Tuesday, January 10, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR & PUBLISHER, PETER GIGLIO

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR & PUBLISHER, PETER GIGLIO OF EVIL JESTER PRESS

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First I want to thank you for allowing Great Minds to interview you and for allowing us the chance to review your books, Peter. My first question is how did you come up with the idea to found Evil Jester Press?

Evil Jester Press was actually founded by Charles Day. He’s the owner and CEO, and he reached out to me to launch the press and work as the Jester’s Executive Editor. We’d worked together on a short story and had started talking on the phone. For a long time, Charlie has used an evil jester has his avatar on various forums and social networks. He’d already launched a non-fiction imprint, Hidden Thoughts Press, and he knew he wanted to do something in fiction. So, given his online personality, I suggested Evil Jester Press as a name. It stuck.

Tell us about your novel Anon and the inspiration behind it.

Anon (Hydra Publications) is a tale of corporate and familial terror. It’s about a man who has made many mistakes in his life and—thanks to a strange, mysterious boss—is forced to look back upon his greatest regret. He is given a dark path—under the guise of a company assignment—to undo this past mistake. Horror ensues. The novel is a supernatural tale of possession, but not demonic possession, at least not in the traditional sense. I wanted to make a strong statement about groupthink and the true evil of indifference. I think I did that. And I’m very proud of the novel.

Now you have done a few collaborative works, one is Help! Wanted: Tales of On-the-Job Terror. How did you meet these other fabulous writers and how did the whole collaboration process begin?

I put out a submission call in May of 2011 with a six week window. This was the first EJP publication, and I didn’t know what to expect. I received 147 submissions in those 6 weeks and was blown away by the response. Stories came in from Joe McKinney, Jeff Strand, Stephen Volk, David Dunwoody, Lisa Morton, Vince Liaguno, Gary Brandner, Gregory L. Norris and several other established authors. I also received stories from rising stars in the horror genre, including Craig Saunders, Marianne Halbert, Patrick Flanagan, Henry Snider, and many more.

I met a lot of great authors through the process and enjoyed working through edits with them. Charles Day, the owner of EJP, did some good networking at last year’s Bram Stoker Awards, which got the attention of a few of our contributors, but the majority of the writers responded to adds at Duotrope.com and our website. Many of them said that the book’s theme—workplace horror—is what attracted them. They found the idea fresh. Which is good. That’s what I was going for.

The book came out in September—we wanted it in time for AnthoCon—and I spent more than 500 hours on the editorial process, getting it ready. The results have been terrific. Help! Wanted received a great review at Horror World, sold out at AnthoCon in New Hampshire and at a Dark Delicacies book signing in Los Angeles, and is currently carried in a few independent bookstores in New York and L.A. Not bad for a small press publication, particularly the first book in said publisher’s canon.

There is a picture of you on your site with this beautiful kitten, who is this fuzzy friend of yours?

That’s Molly. Sadly, she’s not one of mine. My brother-in-law and his wonderful wife are owned by that precious feline. The picture was taken right after they brought her home. I was visiting my in-laws in Minnesota at the time, and the cat really like climbing all over me. Someone grabbed a camera, and—voila!—the website kitty-pic was born. My wife and I do have three terrific cats of our own—Cup, Baby, and Bert. They’re very spoiled and sweet; they sometimes even let us believe the house is ours.

Now I simply must know how you juggle clowns, and how long have you and 'the benevolent ghost of Patrick Swayze' been friends... and do we need to call in the white coats (:D)?

I don’t do any of those things. I just write and edit. Someone suggested that I needed to lighten up my promotion, so I threw those things into the mix. I think I’d just watched the Squidbillies episode called “Swayze Crazy.” If you haven’t watched that show, it’s a bizarre animated series on Adult Swim, and I think it’s great. But I have a very twisted sense of humor.

I see you are working on a zombie novella Balance. Tell us more about that, as well as your work with Scott Bradley.

Balance has been done now for more than a year. I sold the book to MuseItUp Publishing, a Canadian ePublisher. They’re releasing the eBook in March. EJP is releasing a print version of the book in January. Eric Shapiro and his wife, Rhoda Jordan, were my first readers on this work. And they really helped me make it better. Balance, oddly enough, was completed before Anon or A Spark in the Darkness. Publishing schedules are strange.

