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Author Scott Nicholson joins me today to discuss his writing, some of what makes him tick, his upcoming work, and things in general. Scott has several novels out at present, and his next novel “The Farm,” will be out soon. There’s a link to the book, and to Scott’s web site at the end of this post. Here we go…

DBJ: You have written a number of novels involving hauntings / haunted places / or ghosts. In today's world of cyberspace and terrorism, ghosts have hung in there as an archetype that won't die (much like vampires). Is there a reason / fascination / story behind your own love of haunting? Can you tell us what inspried you to write this sort of tale, and where you see it in the modern world of supernatural literature?

SN: I think ghosts are a spiritual mystery and that keeps them interesting. They raise unanswerable questions, the biggest being “What really happens to us when we die?” Some people don’t want to think about it, some grab the religious belief of choice and wrap it tightly around themselves, but many people wonder about the future of the spirit.

Ghosts are more timeless than the other horror tropes. Vampires are popular now, but aside from Stoker’s book, “Varney the Vampire,” and a few other works, they haven’t really been a perennial favorite. Zombies are a relatively new fictional phenomenon, their place in Caribbean lore aside. Devil fiction rises and falls in popularity. Yet ghost stories are as old as literature, and are used in a wide variety of genres besides horror. I like ghost stories because you get to make up your own rules and your own reason for a haunting. And, of course, the ghost’s motivation, which is a key point with me. What’s the purpose of a mindless killing machine from beyond the grave? My ghosts are just as likely to be heroes as villains.

DBJ: Everyone has a story of how and why they started writing. They are all different, and they are all intriguing -- to me, anyway. Can you share your own journey - where and why it started, who your guides and mentors were - and where you see it all leading?

SN: I was writing and drawing from the time I could hold a crayon. I’d make little booklets and comic books. In school, I was always the creepy, quiet, creative type, and got approval for it. Though I was involved in music for a decade or so after college, I was always writing and creating. I can’t imagine a life without projects and challenges. I still get a buzz from a blank page or screen—a little bit of fear, but also a rush of “Where are we going today?”

DBJ: There are a lot of opinions about dark fantasy and horror. Some say we don't fear the old icons any more. Some say we don't write enough about the real world. Some say it's dying, and others say it's booming. What do you think of the state of horror / dark fantasy fiction? Has it evolved or changed, or
are the voices just new with the same things driving them that have always been there?

SN: I don’t read a whole lot of new horror fiction. I’m still catching up on the old classics, both inside and outside the genre. I think it’s more important to read Ira Levin and Robert McCammon, things that have lasted, than it is to read the latest Leisure or Pinnacle paperback. Why be influenced by people who won’t be around in a few years? If the new writers stick around for a decade or so, then I’ll probably give them a try., That may sound snobbish, since I’m a new writer myself and want people to buy my books, but trends are so trendy you can’t tell you’re even in one until the trend is over.

Good stories will always work, no matter what type of monster is used or what type of label is attached. Scaring is a side effect, spice in an engaging tale.
Good stories are those with humanistic characters who think, feel, and change over the course of the story. Characters that teach us about ourselves, the world, and the strange illusion called Life.

DBJ: What do you have in the works? Are there any new projects coming soon, new novels? Is there a project you are doing on the side that is separate, but important to you? Screenplays? Poetry? Music? What can readers expect from you over the next year or so, and what drives the various projects?

SN: The Farm should already be out (release date is July 6), a story of familial distress and supernatural revenge. And man-eating goats. They Hunger will be released in April. Stories are coming up in Exit Laughing, Cemetery Dance, Shivers V, Aegri Somnia and Brimstone Turnpike.

DBJ: Standard fifth question. You have until tomorrow to come up with an idea for a new novel. You can have the day in a library with access to all the words written since ancient times at your disposal --- a stereo and all the world's music to choose from – or a driver/pilot to take you anyplace on earth. Which do you choose, and why?

SN: I’ll take the library, since most of my ideas come from my immediate surroundings. However, I always need to research, and I assume the library has an Internet connection! On the other hand, in the car you can drink coffee.

Click here to visit Scott’s Website

Click the Cover image to get the book from Amazon.com!

"THE FARM is a smoothly engineered supernatural entertainment in the more rambunctious American style of Stephen King."--NY Times Book Review

And thanks to Scott for joining us!




( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 29th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
Neat interview!
Jun. 29th, 2006 01:55 am (UTC)
You'll be receiving a neat review soon. :)
Jul. 4th, 2006 01:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks
Hi Dave, thanks for posting me. Nice journal!

Scott Nicholson
Jul. 4th, 2006 01:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks
No sweat Scott, and thanks. I try to keep it interesting.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )