My guest today is one of the coolest folks I know. She's been a good friend and, frankly, a damned good author. Please welcome C.W. LaSart to my blog.
|C.W. LaSart (Left) and Robert McCammon at World Horror Con 2013|
JJ: When did you start writing?
C.W.: I started writing as soon as I was able to write. I didn’t take it serious until just a few years ago, but there were very few times when I wasn’t writing something.
JJ: What was the first story you remember writing?
C.W.: It would have to be a terrible little chapbook I made in the second or third grade. A blatant case of plagiarism, my Mother still treasured it. She may even still have it.
JJ: What genre is your most preferred?
C.W.: I prefer both reading and writing horror. I read a little fantasy from time to time, but horror is my main genre for both.
JJ: What challenges you the most in your writing?
C.W.: Adopting a schedule. I am a very fast writer, but I am also very lazy. I procrastinate until the last minute and often miss deadlines because of it.
JJ: What is your favorite thing about being an author?
C.W.: My favorite thing about being an author is when a stranger contacts you to tell you how much they enjoyed your work. The opinions of friends and family should always be viewed with some measure of skepticism, but a stranger has no reason to lie.
JJ: What do you like least about being an author?
C.W.: Being constantly hounded to read other people’s work. My reading list is huge and I am always contacted with requests to read someone’s unpublished or self-published novel. Sometimes they are very blunt and rude about it.
JJ: How many books do you currently have available?
C.W.: I have one short story collection, Ad Nauseam: 13 Tales of Extreme Horror, published by Dark Moon Books. I also have over a dozen short stories published in anthologies, but only the one book that’s just me.
JJ: What projects are you currently working on?
C.W.: I am working on several shorts for projects that I’ve already agreed to, and I have two novels currently in the first draft phase.
JJ: Do you have any books coming out soon?
C.W.: Nothing too soon. I usually have some anthology or another being released, but at the moment, I have no release dates to share. Sorry!
JJ: Which book, or series, is your favorite?
C.W.: Now that’s a bit embarrassing, because it’s not horror at all. My favorite series, hands down, would have to be A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. I can’t help it. I’m a total addict. The time between books in that series is killing me, and I have a terrible fear that the author could die before it’s finished and I will NEVER KNOW!
JJ: Who are some of your favorite authors?
C.W.: Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, Robert McCammon, George R.R. Martin and Brian Lumley are the ones that come instantly to mind, however I also enjoy Jonathan Maberry, Dan Simmons, David Wellington and many others. I read a lot, so there are just too many to mention them all.
JJ: Which book(s) inspire you the most?
C.W.: Pet Semetary by Stephen King, was my first real horror novel, so it definitely had a lasting impact. But I would have to say that my inspiration as a writer has always been Robert McCammon. When he gave up writing, I was devastated, but he is back and better than ever!
JJ: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what band(s) do you play?
C.W.: Not at all. Music distracts me. I have always wished I could listen to it while I write, but I need white noise only in the background, the more neutral, the better. Absolute silence is as bad as music to me.
JJ: Any hobbies?
C.W.: I used to have hobbies, and then I had children. Of course, I read a great deal, and I like to cook. I volunteer more time than I care to admit to the Bram Stoker Award ® Committee as their Head Verifier. I also like to practice the art of napping. I’m very good at that!
JJ: Tell us some more about yourself including your website and where we can find you on social media sites.
C.W.: You can find me at http://www.cwlasart.com/
JJ: Care to share a bit of one of your books with us?
C.W.: This is an excerpt of Jack And Jill. It’s the first story I ever sold, and still one of my favorites.
Jack sat at the worn kitchen table, his hands buried in the guts of an ancient radio, tinkering with the parts in a vain attempt to fix the antique. He told the owner, Mrs. Jones, that he feared the radio was beyond fixing, but she insisted with a clear statement that she held complete faith in his abilities. He mentioned how cheap it'd cost to replace nowadays, but she liked that one and would hear nothing of the new fangled junk they peddled at the ritzy stores in town. In the end, he let himself be brow beaten by an eighty-four year old woman who stood a foot and a half shorter than himself.
Though he mainly worked as a handy man around town, word of mouth brought him some additional side jobs when people started to realize his proficiency with small household electronics. It was difficult to find steady work, being an ex-con, so he happily accepted whatever odd jobs came his way. This one, however, proved more work than the twenty-five dollar fee was worth.
A scraping sound from the room above the kitchen drew his attention from his task.
She was moving around up there again.
He sighed and lit another cigarette, dragging deeply and rubbing his eyes as he exhaled a cloud of bluish smoke.
Too soon. He had nearly been caught the last time.
He turned his attention back to the project at hand, hoping that if he pretended not to hear her, she’d return to sleep, or whatever else she did up there. He no longer went upstairs.
He could smell her sickly sweet odor long before he heard the moist slap of her feet on the linoleum behind him. Jack sat up straight in his chair and stared directly ahead at the fading rose-patterned wallpaper, keeping his breaths shallow through his mouth to avoid the stench of decay. Only one thought went through his mind over and over again, like a dog chasing its tail.
Don’t touch me. Please don’t touch me.
Her gravelly voice made the hair on his arms stand up. “I’m hungry,” she said.
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