We are ecstatic and honoured to be able to showcase our talented authors committed to the Kickstarter "The Earth Bleeds at Night". in these small and fun interviews.
Introducing the one and only, Philip Fracassi. Philip, tell us about yourself.
I’m the Stoker-nominated author of the novels A Child Alone with Strangers, Gothic, and Boys in the Valley, as well as the award-winning story collections Behold the Void and Beneath a Pale Sky. My books have been translated into multiple languages, and my stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Best Horror of the Year, Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, Southwest Review, and Interzone.
As a screenwriter, my feature films have been distributed by Disney Entertainment and Lifetime Television, and I currently have several stories under option for film/tv adaptation.
How and why did you pick up the pen and start writing? Have you always been drawn to the creative arts or is this something that started later in life?
I’ve always been a fiction writer, even as a child, but was never to get anything published as an adult, so about twenty years ago I started writing screenplays instead and had some mild success. When I tried writing fiction again around 2015, inspired by many of the new crop of horror writers I admire so much, I had much better success with what I was creating, and things have been rolling ever since!
How do you approach research and realism when writing horror stories?
I’ve written a few historical pieces now, including two novels, and it’s a tough way to write a book. But my approach is to recreate the setting as accurately as possible, without oversharing all the research I’ve done. Whatever fits naturally into the story is written in, but nothing that doesn’t serve the story itself.
I think grounding horror, or speculative, stories in realism is important. You want readers to feel that the characters are real, that what’s happening could be happening to them. That way the horror is more frightening, the violence more impactful, and the supernatural more wondrous.
What is the scariest thing you have ever written?
One thing that’s interesting about writing is how different every reader responds to a specific story or book. It’s always wild to see such a wide range of responses to the same story. Point being, it’s a hard thing to be objective about.
That said, if we’re discussing what I personally feel is the scariest thing I’ve ever written, I’d say it’s a tie between the final act of my story “Altar” and what I affectionately refer to as “the hole scene” in Boys in the Valley. I’d go into more detail, but spoilers...
What are you drinking right now?
My liquid consumption is pretty much the same every day (and incredibly unhealthy, I realize). I start with coffee in the mornings, graduate to Diet Coke in the afternoons, then start in on scotch for my evening writing sessions. It’s a ritual that works for me, but not one I’d recommend!
As I type this, I’m in my Diet Coke stage. Which is good. My scotch stage would lead to some slightly different answers.
If you were in a horror movie, which character would you be: the final girl, the comic relief, the first victim, or the killer?
This is an easy one. I’d definitely be the first victim. I’d be the one who’d stand up and say, “I’ll go check out what’s making that weird noise in the woods, at night, without a weapon...” That’s me in a nutshell: always doing dumb stuff and getting killed off.
Tell us about your recent works and where we call stalk you... I mean find you.
My most recent novel is Boys in the Valley, released by Tor Nightfire in the US and Orbit Books in the UK. Prior to that I’d released a couple story collections and two novels, A Child Alone with Strangers and Gothic.
Links and information for all my books can be found on my website: pfracassi.com/books.
Folks who want to follow me on social media can find me on Facebook, Twitter/X (@philipfracassi), and Instagram (@pfracassi)
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