Author, Director and Screenwriter Eric Red chats to Kendall Reviews

Eric Red is a Los Angeles based novelist, screenwriter, and film director. His first two novels, a dark coming-of-age tale about teenagers called DON’T STAND SO CLOSE and a dark fantasy called THE GUNS OF SANTA SANGRE and it’s sequel, Eric’s fifth novel, THE WOLVES OF EL DIABLO are available from SST Publications. His other two novels, a science fiction thriller called IT WAITS BELOW, and a mystery crime thriller called WHITE KNUCKLE, are available from Crossroad Press.

Mr. Red directed and wrote the films COHEN AND TATE for Hemdale, BODY PARTS for Paramount, UNDERTOW for Showtime, BAD MOON for Warner Bros. and 100 FEET for Grand Illusions Entertainment. His original screenplays include THE HITCHER for Tri Star, NEAR DARK for DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group, BLUE STEEL for MGM and THE LAST OUTLAW for HBO.

His published horror and suspense short stories have been in Cemetery Dance magazine, Weird Tales magazine, Shroud magazine, Dark Delicacies III: Haunted anthology, Dark Discoveries magazine, Mulholland Books’ Popcorn Fiction, among others.

He created and wrote the sci-fi/horror comic series and graphic novel CONTAINMENT from SST Publications and the horror western comic series WILD WORK for Antarctic Press.

Mr. Red and his wife Meredith and two dogs divide their time between Los Angeles and Wyoming.

Eric Red chats to Kendall Reviews

Coffee is ready…

KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?

I’m a Los Angeles-based film director and screenwriter and novelist. I started in the motion picture business thirty years ago and have been writing novels for six years now.

KR: What do you like to do when not writing?

I love spending time with my wife and dogs and seeing friends. Otherwise I’m reading or watching movies.

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. I also loved the Dr. Suess books.

KR: What are you reading now?

Just finished Ready Play One by Ernest Cline, and Without Fail by Lee Child, my favorite contemporary author, and am starting Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama.

KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?

Hard to pick a favorite album but The Beatles are my favorite musicians. I have all their records on a playlist on iTunes I listen to constantly. When I’m writing, I listen to a lot of movie scores, especially by Jerry Goldsmith and Elmer Bernstein. Maybe it’s my movie background but film music inspires me when I write and gets me into the zone.

KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?

As a young author, in no order, Richard Price, Jim Harrison, John Irving and William Goldman. Given my books and films, those are probably not the authors people would expect, but these were the writers whose books spoke to me on a very deep level and made me want to be a writer.

KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

I’m methodical. Because of my screenwriting background I’m a structure wonk rigorous about working out the story beats—for me character flows from story, not the other way around. First I come up with a three- or four-sentence summary of a novel because all books must begin with a great idea in my opinion. Then I write a one-page synopsis, after which I write a ten-page outline with a beginning, middle and end. Once I have that, I’m ready to start the book. And during this time I’m making pages and pages of notes, because ideas start coming to me constantly for a novel I’m hot on.

KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

The short answer is all the research necessary, but that depends on the book and the subject matter. My third novel IT WAITS BELOW was a science fiction thriller involving a submersible sub that dove to the bottom of the ocean, so I spent months interviewing one of the top pilots of those kind of subs and oceanographic scientists to get all the details right. On the other hand, my first novel DON’T STAND SO CLOSE was a high school coming-of-age thriller and most of the research involved remembering my own high school experiences.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

I’m up at 6:00 in the morning, go to the gym for an hour, then go to the office and start work. I write for about six hours a day, five to six days a week, always taking one day a week off. Regular exercise is an essential part of my writing routine. For me, it’s really all about discipline.

KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?

I’d have to say The Buzzard is my favorite of my short stories. It’s a western tale about a wounded cowboy pursued through the desert by a relentless vulture who wants to kill him and is a tale about mortality. All of my short stories have been published, and The Buzzard has been published several times, starting with Weird Tales Magazine.

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

Only the good ones. Just kidding.

KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?

Get it done. Don’t quit. Believe in your vision as an author and aggressively hustle your material. Don’t expect anybody to do anything for you.

KR: What scares you?

Believe it or not, wasted time. Not making the most of every day. Especially as I get older.

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

Most people read mass-market paperback, trade paperback and eBook, so those editions are essential. I love hardcovers and have had some beautiful hardback editions done of several of my books, but think those are as much collectables as reading copies for the people who buy them.

KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?

My latest release The Wolves Of El Diablo is the sequel to my novel The Guns Of Santa Sangre, a dark fantasy werewolf western series published in hardcover, paperback and digital editions by SST Publications in the UK. The series is a mythology that revolves around three rogue American gunfighters in old Mexico of the 1880’s who protect the local people by battling several generations of werewolves. It’s an action-packed pulp western book series with horror bad guys, basically.

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KR: I have reviewed both of these books. Find out what I thought The Wolves Of El Diablo & The Guns Of Santa Sangre

KR: What are you working on now?

I’m writing a new novel that is a contemporary epic fantasy with theological overtones.

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.

The FBI agent Sharon Ormsby from my novel White Knuckle because she’s tough and capable in every situation.

b) One fictional character from any other book.

Jim Hawkins from Treasure Island, because he’s the resourceful and plucky young chap you’d want to be on a remote desert island with since he has experience.

c) One real life person that is not a family member or friend.

American Revolution general George Washington who is one of my heroes. Not sure we’d all get along, but it would be interesting company.

KR: Thank you very much Eric.

To find out more abut Eric, please visit his official site

You can follow Eric on Twitter

Eric’s Amazon author page is here

You can buy the gorgeous Rare first Edition hardback from SST Publications

You can buy The Guns Of Santa Sangre from SST Publications

You can buy The Wolves Of El Diablo from SST Publications

These three titles and all the other books by Eric Red are also available from other outlets.

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