasty. It makes my teeth itch just thinking about it.

 18. How would you like to die?

Wow. That’s a heavy question to answer on a Saturday morning. I don’t know about method of death, but knowing I wrote some books people hopefully liked, and that I was loved and gave love. And nowhere near a dentist.

 19. What sound brings you deep joy?

My email doesn’t ping but I’d imagine if it did when I get an acceptance from a publisher, that would be nice. I might change my settings so it makes a noise but only when it’s an acceptance. Other than that, when one of my cats jumps on to my lap is a nice sound. Not so much when they launch themselves off, though.

 20. What is your motto?

 Something that keeps coming up in my books. ‘The world is dark, but it is lit with little lights.’

Pick up Luke’s HOMETOWN at Amazon!

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HOMETOWN by LUKE WALKER

AMAZON USA BUY LINK – AVAILABLE FEB 1 2017

AMAZON CANADA BUY LINK – AVAILABLE FEB 1 2017

You can read CHAPTER ONE OF HOMETOWN IN MY PREVIOUS POST ON LUKE WALKER BY CLICKING RIGHT HERE.

Missed the Launch? And 100 Days!

If you happened to miss ID PRESS PUBLISHING’S book launch this past Sunday for the horror anthology PURGATORIUM, you can still pick up a copy at AMAZON and KOBO!

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I still can’t tell if my friends like or dislike (okay, hate) my inevitable group-selfies at our gatherings. These are the Purgatorium contributors who were at the launch on Sunday at Copper Branch. Missing from the shot is Kate Arms, who was away on a retreat.

It was standing room only at Copper Branch in Brooklin, Ontario on Sunday, January 21st, for the launch of Purgatorium. Several of the contributors, myself included, read excerpts from our anthologized Purgatorium stories. I think it’s safe to say that fun was had by all. Many books were sold and signed, many lively conversations took place, announcements were made…things are coming up roses for ID PRESS. I’m thrilled to have been included in their inaugural anthology and look forward to their future projects!

As far as the venue goes, I eagerly anticipated Copper Branch for quite a while now…after seeing several of my friends Instagram and Facebook their Copper Branch meals. I was NOT disappointed. What a fabulous place. I LOVED their General Copper Power Bowl so much, I’d make the trip back to Brooklin just to have it again. Whether or not you’re vegetarian, you will LOVE this dish. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t chicken…I don’t know how they did it. Such a great meal! And try the shakes…also delicious.

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GENERAL COPPER: Shiitake mushroom General Tao, broccoli, fresh avocado, organic brown rice, sesame seeds, sriracha coleslaw, Copper Branch General Copper sauce.

You can check out the full COPPER BRANCH MENU HERE.

They were lovely hosts for the book launch. You’d be surprised how unruly a handful of horror writers and their entourage can get! The restaurant staff took it all in stride. They were most gracious hosts for the wonderful event. I would recommend them to anyone.

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My good friend and fellow PURGATORIUM contributing author, Mel Cober.

Here’s where you can pick up your own copy of PURGATORIUM, should you wish to do so:

AMAZON USA AVAILABLE IN PRINT AND KINDLE EDITIONS

AMAZON CANADA AVAILABLE IN PRINT AND KINDLE EDITIONS

KOBO

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The staff and interns of ID PRESS PUBLISHING (L-R): Mel Cober, Pat Flewwelling, Tobin Elliott, Connie Di Pietro, Dale Long, and, Amanda Tompkins.

And if you choose to do so, I’m sure the folks at ID PRESS would appreciate a review of their anthology on GOODREADS. The very best way to thank an author is to post a review of their work.

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The proud and fearless leader – Connie Di Pietro, reading from her baby, PURGATORIUM

NOW, WHAT’S THIS ABOUT 100 DAYS?

That is the amount of days left to the countdown to my SELF-GUIDED NOVEL WRITING MARATHON in BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. I’m trying something different this year. Instead of participating in the 72-hour Muskoka Novel Marathon in Huntsville, Ontario in July, I’m attempting a one-week novel marathon in Brussels ALL BY MYSELF in May. Yes, I will check out some of the attractions the city has to offer. And, yes, I will be taking a one-day walking tour of BRUGES. But I am determined to marathon at least one full novel, and hopefully complete one or two of the ones I currently have as works in progress. We shall see how diligent I can be in a foreign country. BIC (Bum In Chair) is the goal, as it always is at novel writing marathons. I will try to find a balance between touring the city and locking myself away for hours at a time to write. When I set my mind to something, I usually find a way to reach my goal. I am determined to make this work. I can’t wait for May to come, now! Only 100 more days to go…tick, tick, tick…

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The countdown is on! BRUSSELS OR BUST!

