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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: Interview with Beck Sherman

*A spotlight centers on a dais with two people sitting at a table with a red tablecloth. There are various stakes, holy water, and a cross on the table. The audience cheers from the darkness.*

Hello, everyone. Today I’d like to welcome Beck Sherman to Trip the Eclipse.

1. Who is your favorite author and why?
Stephen King has been scaring and inspiring me from the very beginning. His older books are some of my favorites, like The Shining. I went to see him speak once in Rhode Island and he stuck his index finger up and said, “Redrum.” It was classic.  

2. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Writing good ─ ahem, writing well. Grammar is so important. Bad grammar is a distraction and no amount of brooding heroes or stellar plotting will change that. Next up, the ride, especially for my kind of writing: horror. The reader needs to be kidnapped, essentially, and not let go until the very last word. Finally, the protagonists, your heroes, should be loved, in my opinion. Create characters that people will root for.

3. What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of the finished product?

For my first book Revamp I thought “Whoa, wasn’t expecting that.” The cover was designed by a friend, Chris Deal. It was bold and unlike anything I had seen out there, which I liked. For my second book Goodbye Nothing I was involved in all of the stages and prototypes. I laughed, I cried. It’s been quite the trip. You can check out the final product for yourself at the BBF cover reveal going on now at my blog DyingToWrite.

4. If you could leave your readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?

A slew of novels that makes them hide under their covers at night but not before getting up to close and lock all of the doors and windows. And as an avid supporter of the underdog, stories that tell the freaks, the geeks, and the outcasts that they’re not alone in their struggles and that the world is silently rooting for them.

5. How do you feel about the horror boom of the 80’s and early 90’s?

Is this a trick question? I LOVED it. And that torch is still burning. This is when horror was good. Friday the Thirteenth, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Gremlins, Poltergeist, The Lost Boys (one of my favorite movies). The torture porn of today hadn’t really hit the scene. The movies were about deep, in-your-gut scares, sometimes with a large topping of cheese. Ah, those were the days.

6. What was a time in your life when you were really scared?

A couple of years ago, a friend and I went on an excursion to an abandoned insane asylum in Massachusetts. There are so few of them left, and most of the buildings that are still standing have gotten the orders to be torn down to make room for apartment complexes and strip malls. The grounds were vast and by sheer luck we ended up finding the underground tunnel that they used to transport patients. The tunnel was pitch black, but we had forgotten flashlights (apparently it does happen), so armed with only a digital camera and flash to see what was ahead, we went in. It was terrifying.

7. Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself and leaves you wondering where that came from?

My spouse calls me the “creepiest nice person” and to my dismay sometimes uses that moniker to introduce me to new people. I don’t think a “normal” person can write horror and not surprise themselves. On the other hand, if you’re Jack the Ripper, then decapitating someone in the story is just expected, and probably not all that interesting.   

8. What do you think draws people to horror novels? Why do we, as readers, like to be scared?

People desire the adrenaline rush of horror, but the safe horror. Books, movies, funhouses. Because being scared in real life sucks. Your plane is actually going down. That sucks. You’re actually being chased by an axe-wielding maniac. That sucks. A giant shark is actually tearing you in half. That sucks. To be able to experience terror from the safety of your sofa, without the pain or the death, is really something else.     

9. Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?

I research, but not so much to get ideas. Those just come to me. You’ll know if you see an energy-saving light bulb appear above my head.

10. Tell us your latest news. Any new thrills we can expect from you?

"Yes, and thank you for asking. My second book, Goodbye Nothing, is an adult horror novel in the same vein as Dexter and American Psycho. You can stay updated on all the latest news here:

Find out more about Beck Sherman.

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