Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Austin Crawley

Meghan: Hi, Austin. It’s been awhile since we sat down together. What’s been going on since we last spoke?

Austin Crawley: A whole lot of real life, but I’ve been writing. I’ve got a Halloween story wrapping up now and a couple of series coming together in bits and pieces as well as another stand alone book.

Meghan: Who are you outside of writing?

Austin Crawley: Picture Ritchie Valens if he had lived to his late 30s and was into writing instead of guitar. That’s pretty much me.

Meghan: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?

Austin Crawley: My relatives don’t read my work. I use a pen name so most of them don’t even know I write Horror novels.

Meghan: Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Austin Crawley: Definitely a gift. Creating imaginary worlds brings more euphoria than any form of intoxicant. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Meghan: How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?

Austin Crawley: I grew up in a low income area of East Los Angeles where everyone is Catholic, but later went to college at UCLA, so I’m very aware of cultural divides. This came out a little in my first book, A Christmas Tale, which is about three middle class white college girls who do a séance without thinking out the implications of what could happen. One of them does some volunteer work to help the less fortunate.

In my second book, Letters to the Damned, the contrast between a guy from California and people in a small English village makes for a different kind of contrast. I’ve traveled in England so the village, though fictional, is based on a typical northern England village model.

There’s a lot of superstition in Latino Catholicism and that makes good source material for Horror novels. There’s a lot of symbolism couched in my stories, like the white raven who shows up in most of my books.

Meghan: What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your books?

Austin Crawley: A Catholic exorcism rite for my most recent story, A Halloween Tale. Also some information about New Orleans voodoo to get the description of a Ghede right.

Meghan: Which do you find the hardest to write: the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Austin Crawley: Making sure I enough middle has so far been most challenging. I go for fast action and so far my books have been novella length as a result. I have a plan to flesh out the stories I have planned for the series to come.

Meghan: Do you outline? Do you start with characters or plot? Do you just sit down and start writing? What works best for you?

Austin Crawley: I think of a concept and start taking notes. At some point the start of the story will start running through my head and I just go with it. A sort of outline forms along the way.

Meghan: What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline/plan?

Austin Crawley: Characters are independent creatures. I don’t over plan them but let them show me their story.

Meghan: What do you do to motivate yourself to sit down and write?

Austin Crawley: There’s a lot of self-discipline involved in writing. The most prolific writers I know choose a time of day that works for them and make an effort to sit and write at that time every day. I’m working on that. Real life gets in the way a lot. As far as motivation goes, the stories constantly going through my head are my main motivators. They want out! They want to be read by enthusiastic readers! It’s my task in life to bring them across to this plane of existence.

Meghan: Are you an avid reader?

Austin Crawley: Oh definitely! I read every moment I get free. Not just my own genre but a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction.

Meghan: What kind of books do you absolutely love to read?

Austin Crawley: I go through phases of Horror, Fantasy, Historical, Dystopian, and even Steampunk when I can find some written for grown-ups. I keep an open mind. Anything well-written is a possibility.

Meghan: How do you feel about movies based on books?

Austin Crawley: It depends on how well they’re done. A lot of books I enjoy and don’t want to see a film version because that’s going to be a different story. Others translate better in video media, like Game of Thrones. I really enjoyed those books but the television series was so rich with costumes and top quality CGI that my imagination struggles to keep up.

Meghan: Have you ever killed a main character?

Austin Crawley: I write Horror and Dystopian novels. Yes.

Meghan: Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?

Austin Crawley: Not suffer so much as giving them challenges to overcome. There’s no guarantee of a happy ending in my genres so they might suffer if they fail, but the struggle is what makes the story interesting.

Meghan: What’s the weirdest character concept that you’ve ever come up with?

Austin Crawley: smiles The little boy in The Locked Door. That started as a short story and you can still read it online, but it was the kid and his uncanny ability to get into secret places not of this world that made me decide to flesh him out into a novel. It’s in progress now.

Meghan: What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever received? What’s the worst?

Austin Crawley: The best was responses to that story telling me I should expand it into a book. The worst, someone didn’t get why a Mexican protagonist would find fried tomatoes and baked beans in an English style breakfast would seem out of place when Mexicans eat refried beans and salsa. That told me I needed to explain the differences in more detail.

Meghan: What do your fans mean to you?

Austin Crawley: Every writer likes to know that someone enjoys their stories. I would always write even if no one read it, but finding followers on my blog and Goodreads as well as Amazon gives me a warm feeling and inspires me to strive to constantly improve my storytelling skills.

Meghan: If you could steal one character from another author and make them yours, who would it be and why?

Austin Crawley: This one took some thought. I’m big on respecting the boundaries between my imaginary worlds and those of others, but if there’s one character I wish I had written, it would have to be Terry Pratchett‘s version of Death. The concept of looking at things from Death’s point of view isn’t entirely new, but he made him a sympathetic character, along with Death of Rats.

Meghan: If you could write the next book in a series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?

Austin Crawley: That would be a real challenge. An author leaves their own mark on a series and trying to fill the next slot would be like doing a cosplay of that author, or else derailing the feeling of continuity for the series.

If I had to choose one, Roger Zelazny‘s Amber series has a lot of room for expanding imagination. It already has prequels written by a different author, written well I might add, but adding something to that world could be an interesting challenge for the imagination.

Meghan: If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?

Austin Crawley: I’m a big fan of Neil Gaiman. His collaboration with Terry Pratchett on Good Omens is one of my favorite books of all time, so I think if we were paired up it would have to be some kind of Dark Fantasy with very imaginative supernatural overtones.

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

Austin Crawley: I have two series formulating simultaneously. The Locked Door will be finished first, but I anticipate four books in each of the series. Whether I alternate between them or finish one before going on to the other is yet to be seen.

Meghan: Where can we find you?

Austin Crawley: Blog ** Amazon ** Goodreads ** Facebook ** Twitter

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 or the last?

Austin Crawley: Reading expands the mind, it’s all good. Just be prepared to explore some dark corners if you read my books. I like books that make people think.

Austin Crawley writes Horror and Dystopian fiction with a supernatural twist. His lifelong love of ghost stories and interest in comparative religions has led him to seek the darker corners of human existence and to exploit them in prose, touching on our deepest fears. he has been known to spend his vacations visiting places that are reported to be haunted.

