Dan Klefstad Author Interview (2018)

Radio host, Podcaster, and Author. This amazing man that I have befriended on Twitter is so inspiring. His novel Shepherd and the Professor offers fascinating plot lines and many twists and turns that make it a must read in my book! I am very glad to get to introduce him here to my readers at Chills From the Quill, so lets get to the questions!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do for WNIJ News and NPR?

I’m the morning host for NPR station WNIJ, and the newscaster for two other NPR stations covering the length of Illinois.

How did you get into podcasting?

The president of the Rockford Writers’ Guild, Connie Kuntz, launched the “Guildy Pleasures” podcast one year ago, and Connie invited me to be the first guest. She read my first novel, Shepherd & the Professor, and was reading my more recent stories about humans who work for a vampire named Fiona. So I went into the studio with Connie and her husband Jesse who engineered the podcasts. During these sessions, I used my experience as a radio announcer to deliver the kind of recordings Connie and Jesse were looking for. We did the first five of my Fiona stories, and they got a great reception — I’ve heard nothing but good things about them.

Are you a horror lover?

I love to be frightened, I love Gothic atmosphere, and I enjoy stories that play up erotic tensions between monsters and humans. I’ll admit I’m not into splatter or torture. But I’ll never refuse a challenge to write this if I think gore can lead to a truly great story.

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Where did the idea for Fiona come from? And are you a fan of vampire fiction?

I’ve always been fascinated by vampires because they work on different levels. As mythical creatures, they transcend human limitations. They’re stronger, sexier, and live forever – who doesn’t dream of this kind of power? But they’re also rich metaphors for things that suck our life force. Your emotionally insecure neighbor is the vampire hidden in plain sight, ambushing you with questions when you return from work, draining whatever energy you have left. The vampire might be your lover, mother or pusher. I guarantee you: somewhere, somehow, a hidden thing is latched to your neck, taking from you and never giving back. When you finally see it, and admit your role in these encounters, I hope you have the strength to put a stake in it.

Favorite or inspiring authors for you?

Anyone who writes vampire fiction owes a debt to John Polidori, Bram Stoker, and Anne Rice. As a horror fan, I also owe much to Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson and Stephen King. In college, I was fascinated by Albert Camus and his treatment of the absurd – where humans desperately seeking meaning are confronted by a universe that offers none. There’s a connection to horror in absurdist philosophy that Jean-Paul Sartre brings home with No Exit. The final line of this play is: “Hell is other people.”

 What are some of your favorite books or works of literature?

To the above, I’ll add John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel, Let the Right One In.  Lindqvist also wrote the screenplay for the 2008 movie of the same name, but the book contains an entire plot thread involving Eli’s caretaker, Håkan, that’s gripping and absolutely terrifying. Best horror novel I’ve read in many years.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I’m tempted to repeat that one by Sartre but I’d prefer something more hopeful. With your permission, I’d like to quote a character, Daniel, from my story “The Remains of the Daylight”:

“Because if one person thinks you’re good, you are good – right?”

(That line gives me hope)

What would you really like people to know about you?

I’m an optimist. Readers are often surprised to hear me say that.

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What inspires you to write?

Wow, that stumped me. I’ve done several interviews, but nobody asked me that before. The most truthful answer I can give is: I don’t know. I simply must.

And lastly can you tell us a little about your work and do you have any writing works set for the future?

I’m gathering all my Fiona the vampire stories that appeared in Dark Dossier Magazine’s Halloween issue (11 of them) and will add nine or ten more. These will be chapters in a book called The Guardian which I hope to finish this summer.

Thanks so much, Jaye, for the opportunity to share my thoughts, inspirations, and stories with you. You’ve been a wonderful host!

I am eternally grateful to Dan for taking the time to answer my questions and I hope we have inspired you to read some of his works! You can find links here for podcasts and readings:

The Caretaker” http://bit.ly/2lx3HyD 

“The Interview” http://bit.ly/2m9HKpX 

“Solstice” http://bit.ly/2D47OJg 

“Wolf at Fiona’s Castle” http://bit.ly/2GCZAKt 

“Hauptsturmführer Fillennius” http://bit.ly/2E6OSNL

You can also find him at Twitter at: https://twitter.com/danklefstad?lang=en

And on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/dan.klefstad

And at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dan-Klefstad/e/B01IC5A1XK

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Susan Leighton: Interviewing the Interviewer! (2018)

Writer, interviewer, podcaster, Susan Leighton does it all. It has been my distinct pleasure to have been speaking with Susan on Twitter for quite awhile now and she is so genuine and extremely entertaining and just a pleasure to speak with. I have read so many of her amazing articles and interviews that I thought it would be fun to interview the interviewer. So lets get to it!

