Coming to Town: Paul Tremblay for A Head Full of Ghosts at Flyleaf Books, interviewed by Richard Dansky

Interview by Richard Dansky:

With A Head Full of Ghosts, Paul Tremblay has catapulted himself into the front rank of American horror authors. Born in Colorado but currently residing in Boston, Tremblay teaches AP Calculus by day and then unleashes an entirely different set of horrors by night. His previous works include Swallowing A Donkey’s Eye and the short story collection In The Mean Time, both from ChiZine Publishing. Nominated twice for the Bram Stoker Award, he also serves as a juror for the Shirley Jackson Awards. He was kind enough to take time out from his Guest of Honor duties at NECON to talk a little about the role of pop culture references in fiction, blogging as a framing device, and why he’s disappointed in Les Stroud, ahead of his appearance this Sunday (July 26) at 4 pm at Flyleaf Books [Facebook].

Q: First question: Do you believe in Bigfoot?

Do I believe in Bigfoot? I do not. You know, I kind of want to, but I’m kind of taking up the “no Bigfoot” position just as devil’s advocate because my ten year old daughter is so [into it]. She hasn’t watched it much in the last six to 8 months, but my daughter had a section of time where she was totally obsessed with Bigfoot. She has a Bigfoot t-shirt and loves the show [note: the reality show Finding Bigfoot, which features prominently in A Head Full of Ghosts] so I would playfully argue with her that there was no Bigfoot. “How come they don’t find any bodies” and she always responds with “well, they bury their dead”. But I have a hard time believing that there’s a Bigfoot.

Q: Just a spoiler alert here – the last few episodes of Finding Bigfoot, they have not actually found Bigfoot. I know that’s a tremendous shock. Read the rest of this entry »


Coming to Town: Lynne Hansen and Jeff Strand for The Nevermore Film Festival, interviewed by Richard Dansky

By Richard Dansky:

Lynne Hansen and Jeff Strand are one of horror fiction’s power couples. A perennial host of the Bram Stoker Awards, Jeff blends humor and horror in acclaimed novels like Pressure and his short story collection, Dead Clown Barbecue. Lynne’s prolific in YA horror (The Return, The Change) as well as working in film (Hes Not Looking So Great, Chomp). And there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that in their last trip to North Carolina, Jeff failed to finish his side of hush puppies at a Durham BBQ restaurant and paid a fearful price.

Nevermore Film Festival: Feb 20-22

Q: What brings you to the Triangle?

Lynne: The Nevermore Film Festival at the historic Carolina Theatre Durham. And friends. (Definitely not the snow.)

Jeff: Also BBQ.

Q: Tell us about the films you have showing at Nevermore.

Lynne: Chomp is a short horror comedy about a little old lady named Millie who is determined to prove she’s captured a real zombie—even if he’s not one. Last weekend at the GeekFest Film Festival at Shock Pop Comic Con in Fort Lauderdale, Chomp won Best Short—and our very first Best of Fest award. I couldn’t be more tickled.

Jeff: Gave Up The Ghost is also a short horror comedy, directed by Gregory Lamberson. It’s about a very pretentious writer who loses his ultimate masterpiece novel in a computer crash, and ends up seeking supernatural assistance to retrieve the file from the netherworld. It also features brief appearances by zombies, vampires, mummies, cannibals, and Bigfoot.

Chomp (2014) Poster 

Q: Both of you come from a background in writing fiction. What led you to working in film? Read the rest of this entry »


2014 East Coast Game Conference, Day 1

April 23, 2014, Durham, NC: Thanks to a generous last-minute press pass, I had a chance to stop by day one of ECGC – the East Coast Game Conference – this morning at the Raleigh Convention Center. I’ve been to a half-dozen? conventions of various kinds (science fiction, health and fitness, anime, etc.) at this venue and each has taken advantage of the space in different ways. Here, the ECGC is well-laid-out, with branding stickers on the (many!) glass-surfaced entrances into the convention space and plenty of room and people to handle registration without fuss or backups.

