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Monday, October 24, 2016

The Gal's 62 Days of Horror Day 19: AMONG THE STACKS: Chris Kosarich


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hey, Chris!  Welcome to The Gal.  I had a bit of an internet snafu over the last couple of days, so we're running a little late on these things.  You *were* Day 19, so we'll just pretend it's still back on the 19th haha.  Thank you so much for coming - and bearing with me on these issues.  I'm glad to have you.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Chris Kosarich:
I'm 49, married, with 3 step kids.  I've worked in the retail book business for over 20 years and still enjoy it.  I'm a diehard Steelers fan, being born in Pittsburgh, where my family is from, but have lived in Florida most of my life.  Love to cook, big fan of 80's music, and recently crossed off a bucket list item by buying a bass guitar so I can some day play it like JT from Duran Duran.  Hey, a guy can dream, right?

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

Chris Kosarich:
One, I'd love to play bass in a band.  Two, open a Mexican-Asian fusion food truck that is also a horror book mobile.  Crazy, I know.  Three, I've written and published erotica for years and would love to put together a story collection in the future... under a pseudonym, of course.  Four, I love being on the water but prone to seasickness.  Five, I'm planning on being to Florida what Stephen King is to Maine.  Modest, aren't I?

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

Chris Kosarich:
Since I wasn't a huge reader as a kid, probably The Three Investigators series.  Loved those books!

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

Chris Kosarich:
I always have multiple books going, print and ebooks.  Along with a few story collections.  I'm almost done with Red Moon by Benjamin Percy, a dystopian werewolf novel with societal political undertones and very good.  Also almost half done with Here There be Monsters by the awesome Tim Curran.  Lovecraftian short story collection.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn't expect you to have liked?

Chris Kosarich:
Jodi Picoult, my wife's favorite author, writes some pretty powerful stuff and I've read and enjoyed a few of her books.  Also, I really dig some of the Florida mystery authors, especially Randy Wayne White.  His Doc Ford series is amazing.  Terrific storyteller.

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

Chris Kosarich:
As a kid, and because my extended family is full of creative types, musically and artistically, I started off drawing comic strips and comic books.  I was, and still am, a Marvel guy.  But then in middle school I had to read a book every week or so, and turn in a book report.  A classmate was reading these slim Men's action-adventure series novels, Mack Bolan: The Executioner, and I got hooked.  And my creativity shifted into writing stories like these.  I wrote several, handwritten, until I got a type writer.  Then, having always been a horror movie fan, I picked up Pet Sematary by Stephen King... and was hooked.  After that it was KoontzStraubMcCammonBarker, etc.

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

Chris Kosarich:
Not really, just at my desk in our bedroom, which is also crammed with bookshelves, with more in the family room.  So many books, not enough time...

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

Chris Kosarich:
I say a prayer to the Old Ones... Cthulhu...

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

Chris Kosarich:
Not really, but I'm still learning and growing as a writer.  Early on, it was the editing or revision process.  I didn't hate it as much as I would be discouraged.  Too much of a perfectionist.  But now I enjoy the process of honing and refining.  Oh... and I never outline, but do keep a small notepad on my desk for jotting down scenes, details, notes, but nothing is concrete.  Love the flow of writing and seeing where the story takes you.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the most satisfying thing you've written so far?

Chris Kosarich:
Recently I completed a story collection, The Nightmare Season, which will be 5 or 6 longer pieces, unpublished previously, near novella or novelette length, and one short story.  My current novel in progress is a sci-fi horror novel called The Ravening, and easily the most fun I've had so far working on a book.  To date, I'm over 30,000 words.  I expect to have the first draft done this month and hopefully revisions done by year's end.

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

Chris Kosarich:
Without question, Stephen King, followed by the other big names from that Era in the 80's and early 90's, but mid to late 90's I discovered Edward Lee and read more of Laymon, who influence a lot of my work.  Brian Hodge and Doug Clegg also influence me and still do.  In the past decade and a half, Brian Keene is the most important horror author, along with most of the Leisure Books Horror stable... including another big favorite of mine, Bryan Smith.  Also, Jonathan Maberry, who's incredibly prolific.  Really, I really love the works of Jonathan JanzTim CurranGlenn RolfeBrian MorelandRonald Malfi, etc, a lot of the former Samhain Horror folks.  And Lovecraft, who I admit I was late to discovering.  But I've been consciously trying to read more of the earlier classic horror authors, too, because that's important.  I know I'm missing a few, my apologies.