Crawley is the author of A Christmas Tale, a story about three young women who perform a seance to raise the fictional ghosts of DickensA Christmas Carol with surprising results, and of Letters to the Damned, about a post box in a small English village that reportedly transmits written requests for favours to the dead and damned. His most recent release is A Halloween Tale, which came out last month, a haunted house tale filled with horrific, inter-dimensional terror.

A Halloween Tale ** A Christmas Tale

Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Thomas S. Gunther

Meghan: Hi, Thomas. Welcome back to Halloween Extravaganza, and welcome to the new blog. It’s been awhile since we sat down together. What’s been going on since we last spoke?

Thomas S. Gunther: The big news is that I’ve taken a position as a columnist for Becky Narron’s brand new horror ezine, Terror Tract. Our first came out in October!

Meghan: Who are you outside of writing?

Thomas S. Gunther: Outside of writing, I live a fairly normal life. I’m married. I have kids, grandkids, a dog, etc. I have a regular job, though it is seasonal, working on a tree farm–it’s great working outside. I pay bills, have responsibilities. Pretty boring stuff like that. Writing, much like reading, is a form of escapism.

Meghan: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?

Thomas S. Gunther: Funny you should ask. A cousin told me awhile back she was purchasing a copy of Monsters vs. Nazis, an anthology from Deadman’s Tome, which includes a werewolf story I wrote. I never heard back from her, so decided to message her and ask. Nothing. Crickets. I’m sure she’s busy with everyday life, but it’s disconcerting. They say family are the worst critics. One learns to take it all with a grain of salt.

Meghan: Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Thomas S. Gunther: There are days when I truly hate writing, and being the proverbial writer. Regardless of how much I love the craft, it’s still a lot of work. I am rarely happy with the results. I get picky, and often waste a lot of time like that, worrying about the perfect word or some iota of prose. It can be exhausting, often more taxing than the extremely physical work I do for a living.

Meghan: How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?

Thomas S. Gunther: I think it’s impossible to write anything without some faction of my personal life finding its way in. I’ve never submitted it, but I have written a story based on some of the weirder childhood tales my mother has told me. Many of my stories, expressed or not, take place in Michigan, though I often take liberties with geography.

Meghan: What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your books?

Thomas S. Gunther: Not sure if I could give you a straight answer. Often, when I am doing research, I find myself going off on tangents. Some discoveries help to shape a story, and add color or take it in new directions. Some find me wasting time and smoking cigarettes.

Meghan: Which do you find the hardest to write: the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Thomas S. Gunther: Oh, definitely the beginning. It’s part of getting started. In fact, my first article for Terror Tract touches on this.

Meghan: Do you outline? Do you start with characters or plot? Do you just sit down and start writing? What works best for you?

Thomas S. Gunther: Sometimes I outline. I’ll actually sit down, and scratch out bubble charts and the sort of stuff one learns in school. But most of the time–quite frequently–I just sit on a story, and mull it round in my head forever before I actually start typing.

Meghan: What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline/plan?

Thomas S. Gunther: (Snorts). That’s what makes writing fun!

Meghan: What do you do to motivate yourself to sit down and write?

Thomas S. Gunther: I go through a slew of thoughts, emotions, etc. Some writers can hold full-time jobs and write full-time while doing so, and many of them are far more prolific than I. Like my job, writing can be seasonal for me. I work in the warm months, and write in the cold. Spring and fall are transitional, or have been, for the last few years. I’m weird, I know.

Meghan: Are you an avid reader?

Thomas S. Gunther: Not as avid as I used to be. I have less time as I did when I was younger, when I devoured books. And while I read very well, I’m a slow reader. I guess, though, it’s because I want to savor every word, every paragraph. I can’t imagine life without reading, but I’ll never be able to read everything I hope to read. There are so many stories, so many books, and I just keep collecting!

Meghan: What kind of books do you absolutely love to read?

Thomas S. Gunther: Surprisingly, it wasn’t always horror. I have read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. A lot. But, most of the fiction I read now is from my writing peers, “horror” and related. There are some great writers in the market, and I think the ones I love the best are the ones who write the sort of stories I wished I had thought of.

Meghan: How do you feel about movies based on books?

Thomas S. Gunther: Meh. Depends on the book, the movie, etc.

Meghan: Have you ever killed a main character?

Thomas S. Gunther: If by main character you mean the protagonist, then “no,” I don’t think so. I love the element of hope.

Meghan: Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?

Thomas S. Gunther: Of course. There’s really no story worth reading or writing if the characters aren’t suffering from something.

Meghan: What’s the weirdest character concept that you’ve ever come up with?

Thomas S. Gunther: Some of my sillier stories involve characters with odd quirks or fetishes. I think most characters should be multi-faceted, to be more interesting and believable. One combination I tried was a werewolf who was not only a drunk, but he had a fear of heights. Not sure how well that actually worked out.

Meghan: What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever received? What’s the worst?

Thomas S. Gunther: I certainly love praise. Flattery will get you everywhere. But truly, the best feedback I’ve ever gotten has come from Clark Roberts. Not only because he’s, on more than one occasion, taken the time to say why he liked my work, but because I like his work. Getting feedback from another writer, particularly from one I admire, is a compliment. And, it’s encouraging. I love that I’ve come to be friends with several other writers in my field. There is a certain camaraderie. As far as the worst feedback is concerned, well, let’s just say crickets are the worst critics.

Thomas S. Gunther enjoys reading and writing fiction of all kinds, though he is partial to horror. Like the original American horror writer, Edger Allen Poe, he favors the short story over longer works, though he is currently working on a novel (or two), as well. Besides writing fiction, he is also a columnist for the new ezine, Terror Tract. During the summer months, he is employed as an aquatic transfer engineer on a tree farm, but also works as a writer/editor for occasional private clients. While his parents had hoped he would pursue his artistic talents, he chose to draw with words instead, having been inspired by various writers, including but not limited to, Jack London, Harlan Ellison, John Lindqvist, and Clive Barker. In turn, his work may be described as being a mix of brutality, dark humor, and the macabre. Several of his short stories have made it into print within the pages of various anthologies with indie publishers. When not working or writing, Thomas S. Gunther spends his days helping his beautiful wife around their home in Kalamazoo, MI, making sure the dog doesn’t eat the youngest grandson, eat the flowers, or dig up the cats buried in the backyard.

