Hometown, Horror, Interview, Luke Walker

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.

Christine Cowley, Hunter's Bay Radio, Interview, Kevin Craig, On Writing, Playwright, Writing Life

Listen Now! The Recordings of My STORYLINES Interview & Play Performance from Hunter’s Bay Radio…

Yesterday, the episode of the radio program STORYLINES, with host CHRISTINE COWLEY, on which I appeared, aired on HUNTER’S BAY RADIO. If you happened to miss that airing, Christine was generous enough to provide me with the tapes…and she has allowed me to use them however I wish to use them. Today, I share them here. In the episode, Christine interviews me briefly, and then the two of us perform my 10-minute play THE SPEECH…with the assistance of narrator Tobin Elliott.

So, here are the tapes. You can listen to them now!

 

In the interview, there is talk of my books, and other writings…particularly BURN BABY BURN BABY. You can check out my books on my AMAZON page…and order them from bookstores everywhere. Click on the image below to visit my page over on Amazon. You can read each book’s synopsis by clicking on the books on the Amazon page:

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Click This Picture to Visit My Books on Amazon!

Much thanks to Christine, for providing me with this wonderful opportunity! Though I didn’t really know what I was doing, I thoroughly enjoyed doing it. I usually write my lines knowing they will come from the mouths of others. It was terrifying and exhilarating to have the tables turned. I’m no actor! It gives one a deeper appreciation of just how difficult it is to deliver lines…couldn’t imagine doing it on the stage!

Thank you, Christine! And thank you Hunter’s Bay Radio. And thank you, Tobin Elliott. And thank you to Driftwood Theatre and their Trafalgar 24 Play Creation Festival, at which THE SPEECH was created!

Christine Cowley, Hunter's Bay Radio, Interview, Kevin Craig, On Writing, Playwright, Writing Life

Find Me on Hunter’s Bay Radio! The Speech rises again!

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This morning, you can find me over at HUNTER’S BAY RADIO! Back in September I went to the Hunter’s Bay Radio recording studio to tape an episode of STORYLINES with my friend-in-writing CHRISTINE COWLEY. Thank GOD we did more than an interview, because quite often I’m a horrible interview subject when it comes to talking. I freeze and forget everything in the world I ever knew…especially when it comes to questions about my books. I’m the worst!

Christine and I, with the help of Tobin Elliott as narrator (reading the stage direction), performed one of my 10-minute plays for the show. THE SPEECH has gone a long way since I wrote it in the wee hours of the night inside a Trafalgar Castle for Driftwood Theatre’s TRAFALGAR24 Play Creation Festival back in 2011. It has been performed or read in several states across the USA, in Australia, as well as in Mumbai, India.

This morning you can actually HEAR the play. Christine and I had a lot of fun recording it…I have no idea how it sounds, so I will have to listen in myself to find out. Hopefully it translates well to radio.

It airs today (Thursday October 6th) at 10:00am Ontario time. You can download the Hunter’s Bay Radio app for your phone in the app store, or you can listen in online at:

HUNTER’S BAY RADIO

 

Amanda Tompkins, Anthology, Bookapalooza, Horror, ID Press, Interview, Purgatorio Dialogues, Purgatorium

The Purgatorio Dialogues – Meet the Writers of Purgatorium Part V

My last visit with the Purgatorium Anthology contributors! Amanda Tompkins is always a delight in person, and I find her endlessly interesting. She makes me laugh and she’s also über smart and tells fascinating stories. I’m really looking forward to her words in Purgatorium. I will not soon forget the motto she leaves us with here…one I think I may take as one of my own. “Expectations are just mind forged manacles”.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the release date of this sumptuous anthology of horror! November 19th, Purgatorium will be here!

IN FACT! If you come to BOOKAPALOOZA from 10am-3pm at Durham College Centre for Food/Bistro 67 in Whitby on November 19th, you can pick up a copy of PURGATORIUM…and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get quite a few of the authors to sign it for you! Bookapalooza is a free event and it’s ALL ABOUT BOOKS! You won’t want to miss it! It’s also the place where the Purgatorium Anthology launches!

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BOOKAPALOOZA

And now, Amanda’s responses to my Proustian Questionnaire…

 

Prugatorio Dialogues – X – Amanda Tompkins

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Curled up in my easy chair, with a good book in my hands, and my dog at my feet.

2. What is your most preferred genre as a writer?

Fantasy

3. What is your greatest fear?

Nothingness.

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

I’ll read just about anything, but Fantasy is my favorite.

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

I’d have to say Mary Shelley. She did amazing work and faced a lot of opposition.

6. What was your idea of horror prior to setting off on this adventure into Purgatorium?

Taking the mundane, the familiar, and making it threatening.

7. What do you consider the most overrate virtue?

Patience. Who needs it?

8. What is your idea of horror now that you’ve been to Purgatorium?

Word count limits.

9. What else have you written?

A few short stories, and several works in progress.

10. When and where were you most afraid?

When I realized that nothing is forever, and you can lose the people you love most.

11. Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d love to be able to read/speak every language.

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

Something large and predatory. That probably says more about me than I’m strictly comfortable with.

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

Being forced to watch a loved one suffer, and knowing there is nothing you can do.

14. What are your three deserted island books?

To kill a mockingbird’, by Harper Lee. ‘War for the oaks’, by Emma Bull. ‘The interior life’, by Katherine Blake.

15. Who are your favorite writers?

Usually whoever I’m currently reading.

16. Who is your hero of fiction?

Atticus Finch

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

People chewing loudly with their mouths open.

18. How would you like to die?

Ideally, not at all. Realistically, in bed having just finished the last page of a good book.

19. What sound brings you deep joy?

The click of my dogs nails on the tile as he runs to greet me.

20. What is your motto?

‘Normal’ is a subjective judgement call, and expectations are just mind forged manacles.

 

LIFE IS CHANGE

Children become adults. Summer becomes winter. The old pass from life to death. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

But to some, life is purgatory. A place of temporary suffering between this world and the next.

In these eleven stories, every painful, frightening transition is driven by a single element.

That element is Purgatorium.

 

It’s coming!