Friday, October 9, 2015

THE GAL'S 31 DAYS OF HORROR: AMONG THE STACKS: H.E. Goodhue


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Hank.  Or should I call you "Mr. Goodhue"?  Welcome to The Gal.  It's a pleasure having you here today.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

H.E. Goodhue:
Hmm...  I'm the author of seven books, all through Severed Press.  When my wife and I aren't chasing our daughter or two pitbulls around, I tend to spend my downtime consuming massive amounts of horror movies and books.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

H.E. Goodhue:
1. Aside from being a writer, I am also a proud NJ public educator of 12 years.

2. I'm a vegetarian, which is ironic when you consider that many of my books are about people being eaten.  Then again, if you read Pink Slime, it might not surprise you at all.

3. I drink an absolutely absurd amount of seltzer.  Polar is my go-to brand.  (You hear that Polar people?  Sponsor me...or at least give me some free seltzer...please?)

4. I consider the movie C.H.U.D. to be one of the finest pieces of cinematic mastery ever created...not really, but it is pretty damn awesome.  Cannibals and Daniel Stern running around in the sewer with a ski boot, what's not to love?

5. I consider Swedish Fish to be a food group.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

H.E. Goodhue:
I'm not sure about the first book that I read, but I remember being young and my parents reading me Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan series.  It's a long way off from what we see on TV or in the movies...go figure that Disney would glaze over the part where a young Tarzan is taunting people with a head on a stick?  I have no doubt that Phil Collins could have written a moving song for that montage.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

H.E. Goodhue:
The Devil's Only Friend by Dan Wells.  It's the newest book in his John Cleaver series about a would-be serial killer that ends up hunting demons - great main character.  

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

H.E. Goodhue:
I began writing when I was young (probably around 9 or 10) when I began having recurrent, episodic nightmares.  I would fall asleep and pick up where I left off the night before.  Writing them down was an effective means of controlling the dreams and it was fun to illustrate the crazy stories.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

H.E. Goodhue:
Not really.  My first published book, Zombie Youth: Playground Politics, was written everywhere from a desk to a parking lot.  I tend to travel with my laptop and write wherever and whenever an idea strikes.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

H.E. Goodhue:
I'm not much for ritual when it comes to writing.  I'm sure that there are strange things that I do, like ensuring that a two-liter of seltzer is within reach, but beyond that I kind of do whatever works.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

H.E. Goodhue:
I'm sure many before have echoed this sentiment, but the hardest part of writing is actually the writing.  There are a lot of things to distract from finishing that story, but that's what it's about.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

H.E. Goodhue:
From a young age, Poe was a mainstay for me, but there are so many good authors, both past and present, that have provided inspiration.  Richard Matheson is another author that I will grab when I want a sure thing, but with the sheer number of authors out there, I like to find new ones, too.  The literary world is flooded - which is good and bad - but overall it's awesome to have access to so many stories and voices.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

H.E. Goodhue:
The author has to believe in what he/she is writing.  There is nothing worse than a forced story.  It comes across hollow and the readers will pick up on it.  When the author cares about the story, chances are the readers will, too.  Other than that, write solid characters and find a good editor.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

H.E. Goodhue:
It really depends on the character.  I have creating some characters that I absolutely loathed, but who were crucial to the story.  By the middle of the book I was itching to off them in some terrible way, but had to restrain myself.  Then there's the reverse - characters that I wanted to keep, but who needed to go.  When I'm conflicted about a character, I embrace it because chances are that the reader will be, too.  I want people to get upset that someone escaped or didn't - it means I did my job.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

H.E. Goodhue:
That's a tough one.  There are bits of my humor or experiences in many of my characters - the main characters of the Zombie Youth series are probably the best example of this.  I would like to think that the creatures in Pink Slime or the Reds in Love Bug were free of this claim, but I'm sure even the monsters undoubtedly have some spark of me in them.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

H.E. Goodhue:
Some bad covers are awesome.  Have you ever seen the dinosaur erotica genre?  I've never read it (seriously, I swear), but the covers are so bad that they're art.  Overall though, covers are pretty important.  Humans are visual and the cover is the reader's first introduction to the story.
            In the beginning, Severed Press handled the majority of cover decisions, but as subsequent books were released, I became more involved.  Pink Slime was a prime example of this.  The story revolves around the Roswell crash, binge eating and all sorts of other insanity - not the easiest thing to convey in a cover.  I, only half seriously, suggested getting cheeseburgers from a fast food restaurant that shall remain nameless and having them ooze pink slime.  Two days later, Severed Press sent me one of my favorite covers.  I have to say, Severed Press does an amazing job creating solid covers and high quality work.  I'm proud to have my work published through them.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

