Author Meet & Greet!

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

David Busboom

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)

Bio:

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:

 Website/Blog: davidbusboom.com

Twitter: @DavidBusboom
Facebook: facebook.com/busboom1

Amazon (if you must): https://rb.gy/gwin1w

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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

 

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

1996: The Psychopathology of Serial Murder: A Theory of Violence. Praeger Publishing.

2012: Real-Life Monsters: A Psychological Examination of the Serial Murderer. ABC-CLIO Publishing.

2022: Monsters in the Mirror: Reflections on the Study of Serial Murder. Waterfront Productions.

I also write a great deal for other publications, and contribute to other books with Essays, Introductions and Forewords.

Bio:

I’m originally from Boston, Massachusetts. Attended Boston State and Framingham State colleges there and Sangamon State University and University of Illinois Springfield in Illinois. I have a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Forensic Psychology. I retired after 20+ years as a Criminal Investigator and Special Agent Supervisor with the State of Illinois Revenue BCI and which included assignments with the Illinois State Police and FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

I’ve also taught at the University level for over 20 years within Criminal Justice, usually courses on Serial Murder and Psychology of the Offender.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

Reflective of the title of my second book, Real-Life Monsters, I enjoyed horror films as a child but was never afraid of any of it. Fiction doesn’t scare me because I know it’s not real. But when I ran into actual real-life monsters like some of the serial killers and mass murderers of the 60s and 70s, I found what really terrifies me about what humans are capable of, and I’ve studied it ever since.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

It hasn’t altered my life, because it’s always been an essential part of it. I wrote for pleasure for as long as I can remember, about sports and collecting and later for various automotive publications. Once I landed on the study of abnormal psychology and particularly serial killers, I knew what I’d be writing about from then on.  Writing in my life hasn’t changed; only the topics. I wrote before I ever took a college course and I’ll be writing when I’m finished teaching them.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

It’s quite a list. I’ve loved and enjoyed the case study work by Jack Olsen. I have to include pioneers of serial killer study like Eric Hickey, Steve Egger, Fox & Levin, Roy Hazelwood, John Douglas and Robert Ressler. I love the work on psychopathy by Robert Hare and Kent Kiehl. Landmark works by Harold Schechter, David Canter and Adrian Raine. And I was thrilled to receive contributions in my last book from a couple of authors who have influenced me for many years, Katherine Ramsland and Peter Vronsky. The list goes on.

Do you believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, more of a passing fad, or somewhere in between and why?

 I have to say I don’t have a strong opinion about audiobooks or have a feel for their future. I know people who absolutely love them, but I haven’t really embraced them myself, as I’m in love with the written word, printed on paper in a book I can hold in my hands. Yes, I’m a dinosaur. I’ve literally never read a book on Kindle.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I fear for their existence.  Dinosaurs like me who love to browse the stacks are becoming extinct, and it’s a sad thought. We all love the cool, old, hole-in-the-wall antique bookstore with all the treasures you find there, but they are becoming a distant memory. The big stores may follow.

What have you found to be a good marketing tool? A bad one?

I have to admit to a certain amount of evolving on this. When Real-Life Monsters came out, I had a conversation with a person on a Ted Bundy discussion site who recognized my name and said he’d been looking for me, “but you have literally no online footprint.” I quickly figured out making a facebook page and being involved online was a must for marketing.

Still, I’ve found a great marketing tool to be public appearances at various conferences and conventions.  Naturally they aren’t always successful, but I’ve found the opportunity to meet people in person that haven’t heard of my work and talk about the topics with them. Often these conversations spark a feeling that maybe I might have written something they might find interesting. I also enjoy meeting people at events who have read my work and offer specific, insightful feedback.

I’ll also say that personal conversations with readers are what sharpened my focus of my most recent book (Monsters in the Mirror) as I learned more about what some people enjoy reading about. My first 2 books were textbooks, but this one is a “pleasure reader” of murder and mayhem that I think some people will enjoy.

Public speaking and open panel discussions are also good for marketing and interest in the work.

I can’t really think of a “bad” tool, just ones that haven’t been as successful just yet.

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

I don’t think anything should be censored, at any level. Some things are age-appropriate, of course. I agree with the concept of resisting slander and untruths, but currently we live in a society that includes people who believe that some opinions and perspectives should actually be legally suppressed, and I find this enormously disturbing. Censorship on social media and print media should be an offensive concept. It’s a slippery slope for anyone to have the power to decide where discomfort and choice end and controlled speech begins.

There was once a Letter to the Editor in my local paper advocating for a reduction in First Amendment rights regarding the proliferation of violent and disturbing material, because it supposedly incited people. I brought this letter in for discussion in my class because we routinely discuss media and pop culture effects on society. But this was an outrageous thought just a few years ago. Now it’s mainstreaming. It’s concerning to me.

The idea of a government official determining what “misinformation” is for me is unacceptable, considering the wild bias involved in essentially every news source, no matter what you believe. It’s far worse than “cancel culture.” It’s the “thought police.”

My argument may sound self-serving given the genre I write about, but I strongly feel this is about history and learning, and if it’s a topic someone finds disturbing, they should choose another one.

