I had the pleasure of meeting Craig DiLouie in New Orleans at World Horror Con in 2013. His book Suffer the Children is creepy, poignant, heartwrenching and good old-fashioned scary. Check him out!
1. Who are you?
I'm a guy with his feet on the ground but his head in the clouds. I spend half my time enjoying life and raising two beautiful children as a single dad, and the other half imagining other worlds and events, sometimes dark ones.
2. What do you do?
I work at home as a journalist, educator and marketing consultant in a technical field. I write novels and novellas that have been published by small presses and big publishers like Simon & Schuster. Mostly, I write horror, but I'm getting back into fantasy.
It's funny, when I tell people I write horror, sometimes they give me a strange look. Horror writers are like serial killers in that I imagine people saying, "I lived next to him for years. I never knew he wrote horror. He's such a nice, mild-mannered guy." The fact is horror writers tend to be very nice people, very centered. I know this firsthand from attending conventions and the friends I've made. Maybe it's because their writing so effectively purges their anxieties and fears.
3. Suffer the Children broke my heart. Has having children changed the way you view horror, either in your own work or how you view other people's? Do different things scare you now?
Being a dad definitely changed my outlook of what scares me. SUFFER THE CHILDREN was written from the heart. No matter what I'm writing about--zombies, vampires, monsters--the horror in the book is grounded in reality by being about real things. In the case of SUFFER THE CHILDREN, the horror stems from people committing acts of evil because of love. When does doing good become evil?
4. Please describe your most horrifying nightmare, either a real one you've had or one that would almost kill you in your sleep.
Aside from when I'm reading a good book, monsters don't scare me because they're not real. My worst nightmares tend to be things that are amplified reflections of something bad happening in my life or could otherwise happen.
5. ...would you ever write about it?
The fears expressed in my writing are general fears rather than specific ones. Fear of death, worries for my family. But sometimes, yeah, something really weird happens in a dream, and it finds its way into my work.
6. People always ask authors where they get their inspiration, and/or "do you do all the things you write about?" How would you like to see people who ask you that question get what's coming to them?
Inspiration comes from the oddest places. Once, I watched a trailer for a movie, saw the movie, and was disappointed because the mental image I had from the trailer was different than the actual movie. So I wrote the movie I thought I was going to see as a book.
To answer generally, I'd have to say my thought process goes something like this. The end of the world is a theme in my books, so I find a mechanism for the world's end--something original and provocative. Then I take ordinary people with ordinary problems and put them in that world, and make it as gritty and realistic as possible.
7. You write primarily in the horror/thriller genre. Have you ever wanted to write a different kind of story? If so, what kind? If you were to reimagine one of your books as a different genre, which would you choose and how would you change the story?
Before I wrote a zombie novel on a lark and it got big, launching me into the horror genre, I wrote science fiction/fantasy and general fiction. I'm looking to get back into fantasy. I'm currently working on getting a novel, THE ALCHEMISTS, placed with a publisher, and I'm close to a deal. It was a really fun book to write, totally different from my horror stuff. It's light, funny, romantic. A whole other side of me.
8. Please tell us a bit about Suffer the Children -- including where to buy it!
SUFFER THE CHILDREN is about a disease that claims the world's children. The only way for their parents to keep them alive is by feeding them blood. As the blood supply wanes, the only source of blood in the end will be each other.
The novel forces the reader to answer the question, how far would you go for someone you love? Many of us parents would put our arm in a shredder for our kids. But would you put somebody else's arm in a shredder? That's where love and sacrifice become horror. While the children are essentially vampires, they're not monsters. The monsters in the book are the parents gradually forced to make horrible choices out of love.
9. What are you working on now?
I'm current working on a novel titled SEPARATION, which is about a disease that makes men and women repulsed by each other. It's going to be the final battle of the sexes.
RAPID FIRE portion:
chocolate or vanilla: chocolate
Kirk or Spock: Spock
Trek or Wars: Wars
front or back: front
left or right: right
ocean or desert: desert
cheese or peanut butter: peanut butter (and chocolate)
You stand in front of three doors. What color are they, what's behind each and which do you choose?
The first door is green, representing money. The second is red, representing fame. The third is white, representing health and long life for me and my family. I'll choose white every time.
Learn more about Craig here:
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