Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Author Stefan Petrucha Interview

                                                             Photo by: Sarah Kinney

I contacted Stefan in hopes of doing a review for his novel "Split." I had asked for an advanced review copy and he had asked if a final copy was ok instead?! Final copies are even better. I am excited to begin this interesting book. In the meantime Stefan kindly graces us with an interview. See what he has to say. Thank you Stefan for your time and generosity.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I just always liked slinging sentences together, and people have been telling me I’m pretty good at it since 5th grade or so. I had a pal when I was around ten, Jim Salicrup, who was an impressive artist. It was at that point I actually started thinking well, if he can draw, I can be a writer. He’s currently editor of many of many graphic novels (including Nancy Drew and Diary of a Stinky Dead Kid) over at Papercutz Publishing, so things worked out for both of us.

Over the years, it’s just been something I kept doing. In Junior High I wrote my first screenplay, a satire of House of Dark Shadows, a vampire movie based on a 1960s soap opera. My 9th grade class currently has a Facebook page (I guess everyone is getting organized these days) and it’s been nice to hear that they remember me for that.

I knew some beginning writers who liked to fiddle with their first sentences over and over again, but my theory was always that if I just kept writing (and editing later) eventually I’d get better at it.

How long have you been writing for?
Professionally, I became a tech write in the mid-eighties, and by the end of the decade had my first comic book work published. So… whoa… thirty years?

Of your work, which is your favorite, or that you hold dear for one reason or another?
Tough question, I’m fond of a lot of them, so I don’t really have a single favorite. My first self-published novel, Making God, a hard look at religion wrapped in an exciting adventure story (years before the DaVinci Code!), is near and dear to my heart. I also like Shadow of Frankenstein, a sequel to the 1930s Universal horror film with Colin Clive and Boris Karloff, and The Rule of Won, a very wry look at group thinking and wish fulfillment cults in high school. Then there’s my Timetripper series from Razorbill, a lot – about a teenager who sort of falls out of linear time. I could go on and on.

As an author who is your favorite to read from?
I haven’t been blown away in a while. I like MT Anderson’s Feed a great deal, and I’ve always been a John Steinbeck fan, particularly Cannery Row. Reality twisting sci-fi author Phillip K. Dick is another favorite – Bladerunner was based on one of his books, more recently, Through a Scanner Darkly. I’m also a big fan of 13th century Persian poet Rumi.

What is your favorite genre?
From the above, it seems science fiction. I tend toward genre, fantasy/science fiction/mystery/horror, but I also like the more “literary” stuff, Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot), Kafka (Metamorphosis). There’ve been so many books that have intrigued, touched or impressed me in so many different ways, it’s hard to keep track. The last book I enjoyed reading was Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I’m also enjoying the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson, so there’s a big variation.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Writing isn't an answer! :)
Well, I haven’t got any really! I enjoy spending time with the family, watching movies, and occasionally indulging in computer games, mostly the strategy-type, like Sid Meir’s Civilization, but I haven’t had the chance to do much of that lately. Too busy writing!

Have you ever collaborated with another author? Or plan too?
Yes, I was very pleased to be able to collaborate with award-winning horror writer Thomas Pendleton (aka Lee Thomas) on the Wicked Dead series for HarperCollins, spooky stories told by dead girls haunting an orphanage. We were both part of the same writing group and came up with the concept during car rides on the way home. The series petered out after five books, but I’d be happy to work on it with him again.

Over the last two years I’ve also been very fortunate to work with Ryan Buell, the star of the A&E reality series, Paranormal State on his book – a totally fascinating behind the scenes look at their first paranormal investigations. After a lifelong love of the strange, and working with the paranormal as fiction (writing the X-Files comic book for Topps) it was amazing to be able to spend time dealing with the real thing. The book is Paranormal State: My Journey into the Unknown from HarperCollins It! Books, and it’ll be out this September.

Do you have any pen name(s)? If so, why do you choose to use a pen name?Nope! It’s always been me!

 Do you have any words of wisdom or any other thoughts for the readers and your fans?
I’d like to remind everyone to check out my latest book, Split , and keep an eye out for my first original “adult” novel, Blood Prophecy about a vampire Indiana Jones-type character at the turn of the 19th century. That’ll also be out this fall from Grand Central Books. And do please drop by my website, any time! Thanks for having me aboard, Steven!

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