Website ** Blog

Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Kristopher Rufty

Meghan: Hey, Krist!! Welcome to Meghan’s House of Books. It’s fantastic to have you back on the Halloween Extravaganza. It’s been awhile since we sat down together. What’s been going on since we last spoke?

Kristopher Rufty: Took an extended break for a while to be a dad to my three children. We’ve had a difficult two years but are finally getting through it. Back to writing, putting a new life together, and rebuilding. It’s been a long, trying journey to get to this point, but we’re finally here.

Meghan: Who are you outside of writing?

Kristopher Rufty: A simple guy, really. I mostly spend all my time with my children—taking them to school, appointments, and events. Making sure supper is cooked. I also play music, watch a lot of movies when I can (which doesn’t happen often), and sleep.

Meghan: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?

Kristopher Rufty: It depends on what else they enjoy to read or watch. When Angel Board was released, nearly all my relatives bought a copy. Even my grandmother was eager to get one. But then they all read it, and suddenly they weren’t so excited about my stories. I’m not sure what they were expecting, but they all had different opinions on the adult situations and the overall subject matter. After that, I hoped they would just stay away from my books, and all of them have.

But some of my closest friends are my biggest supporters. My friend, Katie, calls herself my Annie Wilkes, and tries her best to keep me motivated and inspired so the books keep coming. She’s been working really hard the last couple years with encouraging me, and it’s finally paid off. I’m writing a lot more than I have been, and it’s great.

Meghan: Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Kristopher Rufty: The only curse that I can really think of is the curse of a deadline, yet, at the same time, it’s also a blessing because it keeps me focused. I could never think of anything bad about writing because it’s a wonderful gift to have. When it’s not fun, then I know the story is all wrong and it either needs to be approached from a different angle or abandoned entirely. Writing is magic, and I’m thankful to be able to do it.

Meghan: How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?

Kristopher Rufty: A lot, actually. It’s sprinkled throughout most of my stories. The town Brickston from many of my books is actually the town I grew up in, but I changed the name. The library in Anathema and Angel Board is the local library my daughter and I visit all the time. The dirt road Joel Olsen lives on in Pillowface is the road I grew up on, just with my grandfather’s house replacing my parents’ house. The way certain character’s talk and the way they act comes from my watching people for so long and interacting with them. I used to work in retail, and I used to manage a video store, so I’ve met tons of people. Sometimes they wind up in books, or at least incredibly sensationalized versions of themselves.

Meghan: What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your books?

Kristopher Rufty: Before starting work on The Vampire of Plainfield, I spent a lot of time researching Ed Gein. I already owned several books on him, but I wanted to see more. I scoured through online databases for any info and photos I could find. I searched how someone could escape from being locked in a trunk. I looked up news stories on necrophiliacs for a story idea I have. I wouldn’t be surprised if the FBI showed up some day to question me about my internet history. I’ve looked up all kinds, but nothing seems really weird to me, though. So maybe that’s the problem?

Meghan: Which do you find the hardest to write: the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Kristopher Rufty: The middle. When I have trouble with a book, it’s always in the later section of the middle right before the ending is set into motion. I don’t know why this is. It doesn’t happen every time, but when it does, it hits hard. I’ll go back and read over everything I’ve written to that point, making minor alterations along the way. Sometimes, I scrap the whole first chunk of the book and start fresh. More times than not, it’ll click when I’m not expecting it and I’ll find myself going back to my old draft and picking right up where I left off, omitting the new version, and soaring through to the end. I doubt myself too much at times, and it takes doing something as drastic as rewriting a whole book before I realize I was in the right place all along.

Meghan: Do you outline? Do you start with characters or plot? Do you just sit down and start writing? What works best for you?

Kristopher Rufty: A little of all the above. My main routine before beginning a new book is sitting down with a blank page, either on my laptop or a legal pad, and I start writing about the ideas I have. I sort of have a conversation with myself about the book. I’ll get a basic premise and an idea for a few characters and then I jump right in. I’ll get past those parts and go back to my blank pages and talk out the rest. Other times, I just go right into it with a beginning and nothing beyond that.

Meghan: What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline/plan?

Kristopher Rufty: I just follow along. I’ve learned it’s easier that way than fighting what they naturally want to do. I used to disagree and move on with my own intentions and every time the book suffered for it, or could never be completed. Now, I save time by not fighting it and going with what they present to me and letting the story guide itself. It’s a lovely process and still amazes me to this day that it happens all on its own if I allow it to.

Meghan: What do you do to motivate yourself to sit down and write?

Kristopher Rufty: I don’t really think there’s any real way to motivate myself. I either want to or don’t want to and, thankfully, I always want to. I don’t write like I used to, but I still write every free moment I have. I make sure there is some gap of time set aside to write. I can’t go without doing it, so I must ensure myself there is always that window I can escape through, even if for just a little while.

Meghan: Are you an avid reader?

Kristopher Rufty: Big time. I read as much as possible. I used to read multiple books at once, but I’ve cut back on that and read one or two at a time now. I love stories. I always need to have one nearby.

Meghan: What kind of books do you absolutely love to read?

Kristopher Rufty: Horror, naturally. 😊 I love crime fiction and westerns as well. This past year, I’ve started reading YA books from the 80’s and 90’s by Stine, Pike, and the slew of others. Some of them are actually pretty dark, and I’m surprised by the amount of violence some of them have. They’re just so much and have great covers that remind me of being in middle school and finding these books in the library.

Meghan: How do you feel about movies based on books?

Kristopher Rufty: I love it. I can’t really talk about it too much just yet, but I will be able to share more of how I feel about it soon. It’s only a matter of time, it looks like. Sure, anything could happen to where I can’t elaborate, but for now, it looks quite possible. But to give a response that isn’t so vague: I am in love with the idea! I hope that movies are made based on my books frequently. I have no problem with other people taking the books and adapting them into something else. It’s all a collaboration at that point, and it excites me to see these stories brought to life through someone else’s interpretation.

Meghan: Have you ever killed a main character?

