Good morning, and welcome to another hauntingly horrific Halloween themed interviews! Joining us today is John Podgursky, author of the The One Percenters:
Natural selection has become unnatural. Having dealt with the vicious murder of his wife, Edward Caine takes his rightful place as a One-Percenter, eliminating those not fit for the human race. He must fight his instinct to use his role for revenge; he is after those who live on only because of money and medicine. The weak-gened are not fit to breed, and it's the job of Edward and his brethren to see that they don't. But can he finish the job before his own mind betrays him? He is an agent of the Earth. He is a One-Percenter.
And now, without further ado, please welcome John Podgursky!
♥ Did you deliberately choose the horror genre because there's something specific that draws you to it, something you feel it offers that other genres don't, or was it just 'right' for the story you wanted to tell?
Fear is the most visceral emotion. It's the most easily manipulated. I also happen to like eerie, haunting things in this world (glowing copy machines, dripping faucets at night, etc.), so dark writing keeps me interested. I can't write about bunnies unless they're deranged.
♥ Do you have a schedule or a routine to your writing? Is there a time and place that you must write, or do you let the words flow as they demand?
I like candlelight. I like to escape reality and ennui. I can't write in a cafe. I can go weeks without writing, and then write every day for a week.
♥ For some authors, it's coming up with a title, and for others it's writing that first paragraph - what do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing?
I don't enjoy writing filler material and tying up loose ends, but it's vital to the process.
♥ Is there a particular author who has influenced or inspired your writing? Either a fellow horror author who made you want to write in the first place, or somebody from another genre who cleanses your palate and refreshes your literary batteries?
Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin & Hobbes. His ability to express profundity in a "simple" medium is amazing. The mixture of passion and cynicism he displays through his characters reminds me of myself.
♥ What first compelled you to begin writing, and what is it that keeps you motivated?
I won a writing contest in first grade. I wrote about a magical zebra, and the prize was five dollars. That was a great day. Today I write because I find that I surprise myself with what I come up with. That's a gratifying feeling.
♥ When you're not writing (or reading), what are some of the hobbies and passions that keep you happy?
Anything outside and warm. I'm lazy, so keep it simple. I love to camp, but circumstances preclude my doing it often. That needs to change. I enjoy hiking and going to natural history museums.
♥ For those who may be new to your writing, and who haven't yet checked out your latest release, please tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up on Long Island, but have since lived in seven states besides New York. I enjoy traveling to experience great beauty and different personalities. I studied anthropology in college, concentrating on evolution. I'm always considering what makes humans tick, especially our baser qualities, and what defines sanity and intelligence.
♥ Do you have a soundtrack to your writing, a particular style of music or other background noise that keeps you in the mood, or do you require quiet solitude?
This varies. If I do listen to music, it's instrumental. Otherwise, the words get in the way.
♥ Sometimes, characters can take on a life of their own, pulling the story in directions you hadn't originally anticipated. Has a twist or turn in your writing ever surprised you, or really challenged your original plans?
Absolutely. Part of writing is adapting. My stories never end up where I thought they would.
♥ The journey from 'aspiring' to 'accomplished' can be a long one, even in the era of small presses and digital publishing. When did you begin writing, and how did you feel when you first saw your work in print?
My first published story appeared in a men's magazine. I was thrilled to death, although it was a little awkward showing my mother.
Thanks so much to John Podgursky for stopping by - I'll be reviewing The One Percenters later this month, so please be sure to stop back for that!