IMG_6789 IMG_6790

After registering I headed straight for the Expo, which starts as an in-hallway affair before expanding into the Expo Hall Proper. Here, schools pitch their programs and specialties and game companies pitch both their projects and open positions as well as their engines and platforms. In the hall, the two which most caught my eye — though “swag of the day” goes to the Magic 8-ball from Insomniac Games — were Wake Tech’s Simulation and Game Development program as well as a “Goat Simulator” game showcasing Epic Games‘ Unreal Engine. Getting hands-on with the goat simulator, I was encouraged to perform a backflip, but instead got carried away with running my goat forward for a hard stop to force a pretty nice “skid stop” animation; this eventually led to darting my goat out of an alley and into a street just in time to be killed and thump-thump-thump run-over by a very large truck. (I think I earned some bonus points, somehow, for this spectacular method of demise.) Read the rest of this entry »


Feburary newsletter: Wendy Webb, Sheila Turnage, Deborah Johnson, Alice Hoffman, Megan Shepherd, MystiCon, TV deals, new and forthcoming books, literary lineups, and more

Vol 4. No 2. January 31, 2014:

Well, January was what one might call a good month. RDU-based convention illogiCon welcomed Mary Robinette Kowal, Lawrence M. Schoen, Laura Anne Gilman, Gail Z. Martin, Misty Massey and Ed Schubert, and many more to town, along with fantastic participation from Triangle-area authors and fans; William Shatner rocked the house with his one-man show; Quail Ridge Books hosted Carrie Vaughn for Dreams of the Golden Age; and Jeaniene Frost closed out January with the launch of her latest Night Hunters novel. We also saw new books from Lisa Shearin (on December 31), Cate Tiernan, Megan Shepherd, and Faith Hunter, along with the first in Tor’s re-releases of Jenna Black‘s Guardians of the Night series, a new paperback edition of Ariel Djanikian’s just-optioned-for-TV The Office of Mercy, and! J.M. McDermott’s long-awaited Maze. But don’t sleep in too late to start February, though, as tomorrow (Saturday, February 1), Wendy Webb brings her haunted house novel The Vanishing to Flyleaf Books at 11 AM, kicking off a February that went from sparse to packed since the last newsletter.

 The Office of Mercy: A Novel Maze

Speaking of television, more big, big news on that front is that HBO is set to develop a comedy based on NCSU professor Wilton Barnhardt’s darkly hilarious 2013 novel Lookaway, Lookaway. And speaking of NCSU, they’re looking for a visiting writer to teach in their MFA program next year. Via John Kessel: “NC State University is looking for a Visiting Fiction Writer to teach in our MFA program for the 2014-2015 academic year. Detail available at the NCSU website and also on the AWP Job List. This is meant to be a graduate professorship, so we’re look for experienced and well-published candidates.”

More news? Here you go:

  • The cover for the Kickstarter-funded Kaiju Rising anthology has been posted, featuring local writers Natania Barron and James Maxey amidst a gorgeous wraparound cover by Bob Eggleton.
  • ConCarolinas has added considerably to its guest lineup, headlined of course by guest of honor George R.R. Martin and special guest David Weber.  One of those new guests? Yours truly, making my first trip to the convention. More info at the new website: http://www.concarolinas.net/
  • Speaking of impressive lineups, the North Carolina Literary Festival has announced its lineup, which is simply amazing, including Junot Diaz, Karen Joy Fowler, Peter Straub, R.L. Stine, John Kessel, William Barnhardt, Daniel Wallace, Therese Anne Fowler, and many, many more including Bill Ferris, John Claude Bemis, and Zelda Lockhart. The festival runs April 3-6 at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at NC State University. (And I’m hearing rumors of at least one more major guest announcement to come. Stay tuned!)
  • Local author (and Bull Spec poetry contributor!) Jen McConnel extends an invitation to area writers for her guest post series Writers on Wednesday
  • Durham writer Jeremy Whitley’s story for the new comic book My Little Pony: Friends Forever is the debut “Discord” comic story in the forthcoming issue 2, coming in Feburary. Here’s an interview of Whitley by Zack Smith for Newsarama.
  • Richard Dansky has an article on Deadlands in the latest issue of Dark Discoveries magazine.
  • Pete Wood’s story “Drink in a Small Town” is in the latest (March) Asimov’s, on newsstands now.
  • Natania Barron is hosting a live-reading (via Google Hangout) of her novel Pilgrim of the Sky in February.
  • The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation announced the final eligibility list for the inaugural Manly Wade Wellman Award, with nominations opening soon.

Meanwhile, bullspec.com has been quite busy as well, with: the first installment of Paul Kincaid’s column on British SF, “From the Other Side”; a fantastic series of “Coming to Town” interviews including Laura Anne Gilman interviewed by Jaym Gates, Lawrence M. Shoen interviewed by Ada Milenkovic Brown, Misty Massey interviewed by Edmund R. Schubert, and both Carrie Vaughn and Wendy Webb interviewed by Richard Dansky; and two guest posts in “The Hardest Part” including Jenna Black and Lisa Shearin.