Kristopher Rufty: Many times. Sometimes readers enjoy a surprise like that, other times they hate it. I just go in the direction the story takes me. If that character is supposed to be let go, the story will let me know. I hate it when any of my characters meet their end, but it’s out of my hands. I think it’s harder to accept when it’s a character I’ve been with for so long, only to turn to the page and find out they’re no longer there on the pages that follow. The story moves on without them, whether I want it to or not.

Meghan: Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?

Kristopher Rufty: It depends. If they’re a bastard, then yes, I enjoy it. 😊 I don’t like it when characters I love suffer anything, but again, if the story calls for it, I have to go along with it. Desolation was filled with characters suffering and it was agonizing to write their pain. Yet, I couldn’t stop writing it. I had to know what was going to happen and the desire to reach to the end kept me going. I never want to write a book like that, again. It was brutal to go through, but when I was finished, I was very happy with what I had accomplished. But I’m just fine with never returning to that type of story at all. Soon as I had finished, I needed to write something a bit more fun. Bigfoot Beach was what I came up with, and it was so far away from the kind of story Desolation was that it was refreshing and such a good time to write about Bigfoot smashing people’s heads.

Meghan: What’s the weirdest character concept that you’ve ever come up with?

Kristopher Rufty: That’s a tough one. Herschell from Seven Buried Hill was pretty bizarre. The idea for him came from a photograph I saw on display at my local library of an artificial arm from the late 1800’s. It was a monstrous contraption that looked as if it had been built from steal. I asked one of the librarians about it and she told me that amputees would have those ungodly things attached to them. I had no idea how anyone could stand up with such a device on their body, let alone use it. On my way home, the idea for a horror-western hit and I began writing it that night. Herschell lost most of his body due to leprosy, so he’s part man, part steal, and has been turned into an unstoppable killing machine.

Meghan: What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever received? What’s the worst?

Kristopher Rufty: I’ve been fortunate throughout the years to receive a lot of great feedback from authors I’ve admired for so long. I have even been able to collaborate with some as well. Before I was published, I received a lot of great advice from Ronald Malfi, Jeff Strand, Brian Keene, and Edward Lee, plus a whole list of others. I consider all of them now to be great friends.

The worst? Probably from some of those same people. When something doesn’t work, or I did something wrong, a good friend and writer will point it out. It was hard (and still is) to hear at times how badly I’d messed up in a story, but later it became feedback I still live by. It’s helped me to be able to construct a coherent story that, for the most part, people like to read. So, in my experiences, some of the worst feedback was actually the best I could have received.

Meghan: What do your fans mean to you?

Kristopher Rufty: I am grateful for each one. I still remember the first time a reader reached out to me. Still remember who it was, too. That fan later went on to be an editor on two of my books for Sinister Grin Press. He told me he would always cherish how responsive I was and how kind I was to him. I treat my readers like human beings because that’s what they are. I value all of them and, whenever I can, give them free stuff. I was at a convention a couple years ago and tried to give away so much stuff to my fans that one of them finally stopped me and reminded me they were there to buy things, too. I can’t thank them enough for supporting me and even if they didn’t like something of mine, they don’t turn away. They’re loyal to me and I will always be loyal to them.

Meghan: If you could steal one character from another author and make them yours, who would it be and why?

Kristopher Rufty: I don’t know if I could steal any character from somebody else and do it any kind of justice. But I would probably have to pick Jason Voorhees. I grew up as a fan of the Friday the 13th series and used to daydream about making my own entry in the series. That was where the idea for Pillowface came from. I was a kid, mowing the field behind our house and fantasized about Jason staggering out of the woods, wounded from a battle. I helped him get healthy again and we became good buddies. Even as an adult, the dream of working on one has never left me. Maybe some day it’ll happen.

Meghan: If you could write the next book in a series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?

Kristopher Rufty: That’s a good question. Though I feel Richard Laymon wrapped them up nicely, I might would like to take a shot at doing a Beast House book. Probably have it take place in present day, many years after the events of The Midnight Tour. The Beast House has been shut down for years, but somebody has recently purchased it and decides to reopen it. So much could happen in the meantime with new characters and maybe even some of the older characters could return as well.

Meghan: If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?

Kristopher Rufty: Wrath James White was always the answer I used to give whenever someone asked me this. And I’ve been blessed enough to get to do that with Master of Pain. Talk about a dream come true. I became a fan of Wrath’s work back in 2009. If you would have told me that one day I’d get to write a book with him, I would have said you were crazy. I’ve been collaborating with another writer on a book for a little over a year. It keeps getting put on hold because we have to work on other things, but we keep coming back to it. I’m almost finished with my turn, then I’ll send it back to him. I want to say who it is, but I know it’s too soon to announce it yet. Hopefully in the next couple months we can talk more about it.

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

Kristopher Rufty: I have a book coming out through Thunderstorm Books that I finished earlier in the year. They’re launching a new line of books and I believe this one will be the first. Soon as they make the announcement, I can talk more about it. I can say that it’s a book I’ve been asked about many, many times. Hopefully it’s everything my readers wanted, and even more! I also finished a draft of a book called Three Men and a Body. It’s a dark crime story with horror mixed in. Probably one of my darker books, though I didn’t start off writing it that way. I have also completed a draft of a book called Lipstick Wings and have begun to assemble stories for another collection that I hope will release early next year.

Meghan: Where can we find you?

Kristopher Rufty: I’m still on Facebook and Twitter, though not nearly as much as I used to be. Next year will see the launch of a new website, a newsletter, and hopefully a lot of news to talk about. I’m slowly getting back to things and I hope to continue building back to full steam before too long.

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 or the last?

Kristopher Rufty: I’m back to work! I’ll see you all soon!

Kristopher Rufty is the writer and director of the movies Psycho Holocaust, Alice in Deathland, Cutting Room!, and Wicked Wood, and also the author of Angel Board, PillowFace, and The Lurkers.

He used to host Diabolical Radio, an internet radio show devoted to horror fiction and film for five years and developed quite an archive list and following.

He is married to his high school sweetheart and is the father of two insane children that he loves dearly, and together they reside in North Carolina with their 120 pound dog, Thor, and a horde of cats. He is currently working on his next novel, script, or movie.

Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Rachel Aukes

Meghan: Welcome to Meghan’s House of Books, Rachel. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Rachel Aukes: I’m a science fiction/apocalyptic fiction writer who loves telling stories! When I’m not writing, I’m either chasing after my very spoiled 50-pound dog or flying old airplanes across the Midwest US countryside.

