Well, it’s technically a day late, but here’s the second part of Kevin’s blog tour interview! Enjoy!
Who is your favorite horror author? Favorite book or short story, and why?
Again, Peter Straub, and ‘lost boy, lost girl’ and ‘in the night room’ are my two favorite novels, because he takes the horrors of the human experience, with very human monsters – with a supernatural angle, of course – and turns them into powerful, haunting stories with beautiful resonance.
We met at a horror/scifi convention this past year. Do you make it a habit to attend cons, and do you have any planned for the upcoming year?
After two years of moderate Con hopping, I’m really scaling back. What I’ve found is this: they’re awesome fun, it’s recharging to spend time with others who belong to the Brotherhood of the Pen, and they’re important when it comes to meeting editors, agents, and other authors, as well as learning “the ropes”.
But I keep coming back to this: there’s only one thing that matters, in the end: the writing. That’s it. The quality, the work ethic, the determination, and the writing. I’ll be at Horrorfind 13, Shroud’s first AnthoCon in 2011, and that’s it.
Have you had any crazy, funny, or outright weird experiences at conventions?
Not especially. Believe it or not, I’m a pretty boring guy. Very pedestrian and vanilla. Probably the craziest story would be how Scott Christian Carr and I almost never made it to Context 22 (we barely survived cops, wrong directions, exploding tires, high-speed chases coming down the wrong side of the highway and eldritch storms).
Some surreal experiences, though. Meeting Brian Keene for the first time at Horrorfind 11 and listening to him hold court was enough to keep me spinning for days, and then actually hanging out with him and Mary SanGiovanni, Kelli Dunlap, Bob Ford, Alethea Kontis, Norman Prentiss and Tom Monteleone at Horrorfind 12 blew my doors off. Meeting Joe Hill and not acting TOO much like a moron at Necon 30. Meeting and hanging out with Rio Youers is ALWAYS a pleasure, and Tom Erb is pretty much the best road buddy ever.
The most memorable experience isn’t even a Con, per se, but my first year at Borderlands Press Writers Bootcamp. Sequestered in a hotel for a whole weekend with Tom Monteleone, F. Paul Wilson, Gary Braunbeck, Mort Castle and Doug Winter? Can you say: Writers’ Paradise? I felt like I was floating the whole time. NOTHING will ever match that first weekend.
What inspires you? How do you find your muse?
The human experience. What we go through, every single day. Little things. People I see. What they’re doing. I ask myself: “How did they get there? What happened to them before now?” Relationships. Emotions. And then, the essential turnkey, I add the supernatural with the classic: “What if?”
What sends chills run up and down your spine? What absolutely terrifies you?
I’ve found as a parent and spouse that my fears have gained more textured, matured. What terrifies me as a parent? As a husband? I have so much more to lose, now.
Do you write about what scares you?
Sometimes, yes. With my current novel, absolutely. But not always. What I find frightening, others might not.
Do you have any new projects that you’d like to tell us about?
Not “new” per se, but I recently edited Shroud’s Halloween Special, Issue 10. It’s full of great fiction from Rio Youers, Norman Patridge, Dan Keohane, Alethea Kontis, Bob Ford, Kelli Dunlap and many others. It’s available for pre-order:
but it just came back from the printer and should be on Amazon soon.
What’s your favorite/most feared monster (zombies, vampires, tentacle creatures, etc)?
I think ghosts and haunts. They’re reflections of us all, I think: our fears and nightmares and the things we hide deep inside. They’re also the ones that feel the most “real” to me.
What are your feelings on the eventual zombie apocalypse? Are you a gun or machete/ax/baseball bat/blunt instrument kinda guy?
None of those. I say nuke ’em from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.