Speaking of Shearin, it was my pleasure to talk to her on Carolina Book Beat in early January. In addition to the podcast of that interview (which includes her reading from her new book), the CBB folks posted podcasts of recent appearances by Jason Mott and Matt Ross. This Monday (Feb 3) I’ll be on with illustrator Tommy Lee Edwards to talk about his forthcoming Vandroid project. And in March I’m very excited to have Mur Lafferty on to talk about Ghost Train to New Orleans, her forthcoming sequel to The Shambling Guide to New York City, and for which she’s just finished principal recording on the audiobook edition.

-Sam

UPCOMING EVENTS, FEBRUARY 2014

1 (Saturday) 11 am – Flyleaf Books hosts Wendy Webb for The Vanishing. More book info: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/wendy-webb/the-vanishing/9781401341947/

NEW-NEW: 1 (Saturday) 3 pm to late — Atomic Empire’s first “tap takeover” is courtesy the Duck-Rabbit Brewery: “Duck-Rabbit is taking over all eight of Atomic Empire’s taps! Beer selection will include: Amber Ale, Brown Ale, Porter, Milk Stout, Hoppy Bunny, Barleywine, Baltic Porter, and Paul’s Day Off Smoked Stout. We will also be selling flights, so you can try more than one.”

4 — Regional book release day for The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage, followup to her Newbery honor winner and NY Times bestseller Three Times Lucky (Greenville).

4 — Regional book release day for Vengeance by Megan Miranda, sequel to her 2012 YA supernatural thriller Fractured (Charlotte).

NEW-NEW: 4 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Duke’s Smith Warehouse hosted a reading by PEN/Malamud Award winner George Saunders. More info: http://www.dukechronicle.com/articles/2014/02/03/english-department-brings-george-saunders-campus

NEW: 6 (Thursday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Sheila Turnage – ‘The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing’. “Mark your calendar now for the launch of one of the biggest children’s books of the year.”

NEW-NEW: 6 (Thursday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Philipp Meyer discusses his historical novel The Son (paperback release). (Fiction.)

NEW-NEW: 8 (Saturday) 3 to 5 pm — Durham County’s Southwest Regional Library hosts a “Meet the Author” event with Durham author Mur Lafferty. More info: http://durhamcountylibrary.org/events/meet-the-author-mur-lafferty/

NEW-NEW: 8 (Saturday) 10 am to 3 pm — The High Country Festival of the Book hosts a special February event in Boone, NC, bringing authors Deborah Johnson and Ed Williams to the area. More info: http://www.highcountryfestivalofthebook.com/

NEW-NEW: 9 (Sunday) 3 pm — Bookmarks NC “Book Club Moveable Feast” in Winston-Salem, NC with authors Wilton Barnhardt, Arien Djanikian, Deborah Johnson, Wendy Welch, and more changing tables every 10 minutes to meet with and discuss with readers. Tickets (4 remaining at last check) are available at: http://bookmarksnc.givezooks.com/events/book-club-movable-feast

 NEW: 10 (Monday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Deborah Johnson – The Secret of Magic. Johnson’s novel is amazing; it’s an historical fiction set in Mississippi in the late 1940s as a black GI returns home from WW2 to the segregated South, built around an actual NAACP Legal Fund case and a fictional fantasy novel within the novel. (Fiction.)

NEW: 11 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Deborah Johnson discusses her novel The Secret of Magic. (See above for my brief thoughts on this fantastic book.)

NEW: 16 (Sunday) 2 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Joyce Allen launches her young adult novel The Threads of Earth, part two of the Threads trilogy.

NEW: 17 (Monday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Alice Hoffman – ‘The Museum of Extraordinary Things’.

NEW: 19 (Wednesday) 6:30 pm — McIntyre’s Books hosts Alice Hoffman for The Museum of Extraordinary Things.

NEW: 20 (Thursday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts The Lovestruck Tour – Four Passionate Authors. (See below for list.)

NEW: 21 (Friday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts The Lovestruck Tour, featuring YA authors Megan Hansen Shepherd (Her Dark Curiosity), Megan Miranda (Fracture), Kasie West (Pivot Point), and Robin Constantine (The Promise of Amazing).

NEW-NEW: 21-23 (Friday to Sunday) — 15th Nevermore Film Festival at The Carolina Theatre of Durham. More info: http://festivals.carolinatheatre.org/nevermore/

21-23 (Friday to Sunday) — MystiCon in Roanoke, VA withguests John de Lancie (ST:TNG’s “Q”), author Todd McCaffery, author A.J. Hartley, and more. More info: http://mysticon-va.com/

NEW-NEW: 25 (Tuesday) 7 pm — A Knights of Badassdom screening at the Raleighwood Cinema Grill. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1378122032455699/

26 — Regional book release day for The Narrow Gate: A Supernatural Thriller (Solom) by Scott Nicholson (Boone).

