I Never Eat…Cheesesteak: Author Paul Lubaczewski talks to Kendall Reviews.

Before deciding to take writing seriously Paul had done many things, printer, caving, the SCA, Brew-master, punk singer, music critic etc. Since then he has appeared in numerous science fiction, and horror magazines and anthologies. Born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, he moved to Appalachia in his 30s for the peace and adventure that can be found there. He has three children, two who live in his native Pennsylvania, and one interrupting his writing constantly at home. Married to his lovely wife Leslie for twenty years, they live in a fairy tale town in nestled in a valley by a river. Author of over 50 published stories, his debut novel “I Never Eat…Cheesesteak” will be in stores early in 2019

KR: Coffee?

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

Born in Philadelphia PA, I now live somewhere much prettier in Appalachia. I come from really poor circumstance, so I suppose that’s inspired me to want to get everything out of life. Getting anything at all out of life was a surprise, so, at that point try for everything you can. Happily married for over twenty years, three kids. Sang in the 80’s/90’s punk band the Repressed, did the SCA for a while, was a brewmaster for my own Micro-Brewery,  caved for over twenty-five years, photography. If you want anything, or everything, if you don’t ask, or you don’t try, you already know your answer. So really, you have nothing to lose by trying.

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

Go caving, climb the hills of Appalachia, shoot Urbex and waterfalls. Things I can do with my wife and son.

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

The cooler answer is the copy of Poe’s Mystery and Imagination I talked my mom out of when I was nine, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that there was a lot of Hardy Boys in there too.

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

I can’t say I have a favourite, favourite. You have to go by genre really, and then I can maybe narrow it down. And you can’t even say “punk” because I listen to a lot of it, and there are sub-genres there. Political Punk=Subhumans “From The Cradle To The Grave”, Oi-CockSparrer “Shock Troops”, US Hardcore- The Germs “(GI)”, you get the idea. Music creeps in to the writing, I mean I write in silence usually, but a scene I write can remind of a song, and vice versa. I’ve found myself putting quotes in to stories, just because it belonged there.

KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?

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Again, sub-genres. Maybe real old school Tod Browning since he loved taking risks.  Terence Fisher was a master of competency, I mean if you see his name on it, it will almost always be solid. Of course there’s a lot of Tim Burton I adore, so, I’m not totally lost in the past.

KR: What are you reading now?

Brian Lumley “The Touch”

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

More than anybody when I was a teenager Roger Zelazny, he was just so clever and experimental. I wanted to push boundaries like that. Since then, Terry Pratchett, Lumley, even Christopher Moore.

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

Shorts, I usually have the whole thing done in my head before I even start. Novels, I totally pants it, I mean at some point I know the rest of the book, but probably not until I’ve written over ten chapters. I think I’d get bored if I had the whole thing plotted out, it would seem too much like busy work to finish it at that point.

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

Depends on what I’m writing. If I have a lot of personal experience on the subject, I can just write. But like right now, I’m writing a fantasy book that involves a LOT of native mythos, and research has been painstaking and time consuming, up to buying whole books on the topic.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

Morning, French lessons, since I don’t have to be totally awake for that. Then SOME writing until my son comes home. While he’s up, I just edit until after he and my wife go to bed, and then I write until about 12:30 AM

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

Overall, I really like the stories where I pushed expectations or boundaries. I mean I write normal horror stories, I right fun stories, but the ones that make me happy with myself are the ones where I expanded mental horizons. You can probably chisel this review on my tombstone: “THE HEART OF THE TOWN by Paul Lubaczewski: the most enigmatic of the bunch, apparently about the erosion of old ways of life by “progress.” Equal parts Ballard and Carver.”

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

See above answer. I try not to, it’s not like I can go back and re-write it. But, I end up doing it sometimes despite my best intentions.

KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?

Keep at it. There are a lot of moments in this business of wanting to quit. At first, that’s almost all there is. Keep hammering. Learn from your failures, try to take critiques. Sometimes with a grain of salt, to be sure, but at least look at them and see if you can learn something. Most of all, enjoy your successes. That is the one thing I’m trying to get better at myself. You sell a story, dig on it, be happy. You sell a book, REALLY enjoy that. You get an ISFDB, be happy about it. Don’t go overboard, but try to enjoy it too.

KR: What scares you?

Anything bad happening to my wife or kids.

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

Hardback. I like to have something in my hands to read, and I often re-read.

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

Two-part answer. Last thing I had come out was a short story in Schlock! UK called “Komodo Dancer.” It is one of those boundary pushers that makes me happy. It really comes down to a child’s way of thinking. My mother is severely mentally ill, so wouldn’t it have been lovely if none of it was anybody’s fault? If it had all been caused by a monster?

My novel comes out early next year “I Never Eat…Cheesesteak”. It’s a horror-comedy, and all an homage to two things I feel fondly towards, vampire flicks and my home town of Philadelphia.  I think horror comedy is really a burgeoning genre in its own right, Moore, Martinez, even Darynda Jones can fit in it. Horror has so many tropes and cliché’s it’s really ripe for some gentle ribbing.

KR: What are you working on now?

Editing one novel, writing two others, and working on a Punksploitation Horror short. Busy, busy, busy

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.

Man, I don’t really write a lot of very resourceful characters, usually victims of circumstance like we all are. I guess Devin Morgan from my story “Tres Mal” which was in Disturbed Digest. Maybe he read a book about getting off of islands.

b) One fictional character from any other book.

Harry Keogh from the Necroscope books, and we, are, outta there.

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

Well, at least Dana Gould makes me laugh, so that would be something.

KR: Thank you very much Paul.

You can find out more about Paul by visiting his official website www.lubaczewski.wordpress.com

You can check out Paul’s Facebook page

Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulLubaczewski

Paul’s author page can be found here

Paul is the editor of both  Long Live The Horror & Touch Of Evil Horror

I Never Eat…Cheesesteak will be available for pre-order in the New Year.


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