We have our second author spotlight here on Living Dead Corner, and it is with one of the most talented writers I know: Mr. Clyde (effing) Wolfe! Be sure to pick up his anthology collection, DOWN DARKENED PATHS, and his novel, THE SIEGE OF ANTRELL. Both come highly recommended from yours truly.
Well, I'll stop babbling. Clyde...
Hello everyone out there. Glad you could take a minute to visit Mr. Gardner’s fantastic site. *wink wink* And before I go further, special thanks to Mike for letting me to do this and for letting me take a tad too long to get this to him.
Where to start? Well, let’s see…
First off—I hate talking about myself, so bear with me folks. Now that that’s out of the way, I guess I should start by saying I currently live somewhere in the great Evergreen State of Washington. I’m originally from New York, but after more than a quarter century of dealing with the masses it was time for a change.
And that’s about all the personal info you’ll get from me other than I love books. Love ‘em. Nothing like holding an ancient tome in your hands and having the words spring, crawl, or coagulate to life off the pages. I try to make a point of reading at least two books a week.
Oh, and the word I most commonly misspell is THE. Yeah, it always seems to come out T-E-H.
I began writing somewhere during the years of elementary school and junior high; pretty much around the same time I started buying loads of books and mentally devouring tales of sword and sorcery, starship and rayguns. Somewhere in there I got it into my head to scribble bits and pieces of stories on a spare sheet of notepaper when I was supposed to be listening to the teacher’s lesson. Oops!
It’s ok, I passed my classes…most of them.
My love of Horror came later, which in hindsight is a little surprising to me considering the stacks of Stephen King books my sister was hoarding as I grew up. Go figure. It came in time, however, and now the genre holds a special place in my thoughts.
Since I started to take writing seriously (about a year and a half ago) I’ve been asked various questions about it and the work I’ve done: Where do you get your ideas? Where do I keep my thesaurus? Why Horror? What made you want to write in the first place? And a slew of others like: What exactly is the thing outside the bathroom in Mogg-Wogg?
As briefly as possible I’ll try to answer those. (Mostly cause I have answers prepared.)
Where do I get my ideas?
Anywhere and everywhere. The smallest thing or idea can turn into thousands of words worth of story. All it takes is a spark. For that reason I keep stacks of journals and scraps of paper with innocuous ramblings and observations scrawled over every inch. You never know when a demon named Bilge, the fact that purple used to be the color of royalty, that for some people certain noises can trigger psychotic episodes, or that little daydream of having your eyeball bitten out might come in handy. The world is full of little details we overlook and ignore that could make for a fantastic story.
Where do I keep my Thesaurus?
On my desk. I never trust the ones built into things like MS Word or Works. Same with the spellchecker.
The darker side of existence is fascinating. So much is shadowed and hidden—there could literally be anything lurking around the corner, waiting with malevolent purpose to rip you from your comfort zones.
Just like fantasy, anything is possible. The toaster could attack you, there could be an imp hiding in the sock drawer, there may be an axe murderer in spandex tights and clown make-up named Tabitha around the corner! Anything can be done…so long as it’s plausible to some degree. It’s a balance that can be tricky to maintain at times, but when done right can leave a reader shivering in the night or checking their own cabinets for ghouls and goblins despite the knowledge that such things do not exist. Or do they…?
And finally, Why write at all?
Short answer: Because reality sucks!
There is something cathartic about writing, being able to work out frustrations caused by the daily grind and vicariously living out adventures one would never come across in “real life”. Writing can be a distraction or a way to work out internal issues or it can just be that little escape you need to reboot yourself and refuel your imagination. The oddest thoughts can pop up as you’re pounding away at the keyboard or destroying wrist ligaments between pen and paper.
It is a very heady experience to have created your own little world and populated it with characters and scenarios in which YOU are the ultimate power. YOU are the creator and the destroyer. What you say becomes law. (Editors and stubborn characters notwithstanding.)
Down Darkened Paths (Anthology)—Blysster Press
The Siege of Antrell—Blysster Press
Published Short Stories
A Side of Cranberry Sauce—Holiday of the Dead
Murder Spring—Crypticon Seattle’s De-Compositions 2011
There is No Escape—Crypticon Seattle’s De-Compositions 2011
Please Stop Screaming—Withersin’s Volume 4: Charon, Nix and Hydra (UPCOMING)
John Chapman and Scarred Angus: A Tale of Resurrection Men—Zombie Zak’s House of Pain (UPCOMING)
Original Publications found in Down Darkened Paths anthology
Mommy Doesn’t Sleep Much Anymore—microhorror.com
After the Surgery—microhorror.com
No Talent Needed—allegoryezine.com
Faces I Had Known—microhorror.com
**You can purchase Mr. Wolfe's books here**
Today will be a day of firsts. Living Dead Corner will now be doing author spotlights, and our first spotlight is on horror author Patrick Rutigliano. He'll be telling us a little about himself and sharing a bit about writing. Take a minute, sit back, and learn a little about the man behind the story.
Floor is yours, Pat...