26 — Local comic book launch day for Vandroid by Tommy Lee Edwards.

NEW-NEW: 28 (Friday) — The Carolina Theatre of Durham is playing a Labyrinth and Legend doubleheader showing, starting at 7 pm. More info: http://www.carolinatheatre.org/films/labyrinth-legend

NEW-NEW: 28 (Friday) — Asheville’s Malaprop’s Bookstore hosts a ticketed event with author Karen Russell (Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories). The program includes an interview by Greta Johnsen followed by a booksigning and wine and cheese reception. More info: http://www.malaprops.com/event/karen-russell-conversation-wcqs-morning-edition-host-greta-johnsen-ticketed-event

MARCH 2014 Read the rest of this entry »


Coming to Town: Wendy Webb for The Vanishing, interviewed by Richard Dansky

Interview by Richard Dansky:

Think “Gothic” and you might not immediately think Minnesota, but Wendy Webb is working on changing that perception. Building on a writing career that began as a journalist for a Twin Cities arts & entertainment weekly, she’s published three critically and commercially successful gothic novels set in her home state. The third, The Vanishing [ebook], was released in January 2014, and in support of the book, she’s visiting Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on Saturday, February 1st for an early reading at 11 am [Facebook event] in one of three North Carolina events on her current tour [the others include Thursday, Jan 30 at Charlotte’s PARK ROAD BOOKS and Saturday evening at Asheville’s MALAPROPS]. Ahead of that visit, she was kind enough to take a few minutes to answer some questions. From the “Devil’s Toy Box” to the influence of Downton Abbey, here’s a few questions with Wendy Webb.

Can you tell us a little bit about The Vanishing?

All of my novels feature long-buried family secrets that bubble to the surface in big, old mansions. The Vanishing is the story of Julia, who receives an intriguing job offer when her life seems to be falling apart around her. A man, Adrian Sinclair, asks Julia to be a companion to his elderly mother, a famous horror novelist who the whole world thinks is dead. For reasons unknown, this novelist chose to vanish from public life and now lives in her magnificent estate in the middle of the wilderness. Intrigued, Julia accepts the position. But when she arrives at Havenwood, she begins to wonder whether this too-good-to-be-true job offer is exactly that. 

The gothic as a genre is usually associated with windswept moors and craggy mountains. What was the inspiration for setting The Vanishing in northern Minnesota? Read the rest of this entry »


Coming to Town: Steven Brust for The Incrementalists, interviewed by Richard Dansky

By Richard Dansky:

26 novels (and 1 solo album) into his career, Steven Brust still isn’t afraid to take chances. Visiting Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on October 2nd in support of his new novel, The Incrementalists — co-written with Skyler White — Brust is best known for his centuries-spanning Dragaera series. But with a bibliography that includes everything from a high fantasy retelling of Paradise Lost (To Reign In Hell) to an Ohio vampire story (Agyar) to a multiple volume tribute to the works of Dumas (The Phoenix Guards), Brust remains a master of confounding expectation. Here he is, in his own words:

The Incrementalists

Q: The Incrementalists is your second shot at more or less straightforward science fiction, after Cowboy Feng’s. Why come back to it after all this time? Read the rest of this entry »


Coming to Town: Richard Kadrey for Kill City Blues, interviewed by Richard Dansky

[Editor’s note: this is the first in a new, hopefully-many-more-where-this-came-from series in which authors and other creators “coming to town” for an event answer a few questions for the website. I hope you enjoy! -Sam]

By Richard Dansky:

Five books into his wildly popular and critically acclaimed Sandman Slim series, Richard Kadrey is a significant voice in urban fantasy. Coming to Flyleaf Books on Thursday August 29th in the wake of Kill City Blues, the fifth book in the Sandman Slim cycle, Kadrey also has an unrelated novel, Dead Set, coming out this fall. While this would be more than enough for most writers, Kadrey has an extensive track record as a cyberpunk author, futurist with publications in Wired and Discovery Online, comics scripter, and animation writer. And yes, he has also been turned into an action figure.

Ahead of his visit to the Triangle, Mr. Kadrey was kind enough to answer a few questions about his work, his approach to book tours and, perhaps most importantly, how you kill an unkillable wizard with his name:

kill-city-blues

With Kill City Blues, the Sandman Slim series is now five books in. Can a new reader just jump right in and read it as a self-contained story, or do they really need to go back and pick it up from the beginning (which, to be fair, they ought to do anyway)? Read the rest of this entry »


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 92 other followers