I won't lie--this one's a bit out of my usual, but C.D. and I shared space in the 2018 IWSG Anthology, Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime, and we writers have to stick together. Besides, this looks like a darned good read, when I'm up for horror with my humor (not quite there yet). Anyway, I invited the author over for a grilling, and had a good chat. I'll share, after some of the important stuff about the book.
Newfoundland, Canada, 1992.
Gale Harbour hasn’t seen any excitement since the military abandoned the base there thirty years ago, unless you count the Tuesday night 2-for-1 video rentals at Jerry's Video Shack. So when a dead body turns up floating in the town water supply, all evidence seems to point to a boring accident.
Niall, Pius and Harper are dealing with pre-teen awkwardness in the last days of summer before the start of high school. The same night the body is found, the three of them witness unusual lights in the sky over the bay.
Is it a coincidence? Are the lights connected to the rapidly-increasing string of mysterious deaths? And what does the creepy old lady at the nursing home have to do with it?
There is an evil older than time hidden deep beneath the waters of the North Atlantic. It is hungry, and vengeful, and it has its sights set on Gale Harbour to begin its path of destruction. All that stands in its way are a group of kids who would rather be playing Street Fighter II...
About the Author:
NL: When did you start writing? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer, or did you stumble into it later in life?
CD: I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, and it's always been to tell weird and fantastic stories. I often say the first story I ever wrote was when I was five years old, and I made my babysitter look up how to spell "extra-terrestrial" in the dictionary.
In my early twenties I submitted and queried a lot, but I never got anywhere. It wasn't until my second kid was born and I had a full time job and no time that I started to really become serious about writing, which is hilarious (in a crushing sort of way). I wish I had kept up with it when I was younger and got into self-publishing a lot earlier.
NL: Love the early-writer story! I don't think I cared that much about spelling when I wrote my first story at six.
Your book has a pretty wild title. What’s the genre (like maybe, comic horror?) and who is the audience?
CD: I generally try to give my books unusual tiles - for one thing I want to make sure they come up in search results! Some books have very popular names, but when I’m searching Amazon and I find 12 books with the same title, it’s not exactly a good way to find the one that I want.
When I wrote PSYCHO HOSE BEAST, I was thinking comic-horror, but as I get more feedback from readers I see many calling it sci-fi or supernatural mystery. I get that. While it contains horror elements, it's not a traditional horror story.
As for the audience, I was really aiming for fans of Stranger Things and similar "kids on bikes" stories. Stephen King's It and Stand By Me would be other similar examples. Also anyone who has nostalgia for the early nineties, who lived through the rise of grunge and hip hop, who grew up speaking in Simpsons quotes and Super Mario/Sonic the Hedgehog references, this is the book for you!
NL: Um, I might be too old. Never mind. Now, the way I see it, anyone who can write the stuff you do either has led a very weird life, or one that’s too quiet. I’m better on the former. What is the strangest job you’ve ever held?
CD: I was a theatre kid in high school and got a degree in Fine Arts, and then I spent my twenties working with performers and artists. People would probably consider some of the things that I did weird, but I never thought of it that way.
Just being a technician at a local community theatre brings up all kinds of weird stuff. Have you ever had to tell someone they can’t bring a live running lawnmower onstage? Or fallen into a water fountain while taking down a stage at 3 in the morning? Or begging, pleading and threatening a DJ to turn down their speakers before they blow someone’s eardrums or you have to call the cops to shut down their show? Because I’ve had to do all those things, but I don’t find them weird, they’re just part of the job.
NL: Well, a not-too-weird job that took you in contact with a lot of weirdness. That counts! Now, to get to really understand you, I need to know: If there’s a spider in the corner of the room, do you a) panic, b) have to drop everything until it is removed, or c) hope it’s planning on eating the more annoying bugs that get in?
D) Recruit it for Project Strategic Spider Relocation, which is a real thing we have in our house. We don't just hope it eats more annoying bugs, we actually pick it up and move it to the window to catch any flies that buzz around there. My kids love that game.
CD: I wrote PSYCHO HOSE BEAST mostly on my cell phone (same way I'm writing this interview, actually). I wrote my last book long hand, though I was sitting on the bus at the time. I just write whenever and wherever I can. I can't afford to be picky or I'll never get anything done.
NL: I cannot even imagine writing a whole novel on a cell phone. I can hardly write a two-sentence text! Now, since you can't actually see what you've written (okay, I couldn't if I were using a phone), do you use a detailed outline before you start writing, or... ?
CD: I love writing outlines, but I find that if I make it too detailed I never actually finish writing the story. I've written 25,000-word outlines for novels that never go anywhere. It seems like the outline uses up all of my creative energy. After I know how everything works out I'm no longer interested in writing it. It's weird. So now I mostly just stick to a loose list of bullet points that I know I need to hit, and fill in the blanks as I go.
NL: Well, that's a pretty reasonable approach if you ask me! Thanks for stopping by, CD, and best of luck with the book launch!