Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Patrick Lacey

Meghan: Hi, Patrick. Welcome to Halloween Extravaganza. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Patrick Lacey: Hi, I’m Pat Lacey. I’ve been publishing horror fiction since 2012 and I have a six-foot tall Freddy Krueger cardboard cutout in my office.

Meghan: What are five things most people don’t know about you?

Patrick Lacey: I absolutely love to cook. I drink around three cans of seltzer a day and can stop whenever I want to. Even though October if my favorite season, I do prefer warmer weather. I cry very easily during movies. I once got a mole removed.

Meghan: What is the first book you remember reading?

Patrick Lacey: I want to say it was a Dr Seuss book involving the ABC’s but I might be confusing it with Crime and Punishment.

Meghan: What are you reading now?

Patrick Lacey: I just finished up Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes, who was new to me and will certainly be on my TBR for the rest of time. An actual perfect mix of horror and crime, a combination that can so easily go wrong if not done right. She does it right.

Meghan: What’s a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn’t expect you to have liked?

Patrick Lacey: American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson is one of my favorite memoirs of all time (I say this like I’ve read more than three) and one of the only books I actually devoured in one day.

Meghan: What made you decide you want to write? When did you begin writing?

Patrick Lacey: The first thing I wrote was The Curse of the Scorpion, a knock-off Goosebumps novel. I was in third grade. It never got published. I liked the process and toyed with writing off and on until college, when I gave it the old… college try. Sorry.

Meghan: Do you have a special place you like to write?

Patrick Lacey: I typically write in my office, which is a hoarder’s dream if you like horror memorabilia and action figures. But I can and do write anywhere. In my car, in coffee shops, on the back porch. I don’t like being tied to any one place. I think that creates this idea that if you’re not in your favorite writing spot, you can’t get anything done.

Meghan: Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Patrick Lacey: Procrastination. I like to do literally anything to avoid writing before I actual sit down and work the magic.

Meghan: Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Patrick Lacey: All of it. I’ve written something like fifteen novels now and they never get easier. To be honest, I don’t particularly love the process of writing. I find editing subsequent drafts much more enjoyable. On the flipside, if I go more than two days without writing, I get cranky. I just can’t quit you, written word.

Meghan: What’s the most satisfying thing you’ve written so far?

Patrick Lacey: Trick question. It’s usually the thing I’m currently working on. So in this case, it’s the thing I’m currently working on.

Meghan: What books have most inspired you? Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Patrick Lacey: I started out with King, like the majority of the world, but when I gave writing a go, I identified with writers with more white space on the page. Off the top of my head: Jack Ketchum, Graham Joyce, Richard Laymon, John Skipp, Richard Matheson, Joe Lansdale.

Meghan: What do you think makes a good story?

Patrick Lacey: I think it’s totally subjective, all of it, except for this: if you want to keep turning the page, the story did something right—or write, if you will. Sorry again.

Meghan: What does it take for you to love a character? How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Patrick Lacey: I’m 95% pantser, meaning I don’t outline before I write. So sometimes, I don’t even know if I like a character until I’m well into the first draft. Usually, they’ve got to have a quirk. For example, though extreme, in Bone Saw, there’s a private detective who’s addicted to cough syrup. I wasn’t sure why when I first started writing, but as it went on, that addiction makes total sense.

Meghan: Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Patrick Lacey: The main character in We Came Back is a dead ringer for me. We both lost our fathers in high school, and we both tried lifting weights with little to no results.

Meghan: Are you turned off by a bad cover? To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Patrick Lacey: Yes. Judge that cover all you want. I usually had a good amount of say in the covers of my books. I’ve learned over the years to speak up if something doesn’t gel with me and to give as much feedback as possible.

Meghan: What have you learned creating your books?

Patrick Lacey: Books are really hard to write.

Meghan: What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Patrick Lacey: There’s a car crash scene in We Came Back where we learn about the death of major character and it wasn’t very enjoyable to write. Definitely one of those kill-your-darlings moments. Literally.

Meghan: What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Patrick Lacey: Tough to answer this one without sending pretentious, but I guess I try take what might seem like a pulpy concept and treat it as serious as I can. That doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with it (see cough-syrup-addicted-private-detective for more information). It just means when I’m writing it, any general weirdness is (hopefully) serving the story instead of being there for the sake of it.

