Q: First, Tell us about your book The Apocrypha? It's an interesting twist on some Christian ideas isn't it? Who published it?
Interesting? Yes, to say the least. The Apocrypha is a novel that spans from pre-creation through prophecy. The premise is that everything God has told us in the Bible is a lie. Satan is actually the good guy, who's trying to protect us from an overzealous God. In the book, God enslaves mankind to feed off the power of out faith. Yeah, not something you'd really hear an oput in church or The Watchtower.
As to the publisher, I have self-pubilshed it through iUniverse. No one would touch it because of the idea. The good news is that iUniverse has just launched a traditional house. They use the self-published side to find good books, then they put them in their traditional program. I am now in their new program. They want to rename it 'The Devil's Apocrypha'. Eh, what the hell...
Q: What's the overall reaction been to the book? Any religious weirdos stalking you now over the book's subject matter?
The reactions, as you'd probably imagine, has been bi-polar. It's either love it or hate it. The people who've read it, have loved it. Those who haven't, and never would, just hate the idea of it... and there have been plenty of religious fanatics. Death threat emails, nasty book reviews. Even got a strange email from a person who said he/she was a transsexual author of mystery and childrens books. Oh, and emails from the Church of Satan... but they've been nice.
Q: How long have you been interested in the occult and horror fiction?
My whole life! I was a big fan of the old black and white horror movies. Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr. - I watched anything they were in. And the old occult fils, She-Demon, Night of the Demon, Gargoyles, Prince of Darkenss, you name it... loved all those movies. My mother used to say that one day I'd turn into a monster myself... and there are some religious fanatics that would say I have.
Q: What influences made you want to try your hand at writing?
Ever since I picked up my first copy of Tales from The Crypt, I wanted to write. I loved scary stories. I loved creatures of all kinds, vampires, mummies, and, yep, Frankenstien's Monster. I would watch the movies, write a one page synopsis, and hang it in my parent's deli for 10 cents. You know, within an hour, someone would buy it, my mother would give me a dime, but she never remembered who bought it... hmmm.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Apocrypha? Take long to do this book?
It took about a year of nights and weekends, here and there. I got the idea from watching the History and Discovery Channels. They were doing a Hitler piece on the History Channel (again) so, I changed it. The Discovery Channel was doing a piece on Columbus, how he was a slave trader, etc. So I thought, hey, you've got to love revisitonist history. I started thinking about what would have happened if Hitler won World War 2. Would he have come out as the villain or as a hero? I realized that throughout history, the winner or battle always told their side. But what if it was a lie? I decided to write a revisionist story about the greatest battle ever fought. World War 2 had been done. Then I realized that the greatest battle was the one for the dominion of Heaven.
Q: Your book is getting good reviews on Amazon and stays in the top ten list for occult books, so it's doing pretty well, right?
Yes, it's doing very well and is still in the Occult top 10. It was in the Horror top 25 for over a month, and still pops on and off that list. It's doing even better in the U.K., where it was Amazon.co.uk's number one horror book at one point. It seems to have struck a cord with people and its taking off just by word of mouth.
Q: Do you have any other books or stories published?
No. This is my first. So far, so good.
Q: Are you working on anything new at this time?
Plenty, but hard to find the time. The Apocrypha (or The Devil's Apocrypha - depending on when someone reads this) has three more sequels I can do. I have begun the next book and am outlining the whole series. I am also working on two unrelated novels. One is a Star Trek satire (so shoot me... ) and the other is a horror/scifi blend that I am writing with the movie in mind.
Q: What are some of your favorite books on the occult or favorite authors?
I think Michael Crichton is brilliant, but I think Richard Matheson is the best horror writer of all time. His books I Am Legend, Hell House, his work with the Twilight Zone and Star Trek... the guy is a genius.
Q: You've lived in Europe and done a good bit of traveling, has that helped you in your writing?
Yes. In The Apocrypha, I used a few locations I had been to: the catacombs of Paris, the castles of Germany, as well as scenery and bits and pieces from all over.
Q: If any readers would like to pick up The Apocrypha, what's the easiest way for them to get a copy?
Right now, I'd just go to Amazon.com. Within a month or two, The (Devil's) Apocrypha should make it's way into Barnes and Noble, as well as other brick and mortar retailers.
Q: The film rights to the book have been sold, right? Tell us a little about that?
Yes they have. Out of the blue, I got a call from Daniel Farrands, who is a screewriter/producer/director. He's done Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, something with the Amityville Horror, and other things. I thought it was a crank call, but he convinced me. He said he was a big fan and thought he might be able to get funding to turn my book into a movie. So he bought the film rights and is shopping it around. He said it could be the 'next Omen' - a quote that will go on the back cover of the next edition.
Q: Stopping on a "lucky" number, any finals thoughts or information you'd care to share? One last plug for your book?
Lucky 13 it is! Yes, there is something I'd like to say. If you want to be a writer, write. If no one will publish it (it's so hard these days), then publish it yourself. Have faith in your abilities. I mean, I did it. I not rich or exceptionally brilliant (well, maybe a little). If I can do it, you can. You'll never know unless you try. Do it. If not, you'll regret it. You'll wonder your whole life if you could have done it... so get off your ass and just do it.
As for the last plug, go to Amazon, check out the summary and reviews. If you're not totally repulsed by the subject, pick it up, you'll probably love it - everyone who's been openminded enough to read it has... at least so far. If it offends your religious sensibilities, just pass on it. Trust me, you won't make it beyond the first chapter.