What is your opinion of Trigger Warnings?

While I’m always cognizant of the value of mental health concerns, some things can be carried too far, I think. I suppose a warning before a film or a presentation that the following may contain objectionable and disturbing material (I give one the first night of my classes), might have value.  In many cases, though, I think trigger warnings might be too much. Maybe in very specific situations. Let’s say I’m not opposed to them, but I wonder if they are really helpful. I’m more inclined to suggest cognitive therapy that could teach a resistance to triggers as opposed to hiding from them.

Where can people find you and your work?

My 2 most recent books are found on Amazon:

Real-Life Monsters: A Psychological Examination of the Serial Murderer – Kindle edition by Giannangelo, Stephen. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Monsters in the Mirror: Reflections on the Study of Serial Murder: Giannangelo, Stephen J, Vronsky, Peter, Borowski, John, Ramsland, Katherine, Keto, Ashleigh, Yaksic, Enzo, Scruggs, Father Casey: 9798218008123: Amazon.com: Books

And facebook pages:

Real-Life Monsters: A Psychological Examination of the Serial Murderer | Facebook

Monsters in the Mirror: Reflections on the Study of Serial Murder | Facebook

I can also be contacted directly by email at: KillerInsights@gmail.com

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Pat Daily

Your Name: Pat Daily

Genre(s) of your work: Science Fiction

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

SPARK – 2021

Fire – Coming in December 2022

Bio:

Pat Daily is an engineer and former Air Force test pilot who worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center on both the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.

When not writing or trying to bring new airplane designs to life, Pat can be found gaming. He is a fan of role-playing games – particularly open worlds with engaging storylines where actions have consequences.

Pat and his wife spent twenty years in Houston before moving to central Washington.  Now they are back.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

I fell in love with SciFi as a kid. It’s still my go-to choice for books, TV, and film, even though my tastes have expanded over the years.

Maybe it was my love of SciFi that led me to science and engineering in school, or maybe the other way around, in any case, I’m happy being a sciency nerdy guy.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

I game a lot less since I started writing. Brian Herbert (son of Frank Herbert, author of Dune) made a comment that stuck with me. He said that when he was growing up, his father spent far more time with Paul Atreides than with him. Dune is great, but I’d rather be remembered by my children for the time we spent together than the time I spend writing.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Robert Heinlein broke a lot of barriers and had a very hopeful vision for the future. He was my #1 growing up. Then came Asimov, Clarke, and Niven.

As an adult, it’s hard to beat Stephenson for SciFi, John Sandford for murder mysteries, and W.E.B. Griffin for military fiction. All are compelling storytellers who pull you along and leave you craving more.

For non-fiction, I’ll go with Bill Bryson. Who else can make a simple walk so interesting?

Do you believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, more of a passing fad, or somewhere in between and why?

In between. They fill the niche for people who commute, or perform mundane tasks that don’t require a lot of thought or attention. I listened to Vladimir Nabakov’s Lolita while painting my house.

When I’m driving, I’d much rather listen to a book than be bombarded by advertisements.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I went into one recently and was surprised by how few books they had. Lots of real estate had been given over to a coffee shop, games, and puzzles. I still love to prowl bookstores looking for something to pique my interest and satisfy my craving for physical books. A good cover grabs my attention.

What have you found to be a good marketing tool? A bad one?

Comic conventions are great for marketing my books. Everyone who comes by already loves the genre.

Podcasts are hit or miss. There are some outstanding hosts and some who are killing time and eating potato chips as they fail in their podcast experiment. I say yes to almost all of them because I think there’s a chance that I’ll find someone who is building something great.

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

No to censorship in any official form. Parents should monitor what their children read. Adults are on their own. The other part of this is that there is no fundamental right to publication. If I write something heinous, no one is obligated to publish it. Mass murderers should not automatically have their manifestos published or their hateful screeds aired.

Where can people find you and your work?

My website leads to everything else: https://thepatdaily.com

My books are available on Amazon.

Here are all the specific links:

Feral Daughters Blog: https://thepatdaily.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patdailyauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patdailypics/

Twitter: @patdailyauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21521042.Pat_Daily

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Victoria Terrinoni

Your Name: Victoria Terrinoni

Genre(s) of your work: Non-Fiction Memoir

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):

Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse

Bio:

I started out as a reporter/editor for several newspapers in 1982. When my husband went on active duty in the Air Force in 1992, I switched to freelance writing and wrote for several newspapers and magazines across the U.S. My husband retired in 2018 and we relocated to Normal, IL

I am the mother of twin daughters. We have two sons-in-law, two grandsons and two granddaughters, all of whom I adore. I love reading, writing, being a Nonna, and football – especially the Chicago Bears and the Ohio State Buckeyes. We also like to travel – mainly by cruise ship or travel trailer.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?

After 31 years of life as a military spouse, I feel I have a lot of fun stories to share and some wisdom I’ve gained over the years.

How has writing changed/altered your life?