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

Rachel Aukes: Here goes… 1) Nearly all my clothes are black or gray, because I’m horrible at coordinating colors. 2) I love video games, mostly old school RPGs since I feel like an old lady playing alongside the young whippersnappers on some of the new ones. 3) I’m a big fan of the KonMari method of tidying up. My life and home are so much more peaceful since I cut out everything that didn’t bring joy. 4) I collected comic books as a kid, and I still love them as much as ever. 5) I love cheesy sci-fi movies. The crappier the special effects, the more fun.

Meghan: What is the first book you remember reading?

Rachel Aukes: Hmm… One of the first books I remember reading is The Haunted House, which was a children’s book (with pictures) on kids going into a scary haunted house, which turned out to be not quite so scary after all. I wish I remembered the author’s name!

Meghan: What are you reading now?

Rachel Aukes: Titan’s Fury by Rhett Bruno. I’m so in love with this series!

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

Rachel Aukes: I like all types of books, so I can’t think of one that stands out that would surprise others.

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

Rachel Aukes: I love writing as a child. Then life and the need to pay bills got in the way until one day I realized I needed to write again, if even just for fun. I’ve never looked back.

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

Rachel Aukes: I have a home office, where I write. It’s cozy and perfect for me!

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

Rachel Aukes:I have pictures of my characters sitting along the edge of my computer screen as I write. For each character, I find an actor or movie character who most represents one of my characters.

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

Rachel Aukes: The actual writing part. When I begin a new story, I love jumping in, but the words sometimes get so hard to pull about midway through!

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

Rachel Aukes: So far, it’s always the book I’ve just finished. With every book, I feel like I grow as a storyteller.

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

Rachel Aukes: I was reading Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dream Chaser the day I decided I needed to start writing again. That book will always hold a special memory for me because of that!

Meghan: What do you think makes a good story?

Rachel Aukes: A complete story arc with a fulfilling ending. None of that cliffhanger crap (by cliffhanger, I mean a book that ends without wrapping up its story arc; I’m not referring to series arcs). Beyond that, all stories depend on its characters to drive it.

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

Rachel Aukes: I have to be able to connect with a character. They must have human traits—both strengths and weaknesses—or else they feel like Gary Stus or Mary Sues. I spend a ton of time on my character biographies before I begin writing a story, so they are real people to me by page 1.

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

Rachel Aukes: All my characters share certain traits with me, though Cash, the protagonist of the Deadland Saga seems to share the most. We’re both nerds on the introverted side but want to do the right thing.

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

Rachel Aukes: Yes. We’re human. We all judge a book by its cover. I’ve bought books purely by their covers, and I’ve skipped books with horrible covers. For my traditional published books, I had minimal to some involvement, depending on the house. For my self-published books, I have complete control, but I always try to trust my designer’s expertise and advice whenever possible.

Meghan: What have you learned creating your books?

Rachel Aukes: I used to create detailed outlines, or storyboards, for each book. Then I’d begin writing and everything would change. Now, I spend less time on creating high-level outlines, which gives me more time creating characters with full, 3D backgrounds.

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

Rachel Aukes: Writing the death of a loved character. There was one supporting character in the Deadland Saga that I absolutely hated to see killed but saving his life would’ve gone against the personalities of other characters, and I had to stay true to the story.

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

Rachel Aukes: My books tend to be on the shorter side since I write tight and straightforward. Even so, the most common feedback I get across my books is on how well my characters resonate with readers.

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)?

Rachel Aukes: I spent too much time up front thinking of a cool title, and it seems like at least half the time, the title changes! For example, my working title for my upcoming novel was The Black Sheep of Starbus Route 128b. My editor guided me into a simpler, catchier title: Black Sheep, and there you have it!

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

Rachel Aukes: Writing a novel is a deeply fulfilling exercise. During the time I write a novel, I am fully immersed in that world day and night.

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

Rachel Aukes: I try to keep my stories PG-13 rated, so that they are accessible to a wide audience. I’ve written in multiple genres, so my audiences are quite different. My romance targeted adult females while my science fiction targets adult males. My apocalyptic fiction is most popular with teenagers (both male and female). The only commonality you’ll see across my stories is a sense of hope against all odds.

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

Rachel Aukes: I wish I could say my deleted scenes are gold nuggets that sit in my drawer, but they’re really crap. Mostly, they’re “day in the life” stuff that doesn’t move the story forward. As I mentioned above, I write shorter than many writers, which means I like to keep my stories as tight as possible.

Meghan: What is in your “trunk”?

Rachel Aukes: I have a OneNote section dedicated to my trunk of ideas! There are so many stories I want to write that I don’t have time or now’s simply not the right time.

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

Rachel Aukes: I have a new series called Flight of the Javelin coming out soon from Aethon Books. This series stars Throttle, the paraplegic pilot in the Fringe series. She’s leading a colonization mission and lots of crazy happens!

Meghan: Where can we find you?

Rachel Aukes: You can learn more about my books and where you can get them on my website. I can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

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?

Rachel Aukes: Thanks for staying with us through the whole interview. Happy reading!

Rachel Aukes is a science fiction writer with over twenty books in print, including 100 Days in Deadland, which made Suspense Magazine’s Best of the Year list. She is also a Wattpad Star, her stories having over six million reads. Her popular Tidy Guides series covers tips on writing, editing, and publishing your first novel. When not writing, Rachel can be found flying old airplanes with her husband and an incredibly spoiled 50-pound lap dog over central Iowa.

Fringe 5: Fringe Legacy

It’s an age of heroes and sacrifices. 
The colonies won their independence.
But they are not at peace. 

New enemies come at the fragile Alliance of Free Colonies. Assassination attempts. Kidnappings. Murder.

When Aramis Reyne is nearly killed, he turns the tables and hunts the hunters. He learns things are not as they seem. When Critch disappears, he must make an impossible rescue. 

If Reyne fails, the Alliance will fall. War will claim the colonies once again. 
The race is on and time is running out.

The Tidy Guide to Writing a Novel

Learn to write a novel in 30 minutes!

