Writing against the clock: Bram Stoker Award winning author Tom Deady talks to Kendall Reviews.

Tom Deady is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of HAVEN (Cemetery Dance, 2016), ETERNAL DARKNESS (Bloodshot Books, 2017), and WEEKEND GETAWAY (Grinning Skull Press, 2017). Deady also has a non-fiction publishing credit with Rue Morgue Magazine, and several short stories published. He holds a Master’s Degree in English and teaches Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. He is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association and a member of the New England Horror Writers.

What’s your poison?

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

Sure, I was born and raised in Massachusetts, and I still live there. My day job is in Information Technology, but writing is my passion. I decided to take it seriously a few years ago and got my Masters in English and Creative Writing. I also teach online at SNHU. My first novel, Haven, won the Bram Stoker Award in 2016, and I’ve published a second novel and a novella since then.

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

I love to run, I get a lot of ideas and work out a lot of plot issues while running. I’ve completed eight marathons. I enjoy being outside, I’ve hiked at a bunch of National Parks while traveling. I try to plan my trips around a writing event or convention. Other than that, I’m a home body. A night with a good book can’t be beat.

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

I cut my teeth reading The Hardy Boys and Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series. For a single book, probably The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs.

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

That’s a tough one, depends on my mood. Probably one of Springsteen’s – Born to Run or The River. Maybe The Rising. Jackson Browne, The Eagles and Bob Seger would be on the list. Music is very important to my writing, very influential. I love the stories that songs tell and the emotion they invoke. I wish it was an easier process to include lyrics in my novels.

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

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The original Halloween is my favourite horror movie. I still remember seeing it in the theatre when it first came out, and how incredibly scary it was. Other than Psycho, it is arguably the first “slasher” film as well as the first of the “final girl” trope. Overall, I think Jaws is the perfect movie. The special effects don’t hold up to today’s CGI, but the script, the acting and the cinematography are amazing. I never get tired of it.

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KR: What are you reading now?

John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down. I read quite a bit of YA. Partly for research – I’ve got a YA/MG series in the works – but mostly because there are some great voices in YA. This latest Green story is intense and heart-breaking, he really knows how to pull the emotion out of the reader.

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

Stephen King is my biggest influence and inspiration. I picked up Salem’s Lot when I was thirteen, and I was hooked. Robert McCammon (Boy’s Life), Dan Simmons (Summer of Night, Winter Haunting), Dean Koontz (his early stuff), Peter Straub (Ghost Story), so many that inspired me. The eighties were a great time to be a horror fan.

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

I generally don’t outline. I start out with an idea for a plot, or maybe just a scene or a character, and see where it takes me. For the majority of what I write, I have no idea where the story is going, let alone how it will end.

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

Great question. We’re fortunate to have so much information at out fingertips thanks to Google. I don’t do a great deal of research before I start a new project. If the story takes me to a topic I need to research, I’ll just put a placeholder in the manuscript and keep writing. I’ll go later and flesh it out, but I don’t like to interrupt the writing flow to do research. I used to waste a lot of time thinking up character names, street names, town names, now I just put placeholders in all caps and fix it when the names come to me, or after I’ve done the research to find the right name.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

Unfortunately, I have one of those full-time jobs, so I don’t really have a “usual” writing day. Typically, I get home from work, eat dinner, walk the dogs, hang out with the family, then when everyone else is in bed, start writing. Weekends depend on what else I have going on but I usually get in a decent amount of writing time.

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

One of the first short stories I wrote was called The Lake. I self-published on Amazon, eventually I’ll include it in a collection. It’s kind of a coming-of-age story. In many ways it was something of a warm-up to my first novel, Haven.

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

I do. I know I probably shouldn’t, but I try to learn from them, whether it’s what I did right or what I did wrong. It’s not always easy to read the bad ones, but it’s nice when someone “gets” what you were trying to say.

KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?

I think the worst piece of advice is the old “you have to write every day” cliché. It’s like trying to tell someone trying to get in shape that they must work out every day. It’s overwhelming, and to many people’s lifestyles, impossible. I think it leads to a lot of frustration and failure. “Write as often as you can” works a lot better. Read as much as you can. Go to local author events and workshops, they are very motivating and informative, as well as a great way to network.

KR: What scares you?

