Welcome to the second part of the Haunted Eyeball’s interview with horror author James Pratt. Today we discuss Inspiration & Publicity.
Part 2: Inspiration and Publicity
James Pratt likes to create realistically flawed but basically decent characters and have them cross paths with serial killer angels, redneck vampires, slithering horrors from other dimensions, and the end of the world. He also likes to write stories that demonstrate how the ever-present darkness threatening to wash over the world like a wave of endless night can be held back with a little courage and a big shotgun (assuming one hasn’t already used both barrels, of course). Some take place in the distant past, others in the far future, and still others somewhere between eight minutes ago and twelve minutes from now. Whether sci-fi, adventure, or straight-out horror, the running theme is that the universe is very, very big and we are very, very small.
Inspiration & Publicity
Haunted Eyeball: Who were your favourite author(s) while you were growing up?
James Pratt: That’s a tough one. When I was younger, I didn’t make a point to read any one author. I did discover Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, and Roger Zelazny in high school. If someone had told me I could only read the works of one of them back then, I probably would have chosen Stephen King because he gave me my first real taste of modern horror.
Favourite author now?
Does any art or artist inspire you to write?
Any favourite comic books and writers and artists?
Do any TV shows or films inspire you?
Everything science fiction, fantasy, and horror TV show and movie I’ve ever seen has contributed in some way to every story I’ve ever written. I was a big fan of the gritty sci-fi of the tragically short-lived TV show ‘Space: Above and Beyond’. That’s the only one that readily comes to mind.
How do you think social media has helped ‘indie’ writers?
Social media is a great way to market yourself and if you do a good enough job, you can write the stories you want to write and make a living doing something you love on your own terms.
Which ‘social media tools’ do you think connects you most successfully with fans? I.e. from Twitter to Goodreads and Facebook, blogs etc.
I’m not sure. I haven’t done a very good job of using their full potential. Twitter has put me in contact (more or less) with the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time, but I’m not sure just how effective it’s actually been. Each of my tweets is just one among millions.
Explain a bit about your ID picture. Why have you chosen an illustration over a photo of yourself?
My ID picture is the Black Scarab, a pulp superhero-style character from a story I wrote called The Black Scarab in “The Sad, Strange Fate of Evil Eye”. I used that because I think it’s a cool illustration plus I believe that when you get your picture taken the camera can steal your soul. (We think he’s joking… – H.E.)
How do you pick your book cover designs?
A good cover is important, but the amount of thought and effort I put in really depends on how motivated I’m feeling at the time. If the story features a visually striking character there’s a good chance he’ll make it on the cover, otherwise it’s probably going to be just text. I use a program called HeroMachine to create the covers. It’s pretty versatile but primarily for illustrating characters so when designing a cover, its limitations are also a consideration.
How seriously do you take reviews, be they good bad or indifferent!
Pretty serious. I have low self-esteem so I crave validation. Ironically, when someone gives me a good review, I assume they’re just being generous. On the other end of the spectrum, somebody gave all the free stories I had listed on the Barnes and Noble website one star so I had the stories removed. Childish, I know, but if you just want to bash me you should have to pay me first. I also tend to view indifference as a polite way of saying “I didn’t care for it.” I’m a big baby.
Sounds like a reasonable response to us, James.
Thank you for reading Part 2, you awesome Eyeballers.
Part 3 of this interview, where James discusses H P Lovecraft and Horror, is coming up tomorrow!
Also of interest:
James Pratt’s work has already been reviewed right here on the Haunted Eyeball!
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