Clark Casey is the author of the paranormal western novels DAWN IN DAMNATION and DEAD INDIAN WARS. He has also written three novellas: THE JESUS FISH AND SLAUGHTER BIRD, PALE MALE AND THE INFERTILE GIRL, and THE PERFECT DEFECTIVE. He was born in New York and currently resides in Northern California.
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
I was born in New York, studied English and Philosophy at Fordham University in Manhattan, and currently live in Northern California.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
I play a lot of golf. When my freelance editorial work is light, I play more than your average retiree. Northern California is also great for hiking and visiting wineries.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
I don’t remember any from childhood, but I read The Stranger by Albert Camus when I was about sixteen and that was my favorite book for a while, until I read Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
John Coltrane’s Ballads is my favorite. Kind of Blue by Miles Davis is very good, too. When I’m writing, I’m grateful for anything that will help keep me from getting up. First thing in the morning, I usually put on Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach: Unaccompanied Cello Suites.
KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?
Children of the Corn gave me nightmares as a kid. I enjoy reading horror novels more than watching movies. I fell into writing horror by accident. I was working on a Western novel and I added a vampire and set it in the afterlife. The publisher decided to label it as a horror book, but I’m told it appeals to Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Western fans as well.
KR: What are you reading now?
I just finished Welcome to Hard Times by E.L. Doctorow. It has a stunningly violent beginning. It was his first book and he originally started it as a satire after reading Westerns for the motion picture industry.
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, John Kennedy Toole. I always liked satire.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I try to outline, but I have a hard time seeing the big picture until I’m fleshing out the details as I go along. I usually keep rewriting until I figure out what should happen next.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Sometimes, I will read a book or two on a subject before I start, but usually I just look things up as they come up. I can get stuck on Wikipedia for hours.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
If I can slip in an hour or so before my day job, it’s a good start. Two hours at the end of the day is enough to make me feel like I’ve accomplished something. I’ve found that if I set a stop watch and only keep it running while I’m actually writing the time is better spent.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
I wrote a book about an ancient Mongolian prophet with a drinking problem, who lives for two thousand years and encounters various historical figures. My agent is looking for a publisher for it.
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
I read them all. Fortunately, most of them have been pretty good—I bruise easily. One person believed that a Western set in the 19th century was too violent and sexist. Another person was disappointed because there were no zombies in it.
KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?
Don’t keep rewriting your first book over and over for ten years straight. Move on. Also, good routines are important. Put in at least a solid hour a day no matter what. Produce lots of pages and edit them later.
KR: What scares you?
Heart attacks, cancer, plane crashes.
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
Paperback. Much more flexible for reading in bed.
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
Dead Indian Wars was published in May 2018. It’s the sequel to Dawn in Damnation, a paranormal Western where dead outlaws, a pack of werewolves, and a lone vampire fight for dwindling resources in one-horse town in the afterlife called Damnation. In Dead Indian Wars, the extermination of Native Americans back on earth brings a legion of angry warriors to Damnation.
KR: What are you working on now?
I’ve been working on a satiric Western novel set in a California mining town that had seceded from the United States during the Gold Rush in order to avoid paying taxes. It’s a real town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that formed its own nation for about four months. Allegedly, their neighbors refused to sell them alcohol for 4th of July celebrations because they were “foreigners” so the town voted to rejoin the United Sates.
KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?
You can choose…
- One fictional character from your writing.
Shampa-poo, the greatest (and probably only) Caucasian philosopher ever born in ancient Mongolia.
- One fictional character from any other book.
Pangloss from Candide. In dire times, it’s important to be around optimistic people.
- One real life person that is not a family member or friend.
If I couldn’t take my girlfriend, I suppose it’d be nice to have someone around with a nice singing voice like Madeleine Peyroux.
KR: Thank you very much Clark.
To find out more about Clark please visit his official website www.clarkcasey.com
You can follow Clark on Twitter @dawnindamnation
Clark’s author page can be viewed here
Welcome To Damnation . . .where every living soul is as dead as a doornail. Except one.
Buddy Baker is a dead man. Literally. After gunning down more men than Billy the Kid-and being hung by a rope necktie for his crimes-the jolly, fast-drawing fugitive reckoned he’d earned himself a nonstop ticket to hell. Instead, he finds himself in Damnation: a gun-slinging ghost town located somewhere between heaven and hell.
There are no laws in Damnation. Only two simple rules: If you get shot, you go directly to hell. If you stay alive without shooting anyone for one year, you just might get into heaven.
Hardened outlaws pass the time in the saloon playing poker and wagering on who will get sent to hell next, while trying not to anger the town’s reclusive vampire or the quarrelsome werewolves. Buddy winds up in everyone’s crosshairs after swearing to protect a pretty gal who arrives in Damnation pregnant. Her child might end up a warm-blooded meal for the supernatural residents, or it could be a demon spawn on a mission to destroy them all.
There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s armed to the fangs.
After fending off an attack by the werewolf pack, the saloon is in shambles and half of the dead outlaws have been sent to Hell. Nigel, the lone vampire, takes up the job of sheriff in order to protect the only living boy in Damnation.
A second vampire, with whom Nigel has some history and still bears a grudge, comes to town. To make matters worse, an army of angry Indian warriors arrive, and they’re not too keen on sharing their spirit world with the soldiers who killed them.
A sudden scarcity of food and booze spurs the election of a hawkish mayor, who controls the vampires with an unlikely source of warm blood. Buddy and some ragtag gunslingers are left to defend their territory against an entire nation of dead Indians led by an invincible brave.
Private Investigator Jack Hannigan takes on his toughest case yet: a man who has lost his talent. Soon after, a cheerleader hires him to kill a dead man. Then the dead man asks for his help in seducing a stripper to the stars, who later turns up dead herself. The Scotch-guzzling detective tries not to solve any of his cases so that he can keep collecting expenses, which include all the Johnny Walker Blue Label he can drink. A satiric detective novella filled with scenes of gut-splitting humor and borderline pornography.
A young couple inherits a 10 million-dollar apartment on Fifth Avenue, and soon after the windowsill becomes inhabited by Central Park’s famous red-tailed hawk. The novella follows the general chronology of Pale Male’s nesting and controversial eviction from one of the most exclusive buildings in Manhattan. A finance executive and his heiress girlfriend give a glimpse into the lives of wealthy Upper East Siders. As the birds proliferate, the power couple is torn apart by their inability to conceive a child. An intriguing tale of infertility and infidelity that challenges the ideas of matrimony and monogamy. A classic New York story of real estate lust and instinct vs. human pride.
An epic novella about four twenty-something lost souls who meet in a bar in Manhattan in the early 1980s. The rollicking narrative follows them for 20 years of their turbulent (and often funny) lives into the turn of the century. The cast includes an aspiring musician/artist and hypochondriac desperately trying to rid himself of his native Queens accent, a racist pool hustler who falls for a Chinese girl, a well-endowed shy girl in search of true love, and a pretty girl with abandonment issues and a dream of becoming a “florologist.”