Last week I had the pleasure of conducting my first-ever Twitter interview (Twitterview? Nah, I can’t live with that…) with no less than the hardest working man in horror, Brian Keene. Keene has long been one of the most accessible writers in the genre, using Twitter and his own website/blog to engage in a free-flowing conversation with his fans. Somehow he manages to maintain this steady presence on the web while producing an amazing flow of novels, short stories, comic scripts and more.
I contacted the author via Twitter about something you will see here on October Country next month, and while agreeing to participate in that project he invited me to send a few questions his way. If you enjoy this quick chat let me know – with so many authors using Twitter these days I’m sure we could find a few more willing to answer a few questions.
Now, without further adieu – Six Questions with Brian Keene.
OC: Last week you released your first self-published work, Alone. Why so long to self-publish, and what changed your mind?
BK: Two reasons: A) Because I’m part of that weird transitional generation of writers who were told self-pubbing was wrong. Took me a long time to overcome that stigma. Also because when I decided to do it, I wanted to do it RIGHT. That meant taking my time with the editing, layout, presentation, etc. Making sure everything was professional & top quality.
You’ve done a lot of writing in comics lately. What are the differences in approaching a script vs. prose?
Comics scripts are more visual. Have to think in a series of still pictures. Also less words to develop characters, plot.
You’ve talked a great deal about your influences when it comes to prose. What comics writers influenced your comics work?
Steve Gerber, Jack Kirby’s 70’s work, JM DeMatteis (@JMDeMatteis), and Keith Giffen were the biggest and most profound.
You’ve shared so much of yourself through your writing – not just your fiction, but your blog, essays, etc. Do you ever wish you could go back & let your fiction do all your talking? Why or why not?
No regrets. I’d say it all again. That’s the job of a writer — to communicate universal truths. Pain is one of those.
You recently had a bookstore of sorts at The York Emporium. If you had unlimited cash, space & time, what would the ultimate bookstore owned and run by Brian Keene be like?
It would be exactly like Dark Delicacies (@DarkDel), but based here on the East Coast, and I’d sleep there at night.
Take some space and give a shout-out to a peer (or peers) who deserves more readers, and tell us why.
Nate Southard (@natesouthard), Laird Barron (@lairdbarron), Paul G. Tremblay (@paulgtremblay), Geoff Cooper (@GeoffCooper), Mehitobel Wilson & Livia Llewellyn (@LiviaLlewellyn). Those 6 are probably the best our genre has produced since the late 90s until now. They deserve to be read by many more.