Meet author Ed Grabianowski @robotviking #HorrorLounge
Tell us about your latest book
I'm mostly focused on horror short stories, but I've released a collection of horror flash fiction called Fear After Fear which is on sale through the end of October for just $1.
First memory of reading horror
I actually started with spooky non-fiction (using the term loosely). I loved reading about weird paranormal events. My first book like that was the Hamlyn Book of Mysteries -- the Devil's Footprints in South Devon really gave me the creeps. My first horror fiction memory was reading Stephen King's short story collection Skeleton Crew in the car on a long family trip. It was "The Mist" that really got me, but "The Raft" really freaked me out too.
For readers new to horror which 3 books would you recommend they start with?
I've always loved Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. Stephen King's Salem's Lot is a perfect example of what the genre can accomplish in able hands. Clive Barker's Books of Blood collections are intense and extreme, but also gorgeous and incredible.
Do you have a favourite horror sub-genre, and why?
I enjoy horror novels that have some apocalyptic element to them. Whether it's a full-on apocalypse or just vampires taking over the town, I love when the horror sprawls so out of control that it involves an entire community.
Most terrifying book you’ve ever read.
When I was teenager I read a novel about demons invading a town on Halloween night. I don't recall the title and if I read it now I'd probably think it was terrible, but at the time it scared me senseless. But to be honest, to this day nothing's ever hit me as hard as that first reading of Skeleton Crew.
Your favourite Stephen King book.
Other than Skeleton Crew, It.
New horror authors you’d recommend.
Gwendolyn Kiste's Pretty Marys All in a Row comes out in November and I can't wait, and Damien Angelica-Walters' work is consistently incredible.
Who do you consider the King and Queen of horror fiction?
I'm not big on royalty.
Your favourite horror film (adapted from a book) & why?
Maximum Overdrive (from Stephen King's short story "Trucks") It's just a really fun movie with an AC/DC soundtrack. I can watch it again and again.
Horror book that you’d like to see adapted to film & why?
I'm not sure if most people would consider it horror, but there's a China Miéville short story, from his Three Moments of an Explosion collection, called "The Dowager of Bees." It's very subtly horrific in its implications of secret games rules and the consequences of violating them, and I'd love to see that world explored in more depth.
Best horror TV?
Did you write in other genres or straight to horror?
I also write fantasy and crime noir, plus a little science-fiction, though they often blur together.
Tell us briefly about your route to being published.
Just the grinder of submitting stories to magazines, websites, and anthologies and getting some accepted. My flash collection is self-published.
Tell us about your fans.
Oddly enough, I have a group of awesome fans who know me mainly from my non-fiction writing for the HowStuffWorks website and the Stuff You Should Know podcast. Last year the podcast read one of my short stories for their Halloween episode, so a bunch of the podcast's fans became fans of my fiction as well. Enough so that last year's Halloween story is being adapted into a short film -- as it turns out, one of those fans is a film producer! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thebetween/the-between
Horror doesn’t seem to be as well respected as other genres of fiction. Why do you think that is?
Sometimes genres get defined by their worst elements, and the wider range the genre is capable of gets ignored. So people think of horror as all blood spray on the wall -- which it certainly can be, but if they dislike that they might be missing out on gloomy ghost stories, trippy psychological horror, or gonzo monster stories that they might actually like quite a bit.
Do you think horror is ready for a renaissance? There will always be horror fans.
Tips for new writers of horror fiction. Word choice is probably more important to horror than any other genre, so sharpen every sentence until it cuts right where you need it to cut. Scare yourself -- if you don't at least feel some chills while you're writing it, keep sharpening. And don't overexplain the scary things.
Do you believe in evil?
Supernatural evil? No. The unfathomable cruelty with which humans often treat each other? Yeah.