Do you dream of writing a novel, but not sure where to start? Have you been working on a book for ages but feel stuck? Despite all your best efforts, do you feel overwhelmed? The Tidy Guide to Writing a Novel brings you a no-nonsense approach to write your book right the first time. 

In this guide, you’ll learn how to: 
• Plan and organize your story ideas by breaking them out into easy, digestible bites 
• Use the simple yet mighty Little Ups approach to confidently write your first draft and subsequent drafts 

The Tidy Guide to Writing a Novel is a 30-minute read that’s jam-packed with information essential for writers at any stage in their careers.

Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Robert J. Duperre

Meghan: Hi, Robert. Welcome to Meghan’s House of Books. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Robert J. Duperre: Okay, some background info.

I live in rural Connecticut (the northern part) with my wife Jessica Torrant, a wonderful artist and my favorite person ever. I have three children who’re all grown and out on their own. Oh, and I also love dogs.

I’m a writer of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, and my work tends to blur the line between all three. Currently, I’ve published thirteen full-length novels, twelve of which are broken down into three separate series: The Rift, The Breaking World (written with David Dalglish), my current series, The Infinity Trials, and a future series, The Knights Eternal, the first book of which will be re-released this year.

I also have a one-off novel titled Silas, a novella called Death Devours All Lovely Things, and I edited and contributed to a pair of short story collections – The Gate: 13 Dark and Odd Tales and The Gate 2: 13 Tales of Isolation and Despair. I’m currently putting the finishing touches on the last Infinity Trials novel while working on the 2nd installment in The Knights Eternal.

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

Robert J. Duperre: Hmm… This one’s a toughie.

  • I’m originally from Plymouth, Mass, the land of Pilgrims. Much of my extended family still lives there.
  • I listen to Katy Perry when no one’s around.
  • I’m partially deaf in my right ear, which makes it hard to carry on a conversation while driving.
  • I sang and played keyboards for a number for a number of local progressive rock and death metal bands in my younger days.
  • I’ve always struggled with self-esteem issues.

Meghan: What is the first book you remember reading?

Robert J. Duperre: Charlotte’s Web. What a harrowing experience that was!

Meghan: What are you reading now?

Robert J. Duperre: Deacon, the 2nd book in Kit Rocha’s Gideon’s Riders series. Sexy dystopian sci-fi fun. Who could ask for more?

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

Robert J. Duperre: I’m not sure if anyone’d be really surprised, per say, but I love romance novels. I’m a sucker for love stories and expertly written sex scenes. So yeah, I guess I didn’t single out a specific book, but I think you get the point nevertheless.

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

Robert J. Duperre: I’ve always written. It’s what I’m good at, and is something I need to do to stay sane. When I was in high school, I decided that I’d go to college to teach English, and during my summers, I’d pen the great American novel. Of course, since I ended up dropping out of school after the birth of my first child, that didn’t happen. But after a seven-year period during which I didn’t write at all, which brought about a long bout of depression, I found my way back to the craft as a way to deal with said depression. Everything kinda took off from there.

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

Robert J. Duperre: Not particularly. As long as I have a comfy chair and a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, I can write just about anywhere.

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

Robert J. Duperre: The one that sticks out to me is my tendency to speak dialogue out loud as I’m writing it down. It’s something I’m not even aware of when it’s happening, so if there’s people around, I get plenty of odd looks.

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

Robert J. Duperre: Without a doubt, coming back into the craft after taking some time off after my mother-in-law passed away last summer has been the most challenging writing experience of my life. My work tends to dive into dark themes, and I just didn’t have it in me for about a half-year. When I started back up again, I had to force myself to work. The original plot for the last book of my Infinity Trials series was depressing, and I just couldn’t get myself to linger in something that’d make me sadder than I already was. Which led to me completely changing how I wrapped up that series. Let’s just say I’m not upset that happened.

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

Robert J. Duperre: After some thought, I’m gonna have to go with Silas, a story of a depressed man and his dog and their unexpected adventure into a parallel universe. Mainly because I wrote that book in less than a month, took another full month to edit, and it ended up being exactly what I wanted it to be, which is a dedication to Leo, my dearly departed yellow Lab, and a self-examination of my own failings. So, in a nutshell, because it came so easily and was personal as hell, it’s EXTREMELY satisfying.

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

Robert J. Duperre: Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and the Skipp/Spector team were my inspirations growing up, along with idea-creators like Lovecraft and Philip K. Dick. I read everything they wrote, and my early attempts at writing were basically me mimicking their styles and themes. It took me quite a few years—and many literary failures—to break myself of that copycat tendency and come up with a voice of my own.

The kind of writing that inspires me today is the type that makes me examine my work to see if I’m making the most of the stories I want to tell. Authors like N.K. Jemisin, Mercedes Yardley, S.M. Reine, Brandon Sanderson, and Gillian Flynn are who I now turn to, devouring every word they write and letting those words push me into being better, myself.

Meghan: What do you think makes a good story?

Robert J. Duperre: Oh man. I really can’t give you a singular answer for that one. Sometimes it’s the setting and ideas, like with any of Sanderson’s work. Sometimes it’s the emotion themes, like in N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth series. But then again, there’s the personal connection I feel, which is what dragged me into S.M. Reine’s Descent series and kept me devouring every book until there weren’t any more to read.

But really, now that I’m actually thinking about it, the question’s not really as complex as it first seemed. Because if the characters I’m reading about don’t captivate me, then I won’t enjoy my experience. Even Sanderson, as obsessed with magic systems and world building as he is, creates interesting people to populate his books. And no one – NO ONE – writes better characters than S.M. Reine, who very well might be my favorite author who’s active right now.

So yeah, I think that’s the answer. Characters first, with creative worlds and original stakes a distant second.

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

Robert J. Duperre: I need to relate, first and foremost. Does this character feel fleshed-out? Are their motivations realistic? Do their lives fit logically into the world the writer’s created, and do their reaction and emotional make-up feel consistent when viewed against the backdrop of that fictional setting? Do they resonate with me? Does the author make me feel what they’re feeling, experience what they’re experiencing? Do they bring something new to the table, or at least bring a certain clarity if they’re on the more rote end? Can I learn anything from them? Are they, in their own way, “real?”