Something happening to my family. Heights. Flying. Trump. Failure. What’s been scaring me in a more philosophical way is running out of time. I started taking my writing seriously very late in life. There’s so much I want to do and I’m afraid I’ll never get it all done!

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

Yes. And audio!

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

I’m very excited about this! I have a two-novella “collection” coming out in September. I pitched the first novella to Lee Murray, one of the editors at Omnium Gatherum, while we were at StokerCon. It’s the story of a man who attends his 40th high school reunion, only to find his memories of his time in high school may not be accurate. It’s a psychological suspense story. She liked the story but wanted a novel-length release. She proposed a second novella that ties in to the first, and we had a deal.

KR: What are you working on now?

What a great segue! I’m working on the second novella I mentioned in the last question. This one is about a group of friends who do “urban explorations” for fun. They go into an abandoned hotel that is slated to be demolished, and let’s just say things don’t go well.

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.

Paul Greymore, from my first novel, Haven. He’s a survivor, I think he’d adapt to the situation and be very resourceful in keeping us alive. Plus, he’s a badass.

  • One fictional character from any other book.

This is tough. From a practical standpoint, William Robinson from The Swiss Family Robinson. I mean, he’s already been there, done that. But, I guess I’d go with Roland Deschain from The Dark Tower series. He’s also a survivor, but I’d love to hear the rest of his stories!

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

Wow. I’ve considered everybody from Barack Obama to Rachel McAdams, but in the end, it would have to be Stephen King. I’d love to talk to him about writing and his books. He’s created such a fascinating world. Predictable answer, I guess.

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KR: Thank You very much Tom.

You can follow Tom on Twitter @DeadyTom

To find out more about Tom please visit his official website www.tomdeady.com

Please visit Tom’s author page here

WINNER OF THE BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR FIRST NOVEL!

In 1961, the small town of Haven thought they’d gotten rid of their monster.

After a series of child killings, Paul Greymore was caught carrying a wounded girl. His face, disfigured from a childhood accident, seemed to confirm he was the monster the community hoped to banish. With Paul in prison, the killings stopped.

For seventeen years, Haven was peaceful again. But Paul served his time and has now returned to Haven–the town where he grew up, and the scene of his alleged crimes. Paul insists he didn’t commit those crimes, and several townspeople believe him including the local priest, a young boy named Denny, and his best friend Billy.

Trouble is, now that Paul is back home, the bizarre killings have started again–and the patterns match the deaths from Haven’s past. If Paul isn’t the killer, who is?

Or WHAT is? An unlikely band of adventurers attempts to uncover the truth, delving into long-hidden tunnels that might actually be inhabited by a strange, predatory creature.

Haven is a compelling horror epic in the spirit of It or Summer of Night, and a stunning debut novel from a gifted author who knows that the darkest horrors lurk inside human beings, even when there is a monster on the loose.

You can buy Haven from Amazon UK & Amazon US

SOMEONE HAS MOVED INTO THE OLD BREWSTER PLACE 

Ben Harris and his best friends Richie and Jack knew the stories about Old Man Brewster, what happened to his wife . . . and the flies. They had no idea why anybody would want to live there, but then they met Greg Lupescu, the new kid who had moved in. He looked strange, his father was never around, and he had this creepy butler named Karl. Soon, however, he became their close friend. 

SOMETHING IS KILLING PEOPLE 

First, a young boy goes missing . . .
Soon after, the boy’s abusive deadbeat father is slaughtered . . .
And his grieving mother burns to death in an unnatural fire . . .
People are dying all over Bristol, Massachusetts and the boys are beginning to realize that it all started when the Lupescus moved to town. 

SOMETIMES YOU CAN’T FIGHT YOUR DESTINY 

Ben and little sister Eve can sense that a dark storm looms on the horizon threatening to engulf Bristol, and at its center stands his new friend. Can they all help Greg resist the sinister forces against him, or in the end will he choose to succumb and embrace an Eternal Darkness?

You can buy Eternal Darkness from Amazon UK & Amazon US

A lost child.
A marriage shattered beyond repair?
John Baxter doesn’t think so, which is why he has planned this weekend getaway with his wife. He expected a lot of shouting, a lot of tears, but in the end, he hoped to have a stronger foundation upon which they could start rebuilding what they had once had.
What he wasn’t expecting was the home invasion…
…and the hell that awaited them beneath the rented cabin.

You can buy Weekend Getaway from Amazon UK & Amazon US

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