Andrew Kraus is a novelist with a penchant for the more melancholy side of life. His fascination with the supernatural, otherworldly and ethereal began in early childhood. When other children were watching cartoons, he was studying horror films. As a young man, when others were riding roller coasters, he was heading to haunted attractions for decorating tips. And now, as an adult, when searching for a home, his preference is for something haunted. Andrew currently resides in a turn of the century Victorian style farm-house in southern New Jersey with his husband, their son, three dogs, and at minimum four spirits. Andrew finds that his home and the spirits within give him inspiration to put pen to paper and share the stories of terror, tragedy, and misery that flow from his cranium. When he isn’t writing, he and his family love to travel the globe in search of the macabre.
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
I’m a self-diagnosed self-conscious author with a macabre sense of humor. Inspired by everyday horror and the thrill of living in an actual haunted house, I enjoy spending time with my family, my three dogs and the four ghosts that inhabit our home. My dark side is in constant struggle with my light side (former Disney Cast Member) and I love when I can find a balance between the two. There’s nothing like killing a character in the most delightful of ways. My readers and other lovers of horror can follow me on Twitter @AndyK1005
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, traveling and playing video games with my son.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Dr. Seuss
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
If I had to pick a favorite album, I would say it would have to be Pink Martini’s A Retrospective. I saw them perform once and they were incredible. Overall, I’m more of a fan of songs than artists. Music has a huge impact on my writing. When I can share a character’s story, the genre of music varies. I have written while listening to classical, holiday, pop, jazz, rock and roll, heavy metal, etc. The characters I write about and the mood of the story determines the music I play. Music and a martini are my go-to writing vices.
KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?
Growing up, my all-time favorite horror movie was Halloween II. Michael Myers gave me nightmares. Recently, I watched Train to Busan, directed by Yeon Sang-ho and it blew me away. I haven’t seen a good scary movie like that in a long time.
KR: What are you reading now?
The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln’s Ghost by Peter Manseau.
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allen Poe. I had the opportunity to meet Ray Bradbury and I have an autographed book from him.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I prefer to see where the idea takes me. I’ve tried using outlines but sometimes an idea comes out that is just too good or gross to pass up and then outlines go out the window.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
If I’m using a name of a real place, like writing a horror historical fiction story, I spend about two weeks researching a topic so I can feel comfortable writing about it. In general, if I have an idea and need to make sure it is plausible, I will research it on the spot while I write.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
I prefer to write late at night or the last few hours before going to bed. Many times, though, it isn’t until after I try to close my eyes that the ideal opening line comes to me and I end up spending the next two hours writing. Once on a trip to New York, I sat in bed and wrote an entire story using the Notes App on my phone. The next few days, however, I spent quite some time fixing typos. My fingers were too big for the tiny keypad.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
My stories are like my kids. I love each one equally but if I was on the Titanic and had to only save one, I’d save If These Walls Could Talk. It is a very personal story to me and I pay homage to the spirits that share our home with my family. One ghost helped us purchase the house but that’s another story for another time.
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
Yes. I shared my work with the world and am truly interested in what people like or don’t like. People tell me all the time which story in my book they couldn’t finish because it struck a nerve or grossed them out. Everyone has different fears. You won’t find me on a ladder killing a spider.
KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?
Don’t be discouraged if your book doesn’t race to the top of the charts. Be proud that you accomplished your goal. So many people told me that they’ve always wanted to write a book but never had a chance. The funny thing is, when each of those people told me that, none of them were dead yet.
KR: What scares you?
Heights. I’ve been to the top of the Twin Towers in New York and when I’m flying I have to have a window seat. Other than that, I prefer to keep my feet on the ground. Looking up and imagining being up that high, my legs quiver and weaken. It feels like my willpower when I’m off carbs and see a plate of cheese fries.
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
I’m a paperback or hardback reader all the way. Reading is my time to unplug and being on an iPad makes it feel like I’m still at work.
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
The Spirit of Glassboro & Other Tales of Terror is my latest release. The book is filled with 20 tales that take readers on a voyage into the world of several unfortunate characters who deal with events inspired by everyday fears. Utilizing dark humor and the macabre, readers will relate to the character’s plight while wincing throughout. From tales of haunted houses to serial killers to deranged demons that attack, The Spirit of Glassboro and Other Tales of Terror is filled with a variety of topics sure to please any thrill junkie. The characters are so real that when people read the book alone on a dark, cold evening, they’ll second guess that chill on the back of their neck.
KR: What are you working on now?
I’m working on a second collection of short stories as well as a novel. The novel dives into the mind of a sarcastic and witty serial killer who loves what he does.
KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?
You can choose…
a) One fictional character from your writing.
Thornton Wallace III from Galactic Casualties of War (short story from The Spirit of Glassboro & Other Tales of Terror)
Thornton Wallace III has spent way too much time in the basement eating take-out and playing video games. I’m sure the sunshine and fresh ocean breeze would do his health some good.
b) One fictional character from any other book.
Hannibal Lector from The Silence of the Lambs
I’d bring Hannibal Lector because he can totally cook just about anything.
c) One real life person that is not a family member or friend.
The Rock- Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson is a no-brainer. I mean, did you see what he could do in Jumanji?
KR: Thank you very much Andrew.
You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndyK1005
You can visit Andrew’s author page here
Our fears creep in at the most unexpected times. Inspired by these fears and our mind’s own curiosity, 20 tales of terror take readers on a voyage into the world of several unfortunate characters.
Utilizing dark humor and the macabre, readers will relate to the character’s plight while wincing throughout. From tales of haunted houses to serial killers to deranged demons that attack, The Spirit of Glassboro and Other Tales of Terror is filled with a variety of topics sure to please any thrill junkie. The characters are so real that when you’re reading this book alone on a dark, cold evening, you’ll second guess that chill on the back of your neck.
While driving on the highway, you’ll wonder what’s in the back seat of the pick-up truck or really hidden behind the darkened windows of the unmarked van. Spooky and delightful at the same time, this book provides a welcoming dose of Halloween no matter what time of the year it is.