Welcome to day one of #HalloweenFrights! ’Tis the season to get spooky, and this year I decided to go all-out with a week of special guest posts from some of my favourite horror authors. Over the next eight days, you’ll be confronted with ghosts, monsters and witches – and that’s just the authors. Kidding… or am I?
To kick things off, I’m very excited (and only a little bit scared) to welcome Paul Tremblay to the site. Paul is the author of spook-tastic books Disappearance At Devil’s Rock, A Head Full Of Ghosts and The Cabin At The End Of The World, which means he knows a thing or two about scaring people. I asked him to give us a glimpse inside his creepy/creaky mind by answering 13 carefully selected and not-at-all-random Halloween questions. Here goes…
What do you do on Halloween?
Up until last year I go trick or treating with my daughter. She’s too old now. So now I’ll stay home and cry, and eat candy.
Have you ever scared yourself while writing?
Mostly no. I’m too close to the work and I see all the gears turning (or at least, I see how I hope they’ll turn).
I do a good enough job scaring myself when I’m home alone at night, or in a hotel room. Like now.
Scariest thing you’ve ever read?
Adam Neville’s House Of Small Shadows is a recent novel that really creeped the hell out of me. It’s just so wrong in all the right ways.
Most terrifying word(s) in the English language?
Freddy or Jason?
Freddy, I guess. I don’t like slasher films, generally. But the first Nightmare On Elm Street is terrifying and the third one is a lot of fun.
What’s the biggest misconception about horror writers?
They live in black houses. They keep pet spiders. They write one star amazon reviews for authors they are jealous of. They like Dokken. They like pickles. They’re somehow messed up or some variant of the ‘what’s wrong with you?’ question non-horror readers (or non-readers in general) will ask. I find horror writers tend to be if not more well adjusted than your average bear, then at least more resigned to the madness of existence.
Earliest memory of being scared?
My first memory. A huge bumblebee crawling around inside the arm of my sweater before stinging me.
Weirdest nightmare you’ve ever had?
I once dreamt there was a fissure in the blacktop at the end of my driveway. Deep inside the crevasse was a substance that looked like a breathing omelette. At each end of the fissure were claymation chicken heads that were writhing and snarling. I cut the heads off with a shovel and buried them.
Have at it Freud. Or Jung.
Somebody painted I KNOW on my front door. Was it you?
I painted I DON’T KNOW and someone erased the DON’T.
Most underrated horror movie/book?
I’ll interpret underrated as overlooked. Dave Zeltserman’s The Caretaker Of Loren Field should be read by everyone.
A guy calls to ask what’s your favourite scary movie. What do you do?
I say, The Thing. And then tell him his own call is coming from inside his house.
You have a crystal ball: what does your horror future look like?
Next summer will see my short story collection Growing Things And Other Stories. Four of the 19 stories have connections to my previous novels. In the summer of 2020, we will be taken over by aliens, and my next novel will be published as well.
Thanks Paul, I hope you get home safely from that hotel. (If you see Jack Nicholson lurking around, take my advice and RUN.) Tomorrow’s edition of #HalloweenFrights is all about witches, so make sure you come back then with your conical hat and wart cream. See you soon!