Meghan: How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

Patrick Lacey: I do think it’s important and for me, it’s never easy. I usually jot possibilities down as I’m working on the first draft but I rarely choose one until the book is done. Sometimes they’ll change once the publisher gets on board. I usually lift a line or concept from the book and take it from there.

Meghan: What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

Patrick Lacey: Both. With novels, I’m working on them for the better part of a year and like I said: it’s never easy. So when they’re done, it’s hard not to look back and nod in approval. But short stories? They’re like instant mac and cheese: quick and delicious and, oddly, sometimes orange. And since my writing style tends to be on the slim side, they just feel right.

Meghan: Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

Patrick Lacey: Someone once called my stuff “pulp with heart” and I can dig that description. As for my target audience, literally anyone who wants to read about haunted amusement parks, teenage cults, or god-like serial killers.

Meghan: Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Patrick Lacey: Oh, there’s tons of stuff. I usually cut about 10,000 words from my novels. It gets cut for a reason (i.e., it’s boring), so there wouldn’t be much to tell.

Meghan: What is in your “trunk”?

Patrick Lacey: I do not have a trunk novel. I have six of them. When I first started writing, I wrote six books without even thinking of submitting them. I looked at them as practice. They’ll never see the light of day because a.) they’re mostly terrible and b.) I’ve since mined characters and plots to use in my published work.

Meghan: What can we expect from you in the future?

Patrick Lacey: I’ve got a super-secret surprise coming in October, so if you’re reading this after it’s out, that’s what I was talking about and if not, I think I just vaguebooked. I also have a new novel coming out early next year through Grindhouse Press. It’s called A Voice so Soft and in a word(s), it’s what happens when Satan wins American Idol.

Meghan: Where can we find you?

Patrick Lacey: There’s a bar down the street from my apartment that serves half-price apps on Wednesdays. Otherwise, I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Meghan: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you’d like to say that we didn’t get to cover in this interview?

Patrick Lacey: Thank you for having me! And thanks to everyone who’s read even a sentence of my work. Let’s all have the best Halloween ever!

Patrick Lacey was born and raised in a haunted house. He currently spends his nights and weekends writing about things that make the general public uncomfortable. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, his over-sized cat, and his muse, who is likely trying to kill him. Follow him on Twitter, find him on Facebook, or visit his website.

Where Stars Won’t Shine

I’ll be seeing you.

That’s the note left behind for Ivy Longwood when infamous killer Tucker Ashton murders her boyfriend. Several years later, after Tucker vanishes from his jail cell, Ivy travels to Ashton’s hometown of Marlowe, Massachusetts. Not for closure or therapy. She’s being called there. Steered by forces beyond her control. What she’ll find is not the quiet suburban town Marlowe once was. It’s something new. Something dark. Something that answers the question: Where did Tucker Ashton go?

We Came Back

Growing up dead.

Melvin Brown sees things that aren’t there. Monsters with tentacles and razor-sharp teeth. Ever the social outcast, he is bullied to the point of suicide. And his hatred of those who did him wrong does not die with him.

One decade after Melvin’s death, something strange is happening to Lynnwood High School’s smartest and most popular students. They begin to act out and spend time at the former high school, now abandoned and said to be haunted. And their numbers grow at an alarming rate.

Is this just a passing fad or are the rumors true? Does Lynnwood really have a teenage cult on their hands?

Bone Saw

Liam Carpenter spends most of his time above his aunt’s garage, watching obscure horror movies and drinking cheap beer. But this week’s different. This week, things are getting weird. First, there’s his favorite director, Clive Sherman, showing up in town unannounced. Then there’s the string of murders that all seem like something out of Clive’s popular Pigfoot movie monster franchise. Throw in Liam’s mysterious new crush and the cough-syrup-addicted private investigator chasing her down and you might gain somewhat of a clue of what’s going on in Bass Falls lately.

And don’t even get him started on she-demons and blood sacrifices. Bone Saw studios is in town and they’re bringing you the bloodiest sequel featuring a pig-human hybrid killing machine you’ve ever seen.

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