June 21, 2012

Interview with Author David Bain (@davidbainaa) #BuyIndie

English professor and writer, David Bain has written popular works such as "Gray Lake: A Novel of Crime and Supernatural Horror",The Will Castleton series of books, and many more. With a style like no other, his writings are approachable for occasional readers but still provide depth, wonderful characters, and atmosphere for true bookworms interested in horror, supernatural, and crime genres.

I would like to thank Mr. Bain for taking time out of his busy schedule for this interview.

Describe yourself in four words or less.

DB: Father. Husband. Teacher. Writer.

Tell the readers about your ongoing or current projects.

DB: Mostly, I’m working at finishing/cleaning up "Death Sight", the first Will Castleton novel. If Will were a superhero, this would be his origin story. It takes place before anything in the currently available short-story collection, "The Castleton Files".

I’m also working on a novella called "Band of Gypsies" with C. Dennis Moore - it’s a cosmic horror/zombie tale featuring none other than Jimi Hendrix himself. The tone is serious, but one of our goals is to drop as many Jimi references as possible. I’m also working on "Meth", the next Green River Crime novella.

In Weed: A Green River Crime Novella , Mickle was my favorite character and from other reviews he seems to be popular. 

When writing the novella did you think the character would be as popular as he has ? Also will Mickle appear in other Green River stories?

DB: I really had no idea. I totally intended Mickle to be a one-off character, appearing only in this particular story. But this isn’t the first time this has happened. It delights me when readers enjoy a character enough that they request more from him or her.

Characters we’ll probably be seeing more of thanks to reader requests - characters whom I’d originally intended as one-offs - include Mickle; Rafe Johnson and Sandra Petosky from my story “A Pleasure to Burn” in my collection "While the City Sleeps"; pretty all the characters from “The Cowboys of Cthulhu”; Mike Menger in my novel Gray Lake; and, of course, Will Castleton, who started out in a story called “Island Ghosts” which appeared long ago in a hard boiled detective anthology.

Your books run the gamut of the different genres. What's your favorite genre to write?

DB: Horror was my favorite genre for a long time, but I think I’m gravitating more toward crime. I find myself particularly interested in how far people will go to get by, how the negative decisions we make permanently change our lives, and why people with money and power endlessly desire more of it.

I see a lot of absurdity in these things - it’s absurd what people will do for money and power, and it’s surreal how a seemingly small, even casual decision can wrap your life’s circumstances into a straitjacket you can never escape.

If you could meet any of your own characters, who would it be?

DB: That’s a fascinating question. Maybe the Queen from Gray Lake - though I wouldn’t want to meet her in the way that some of the characters do. I’m surprised I didn’t say Will Castleton - but I feel I already “know” him and most of my characters.

The Queen, even though she’s a big part of that book, remains an enigma to me, so of course I’d want to know more… If answering with a supernatural character is cheating, I’d have to say Mike Menger from Gray Lake. His conflicted moral code fascinates me, and we’ll surely see him again in my fiction.

What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?

DB: I don’t always get the “perfect” workday. I very much catch-as-catch-can. It’s not my preferred method, but with kids, a job, etc., it’s reality. In the summer, I try to write in the mornings - 500 words minimum. I also write in a coffee shoppe while my kids are at swim practice, and then sometimes at night. If I have a spare 15 minutes, I’m usually at something to do with writing - editing, tweaking a scene, formatting, doing a cover, doing an interview like this one ;-) and so forth.

I also teach English at a community college, and my daily schedule varies throughout the year - most semesters I teach two full days a week, with night classes two more days. On teaching days, I slip writing in when I can - before, after and between classes and grading, running the taxi service for the kids (who’ll be driving themselves soon, woot!), and helping with housework, etc. So my schedule is “write when you can.” If I were only a writer, I’d imagine I’d write in the mornings primarily - and the rest of the day as “real life” allowed.

What's your all time favorite horror movie?

DB: It might be a lame answer, but I would have to say the original Hellraiser. I hadn’t yet read “The Hellbound Heart” and although I was already quite a fan of horror at that time, I had seen absolutely nothing like it. Yes, the movie has flaws, but the cosmic implications, the visuals, the moral structure all just floored me.

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

DB: Great question! I’m a big fan of Joseph Campbell’s ideas on mythology. At one point, he says that, in this world of duality, of darkness and light, of good and evil and so forth, what myths help us do is intend the light. I’ll readily admit I’m a flawed individual. I have issues, man. And people tend to be surprised that I write horror and crime. How can a mild mannered English teacher and father and church goer write about demons and hit men?

My question is how can I observe this world and write about anything but the inner and outer battles between darkness and light? I don’t care if you’re the Pope, if you’re a human, you have a dark side, and you wrestle with it. Writing’s just one of the ways I do this. I do what most of my characters do - the title to the book about my life, pretentious as it might sound, is Intending the Light.

In closing if you have anything you would like to promote feel free.

DB: I think I’ve hit most of it above. Oh, wait! My book "Double Dare" with Wayne Allen Sallee. It features fiction, nonfiction, poetry and interviews with the both of us and it’s awesome. I admired Wayne’s writing before I ever seriously wrote a story. He had a ten-year run in The Year’s Best Horror and I always looked forward to whatever piece of his editor Karl Edward Wagner selected.

Hanging out and working with Wayne has been an honor. The price of the book, for me, is worth it just for Wayne’s 10,000-word nonfiction piece, “The Scarlet Sponge.” Wayne was born with cerebral palsy and, in the ‘80s, was the victim of a hit-and-run accident on the streets of Chicago. The essay is his memoir of living with more than 30 visible scars and many more unseen - it’s a devastating piece of writing.

Thanks for offering the chance to do the interview - great questions!

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