Do you even sleep you have so much going on? 😉

~LOL. Yes, I do. I just keep weird hours for now because it is the nature of the beast. Since I am not a “brand” name I have to hustle to get my work out there. Plus, I am branching out of the niche world and going full throttle into pop culture. I have always been an entertainment person so I am fortunate to have different venues that want to hear what I have to say.

Why horror? And how did you get into it?

~From a child on, I have always been intrigued with realms that are beyond our current frame of reference. I wanted to be an astronaut so I studied the planets which fostered an interest in the concept of other worlds. The paranormal, science-fiction, horror, these are genres that I have always loved. However, that being said, I am more of a pop culture person. While I am predominantly known for what I have done at 1428 Elm, I am now writing for sites that fuel my other passions like Heroic Hollywood and TV Series Hub. I can also be found every Friday night espousing or ranting depending on the topic at Nerdrotic Podcast with Gary Buechler and Dennis Bithoulkas. I have started my own podcast with my buddy, Abby Fagan called Unrestricted Content. I try to keep my options open and also, I love challenges. Anything that is going to push me, I am going to want to try.

What are some of your favorite horror films and books?

~Wow. Where to begin. I got my first taste at a young age when my Mom introduced me to Vincent Price in The Oblong Box. From there, Psycho, The Shining, The Dead Zone, Bubba Ho-Tep….oh, yeah and this thing called Evil Dead. And the book Duma Key by Stephen King.

What are some of the best things to do on Halloween?

~Turn the lights down, throw on a decent horror flick or psychological thriller, grab some popcorn and a Patron martini. And if you’re in the mood, maybe a costume. You know, for later.

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How did you get involved with covering Bruce Campbell?

~Man. You are asking the tough questions, Jaye. I asked my editors at 1428 Elm if I could write a little something up for Bubba Ho-Tep’s 15th anniversary. I didn’t know if they would be into it. They were very enthusiastic. In the meantime, we created an Ash Wednesday thing plus I was on the Ash vs Evil Dead season 3 beat which turned into something else entirely. I knew he had a book coming out (Hail to the Chin) so I decided that I was going to interview him. No one had tried it before at the site and I thought what the hell? He is a hard cat to track down but I gave it my best shot, he responded and my first chat went live in September of last year.

Have you met him? Any fun stories?

~Yes, I have met Bruce on several occasions. In February, we sat down for an on-camera interview and then for a print interview during the PR party for Ash vs Evil Dead S3. My last time conversing with him was at HorrorHound Weekend in Indianapolis. As for fun stories, none of them involve him but more about me and logistics, bad makeup and comedy of errors. Part of those experiences will be in a book I am writing. Fiction, of course.

What are some of your favorite tequilas and any suggestions of pairings with horror films?

~I am strictly silver tequila although I have had my share of Anejo and Mezcal in the past. Yes, I have had the worm and nothing trippy came out of it. As for drinks, I love Patron Martinis and Espresso Martinis with Patron. I think if you are going that route, then by all means reach back into the past and grab Rosemary’s Baby, The Tenant or the Exorcist.

Any great horror festival stories?

~Well, up until now, I was a con virgin. Since HorrorHound Weekend, I am no longer one. Let me just tell you, logistics are a bear. The festival was held in a terrific venue in downtown Indy which I remember from 15 years ago when I attended a business conference. However, the panel discussion room felt like it was a secret passageway and I could never quite get there. On Friday, which was the very first day of the con, I was at the hotel bar kicking back with a few friends and some drinks. Panel time for Evil Dead 2 rolled around so I split. Even though I had a map, I kept pulling a European Vacation thing with this policeman. Me: Hey, Officer. Insert laughter. Officer: Didn’t I just see you? Me: Yep. Officer: Evil Dead, right? Yeah, it was that kind of night. I did manage to find the room though.

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Any favorite interviews?

~Joe Lansdale was a proud moment for me. I have always enjoyed his writing. Dee Wallace was another coup that I was happy to score since she is in the pantheon of scream queens. Dana DeLorenzo, Lindsay Farris, Ray Santiago and Arielle Carver-O’Neill were the best. I had so much fun chatting with them. Oh, and one more. Damn it. I wish I could remember his name. 😉

Do you have a personal mantra?

~Keep it classy or I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

I wanna thank Susan for taking the time to speak with us and say what fun it was, such great answers! If you want to learn more about Susan you can find her at:

https://www.facebook.com/SusanontheLedge/

https://1428elm.com/  for horror genre news and commentary

And on Twitter @SusanontheLedge

Also @heroichollywood  @tvserieshub  @content_podcast @Nerdrotics

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