H.E. Goodhue:
Not to rush the story.  When the Zombie Youth series first came out, I was eager to get the remaining books in the series written because I knew where I wanted the story to go.  Ultimately, this rush backfired in the third book, Brotherly Blood, because I was burnt out and wanted to drop a literary nuclear bomb on my characters.  I took a break and wrote Love Bug and Pink Slime before returning to Brotherly Blood with fresh eyes.  I have to admit that it ended in a totally different direction than what I had planned, but I'm glad that I gave the story time to breathe and really like where it ended up.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

H.E. Goodhue:
I can't really admit that without giving away a major plot spoiler in one of my books, but I'll say it involved one of my favorite characters, a dog that I had based on my first pitiful, Nugget.  Nugget - aka Queen Bee - was a rescued fighting dog who could not have been sweeter and only wanted to be loved, but she was one bad ass dog who once stopped two people from getting into my house.  She was nothing short of legendary and when I created this dog in my story, I knew I wanted it to be like her, but that meant that the dog also needed to be a hero and we know what tends to happen to heroes in horror stories.  I was pretty conflicted about this point in the story arc, but stayed true to the character.
            Bit of an aside, but we had an artist create a painting of Nugget in a brigadier general uniform - epaulettes and all.  It's in a gold baroque frame and hangs in our family room.  It's one of my favorite pieces of art.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

H.E. Goodhue:
One of the things I really like about horror is that it is a very wide genre that allows for elements of everything from romance to politics.  I often have humor in my stories, sometimes pretty dry, and have been told that some of my descriptions are pretty vivid, but the same could be said about a lot of horror authors.
            One thing that I guess is somewhat notable is that many of my stories, while different and standalone, take place in the same universe, so sometimes a character will cross from one book into another.  Most recently, I did this with Pink SlimeTidal Grave and RIP Tyde.  You can read any of these books on their own and not miss anything from the story, but I like that a reader might find a character they like and be able to get a little more about them in another story.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

H.E. Goodhue:
I honestly find titles to be one of the hardest parts and usually save them for the end because, like the cover, it's what introduces the reader to the story.  An incredible story with a bad title might be overlooked and a great title might sell a less than incredible story.  Sometimes a title will pop into my head at 3am or while I'm supposed to be doing other things.  Once I have a few in mind, I throw them out there for my wife.  She's a great sounding board and has been integral in the hammering out of solid titles.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

H.E. Goodhue:
I tend to go for the novel or novella versus the short story, not because I find one more fulfilling or better than the other, but that just seems to be where I end up.  Zombie Youth started as a short story and turned into a three novel series.  I like committing to and fully exploring the universe and characters.  Conversely, there are some truly amazing short stories out there and I admire an author's ability to convey so much in such a concise format.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

H.E. Goodhue:
My books seem to appeal across age gaps.  The majority of my readers are adults, but young adults seem to like them too being that some of them center on teenage characters.  I would like to think that readers take something away, be it a thought or idea, but ultimately if they end one of my books feeling like they were entertained, then I was successful.  Life is busy and stressful, I am happy to provide a great escape, even if it is into a world of monsters and apocalypses.  

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

H.E. Goodhue:
There have been characters that I started to create or wanted to and decided that I didn't like how they fit a story.  There was also a scene in one story where the main character died.  It was a good scene, just not needed on page 50 out of 300.  The remaining 250 pages would have been pretty tough without a main character.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your 'trunk'?  (Everyone has a book or project, which doesn't necessarily have to be book related, that they have put aside for a 'rainy day' or for when they have extra time.  Do you have one?)

H.E. Goodhue:
Well that's a rather forward question...I actually have a book that I wrote a few years ago that I often think about going back to and fleshing out.  I guess you could say it's horror, but it's very different than my other books - more of an exploration of the human monster than anything else.  A few people have read it, but I would like to revisit it seven books later and see what I could do with it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

H.E. Goodhue:
I am currently working on a new zombie book for Severed Press called Dry Rot.  I'm trying to do something a little different with this one and have been pretty happy with where it's going.  After that, I'm returning to the sea monsters in Tidal Grave and RIP Tyde for a crossover book.  It should be a fun monster mess.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (You know, STaLKeR links.)

H.E. Goodhue:

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks for being here today.  I'm going to have to head on over to Amazon and grab one or two of these. :)
            Before you go, do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview?

H.E. Goodhue:
First and foremost, I'd like to thank The Gal for having me.  I would also like to thank anyone who has taken the time to read a story, interview, article, etc...or who took the time to email or message me.  I greatly appreciate everyone's time and feedback.  Thank you!


About the author:
H.E. Goodhue is an author and educator.  Goodhue's series, Zombie Youth (Severed Press) has been called "unrelenting", "thrilling and exciting" by both fellow authors and literary critics.  Goodhue is also the author of Pink SlimeLove BugTidal GraveRIP Tyde and the soon to be released Dry Rot. H.E. Goodhue currently resides in New Jersey with his wife, daughter and two hardheaded pitbulls. 

