Thursday, 13 October 2011

Spotlight on author Peter Giglio "A Spark in the Darkness"

I invited author Peter Giglio to talk about his work and his latest book "A Spark In The Darkness" and here's what he had to say...
Tell me 3 things about yourself using words beginning with D  : 
Determined. Distinct. Diligent.
Tell me 3 things about your novella using words beginning with L  : 
Literate. Lively. Lean.
How long did it take you to write A Spark in the Darkness?
The first draft took two weeks. I spent two weeks editing it, then I submitted it one month after starting the project. A Spark in the Darkness came at the end of a very prolific run for me.
How long have been writing for? 
I wrote a lot as a kid, then all the way through college. Then I did the unthinkable, I stopped. Didn’t write a lick of prose from 22-37. Two years ago I started again, this time with a vengeance. Haven’t looked back. Won’t look back. This is who I am.
Have you always wrote or wanted to write speculative fiction? And why?
Hard to say. I have a wide range of interests. Most of the ideas I had when I wasn’t writing would have fallen into the literary fiction category. I sometimes kept notes, but never executed on my visions. When I started writing again everything came out horror. I’ve always loved speculative fiction, but I’d like to tell a long story that takes place entirely in the real world. I’ve sold a couple short stories that—while horror— are completely believable. I think there will come I time when realistic fiction wins me over. I’m just having too much fun right now.  
What was your most valuable lesson learned whilst writing A Spark in the Darkness?
Less is more. I could have developed A Spark in the Darkness into a novel. When I looked at the first draft, I tried to find ways to expand the story. But then I realized the story was exactly as long as it needed to be. And I realized there was a bigger story beyond this one. That’s when I realized I’d just written a prequel to a trilogy not yet written.
If life is a highway what sort of transport are you taking? 
The Bluesmobile. “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.”
What is your all time favorite novel / movie / song?? 
Favorite novel – Ubik by Philip K. Dick
Favorite movie – The Godfather
Favorite song – “To Look At You” by INXS
These days, authors have to be self promoters as well. How has your experience been learning the business of marketing? Good or bad? Takes up too much time?
Things that I’m sure will work sink like stones. And the things I least expect response from bear fruit. I spent more than 10 years working in marketing. But book marketing is new territory. There are still lots of people buying books, but they have more choices than ever. Trying to find one’s market is never a waste of time. Otherwise, I’d end up writing for myself and my cats. And they scare easily; I don’t think horror’s their bag. My theory is this: Do everything! And pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes it feels like it takes up too much time, but without marketing I wouldn’t take breaks from my writing and editing. And I think writers need to do this to stay fresh. Also, I get feedback from others: what they like, what they don’t like. And I get to make friends. I’ve been fortunate to form a slew of friendships, and later this year I get to meet several of my virtual friends at AnthoCon. I get to shake their hands, hoist a few drinks with them, and work with them to promote our works.  If I hadn’t built the network I have, which is part of the marketing process, I wouldn’t have this experience to look forward to. I think marketing, if done right, enhances one’s writing, keeps us humble, and allows us to make valuable connections. So I like the new trend. I’d also love it if one of my publishers bought ad space in the NY Times and got my titles into brick and mortar stores. But I wouldn’t stop promoting/marketing even if I had this kind of platform.
Do you work a day job? If so, what support do you get from your family (if any) and how do you make time for writing? 
I work for Evil Jester Press as the Executive Editor. That’s my day job. But, no, I don’t have an 8-5 office job anymore. I quit a good job in August 2010 to focus on my literary dreams. This is a decision I’ll never regret. I don’t have the kind of disposable income I used to. But I’m happier than I’ve ever been. More than half my office life was spent in management. I had some great experiences, worked with some wonderful people, but it wasn’t me.
Writing these days is a very competitive business. If you found the secret formula to writing and selling a best seller, would you take the secret to your grave or would you share it?
Hard to say. If everyone knew the secret then the secret would no longer be relevant, right? It’s simple math, not everyone can be a bestselling author. And who’s to say that the secret for me would be the secret for someone else. I share the things I learn with others, so I guess I’d share the secret. But it’s like a recipe. My grandmother made the best pies in the world. People who follow her recipe to the letter make good pies. But they aren’t as good as Grandma’s. Stephen King has shared all his secrets. Heck, I’ve read his memoir On Writing several times. But that doesn’t mean my work’s gonna sell like his.
Do you plan your novels? If so, do you use an existing formula or did you create your own style?
It’s always my own style. And yes, I plan. I write outlines. But the process always changes depending on the work. I just keep an open mind.
Did you do any creative writing or editing courses? And if so, did the course/s help? 
Other than the courses in college I’ve never taken a course in writing/editing. I do read a lot of books about writing and editing, however, and they help a great deal.
Were you an e-book reader prior to getting published by Etopia Press? And if not, are you now a convert? 
I acquired an iPad two weeks before my acceptance with Etopia Press. Before that I occasionally read eBooks on my laptop. I still love actual books and read them often. But eBooks are terrific for travel. Also, the iPad lights up in the dark. So I can read before bed without the lamp on. I’ve learned to love eBooks, but print books will always be my true love.
Are the rest of your hobbies creative as well and if so, have you always been creative?
I’ve always been creative. As a kid I drew and painted all the time. I still like to doodle little cartoons. I try to add a splash of creativity to everything I do, even my marketing efforts.
Is A Spark in the Darkness  a part a series? If so, how many books do you see being released?
I’m planning a full-length novel sequel to A Spark in the Darkness. It’s called The Jewel of Eternity. I know there’s at least one more story to tell involving the characters in Spark. But I’m hopeful that the novella will spawn a trilogy. It all comes down to demand. If people want the books, I’ll write them. I want to write them.
Are any of your books based on any real experiences in your life?
I pull from real life all the time. But I have a very active imagination. As a writer of speculative fiction, I like asking the question “What if?” This allows me to take every day events and blow them into crazy things. I like to think that beneath all the action there’s a lot of truth in my work. 

"A Spark in the Darkness has put the bite back in the vampire tale." - Joe McKinney
"Peter Giglio is a downright scary new voice in horror." -Amy Wallace, #1 NY Times Bestselling author

"Help! Wanted is a rollicking, creepy, crazy, and thoroughly unnerving collection of work-related horror stories by the cream of today's horror crop. Each story is as stingingly fresh as a razor cut!" - Jonathan Maberry

1 comment:

  1. Great interview. I read your comment about "doing everything" in marketing and I groaned. Loudly. :) I wanted to hear that you have the secret.