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Below is an abridged and edited (obviously) excerpt from Phil Konstantin’s interview with Stephen King. If Mr. Konstantin had interviewed me, this is how I’d have answered.


I understand you don’t like to be asked why you write the kind of stories you do. Is this correct?

Yes. I don’t know why I write what I write. It just happens.

When did you start writing?

I first put pencil to paper in the first grade the teacher insisted we learn the alphabet.

<raucous laughter!>

Seriously, though. I wrote my first real short story in the sixth grade. The teacher assigned the class to write a story in couple of paragraphs or so. Mine turned out to be three pages long. I couldn’t stop. Idea after idea came pouring forth.

Do you have to be in a special mood to start writing?

I’m at my best writerly self when I am angry, depressed, heartbroken and/or full of tears.

Do you have a certain method that you use when you write?

Not really. Inspiration comes at me from nowhere sometimes, and I just sit down and do it. Other times an event (in the news or my personal life) will trigger a fit of inspiration and I’ll think about it for awhile, kind of allow it to percolate, and then begin writing.

Do you consider what you write “horror stories?”

I do not, but many of my readers do find some my work most disturbing, dark, and even morbid. To me, it’s simply a recounting of slice of life, the crappy stuff that happens to people every day. Well, some of it. And maybe not every day…

<chuckling>

Would you ever participate in a séance?

Yes, I would. And I have. The last time I was part of a séance was in, again, the sixth grade. It was a big year for me. Anyway, there was one restroom in our school that would lock, and that’s where my girlfriends and I would go during recess. When we should’ve been outside playing kickball or four square, my gang was locked up in a bathroom trying to make contact with the spirit world. It never worked. I’d like to try it again though, on a more serious level.

Are you interested in psychics, ESP and similar areas?

Yes, definitely. I learned to read Tarot cards while living in New Orleans. I was pretty good at it back in the day. I still have my cards but haven’t touched them in years. The only thing that scares me is the Ouija board. I will never go near one again.

What is your personal feeling about reincarnation?

I think we keep coming back until we get it right.

In your own experience have you ever come across any ghosts, ghoulies or anything that goes bump in the night?

Yes. I feel my mom’s presence every so often. It’s very comforting. I know many people on the other side and they visit from time to time.

Do you get letters from people that say they have actually experienced things like what you write about?

One time a disappointed reader wrote that he tried to incubate his own homunculus and it didn’t work. He then to know where the Limbourg brothers’ grandmother had purchased their Homunculus Heroes kit.

Do you think it is important to keep your readers guessing?

Yes! I think that’s an important component to successful writing. Once your audience gets bored, you’re done. I also think it’s important to keep myself guessing.