I’ve decided to do a few more interviews on my blog. These won’t be exclusive to writers, although that will probably make up the bulk of the posts. I don’t plan to make it a mainstay feature but I like learning about other folks and this will give me a way to do that. And maybe it will introduce those who visit here to some new writers or new blog pals.
My first guest is the writer Keith Gouveia. I met Keith in an online writing group called “The Parasitorium,” which was founded by my good friend Del Stone, Jr. Del went on to publish a collection of stories from group members in 2003. It was called The Parasitorium: Terrors Within. I had a story in the collection called “Thief of Eyes,” and Keith had one of his early stories published in that collection, a nasty little work called “Taper.” Without further ado, here’s Keith. (RZ represents Razored Zen and I’m sure you can figure out what KG stands for.)
RZ: Keith, tell us a little about yourself outside of writing. Home town. Family. Job. That sort of thing.
KG: I grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts and now live in Florida. I’m married to my lovely wife, Lisa, and I’m a mechanical engineer in my off hours.
RZ: What made you want to write? Is it a desire that’s always been with you? Or was there some particular event or book that ignited the fire?
KG: Telling stories has always been my favorite pastime. Unfortunately, in high school, I had a Literature teacher who berated me over my topic choice when it came to creative writing. He would often assign homework to write freely, I would chose a horror story as that was what I enjoyed reading the most outside of the Hardy Boys and Conan stories, and he would give me a C with a handwritten scribble “this trash will get you no where.” No red punctuation markups, just his vitriol. The mental block he instilled in me wasn’t demolished until Lisa entered my life (eleven years ago) and supported my writing. Been going strong ever since. I write to entertain myself, and if I can do that for someone else then that’s just gravy.
RZ: Writers always get asked about their influences, so consider this that question.
KG: Edgar Allan Poe is at the top. Robert E. Howard and Stephen King are close seconds. I remember reading Poe and feeling his pain, it resonated with me as I shared his pain of loss and loneliness. I borrowed my mother’s copy of Stephen King’s IT and was thoroughly frightened, and was and still am in awe at Howard’s vision.
RZ: Keith, one reason I wanted to interview you is because, like me, you seem to enjoy writing in a variety of genres. I’ve read horror stuff by you, fantasy oriented stuff, and even materials that border on Young/Adult. Why is that? Is there a common theme or thread that you see running through all your work?
KG: I think it boils down to my reading habits when I was younger. I read various age appropriate material and a lot of not so much, and when it comes time to explore a story idea, I’m open minded and allow it to fit where it’s best suited. Plus, I have two great kids and I want them to be as well read as I was. Regardless of the genre though, I will always fit in a horror trope or two.
RZ: Writing can be hard work, especially when you’re slogging through the middle passage on a novel. What motivates you to keep going? What inspires you?
KG: Life inspires me. Combine that with my wife’s nurturing words, and I rarely hit that proverbial wall called writer’s block. Once I get going, I have the strong urge to see it to completion. Discipline is one of a writer’s greatest assets.
RZ: What are you working on currently? And what’s next for you?
KG: Right now I’m working on new werewolf short stories for a sequel collection to my Animal Behavior and Other Tales of Lycanthropy as well as finishing my zombie novel Death Puppet. After that, I’ve been writing a fantasy epic off and on titled Sword of Darkness, Sword of Light and I’d like to get back to that.
RZ: What work is available from you right now, and where can readers find it? Is there a place online where folks could go to learn more about you and your work?
KG: Right now, my most notable works are the aforementioned werewolf collection and my continuation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Black Cat, titled The Black Cat and the Ghoul. It is a zombie mash-up ala Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but rather than splicing zombies into the piece, I’ve continued the tale of a nameless character in Poe’s short story and turned it into book length in a way I believe true to Poe’s vision and macabre taste. But if you want Fantasy, check out my YA novel Children of the Dragon, all titles released by Coscom Entertainment and can be found at all on-line bookstores and can be ordered via brick and mortar stores as well. And to learn more about me, I have a website (though I’m terrible with updates) at http://www.keithgouveia.com or befriend me on Facebook.
Keith, thanks for visiting Razored Zen.
Thank you for having me. Until next time, “Pleasant Screams!”