The past few weeks I have been communicating via email with author Stuart R. West regarding his newest release "Dread and Breakfast." I have come to appreciate Stuart's sense of humor and when I asked if he would like to participate in an interview here at The Farm, he did not hesitate. So let's roll out the "Wipe Your Paws" mat and make Stuart feel welcome!
THE FARM: Your newest book is "Dread and Breakfast," which I must admit has a really awesome cover. What prompted you to write it and what is something interesting about it?
STUART: I'm not sure that any one thing prompted the creation, Barb, but my wife and I did spend the night in a bed and breakfast not too long ago. While she found it romantic, I thought it rather creepy. In fact, the entire idea behind B&B's strike me as spooky. I indoctrinated the host into the book ("Christian") and some of my rather out there, paranoid, creepy thoughts. C'mon! Who really knows what goes on behind bed and breakfast doors? Brrr. I'll stick to my house.
THE FARM: A lot of your books are in the horror genre so I'm curious. What sparked you love of horror and all things scary?
STUART: I suppose it's sort of a roller coaster ride for me. What gets me going? What gives me that hair-raising (alas, I have no hair any longer) thrill not experienced since childhood? All things spooky. Not gory, mind you. Just down-right skin-tingling. I hope to bring some of that to my books.
THE FARM: What book are you currently reading? Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
STUART: This is a tough one. 'Cause I generally like whatever I'm reading. But currently, I'm really enjoying delving into Elmore Leonard's vast library of thrillers. The guy wrote crackling dialogue, funny characters, intriguing plots, and made it all seem so simple.
THE FARM: Share with my readers a little bit about your writing process.
STUART: I sit on the love-seat and knock words out on the word processor. I mean, really? Writing about writing's boring Barb. You ain't going to get an pretentiousness from me. (Although I will say I freak out on old-school writers who went out cold-calling, interviewing people for research. For a hermit like myself, it's a terrifying prospect. Thank Gawd for my research assistance, Ms. Google. Um, I fired Mr. Bing a couple months back :)
THE FARM: If you weren't an author, what else would you be doing?
STUART: Probably drinking. A lot. On a beach. I've dabbled in music, performance art, and spent a ton of years in graphic arts. Only drinking (lots) sounds like it can compete.
THE FARM: Of all the characters you've created, who is your all-time fave and why?
STUART: No faves here, Barb, they're all my babies. And all part of me. Charlie, from "Demon With a Comb-Over", shares my strange divorce and failed stand-up comedy routines, Like Rebecca from "Dread and Breakfast," I was a single parent bringing up a young daughter and would do anything to protect her, Tex McKenna, my teen protagonist from the Tex, the Witch Boy series, shares my awkwardness in the romance department and past high school bullying. "Neighborhood Watch" is practically autobiographical. "My Zombie Rapture" hero shares many traits with me from my youth. You might be glad to know that I don't share much in common with my kind serial killer protagonist from the Killer Incorporated Trilogy. But I love 'em all. And it's really hard to kill them when the time comes (Hello, Cody, I'm looking at you).
THE FARM: Are you currently working on anything new?
STUART: Yep. A straight-up suspense thriller called "Chili Run." Based on a dream. But for once, I think this dream works! Up next will be the third book in my sorta, kinda, cozy mystery comedy series (Zach and Zora Comical Mysteries), "A Nightmare of Nannies."
THE FARM: Booker T, my co-blogger, has a few questions as well.
BOOKER T: Have you ever been attacked by a sibling? Cass recently attacked me. (Mom is trying to cope with her PTSD through humor - don't know if it's working for her). I had to cope through mine with surgery - his and mine.
STUART: Of course Booker! My brothers and I have thrown down many times while growing up. There was the infamous incident on an ice-covered driveway that still has neighbors talking. Sigh...siblings.
BOOKER T: Do you have any 4-legged children who assist or hinder your writing process?
STUART: Oh hail yes! Right now I feel like I'm under house arrest. Our six million dog, Zak, recently blew out his knee completely. So we opted for an extremely expensive operation to repair it (basically the surgeon chopped apart his knee joint and reconnected it in a different way. Ouch!) What I didn't know was I have to nurse the guy for six months. SIX MONTHS! Gah! When I try to write, he whines, expects to play and romp. He can't. Not a whole 'lotta writing going on these days.
BOOKER T: Next president - cat or dog? (Mom avoids political talk but since I keep hearing her and Dad making POTUS references, I'd thought I'd try to make her laugh with her recent stress and all). I think it's a valid question though.
STUART: Man. Yeah. I'm trying to avoid political talk with my Mom these days, too. Especially since she went to the crazy side. Anyway...dog or cat president? I'm torn. Dogs have the in-your-face, aggressive, yet loyal qualities needed in a leader. Yet cats have that sneaky, sly, secret side that makes them formidable. (Either way, I'm sure they'd make a better leader than our current situation).
Thanks Stuart for stopping by and look for a review of "Dread and Breakfast" coming soon!!!