Those are all the most important things I look for in characters. It’s a long list. But those two aspects I wrote there at the end – whether I can learn anything from them and if they feel real – are what I carry with me into my own creative endeavors. I want my characters to exist firmly in the world I’ve created, while at the same time teaching me about life. Because that’s really what creating is – an author’s way of learning. How to deal with the past, with trauma; how to exist within the world; or simply to understand and cope with the innerworkings of said world. Luckily for the readers, they get to experience this learning along with us. Which is, in a lot of ways, totally awesome.

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

Robert J. Duperre: As I wrote earlier, Ken from Silas is basically a version of myself with all my faults magnified. So yeah, that’d be the one.

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

Robert J. Duperre: Not necessarily. I’ve read some great books with bad covers, and some complete trash with covers that blew me away. Because of that, I try not to let the presentation dissuade me, using sample chapters to help make my decisions. I’d be lying if I said I’m always consistent on that front, however. Because it does take time to read samples, and as someone who has to work and write full-time, I really don’t HAVE that much time. Which means I’m usually purchasing my next reads based on the trusted recommendations from others.

As for my own covers, since a lot of my books have been self-published, I’ve of course had complete control of what I put out there for everyone to see. And paid for it out of my own pocket. But oddly enough, I was intimately involved in the cover-creation process of my professionally published novels too. The publishers sought out my input, I gave it, and they (mostly) listened. Which I’m entirely grateful for.

Meghan: What have you learned creating your books?

Robert J. Duperre: More than anything? Patience. It takes time to write and edit, sometimes more than I want it to. Early on, I dove full-in on the first part of that, half-assed the second. Which ended up with me having put out a less-than-stellar product when I first published The Fall. Early criticism made me pull that book down soon after publication to rework it. That fact alone could’ve ruined my career before it began. Thankfully, it didn’t.

But patience also matters with the, how can I describe it, lifespan of a book. It can get frustrating when you put something out there that you know is good, but doesn’t sell. Completely disheartening. It can stifle your creative process, maybe even make you give up. But I’ve learned, especially in the last couple years, that I need to give the whole process time. Sure, The Infinity Trials hasn’t sold as much as I would’ve liked. But it’s my favorite series, my best books. I need to be patient with them, allow the audience to come. Which they will.

Hopefully. 😊

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

Robert J. Duperre: Oh, an easy one! For sure, it was a bit from the 2nd Infinity Trials book, Lost in the Shadows. There’s a scene in there were one of the main characters, Hannah, confronts her despicable father. It was an emotional scene, the conclusion of a storyline that included some rather charged sexual deviancy. I hated writing it. Felt dirty. Didn’t want to keep it. I almost threw it out, until I gave it to my daughter Lily to read. She told me I needed to keep it, that what happens, and the way it happens, was important.

So I did.

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

Robert J. Duperre: First and foremost, they’re written by me. I’ve yet to read another book by Robert J. Duperre that wasn’t by me.

(Just picture me smiling right now at my own horrible joke. Got it? Excellent.)

But seriously, I think my books do offer something different. Mainly because I’m a little ADD, and like I said, can’t settle on one specific genre. Which means what I create tends to be a hodgepodge of what I enjoy in horror, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, etc. And I can’t stay consistent with a target audience! The Rift and The Breaking World are completely aimed at adults, The Knights Eternal is aimed at the fantasy crowd, while The Infinity Trials was originally written for a very specific teen audience – my daughter, who’s now a decidedly not-teen. Sigh, so goes the passage of time. Others in the biz have told me that if I stuck to one thing and one thing only, I’d be more successful. But I can’t. If I stopped being me, my books wouldn’t be, well, mine.

More than that, however, I think it’s my personal point of view. My early works were all super-personal, tearing tidbits from my life and autopsying them on the page. But as the years have gone on, I’ve shifted my viewpoint. I’ve lived with me for forty-four years. I don’t interest me anymore. It’s other people’s stories, other people’s viewpoints, that infatuate and inspire me. It’s them that I want to get to know. Intimately. And I want my readers to get to know them too.

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)?

Robert J. Duperre: I hate coming up with titles. It might not be the hardest part of writing, but it can certainly be frustrating. For short stories, I end up using either song titles or sections from poems that fit the themes, because what a short is called is probably the least important part of the finished product. Novels are different. What you call a book has to draw a reader into spending a good chunk of their time with you, so it has to convey the feel, genre, and tone of what you’re selling. Which can be tough. Sometimes you have a great idea right away and it sticks, while other times you go through so many iterations that by the time you settle on something, you get the feeling you’re doing just that. Settling.

For the first few books I published, the titles nearly wrote themselves. For The Rift series, I wanted season-themed titles, and they just appeared in my head (The Fall, Dead of Winter, Death Springs Eternal, The Summer Son). Then came Silas, which is named after the dog. Easy enough. But after that… gyah.

The Breaking World books I wrote for Dave Dalglish were irritating. We went through so many different names, using so many different fantasy conventions (The ing ___, ___ and the ___, A ___ in ___, The ___ of , etc) until finally settling on Dawn of Swords, which was actually suggested by our agent. The other two in that series (Wrath of Lions and Blood of Gods) kinda fell in line after that.

As for The Infinity Trials books, those were actually published originally under not only different individual volume names, but a different series title too. I initially called the series Covenant, and the first two books were The Mirror of Souls and The Chalice of Sorrow. I wasn’t really a big fan of them at the time, but I’d gone through so many names that I said screw it and settled on the ones that a writer friend of mine liked. But then, after putting the books out there, I realized that those titles didn’t relay the tone and themes of a young adult-skewed story. So I rebranded, using typical YA conventions, and put them out again. I’m much happier with the titles—in fact, I think they’re perfect—and though The Infinity Trials sounds a bit cheesy and ten years too late, genre-wise, they’ve been out too long to change it again.

Then again, all this complaining I just did is completely moot when I consider the “Knights Eternal” books. Every title came to me immediately, from the series name on down, and I love each of them. “Soultaker,” “Vowbreaker,” and “Warmaker” might be the best titles I’ve ever come up with. So what the hell do I know?