I’ve always loved to write and meet people so becoming a reporter was a natural fit for me. But writing and publishing my first book was such a fascinating and rewarding process. I learned about myself along the journey and it feels good to think I may have helped even one military spouse.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I love Jane Austen. Janet Evanovich and W.E.B. Griffin delight me with the characters they create that I grow to love over the course of a series.

In non-fiction, I like Bill Bryson and A.J. Jacobs for their humor. I like to laugh.

Do you believe that audiobooks are the wave of the future, more of a passing fad, or somewhere in between and why?

I, myself, have not jumped into the audiobook yet. I think they have a spot in the marketplace, but I think people will continue to want to read books as well. I know a lot of people who don’t even want to read e-books. I know in my personal experience that I’ve sold more paperback copies of my book than e-books. Not sure how an audiobook would fare.

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

Well, since I shop mostly at B&N and Amazon, I like them. But indie stores are usually the place you can talk all things books and get to know the employees on a personal level. I like both.

What have you found to be a good marketing tool? A bad one?

I use social media – except TikTok, and I have a website, blog and email newsletter. Amazon Ads draws some sales, but not as much as I would like. I’m not pleased with the results of any of my marketing efforts so I keep studying how to do it better.

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

I do not believe writing should be censored. I believe parents should be involved in what books their children read. The parent needs to deem what they think is appropriate for their own child. I also feel adults should be grown up enough to make their own decisions on what they read or don’t read. If something offends them or makes them angry or any other emotion they don’t want to feel, don’t read it or recommend it to friends.

What is your opinion of Trigger Warnings?

I’m not sure what that is.

Where can people find you and your work?

victoriaterrinoni@gmail.com

https://victoriaterrinoni.org

FB — https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaTerrinoni

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/vickiterrinoni

Twitter – https://twitter.com/VictoriaTerrin2

LinkedIn – https://www.linekedin.com/in/victoria-terrinoni-b98a5b30

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Terrinoni

Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomvictoriaterrinoni

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Jack Ketchum

(PINNED – Interviewed in December 2017)

Name: Dallas Mayr

Pseudonym (if you use one): Jack Ketchum

Genre(s) of your work: Horror and Suspense (and the occasional Black Comedy.)

Titles/Year of Published Work(s):  Writing professionally since 1970, first fiction 1976, first novel, OFF SEASON, 1981.

Bio: see my website http://www.jackketchum.net/and add to that, Most Recent Novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF SOULS, written with Lucky McKee and Most Recent Collection, GORILLA IN MY ROOM.

Why do you write in the genre that you do?  

I grew up loving fantasy, and horror is the dark side of fantasy.

How has writing changed/altered your life? The usual perks of self-employment — no punching the time clock, no damn bosses hovering over your desk.  But in addition to that, writing mandates continual periods of self-examination.  You don’t easily get away with lying to yourself on the page.  It requires you to scour your history and your present for your deepest faults and pleasures, to reveal and revel in them, to find the strengths in your life and work from there, reaching outward.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Far too many to list here.  I read all over the place and consequently my favorite writers come from all genres and backgrounds, from Henry Miller to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, from Raymond Chandler, Elmore Leonard and John D. MacDonald to Thomas Hardy, Philip Roth, Michael Chabon, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Straub and Stephen King.  Why?  Because they’re smart, empathic, courageous.  Because they’re good!

What is your opinion of mainstream/corporate bookstores?

I wish we had a lot more mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar bookstores.  I seriously miss browsing.

What do you hope your readers will take away from your work?

The need for empathy and tenderness in the world, that the souls of beasts and humans matter.  And a few hours of just plain fun.

How much does personal experience play in your written work?

Depends on the piece.  Some, like THE GIRL NEXT DOOR and RED, are highly personal, others…?  I don’t know where the hell they came from!

How do you find the motivation to complete a book/story?  

Finishing a piece is almost always easy.  It’s getting started that’s hard.  Getting all your ducks in a row and then having the balls and suspension of disbelief  to say to yourself, this is really going to work.

What makes you NOT finish reading a book?

I give books a first paragraph test.  If it passes, then a first chapter test.  If it passes that, I’ll almost always finish the book — I can tell from there that I’m going to want to.   If it fails I scuttle it immediately.  Very occasionally, too much repetition will make me dump it.  I don’t want to waste reading-time.  Too much good stuff out there.

Do you believe writing should be censored – that some topics should remain taboo?

Nothing should ever be censored.  Everything is worth discussing.  How long a discussion is another matter entirely.

Any pet peeves in writing? In reading others’ work?

 Life’s short.  I don’t bother with peeves.  If I’m bored, I just close the book.

Where can people find you and your work?

Website, see above. I have a list of published works there.   Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/jackketchumofficial/ Twitter, https://twitter.com/jackketchum Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Ketchum

What can I say?

I am honored to have snagged a bit of Jack Ketchum’s time, for him to share his thoughts and words with me (and my readers), and for his participation in a blog such as this one. Thank you so much – for the interview as well as your writing. It has and continues to be an inspiration.

Readers, I implore you to look into Jack Ketchum’s work, especially if you are a horror/suspense fan. From the mouth of Stephen King – “Who’s the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.”

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