Wednesday, May 18, 2011

13 Questions With...Gerald Rice

1. You’re hosting a dinner party. What is the menu, and do you cook it yourself, or do you call a caterer?
I’d like to cook it myself, whatever it is we’re having, but my skills are pretty basic.  I look up a lot of stuff on the internet and for the most part it turns out pretty well.  Maybe I’d make a lasagna, some roasted thyme chicken, napa cabbage, and sweet potatoes with a nice Riesling.

2. What is your beverage of choice?
If it’s alcoholic, Jack and Coke.  Non-alcoholic… maybe cranberry juice.

3. Physical book Vs an E-Reader. Your preference and why?
Book.  I don’t have an e-reader.  Nothing against them, I love the emerging technology, but when the aliens come in 400 years I want something physical for them to be able to pick up and translate.  I don’t have any confidence that their technology will be able to interface with ours.

4. What kinds of books make up your personal library?
Horror, horror, horror.  My mother was a Stephen King fan and gave me a copy of Eyes of the Dragon back when I was in 7th grade.  She was a huge reader and lover of horror movies and it definitely rubbed off on me.  Other than that, I have a couple medical thrillers by F. Paul Wilson and some of his other stuff.  I love Repairman Jack and suggest it to everyone because it crosses over into just about every genre.  Ethan Black’s Conrad Voort series is insane and I’d love to see The Broken Hearts Club get made into a movie.  I’ve read the first four books in the Outlander series and maybe Rejar by Dara Joy.

5. How and when did you catch the writing bug?
Somewhere in high school.  There was a pack of four of us, heavily into comic books and my best friend who could draw came up with the idea of the two of us writing our own comic book.  I’d written a couple short stories, but honestly, back then, I sucked.

6. What is your writing routine?
I have to steal a moment where ever I can.  It helps that I have a Neo, a little three pound word processor.  I can store something like eight files in it and download into a Word file whenever I’m at a PC.  It’s less of a distraction than a laptop because there’s no internet or games.  But I probably write more heavily on the weekends because there’s more down time to take advantage of.

7. If you ever encounter writer’s block, what steps do you take to get past it?
I only have had writer’s block once.  I’d been working for this medical company for five years when they laid off a slew of people, including me.  I was so stressed out I couldn’t write a lick for about two months.

8. Do you have a hidden talent?
No.  I brag on all my talents on a regular basis.

9. What was your best subject in school?
Probably math.  Math and science were really fun for me at one point, although that couldn’t be further from the truth now.

10. As in any entertainment, there are current trends. How much do these “current trends” influence what you write?
I would say they do have an influence, but even if it’s something I like that isn’t trendy I’ll still write it.  I’d like to say I’ve been writing zombie story after zombie story because I’ve been really enjoying them.

11. Mac or PC?
PC.  This is the part where I should write some snarky remark about Mac users, but that’s silly, so I won’t.  PC works best for me.

12. Where do your ideas come from?
It depends.  I’ve gotten a lot of ideas from anthologies I’ve wanted to write for.  Like The Ghost Toucher—I came across one that seemed really interesting about a psychopomp (the word alone got the juices flowing—I had to look it up and everything) that looks like a pig.  I started putting together ideas, but the more I wrote, the more I realized it didn’t fit with what they wanted so I ran with it, combining it with several other ideas that never went anywhere. 
Once I was on my way to school, I think, and at a red light there was a old lady in a car behind me.  It surprised me when I saw a little pink arm shoot up and trace down the ceiling of the car to the window.  It was obviously a girl, but it disturbed me just enough to where I got a story idea that I cranked out that night.
After reading Konrath’s Draculas I was so enthralled I wanted to do something similar, but I didn’t know what.  Sometime late last year I was sitting in Borders and got an idea from looking at one of the book covers there.  I haven’t really started writing that one yet, but.

13. What advice would you pass on to an aspiring author?
Read, read, read (especially the types of stories you want to write).  A long time ago I had no idea how to come up with an original story and I had no clue what the market wanted.  But I read.  By reading authors and poets like F. Paul Wilson, Sylvia Plath, Zora Neal Hurston, Al Sarrantonio, Wallace Stevens I was able to see what the mechanics of my writing lacked and incorporate different aspects from authors I admired.

No comments:

Post a Comment