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

Robert J. Duperre: Oh, without a doubt it’s novels. There’s so much time, effort, thought, and even more effort put into the creation of a book-length work that I can’t look at one of them after I’m finished and NOT feel like it’s a worthy accomplishment. I mean, while coming up with a crafty short story is a great feeling—for example, I think “39 Days,” which I wrote for Dan Pyle’s Unnatural Disasters anthology, is so clever that I like to say, “Look, see, I did that!”—but for me, it simply doesn’t compare. My books are my babies, while my short stories are akin to passing friendships. They didn’t take as much effort to cultivate, and if they go away or end up not mattering any longer, that’s really okay.

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

Robert J. Duperre: As I said earlier, my writing can be a little all over the place in terms of audience. I guess I’ll just say that if you like a good story, with detailed worlds and wacky occurrences, that’s full of heart and all about growing up and discovery, with a smidge of romance, gore, and scariness thrown in, then I’m the writer for you.

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

Robert J. Duperre: Hmmm… There’s so much that gets deleted from every manuscript that it’s hard to point out just one thing. If you want to know just how much I’m talking about here, let’s use the last Infinity Trials installment, God in the Girl, as an example. The first draft of that manuscript was 175,000 words (roughly 650 pages). It now stands at about 129,000 words (roughly 440 pages) as I send it out to beta readers.

My problem is, I tend to practice “word vomit” when I’m writing. Everything that enters my head gets put down on the page, no matter what. Which means my first drafts contain a lot of over-explaining and side tangents that need to get trimmed out. I’ll use Boy in the Mirror, the first Infinity Trials book, to illustrate that point. In the original version of that story, I had the five teen leads make a bowl out of an empty orange soda can. Initially, that section ran four paragraphs, as I went into aggravating detail about how one goes about creating a makeshift pot-smoking apparatus. When my daughter read it, she was like, “Dad, do I really need to know that? Can’t you just say, ‘They found a can of Fanta in the trash and used a steak knife to turn it into a bowl?’”

She was, of course, right. So all those unnecessary words got thrown in the garbage. Almost all of my deleted material is like that. Getting rid of the draggy, useless bits. I don’t think there’s ever been a scene that I’ve deleted that I’ve regretted afterward.

Meghan: What is in your “trunk”?

Robert J. Duperre: I don’t have anything actually in my “trunk,” per se, except for a novella I’d been asked to write for a shared-world anthology. The publisher went under before the book ever came out, so now I have this very detailed, 50-page story that I don’t know what to do with.

I do have a TON of stories in my “mental trunk,” though. Books that I really, really, REALLY wanna write, if I ever get the time to. One of them is a tricky series of ultra-violent, ultra-feminist books about two ladies who traipse around a post-apocalyptic fantasy world murdering toxic male stereotypes. I’ve created my own genre for those – Splatterfantasy. They’re going to be short novels and be an ongoing series that could potentially be ten to fifteen books long. A kinda warped play on the “Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser” series by Fritz Leiber. And something that I’ve wanted to write for YEARS now. It’s on the docket after I finish Knights Eternal. Maybe. It depends. See how certain I am?

Of course, I do have others that I want to dive into, but since those ideas are SO ORIGINAL and SO REVOLUTIONARY, I think I’m gonna have to keep them to myself. 😛

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

Robert J. Duperre: Well, right off the bat, I’m finishing up the last of the Infinity Trials books. “God in the Girl” should be out in December, so depending on when this interview’s published, they’ll either be already pubbed, or soon to be.

After that, I have the re-release of Soultaker through Outland Entertainment in December. I still owe them the last two books in that series, and am working on the 2nd installment now, but Outland is going with a once-a-year pub schedule, so it won’t be until next year at this time until the next book is released. But hopefully, if things go well, I’ll have some tie-in comics and maybe even an RPG based on that IP rolling out some time in the near future.

So my releases are gonna be a little sporadic over the next couple years, I think. But that’s okay. What I already have out there, and have coming, is good stuff. I think people would really enjoy them, if they get a chance.

Meghan: Where can we find you?

Robert J. Duperre: I’m on Twitter and my Facebook author page. I’m also on Instagram, though I’ve yet to even post anything. And I have a blog, Journal of Always, that I hardly ever use any longer. You know what? My entire social media game is supremely lacking. I’ll try to change that. In the meantime, if readers REALLY wanna reach me, they can shoot me an email. I promise I’ll get back to you if you do. Eventually. Ask Meghan, our gracious host. She can attest to that.

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?

Robert J. Duperre: Not really, other than to ask everyone to be kind to one another. That’s something this world can lack, especially nowadays. We all have so much love to give. We should just give it, already.

Oh, and buy my books. That’s good too. ☺

Thank you all so much for having me, and giving me your time. I hope it was worthwhile. It certainly was for me.

Robert Duperre writes a combination of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, and is the author of several novels, including The Rift series, The Breaking World series, which he co-authored with David Dalglish, and his epic urban fantasy series The Infinity Trials. He is also a contributor and editor of two short story collections, The Gate and The Gate 2.

Robert lives in rural Connecticut with his wife, artist Jessica Torrant, and their new pup Rosie, a hyper-lovey mutt.

Bibliography:
The Rift Series
The Rift 1: The Fall
The Rift 2: Dead of Winter
The Rift 3: Death Springs Eternal
The Rift 4: The Summer Son

The Breaking World Series
(with David Dalglish)
The Breaking World 1: Dawn of Swords
The Breaking World 2: Wrath of Lions
The Breaking World 3: Blood of Gods

Standalone Novel
Silas: A Supernatural Thriller

Short Story Collections
The Gate: 13 Dark & Odd Tales
The Gate 2: 13 Tales of Isolation & Despair

The Infinity Trials Series
The Infinity Trials 1: Boy in the Mirror
The Infinity Trials 2: Wolves at the Door
The Infinity Trials 3: Lost in the Shadows
The Infinity Trials 4: Queen of the Dead
The Infinity Trials 5: God in the Girl (Available Dec 22, 2019)

Shock Totem 4.5: Holiday Tales of the Macabre & Twisted

Shock Totem presents the first in an ongoing series of special holiday issues. This issue, covering the Christmas season, features an eclectic mix of holiday-inspired horror from New York Times bestseller Kevin J. Anderson, K. Allen Wood, Mercedes M. Yardley, Robert J. Duperre, and more. Also anecdotal holiday recollections from Jack Ketchum, Jennifer Pelland, Mark Allan Gunnells, Nick Cato, and a host of others. Celebrate the holidays with Shock Totem!