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

Chris Kosarich:
Believable characters.  Plain and simple.

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?

Chris Kosarich:
See above... but being able to relate to or sympathize with them, even the truly despicable ones too.

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

Chris Kosarich:
Not to sound weird... but all of them.  But most of us writers put a bit of ourselves in everything we create.  There's one main character in my current novel in progress that I absolutely love writing about because he's not what he seems, mysterious and dangerous, and has a serious penchant for James Bond films, the real 007... Sean Connery.

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?

Chris Kosarich:
A good cover is important.  But I do love those cheesy 80's horror paperbacks.  I've not had a book published yet, but soon... and I'll want to be as involved as I can with the cover art and design.  I'm considering self-publishing my story collection, and know others who've done it, but I'd pay to have a decent cover designed.

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

Chris Kosarich:
Patience and perseverance, always.  Write every day.  Or... almost every day.

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

Chris Kosarich:
Recently?  Not much, although one of my collection stories is going to have a major setting change in revisions, but the chance is necessary.  But nothing in particular comes to mind.

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

Chris Kosarich:
I'd like to think my work would appeal to fans of classic 80's and 90's horror, along with what's out there now.  I write, or try to, what I enjoy reading.

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)?

Chris Kosarich:
Same thing as the cover, in my opinion.

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

Chris Kosarich:
Both, actually.  I've always dabbled in both, and my first several publishing credits were short horror fiction, and one erotic story, in various small press publications.  I also wrote a column for the HWA newsletter for 4 years.  Just finally putting The End to a story, long or short, is a tremendous and satisfying sense of accomplishment.

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

Chris Kosarich:
Nothing of note recently but if it's not necessary to moving the plot forward, it shouldn't be there.  A few years ago, I finished a first draft to a werewolf novella, came up with a cool yet implausible idea for a sequel.  Got a few chapters into said sequel and decided to scrap it.  Unfortunately, that kinda means the novella would need a major overhaul.  Then my computer took a crap.  Lost a bunch of stuff (to newer writers out, I can't stress this enough... back your shit up... and not on a flash drive, use cloud storage like Dropbox, etc, and print out hard copies.  Don't learn the hard lesson I did, twice now!), and will some day revisit and rewrite... just because I love werewolves!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's 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?)

Chris Kosarich:
Yet, two actually.  Well... maybe three, but I wrote a massive 630+ page thing called Moon Child that I'd like to dust off and redo, but not any time soon.  But it's a cool premise on demonic possession or a demon breeding with a human, and creating a hybrid.  I also have a couple other older novels I'm still fond of, but who knows?

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

Chris Kosarich:
My first published horror novel in the next year, along with my story collection... that's a given!

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

Chris Kosarich:
My website, and I'm also on Facebook and Twitter.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thank you, again, for being a part of this today, Chris.  I look forward to this collection of stories AND your novel.  Please keep us updated.  
            One last thing before you go: Do you have any closing words or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview?

Chris Kosarich:
Just... stay tuned!  And thank you, Meghan, for inviting me and reading some of my work.  I appreciate the support!


About the author:
Chris Kosarich is an author of horror fiction, nonfiction, and some other stuff he wouldn't want his parents to read.  Previously, his short fiction appeared in various small-press publications such as Impaler, Black Moon, Malefica, The Swamp, and Vivid.  For 4 years, he wrote the column, Fiendish Endeavors, for the Horror Writers Association monthly newsletter.  Currently, he's at work on a story collection, The Nightmare Season, and a sci-fi horror novel, The Ravening.  And while he wrote most of the serial piece of meta-fiction on Brian Keene's forum, involving Mr. Keene and a whole host of favorite horror writers, he hasn't been sued, nor did Brian punch him out during a book-signing this past July.  So, hey, that's something, right?  Expect to hear more from him in the future.  Chris resides in central Florida with his wife and kids, and cute but demanding cat, Maggie.

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