Author Meet & Greet
All are welcome here.
Connect with authors through their social media links (if they choose to share them), learn about their writing process, and purchase their works.
The 4 most current interviews are posted here. Older ones may be found under the Archive: Author Meet & Greet on the main page of this blog by the author’s last name.
**Jack Ketchum’s Interview from December 2017 is PINNED at the bottom of this page**
So, without further ado, let’s get to know
Meet & Greet Author: #209
Your Name: David Busboom
Genre(s) of your work: Horror/Speculative Fiction
Titles/Year of Published Work(s):
Nightbird (Unnerving, 2018)
Every Crawling, Putrid Thing (JournalStone, 2022)
David Busboom is a writer, science editor, and lifelong Illinoisan whose fiction has appeared in Unnerving Magazine, the Saturday Evening Post, MYTHIC, and Planet Scumm, among others. His debut collection is Every Crawling, Putrid Thing (JournalStone, 2022).
Why do you write in the genre that you do?
Growing up in a castle in the middle of Illinois (go ahead and Google “Busboom Castle” if you want to know what I mean), I was already in love with fantasy before I could read. By the time I started submitting stories in my early teens, that love had grown to include science fiction as well. I was always a frightened kid, too afraid to watch most horror films. Even a trailer on TV for something like The Ring would give me nightmares. I think that’s why, when I finally did get into horror around that time, it felt significant—like I was facing something, or like a part of me had just grown up a little.
When I sold my first story a few years later, it was a horror story. I’ve written many fantasy, science fiction, and crime stories since, and even sold some of them, but most of my output continues to be rooted in horror. I remember what it’s like to be afraid of the dark, afraid of the shadows in your own home. Writing about the imagined inhabitants of those shadows keeps me connected to that scared little boy and helps me cope with the more mundane but all-too-real fears of adulthood.
How has writing changed/altered your life?
Writing is both my outlet and my shelter. Ever since grade school, it’s gotten me through some of the worst moments of my life, helped me cherish some of the best, and revealed things about myself I might never have realized. It’s also opened me up to a whole community I’d not have otherwise, of fellow writers, editors, and artists met online or at conventions. And, perhaps most importantly, writing is what led me to meet my partner, Shelby, in college. We’ve been together almost eight years now, with a house and a dog and insurance, the whole shebang. If it weren’t for us both being on the staff of the campus lit mag, I’m not sure we’d have found each other.
Who are your favorite authors and why?
Brian Jacques is the writer who made me want to write in the first place. His Redwall series remains among my favorites to this day. Frank Herbert showed what great worldbuilding can do, and how it can be seamlessly and inextricably incorporated into a story’s themes. H. P. Lovecraft, despite his reprehensible qualities as a human being, could evoke pure creeping dread like few others ever have (and his ideas spawned a plethora of excellent stories by those who came after, some of which far eclipse anything Lovecraft himself wrote). And, finally, Ray Bradbury. He is my desert island writer, the writer I cannot live without, the writer with whom I identify the most, the writer whose heights I strive to reach.
I realize this is a very homogenous quartet of dead white men, so perhaps I should clarify that these are my formative writers, the ones who influenced me the most as I was deciding in my teens and early twenties what kind of writer I wanted to be. Among my living favorites (who are honestly too numerous to list in full) I count Laird Barron, Ted Chiang, Samuel R. Delaney, Kathe Koja, Carmen Maria Machado, and Cormac McCarthy as exemplary of the very best. Machado has done so much with only two books that, even if she never wrote again, I think her place in the literary pantheon would be secure for decades if not centuries to come. And, of course, I’ll always have a soft spot for good ole’ Uncle Stevie.
Do you believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, more of a passing fad, or somewhere in between and why?
Audiobooks are just another way to read. I don’t think they’ll ever replace print books, but they’ve been around for decades and they’re clearly here to stay, and I think that’s a good thing. They make books more accessible, and only an asshole would take umbrage at that. I most enjoy listening to audiobooks whenever I’m doing chores around the house or taking my dog for a long, leisurely walk.
What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?
Hey, Barnes & Noble finally brought back the dedicated Horror section, so they can’t be that bad, right? And it still beats getting your books from Amazon by a country mile. But, given the choice, I always prefer to support my local indie shops (shoutout to Jane Addams Book Shop and The Literary in Champaign, and Priceless Books in Urbana).
What have you found to be a good marketing tool? A bad one?
I’ll be the first to admit that marketing is not something I think I’m very good at. In general, I try to just be myself and not spam people. If I see a tweet or a post that says “drop your links here, fellow authors” or something like that, I almost always take part, but I don’t generally do self-promotional posts on my own more than a few times a week, if that. I’m trying to get better about reaching out to blogs (like this one!) or podcasts when I have something to promote, but it all still feels a bit weird to me. I suppose I’ll get over it eventually.
One thing I know NOT to do (because it’s been done to me and I hated it), is to DM unsolicited links to strangers with little or no preamble beyond “buy my book!” That’s one of the fastest ways to make a bad first impression.
Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?
No. I mean, if your writing advocates for eugenics or marital rape or something, then fuck you, you know? But stories dealing with those topics (or worse) can still be compelling and worthwhile. Lolita, for instance, deals with a horrifying subject in a way that is sensitive, artful, and scathing all at once.
What is your opinion of Trigger Warnings?
I don’t really have a strong opinion about them one way or another, though I rarely use them myself unless they’re explicitly requested. I’ve read and heard convincing arguments both for and against, and I certainly don’t want to do anyone harm, but such warnings seem most useful when dealing with specific traumas (like sexual abuse or self-harm) rather than broader concepts like racism or misogyny, which can encompass a much wider variety of behavior or content (for example, “TW: racism” could refer to anything from a slur appearing in a single line of dialogue to a graphic depiction of a lynching, so I wonder how helpful it actually is to people with related trauma; then again, I’m no expert).
If an editor or publisher wanted a trigger warning attached to one of my published books or stories, I don’t think I’d be opposed, especially if I could approve the wording and/or placement of the warning itself. If they’re going to be used, I like the idea of standardizing an unobtrusive position for them somewhere in the front matter, such that they are easily skipped or ignored by those who don’t want them and easily found by those who do.
Where can people find you and your work?
August 19-20, 2022 they can find me and my work at Dark History & Horror Con at the iHotel in Champaign, Illinois! But for those who can’t make it, here are the usual links:
Amazon (if you must): https://rb.gy/gwin1w
Stephen J. Giannangelo
Your Name: Stephen J. Giannangelo
Pseudonym (if you use one): I do not use one, but I am now also using a company name for writing projects, interviews and public appearances: Killer Insights LLC.
Genre(s) of your work: True Crime, Serial Murder, Forensic Psychology