As part of my Scare-a-Thon series,I’m so thrilled to have Bram Stoker Award winner Christopher Golden on the blog! He was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions, so please give him a warm welcome!
You’ve written almost 80 (!!) books, and won the Bram Stoker Award twice (with many more noms)! Did you always want to be a writer?
When I was in middle school I wanted to be a private detective. In high school, I wanted to be a filmmaker, but I always wrote. It was only during college, while I was honing my writing, that I realized it was really the only thing I wanted to do with my life.
You’re a master of the supernatural. What do you love most about writing the scaries?
I’m almost never trying for the scare. There are things I write to be unsettling, but mostly I’m trying to evoke an emotional response of some kind, some empathy with the characters. If they’re in jeopardy, then I hope you’re scared for them. Evoking an emotional response with words on a page is a home run for a writer.
You’re most certainly an inspiration for many writers, but what are a few of your favorite writers or novels?
THE STAND by Stephen King, which I recently reread and which had me near tears again. A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY by John Irving. LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry. There are so many others, but those are the top three.
What’s one of the most terrifying books you’ve ever read?
SALEM’S LOT by Stephen King. Hands down the scariest. For something more recent, go and pick up THE GRIN OF THE DARK by Ramsey Campbell. I don’t think I have ever—and I mean ever—read anything that creates a sense of unease and skin-crawling evil better than Campbell does in that book. It freaked me the hell out.
How about movies? Any particular favorites?
If we’re talking horror movies…NEAR DARK, THE DESCENT, Carpenter’s THE THING, and everything Hammer. If we’re talking movies in general, I’ve done lists in the past and there are so many, including a ton of Hitchcock and Humphrey Bogart movies. But top of that list is always BLADE RUNNER, followed closely by JAWS and THE GODFATHER films. Skewing a little younger, I will always want to watch THE PRINCESS BRIDE and THE IRON GIANT again, no matter how many times I see them.
What are you reading now?
Nicholas Kaufman’s upcoming novel NOT DEAD YET, which I’m going to blurb. It’s great New York urban fantasy.
What makes you want to set aside a book in frustration?
If I know how it ends after thirty pages or if the characters annoy me. If I’m not interested in a book after thirty pages, I abandon it. Life’s too short and there are too many great books out there that I’ll never get to read.
If you could read one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY. No question.
You’ve also edited many anthologies. What do you look for when putting together an anthology?
Great writing, new ideas and approaches, and an eclectic mix of writers. I don’t want more of the same in an anthology, and when I’m writing a story for an anthology, I try to follow the same rules for myself.
You’re obviously a very busy guy! When you manage to find some free time, how do you like to spend it?
I try to spend as much of my free time as possible with my family, even if it’s just cleaning the house instead of going out. I also watch way too much television.
Do you do anything special for Halloween?
We trick or treat in my town on the Saturday night before Halloween. On Halloween, I try to just watch some older horror movies that aren’t too scary and attempt to persuade my kids to watch—and then I save something nastier for myself (something I haven’t already seen).
Is there anything else you’d like to share about upcoming projects or events (or anything at all!)?
My latest work, a novella with Mike Mignola called FATHER GAETANO’S PUPPET CATECHISM, is a perfect Halloween read. I hope folks will check it out.
Keep up with Christopher: Website | Twitter
About Christopher (via his website):
CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN is the award-winning, bestselling author of such novels as The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, The Boys Are Back in Town, The Ferryman, Strangewood, Of Saints and Shadows, and (with Tim Lebbon) The Map of Moments. He has also written books for teens and young adults, including Poison Ink, Soulless, and the thriller series Body of Evidence, honored by the New York Public Library and chosen as one of YALSA’s Best Books for Young Readers. Upcoming teen novels include a new series of hardcover YA fantasy novels co-authored with Tim Lebbon and entitled The Secret Journeys of Jack London.
A lifelong fan of the “team-up,” Golden frequently collaborates with other writers on books, comics, and scripts. In addition to his recent work with Tim Lebbon, he co-wrote the lavishly illustrated novel Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire with Mike Mignola. With Thomas E. Sniegoski, he is the co-author of multiple novels, as well as comic book miniseries such as Talent and The Sisterhood, both currently in development as feature films. With Amber Benson, Golden co-created the online animated series Ghosts of Albion and co-wrote the book series of the same name.
As an editor, he has worked on the short story anthologies The New Dead and British Invasion, among others, and has also written and co-written comic books, video games, screenplays, the online animated series Ghosts of Albion (with Amber Benson) and a network television pilot.
The author is also known for his many media tie-in works, including novels, comics, and video games, in the worlds of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, Angel, and X-Men, among others.
Golden was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his family. His original novels have been published in fourteen languages in countries around the world. Please visit him at www.christophergolden.com