I’m wrapping up a novel with Scott Bradley right now called The Dark.

Scott and I work together a lot. Our short story—the first fiction sale for either of us—was (and still is) called “The Better Half: A Love Story,” and it appears in the anthology Werewolves and Shapeshifters: Encounters with the Beast Within, edited by John Skipp. The book also features Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Charlaine Harris, Chuck Palahniuk, Joe R. Lansdale, Bentley Little, and many other greats. Needless to say, we’re humbled and honored to be in it. Then, last year, Scott and I got the opportunity to write the screen adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale’s “The Night They Missed the Horror Show.” The script has been approved by Joe, and we’re currently trying to find a suitable production deal for it. After finishing the screenplay, we wrote a proposal for The Dark and it was picked up by Ravenous Shadows Press. The book is done, but we’re still putting the finishing touches on it. It’s due to the publisher on Monday. Chop-chop!

Are you a big zombie fan?

Yes and no. I love good zombie films and fiction. Problem is that most of what’s out there is bad. I love The Walking Dead (Graphic novels and TV series), Dawn of the Dead (original and remake), and I love the zombie fiction of Jonathan Maberry, Joe McKinney, David Dunwoody, John Skipp, Amelia Beamer, Brain Keene, and a few others. But for every good zombie story or movie I see, I read or watch six bad ones. It’s the flavor of the moment. And the flavor of the moment gets copied. And copied. And…

I’ve written two zombie pieces, trying very hard to be original. One is “The Power of Words,” which was just released in Hollie Snider’s terrific anthology Live and Let Undead. It’s a satire and, unlike my website bio, it’s really funny. I laughed myself silly writing it. But it’s also dark and disturbing. The other is the novella Balance. And Balance is a very different than anything I’ve ever seen or read in the genre. I think people are going to like it a lot. Eric Shapiro wrote the introduction for the print version, and the book received two blurbs that I’m very proud of.

“Balance is a grim and melancholy zombie story. Peter Giglio brings his A-game to this disturbing tale.”
–Jonathan Maberry, New York Times Bestselling author of Dead of Night and Dust & Decay

“A harrowing new perspective on the apocalypse. Giglio goes for the heart as well as the jugular.”
–David Dunwoody, author of Empire’s End and Unbound & Other Tales

It seems you write mostly in the horror genre, have you ever thought about writing in any other genre, and if so what would it be?

Sure. Everything that is ready for public consumption has just come out horror. I read widely, and I write science fiction and literary fiction, but I haven’t unleashed any of that on the world yet. Some of my horror is humorous, and one of my published short stories is a horror-western. But I have to save something for later. I want to do it all, but I’m realistic. 





BALANCE is an interesting title for a zombie story. Can you tell us all a little about that title?

Balance is a reoccurring theme in the novella.

1. The two main characters are seeking balance in their lives. Geoff is torn between what he thinks others want him to be and the pursuit of his true identity. Amanda suffers from clinical depression and, as the apocalypse goes full scale, runs out of medication.

2. The balance of nature is shifting.

3. A big chunk of the story is told from the perspective of zombies. So the book is, in essence, balanced in a way that most zombie fiction isn't.



Are there any other upcoming releases we should know about?

There’s one more. My novella, A Spark in the Darkness, which was released by Etopia Press in September as an eBook, is coming out in print in February, also from Etopia Press. It will be paired with another Etopia Press novella, Cold Revenge by Catherine Cavendish. I love Cat’s novella, and she loves mine. So we joined forces, put our two books into one volume, and Etopia gave us the green light. So that’s going to be a lot of fun.

Cheers!

Peter Giglio
Author of A Spark in the Darkness and editor of Help! Wanted: Tales of On-the-Job Terror
Click on the titles above for more information.

"A Spark in the Darkness has put the bite back in the vampire tale." - Joe McKinney
"Peter Giglio is a downright scary new voice in horror." -Amy Wallace, #1 NY Times Bestselling author
"Help! Wanted is a rollicking, creepy, crazy, and thoroughly unnerving collection of work-related horror stories by the cream of today's horror crop. Each story is as stingingly fresh as a razor cut!" - Jonathan Maberry

www.petergiglio.com

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