Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Dancing With Myself: RICHARD THOMAS interviews RICHARD THOMAS
Richard Thomas can be found in a number of places. Read the interview to find out where.
We happen to be room-mates just now in the collection Speedloader, that brilliant debut from Snubnose Press. It's currently available from Amazon and Smashwords at the bargain price of a dollar or 70p. How cheap can class fiction get? Highly recommended.
So here's Richard the Good and Richard the Bad. Still waiting for Richard the Ugly to show.
Good Richard: So, why writing?
Bad Richard: I guess it comes back to telling stories. I've always enjoyed using my imagination to go to distant planets, or encounter some horror, or follow some crime until the end where it gets solved. Television, film, music, and writing. I've always loved being entertained.
Good Richard: And you call your writing "neo-noir"?
Bad Richard. Amongst other things. But yeah, whether I'm writing fantasy (magical realism) or science fiction (steampunk) or horror, whether it's literary or transgressive, it almost always has a dark tone. That's what "neo-noir" means, French for "new-black". I like dealing with broken people, in tough situations, falling down, failing, and then revealing their true colors. So much more interesting to me than a day in the life of Joe Average going to work and loving his family.
Good Richard: Right. And what authors got you to this dark place? Who inspired you to start, and who are you reading now?
Bad Richard: Growing up it was King, Koontz, Straub, Bradbury, Heinlein. I've read everything SK has written, I still love his work. He's a fantastic storyteller. These days, I read a lot more small presses and indie authors. For neo-noir, people like Stephen Graham Jones, Will Christopher Baer, Craig Clevenger, Paul Tremblay, Sara Gran and Craig Davidson. I guess I'd call Donald Ray Pollock Southern Gothic, but maybe I'm wrong there. Chuck Palahniuk. And lots of edgy lit ladies like Lindsay Hunter, Amelia Gray, Tina May Hall, xtx, Ethel Rohan - they just really blow me away. And I follow a lot of my fellow workshop authors like Nik Korpon, Caleb J. Ross, Axel Taiari, Christopher Dwyer, Chris Deal, Simon West-Bulford. So many, too many to name.
Good Richard: Do you ever write anything light?
Bad Richard: I'm just finishing up my MFA thesis, graduating soon, and I wrote four stories for that collection that I'd call literary. Some of my best work to date, I think. It'll be interesting to see if they place anywhere. I'm excited to send them out.
Good Richard: Three of your biggest successes to date?
Bad Richard: Transubstantiate, my novel. My story "Stillness" in Shivers VI with Stephen King and Peter Straub. And my contest win at ChiZine for "Maker of Flight."
Good Richard: Where can we find you?
Bad Richard: I'm everywhere. If I'm not Richard Thomas, I'm wickerkat. You can find me at Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. Start with my blog at
http://www.whatdoesnotkillme.com/, and you can find everything else from there.
Good Richard: What's next?
Bad Richard: Lots of stories coming out this year. The Warmed and Bound anthology looks great. Got awarded a residency in October. Trying to find a handle for this steampunk novel called Incarnate, which is more Dark Tower than Perdido Street Station, but we'll see.