About the author:

Zombie Youth 1: Playground Politics
Genre: Horror, Post-Apocalyptic, YA
Publisher: Severed Press
Publication date: 4.8.2012
Pages: 349

What will the survivors do when every one over the age of twenty suddenly dies in a viral outbreak?  Worse yet, what will they do when the dead refuse to stay that way?

A group of students are left trapped in their school as the adults they once relied upon suffer strange symptoms and die, only to return and feed.  With no guidance or supervision, the students are left to recreate society as they see fit.  But not everyone shares their vision of the future...  
            Zombie Youth: Playground Politics is the first novel in a new series following a group of survivors struggling to stay alive in a world where there are things far worse than zombies.

Zombie Youth 2: Borrowed Time
Genre: Horror, Post-Apocalyptic, YA
Publisher: Severed Press
Publication date: 3.17.2013
Pages: 450

In the war between the living and the dead, time chooses no sides.  Every minute is borrowed.
            Two years have passed and the Montville survivors have finally begun to live.
            The Pillar of Zion Church lies in ruins, but an old threat stirs beneath the ashes.
            The origins of infection lie buried deep within the mysterious Stone Creek.  Vicious Ferals run wild through the surrounding woods.
            Montville has outlasted both men and monsters, but the relentless march of time brings the Zombie Youth closer to the day that they may become what they have feared most.

Zombie Youth 3: Brotherly Blood
Genre: Horror, Post-Apocalyptic, YA
Publisher: Severed Press
Publication date: 3.16.2014
Pages: 266

Death rides again.  Following the orders of Uriel, Death prepares the way for the Pillar of Zion Church to return to Montville.  A secret flows in the blood of young Eve.  The secret could save the Zombie Youth or be a death sentence for everyone within the walls of Montville.  The war between the living and the dead has returned to Montville and battle lines have been drawn with a brother's blood.

Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Publisher: Severed Press
Publication date: 3.1.2014
Pages: 138

In 1947 something crashed in Roswell, New Mexico.  Years later it found its way onto fast food menus.  The government said it was safe.  The aliens said it needed to be controlled.  Andy Holstein said it was lunch.
            Andy Holstein's entire life has been a joke...he is just never the one who was laughing.  Until recently, the only source of comfort in Andy's life has been fast food cheeseburgers.  Now something inside Andy promises revenge, promises him everything he has ever wanted.  All he has to do is keep eating cheeseburgers - keep feeding the pink slime.

Genre: Dystopian, YA
Publisher: Severed Press
Publication date: 4.10.2014
Pages: 203

A viral outbreak has decimated humanity.  The virus is triggered by emotions.  Some cal the virus the Love Bug.  All fear infection.
            Citizens of a new unfeeling world are fitted with Em-Paks, technology designed to eliminate the danger of emotions.  Removal of an Em-Pak is an irreversible act of Emotional Treason and punishable by death.  Not all are willing to sacrifice feeling and terrorists groups known as Emos risk infection and death to cling to their emotions.  The infected, known as Reds, run fear outside of city walls.
            Cora Eldritch has lived a privileged, yet emotionless life.  Following an accident, Cora's Em-Pack is damaged and she is now guilty of Emotional Treason.  A young Emo named Remmy rescues Cora from the Reds and she is trust into a world where nothing is what it seems and emotions are deadly.  Cora must ultimately find a way to not only save Remmy, but herself.

Genre: Horror, Sea Stories
Publisher: Severed Press
Publication date: 8.9.2014
Pages: 152

Every summer the residents of Sunset Island are besieged by an ungodly plague - tourists.  Ray Weller, known to most as The Captain, pilots the ferry that brings the very thing he hates to the shores of his beloved island.  Ray loathes the tourists, detests his job and nickname, but will soon discover that Sunset Island is threatened by something far worse than tourists.
            Something lies beneath Sunset Island.  Something ancient and long forgotten.  Something man should never have woken from its slumber.
            As a hurricane cuts Sunset Island off from the mainland, residents and tourists alike, are trapped as the sea reclaims the island.  Sharks, fleeing what has risen, swarm the flooded streets.  The creature, starving from its long hibernation, swims toward Sunset.
            Now Ray must find a way to save the island he loves and maybe even a few of the people he hates.

Genre: Horror, Sea Stories
Publisher: Severed Press
Publication date: 5.26.2015
Pages: 168

Legend has long spoken of the prehistoric monsters that silently glide through the waters surrounding Long Island in the Bahamas.  Locals know that some areas are better left unexplored - Dean's Blue Hole being one of them.
            Blue holes are found throughout the world and the number is growing.  These expansive underwater caves call to divers, but remain largely unexplored.
            Cursed with a strange name and dying marriage, Tyde Gregory plans a last ditch effort to save his relationship.  Diving at Dean's Blue Hole on Long Island seems to be the only thing Tyde and his wife, Wendy, can agree upon.  As hope turns to horror, Tyde realizes that there are things far worse than a broken marriage.

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