I WANT YOU FOR YOUR MIND NOT YOUR BODY … Attractive, mature, fit horror novels seek nubile brains for short-term relationship based on mutual belief in the apocalypse.
There’s something about Craig DiLouie. I’m not just talking about him as a writer, but as a person. Craig will always be special to me because when word got out that I was joining Permuted, Craig was the first author from that house to reach out to me. Reach out, welcome me, talk to me and answer questions. He is so supportive of other authors it amazes me. And if anyone epitomizes the fact that we are all in this together so let’s help each other out, it’s Craig. I love his work, his writing style and I envy his visualization and characterization. I truly wish I could write action, blood and gut like he does. I am so happy he is doing this interview. And isn't he just intensely cute? Let’s meet Craig.
Welcome, Craig! Glad to have you!
Thanks, Jackie! As a fan of your fiction, I’m happy to be here!
What one thing do you feel makes you unique as a writer?
I would hope readers would find my fiction believable even though my stories feature monsters we likely will never meet in real life. I’m fascinated with stories about ordinary people thrust into extraordinary situations, and feel a strong need to answer: What would really happen here?
I spend months researching my novels to try to get every detail right in the setting, background, weapons and so on. I also plot my stories and build characters in ways that make them seem real, with nothing contrived just to move the story, create conflict or simply because “it’d be cool if that happened.” The real magic of writing and reading is willing suspension of disbelief. The reader agrees to believe whatever you say, as long as the writer respects that belief. Realism is key to that relationship. The more realistic the background, the more fantastic the monsters that populate it. The more realistic the characters and their responses to what is happening to them, the more closely we will connect with them as people and see them as real.
What are three things people would be surprised to know about you?
Probably the biggest surprise would be that my fiction is fueled by love and anxiety of losing the people I love. In my stories, ordinary people are faced with horrifying changes and terrifying choices. These extreme changes and choices stand in for the mundane fears I have for those I love most.
Another thing that might surprise people is I’m not half as twisted as they might think after reading my work. I’m a happily married father of two beautiful children with a nice home and a secure middle class income from a satisfying technical writing business. I’m the guy you see at the food court in the mall with his wife and kids having a great time with them but occasionally staring off into space. What you don’t see is that what I’m actually doing during those moments is picturing horrifying scenes in my next novel.
Almost every writer has a writing vice (Music, coffee. Booze, etc) that they like or need to have in order to create. Do you have a vice and what is it?
My main vice is smoking. I quite five years ago, but have frequent relapses. I don’t need it to create, but the habit is comforting and nicotine, as a stimulant, definitely gets the juices flowing. In the past, when I would take smoke breaks, I would get a lot of great ideas during those moments of stillness. These creative benefits don’t count for much, obviously, compared to the bad things it does to your health. It’s something I’ll struggle with the rest of my life.
Do you write you story/outline longhand and then on the computer or do you go straight from brain to keyboard?
I usually go from notes to keyboard, although occasionally I’ll write something out longhand first. I always carry a pen in my front pocket and a small notebook in my back pocket, and I spend months literally thinking about my next novel during all of the quiet moments of the day. At some point, I realize I’m ready, and take the plunge with the first page. By then, I don’t have every single thing mapped out, because I want the story to flow naturally and “write itself” to an extent, but I know exactly where I’m going, which is key.
If there is one thing in any of your published works, storyline or character wise, that you could change in a currently published work, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change anything major, though if I could I’d tinker with it endlessly to rephrase passages, correct the inevitable typos and so on. There’s some sort of cosmic rule that within fifteen minutes of getting your book from the printer, you’ll find a typo.
If I were a movie producer, pitch your best work in two lines or less. (Give the book’s title)
TOOTH AND NAIL tells the story of a company of infantry deployed to New York City during the zombie apocalypse. Think BLACKHAWK DOWN meets 28 DAYS LATER.
THE INFECTION is an apocalyptic story of five ordinary people who must fight to survive minute to minute against zombies and even worse monsters. Think the emotional impact of THE WALKING DEAD and THE ROAD coupled with zombies, monsters and claustrophobic tension from THE MIST.
THE KILLING FLOOR is the sequel to THE INFECTION, continuing the story, which now focuses on an infected man who may be the key to salvation, or a biological superweapon that could end the world.
If you could be any character in your book, who would you be and why?
The one who survives! Seriously, while I love my characters and relate to them almost as they were real people, I don’t want to be them. I will tell you my favorite is Anne from THE INFECTION and THE KILLING FLOOR.
Anne is a great character because she is so determined. She already experienced the ultimate horror of the apocalypse on its first day with the loss of everything she loves. Every subsequent deprivation, moment of pain, trauma—nothing can really hurt her anymore. She has accepted that while the infected are in a sense the living dead, she is one of the dead living. Like some soldiers in combat, she conquered her fear by accepting she is already dead. Survival is all that matters. As a result, she can make quick decisions under stress and fights without fear, and her continuing existence is fueled by her hatred of Infection. She is the story’s Captain Ahab, if Moby Dick were a viruslike organism.
If you could straighten out one misconception some people have about you, what would it be?
[laughs] That if they didn’t like my book, it was my goal to personally offend them and make them feel like a loser because other people actually did like my book.
Let’s way you become super J.K. Rowling/Stephen King Famous, and you could help one Indy author achieve the recognition they deserve who would it be and why?
Many names come to mind, but probably the top of the list would be Peter Clines, author of -14- and EX-HEROES, although he’s doing just fine without the help. He’s a Permuted Press author I’ve gotten to know attending horror conventions. He’s a great writer and an incredibly interesting, nice guy. His books are selling very well, and he recently announced a major deal with Random House to republish his EX-HEROES series.
Claim to Fame: Who is the ‘most’ famous person you have met?
One of the great things about going to the horror conventions to sign books is meeting some of the great celebrities who attend. I spent time discussing the original SURVIVORS BBC series with actor Ian McCulloch, the character of Barbara with actress Judith O'Dea, and life in general with the beautiful actress Cerina Vincent. For me, though, the biggest celebrities are other authors. I had the great pleasure of spending some time with Jonathan Maberry and John Skipp, among others.
Please make sure you visit Craig's WEBSITE for more info about his work.