Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Pulp Horror Author Interview P: Richard Chizmar

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications

Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Richard Chizmar who explores the fear of children in his short story "The Hunch" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.

LVP PUBLICATIONS: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

RICHARD CHIZMAR: I was definitely scared of things that went bump in the night when I was a kid. I've always had a big imagination, and there were times when it overwhelmed me as a child. A lot of sleepless nights after Creature Double Features on television. A lot of breathless sprints home after dark from my friends' houses so the Boogeyman wouldn't jump out of the shadows and grab me.

These days, my fears or phobias are much more mundane. I'm always terrified something bad will happen to one of my loved ones. I'm not a big fan of flying or extreme heights. Nothing terribly exotic or exciting, I'm afraid.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

CHIZMAR: Hmmm. Without going back and sifting through my bibliography, I'd have to say either "The Man Behind the Mask" or "The Box." Both stories feature human monsters of the live-next-door variety and tragic endings that were pretty difficult to write.

LVP: The Hunch addresses pedophobia in a unique way. Do you share any of Rutherford's past experiences or fears regarding children?

CHIZMAR: Actually, quite the opposite. I've always loved kids. I'd rather eat a holiday dinner at the Kid Table instead of with the adults. Much more interesting. If I'm attending a cook-out, you can usually find me playing whiffle ball or kick-ball with the kids. Again, much more fun than talking business or politics or religion.

When it came time to pick a phobia for the anthology, I thought it would be interesting to turn the tables on myself.

LVP: Which character in The Hunch do you most personally identify with and why?

CHIZMAR: Well, I'd like to say I'm most like Detective Ben Crawford -- steady and wise with an abundance of common sense. But, if I'm being honest, I probably most resemble his partner, Frank Logan. Stubborn, emotional, curious to a fault, and a little mischievous.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

CHIZMAR: I'd be pretty darn happy with "Good Husband, Dad & Storyteller".

LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?

CHIZMAR: Just a big thank you for inviting me to contribute a story to The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias. It's a great concept for a collection of dark tales, and I can't wait to read it!

~ Richard Chizmar is a New York Times, USA Today,Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Amazon, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author.

Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

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