I will definitely miss the MUSKOKA NOVEL MARATHON come July, but I felt I needed a bit of out-of-the-box thinking this year, and maybe some soul-searching where my writing life is concerned. I feel like this is an important investment to make in my writing career at this juncture—TIME—with the added creative spark of being in a new place. I wish the 2017 MNM marathoners luck in their writing and luck in their fundraising. In 2016, we raised $36,000.00…which is quite an amazing feat! All funds go to the literacy programs of YMCA Simcoe County/Muskoka. Such a noble cause. Everybody deserves to be able to read. Please consider sponsoring one of the marathoners this coming year…I know I will!

Purgatorium Takes Over Brooklin at Copper Branch! Book Launch…

The Horror Anthology Purgatorium will officially launch on Sunday January 22nd, 2017! And ALL are invited to attend. The launch will take place at COPPER BRANCH in Brooklin, Ontario…just northeast of Toronto.

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Mel Cober (a fellow contributor) and I at Connie’s Halloween party– our first look at the anthology PURGATORIUM!

A few of the contributors to the horror collection, myself included, will be on hand at the launch to read from our short stories. You can pick up signed copies of the book and meet the authors. And while you’re there, you can pick up something to eat! I’ve heard some pretty amazing things about Copper Branch and I’m excited to try their menu.

Come out to Copper Branch on Sunday January 22nd from 2:00pm to 4:00pm to listen to some chilling words, pick up a collection of chilling words and treat yourself to a healthy meal in the process. Sounds like a great afternoon to me!

Check in to the event on Facebook!

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I recently sponsored a giveaway for a print copy of Purgatorium. That copy went to Lori Twining of Owen Sound, Ontario. Thank you all for entering the contest!

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My baby, DUBIOUS PICKLES AND THE CURIOSITY OF ARBOUR LEVESQUE, can be found in the first section of Purgatorium…aptly called PLAYTHINGS.

If and when you read Purgatorium, please consider reviewing it on Goodreads, Amazon, Kobo, etc.

Visit GOODREADS to add PURGATORIUM to your BOOKSHELF!

EVENT: Purgatorium Book Launch

TIME: SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2017 – 2:00pm-4:00pm

PLACE: Copper Branch Restaurant, 66 Baldwin Street, Brooklin, Ontario. L1M 1A3

Purgatorium was published by ID Press. You can find them on FACEBOOK HERE. Or on their WEBSITE HERE.

 

Purgatorium Releases! Horror Anthology Extraordinaire!

Today is the release day for the amazing anthology of Horror from ID Press called PURGATORIUM! Click on the cover below to be taken to AMAZON to get your copy of PURGATORIUM!

 

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I am thrilled to be one of the authors featured in this anthology. I have now had the opportunity to read Purgatorium from cover to cover and it was thoroughly enjoyable. You can pick it up yourself today from Amazon.

A fun fact for me, having the distinction of having the first story in the collection, is that the LOOK INSIDE feature at AMAZON gives potential purchasers a glimpse into MY story! Here’s the first page from the LOOK INSIDE feature on Amazon…

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Dubious was such a fun character to create. Doing so took me out of all of my norms. I went into a fantasy reality where everything shifted and began to appear not quite right. It’s a lot of fun to let down your hair. For me, in this instance, it was about writing something that wasn’t simple contemporary fiction. It was a challenge to bring in the magical and the surreal…but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

There are 11 stories in this anthology. All offer a slip into the dark-side…all challenge reality. All are worth the price of admission. Pick up Purgatorium today! You’ll be happy you did so.

And keep your eye on ID Press. They promise to continue to challenge the norms of genres and offer up some great reading moments for your future enjoyment…

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Back in October I did some fun Proustian Questionnaire Interviews with all of the contributors to Purgatorium. By clicking on the links below, you can read all of those interviews:

PURGATORIO DIALOGUES PART V – AMANDA TOMPKINS

PURGATORIO DIALOGUES PART IV – YVONNE HESS AND KEVIN CRAIG

PURGATORIO DIALOGUES PART III – KATE ARMS AND MEL COBER AND SAMANTHA BANIK

PURGATORIO DIALOGUES PART II – PAT FLEWWELLING AND TOBIN ELLIOTT

PURGATORIO DIALOGUES PART I – CONNIE DI PIETRO AND DALE LONG

 

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Pat, Connie, Dale, and Tobin – The Staff of ID Press and 4 people I’m happy to call friends!

 

Good luck to PURGATORIUM! Happy BOOK BIRTHDAY! And Happy Launch Day to the folks at ID PRESS!

PURCHASE PURGATORIUM IN PAPERBACK AT AMAZON .COM TODAY!

PURCHASE PURGATORIUM IN KINDLE AT AMAZON .COM TODAY!

PURCHASE PURGATORIUM AT THE CANADIAN AMAZON SITE TODAY!

OR

PURCHASE PURGATORIUM AT KOBO TODAY!

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