As Mr. Gardner was kind enough to grant me first crack at these author spotlights of his, I figured I should start off with a little bit of information as to who I am and how I work.
I'm a Connecticut native who found love on the internet and moved to the midwest to be with his fiancée (now wife). My education includes a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, but I work a blue-collar job that frequently has me frothing at the mouth. I'm also an animal lover that finds himself compelled to help out because the demands of the kittens under the shed are far more persuasive than those of the moths devouring my wallet. Oh yeah, and I've written a short story collection (Black Corners of a Blood-Red Room), two novellas, and a novel. In addition, my short fiction has been placed in such fine publications as Shroud Magazine and Permuted Press', History Is Dead and Monstrous anthologies.
There. Now that we're acquainted, how about a subject? Given that Mike expressed curiosity regarding the source of my ideas, that seems as good a topic as any.
My answer to that question is probably the same one every honest author would be forced to give: everywhere. While it would be fair to say my affection for horror films and literature factors heavily into my work, the true inspiration for my writing isn't so narrowly confined.
For example, the only film version of Dracula that truly embodied the otherworldly for me was Max Schreck's turn as Count Orlock in Nosferatu. His bald pate, rat-like face, and unnaturally long fingers were the stuff of nightmares. When I took it upon myself to pen a vampire story, I wanted to pay tribute to that image. The trick was how to do it convincingly.
Retreading the lonely, medieval castle bit would have been clichéd at best. I wanted to breathe new life into that old corpse, and to do so, I had to get into his head.
I imagined just how miserable the poor bastard would be had he survived through the ages and seen how his kind was misrepresented. Can you imagine the chip on the guy's shoulder after seeing his film counterparts gaining sex symbol status while he's skulking in alleyways or sewers?
It was a good idea, but I needed more. Given the growing mania over a certain series of vampire novels and their film adaptations at the time, I began to pay a bit more attention to its fanbase. The fact that I worked with a number of girls occupying the right demographic didn't hurt either.
Almost in spite of myself, versions of these squealing teenagers became the main characters in my story. They, along with the film they were viewing, were enough to push my poor vampire right over the edge. Their behavior gave his anger substance I wouldn't have been able to find otherwise, and by virtue of keeping my ears open, I was able to give the girls a voice authentic to their age. So, as it turned out, my horror story inspired by Nosferatu owed as much to a bunch of teenagers with awful taste as to the film.
Over the years, I've noticed a number of similar correlations. The amoeba-like monster I created was a conscious parody of every grotesque customer I've ever been forced to assist at work, the background for my psychic parasite tale was rooted in a real-life drive for a job interview (as well as my own terrible sense of direction), and first-person accounts of World War I gave the giant lice occupying the trenches a much-needed dose of reality.
In short, the stories I've written are as connected to the people I watch and read about every day as with the monsters I pull out of my head. Without taking note of the former, a writer yanks the teeth right out of his creature's mouth. It kills the tension, reducing the stage and actors to the contents of a first-grader's diorama, and leaves the experience as hollow as the sockets where those fangs were supposed to be.
Here is a list of Patrick's publications...
Black Corners of a Blood-Red Room (collection)-Library of Horror Press
Published Short Stories
A Touch of the Divine-History Is Dead
The Forgotten House-Withersin's Unkindness Anthology v1
Alhazred-Lovecraft's Disciples #12
The Enemy of my Enemy-Monstrous
An Allure Forgotten-Shroud Magazine #6
With Open Arms-The Bitter End
One Hunch is as Good as Another-Alien Aberrations
The Jaws of the Jackal-The Scroll of Anubis
Heir to a Vacant Throne-Tales From the Void
Best Served Hot-Baconology
Sealed With a Kiss-Zombie Feary Tales (forthcoming)
It's Not Like in the Movies-Vampology (forthcoming)
The Last Known Whereabouts of 268 Rainey Street-Tales from the Cauldron (forthcoming)
The Skin Trade-Best of Brave Blue Mice (forthcoming)
Published Flash Fiction
The Pack-Northern Haunts
The Vigil on the Banks-Northern Haunts
The Decoy-Northern Haunts
A Final Duty-Zombology II
The Last Crunch of Autumn-52 Stitches vol. 2
Laments of a Falling Star-Zombology III (forthcoming)
Country Road-Unknown Library of the Living Dead anthology (forthcoming)
Changing Tastes-Zombology IV (forthcoming)
Missing...Verne?-Death Rattle Magazine #1
One Little Taste-Putrefied Poetry (forthcoming/on hiatus)
A Bonfire Hymn-Terror of Miskatonic Falls (forthcoming)
The Gutter Priest-Terror of Miskatonic Falls (forthcoming)
A Trip to Bobby's Bar-Terror of Miskatonic Falls (forthcoming)
A Flytrap Grins in Eden-Poe Little Thing (forthcoming)
Economic Sense in Undead Times-The Moron's Guide to the Zompocalypse (forthcoming)
Phobia: Manipulating the Latent Fears of the Zombie Hordes-The Moron's Guide to the Zompocalypse (forthcoming)
And, if you get the chance, stop on by his blog, where you can receive updates and other information about Patrick.