Starving Ghosts In Every Thread
Philip Rogers talks to Eric LaRocca
Philip Rogers: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Eric LaRocca: I recently graduated from Emerson College’s Writing for Film and Television MFA. It was without a doubt one of the greatest experiences of my life – to be in a cohort of such talented and thoughtful writers was something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. Although I grew up in the northwest corner of Connecticut, I’ve since relocated to the seacoast region of New Hampshire. I divide my time between New Hampshire and Boston as I work in Cambridge. When I’m not writing, I spend a lot of my free time reading, watching movies, or enjoying time with loved ones.
PR: How did you get into writing originally?
EL: I initially began writing plays at a very young age. I was interested in playwrights like Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller – always drawn to works with a darker edge like A Streetcar Named Desire or The Crucible. I worked with a local theatre group in my hometown and had the privilege of seeing several of my plays be performed while still in high school. It wasn’t long after that I began writing short fiction as well as screenplays. From there, my love of horror really developed.
PR: You recently released your debut novel ‘Starving Ghosts in Every Thread’. Can you tell me a little bit about the concept for the book and what we can expect?
EL: Starving Ghosts in Every Thread began life as a way for me to come to terms with some very unpleasant memories and incidents from childhood. I initially began writing this novella in December of 2016 as I had recently moved out of my hometown in Connecticut and had relocated to New Hampshire. I felt lost and without purpose. Although the book was painful to write, it was also very therapeutic. Essentially, the novella follows a young girl with a dark secret – her body literally unravels unless she feeds off the emotions of others. Readers can expect full-fledged dark fantasy moments laced with visceral, Cronenbergian body horror elements. Oh, and plenty of creepy crawlies, too!
PR: What were some of your influences when writing the book?
EL: Japanese manga horror, especially the incredible work of Junji Ito, was a huge inspiration for me while writing this novella. The deeply grim and lyrical work of playwright/director/screenwriter/ genius Philip Ridley was a profound influence on me as well. In fact, I even named one of the characters in the book after him as a small tribute.
PR: What was the hardest part of writing your first novel?
EL: I think the hardest part of writing this novella was allowing myself to be so vulnerable and write from such a wounded place. There were moments in the book I quietly dreaded writing simply because they were so revealing. But, in doing so, I actually reclaimed some of my power over some of the things that have haunted me since childhood. It was a very freeing book to write.
PR: How would you describe your style of writing?
EL: I asked my partner how I should answer this question because I’ve truly never considered it before. I’m also too shy and I feel conceited answering this question with anything remotely positive regarding my prose, so I’ll just quote my partner: “Poetically twisted; glimmering prose eclipsed in shadow.”
PR: Who are some of your biggest influences as a writer?
EL: Aside from playwrights like Tennessee Williams, Philip Ridley, and Sarah Kane, I’m especially influenced by writers of the 1980’s hardcore movement like Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, and David J. Schow. However, lately I’ve been gravitating toward genre fiction with a more literary bent from writers such as Thomas Ligotti, Joyce Carol Oates, and Stephen Graham Jones.
PR: What do you hope people will take away after reading the book?
EL: I hope people will read this book and allow themselves to free themselves of their insecurities. I want my readers to feel free and – perhaps most important of all – a little less haunted.
PR: Do you have any new projects you are working?
EL: I have several projects I’m currently working on. I’m aiming to independently publish a small collection of short stories at the beginning of 2021. Other than that, I’m open to any and all creative possibilities. I’m especially interested in tapping into the professional film and television market as I have several completed screenplays I’m eager to shop around.
PR: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get into writing themselves?
EL: I think the most practical advice I could give to someone who is interested in getting into writing would be to treat the craft with the same reverence you do your paying job. If you decide that you’re going to sit at your desk and write two thousand words a day until you have a finished manuscript, sit down at the desk and make it happen. Be as militant with yourself as possible and don’t let the agonizing self-doubt have its way with you.
You can follow Eric on Twitter @ejlarocca
Starving Ghosts In Every Thread
Teddy has a secret. She’s so consumed with guilt that it compels her body to literally unravel unless she feeds off the emotions of others.
Teddy’s parasitic condition is usually tempered easily and is invisible to most, unless she feeds from them. However, her insatiable hunger has already begun to threaten her safety. Trapped in her tiny Connecticut hometown thanks to a careless mistake which cost her a prestigious scholarship, Teddy grieves her father’s death and cares for her neurotic mother, Mercy, who is convinced scorpion venom is the only remedy for her own peculiar skin ailment linked to her daughter’s sadness.
Once an aspiring songwriter, Teddy now merely alternates between shifts at the local market and visits to the house of her eccentric neighbor, Mr. Ridley, for fresh scorpions to bring to her mother. It’s during one of her routine visits to Mr. Ridley’s subterranean grotto of exotic animals that Teddy meets an unusual young girl named Kiiara. Immediately enamored with one another, Teddy soon discovers that Kiiara is hiding a gruesome secret, too – a secret that will threaten to undo everything Teddy has ever known and loved, and violently touch all those who cross their path with disaster.
Philip Rogers is a horror journalist who is known for his reviews, interviews and media coverage of anything horror. An avid supporter of independent projects including; films, books, theatre, live events and aways on the lookout for something different to cover.