Like many, I grew up watching monsters in movies and on television. Also, I loved reading fairy tales as a child—still do. As you know, those can get pretty gruesome. I must have a pretty healthy dark side, because I am truly drawn to this genre.
2. Do you think monsters are the scary ones or are humans scarier?
I am really attracted to the misunderstood monster. One of my favorite stories is “Beauty and the Beast.” I remember in college watching the Cocteau film at one of those art house theaters late at night. If I think about humans and their dark sides, I definitely believe they are scarier. If you watch the news, you’ll see more monstrous behavior from people than the awful things we write about, supposedly perpetrated by monsters.
3. Do you think slasher films should make a comeback?
I like slasher films and, if they did make a comeback, I would really like to see a fresh take. Other than Michael Meyers, I can’t really think of a killer who was simply driven by pure Evil. Most of these types are motivated by some past trauma which, for me, is a little boring.
4. What's your favorite horror movie or book and why?
As you can imagine, I’ve seen a lot of movies and read a lot of books. After all these years, I still think ‘The Exorcist’ is my favorite. ‘The Omen’ is a close second. Maybe it’s because I’m Catholic and have an appreciation for unholy demons. I’m currently reading a book about Ed and Lorraine Warren, the demonologists portrayed in the film ‘The Conjuring.’ The things we saw in that movie are REAL—and they scare me shitless.
5. Is there a type of horror story you have always wanted to write, but haven't?
I wrote a short story about demonic possession, but I really want to write a novel. I’ve got some ideas and will probably get around to it in the next couple of years.
6. Who are your influences?
I am a sucker for Richard Matheson, Jack Finney, Shirley Jackson and William Peter Blatty.
7. If you had to pick, do you have a favorite modern horror story?
‘American Psycho’—both the book and the film.
8. And, lastly, what do you think makes horror so powerful?
The best horror, in my opinion, comes from situations that we need to overcome—or die trying. From the moment we are born, we seem to be cheating Death. At any moment, we could get hit by a bus or shot in the head by a stray bullet. And horror seems to bring on the bad luck in spades. For me, the best horror comes from stories about characters who can conquer the badness and live to tell about it. Horror is about survival and about how the experience shapes us in the process. I can’t think of anything more powerful than that.
Even The Dead Will Bleed (Book Three of TELL ME WHEN I’M DEAD) is a dark fantasy, sci-fi thriller—a nonstop horror train—that will deliver Dave to the brink of Hell. Revenge is a powerful drug that can drive a man to do unspeakable things. But as he will learn, Faith can give him the courage to face death without fear. If you like your thrillers dark and fast-paced, then don’t miss the heart-pounding conclusion to this trilogy. “Faith and bravery band together to fight a horrific world turned upside down and inside out” (S.R. Mallery).