interview by Joe Vaz

From Issue 13 (Sept 2011)


Where is home?

I grew up in a small town along the Erie Canal in upstate New York—the kind of place they could have filmed Stand By Me—but after moving around a bit, I settled in Colorado.


Are you a full-time writer?

I’ve worked as a writer and editor for several companies over the years, doing marketing material—which some would say is just another form of fiction.


What inspired this story?

The first line of the story woke me up in the middle of the night. It was persistent enough that I stumbled over to my desk and wrote it down. After that, it was a matter of figuring out who was trying to tell the story and what he had to say.


There’s quite a lot of humour in Groundswell. Was this intentional or did it just come out in the telling?

I didn’t set out to write a comedy, but my narrator — twitchy, hapless sort that he was— turned up with a cosmic “kick me” signed pinned to his back. I decided to let him do the talking.


Do you often blend comedy with horror in your work?

As it turns out, I do. Humor can come from the peculiar outlook of characters or their reactions to stress and make them more real and even appealing to the reader.


What was the most recent short story you read?

It was a story called “Porter” by Alexei Kalinchuk, in an anthology called Broken Links, Mended Lives. It’s a touching story about a retired widower struggling with change who takes in his obnoxious neighbor’s dog and then is accused of stealing it.


Are you working on anything right now?

I’m finishing up a novel about a man dealing with the accidental death of his wife who finds it easier to believe in ghosts than God. He’s also struggling to connect with his teenage son. When the two of them return to the lakeside summer home of his childhood, he discovers that it’s not the safe haven he remembers—and that something supernatural walks the woods.



Where might we be able to read more of your work?

“The Seventh Green at Lost Lakes” appeared in Read By Dawn, Volume 1—it’s horror on a golf course, with a twist of humor. “The House Beneath Delgany Street” appeared in Subtle Edens, an anthology of Slipstream. It’s about a man’s search for a mythical house that moves from place to place, always just out of reach. And most recently, “Ataraxia”—a tragedy set in a post-apocalyptic near future— was published in an anthology called Day Terrors.

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Joe Vaz

Joe Vaz is the founder and editor of Something Wicked, which occasionally affords him the honour and good fortune to hang out with really cool people.
In his other life he is a film and television actor who gets small parts in big movies, most recently in Dredd 3D, due to be released in September 2012.

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