E: Hi, Kurt. Welcome back to Erindipity. How does it feel to be an interviewee instead of a commenter? Wait. You don’t have to answer that. Pie?
K: Why, thank you, Erin. I love pie! Blueberry…my favorite for this week! As for being the interviewee? Well, for as many times as I’ve had to pound the pavement looking for a daytime job, it’s something you get used to. But this is the first time I’ve been coerced with pie.
K: I think I took to heart the classic advice to writers. That is to write the kind of book you want to read. So, I took an idea I used for a short story, and rolled with it. It’s a book about four friends in the 1970s who, through a combination of boredom and bad instincts, get mixed up with an assortment of psychos, both of this Earth, and otherwise. I took common garden variety ingredients of lust and obsession, and threw the stew into it and Sirens was the result.
E: How did you come up with the idea for it? Who were your influences?
K: It’s the result of a youth spent reading noir paperbacks, books about UFOs, watching cheesy midnight movies and pining after girls who ignored me. You know, the kind of teenage life we all lived, right? Please tell me I’m right…Anyway, I had a number of influences. They range from Ray Bradbury to Blue Oyster Cult. A reader from Germany recently asked if I was influenced at all by David Lynch movies. I hadn’t thought about it, but I was thrilled that he saw those elements in the book. So there are probably more influences than I’m aware of, or could succinctly list.
E: In addition to the book, you’ve had work appear in Dark Eclipse. What was featured?
K: I write a monthly column for Dark Eclipse that mainly features reviews of older books and stories that one would find haunting used bookstores. I admire today’s horror writers like Bentley Little and Tamara Thorne, to name two that immediately come to mind, but I like to write about the old stuff. Prior to that I’ve had a noir story in Phoenix Noir from Akashic Books. More recently a story in the Zombies Need Love, Too anthology from Dark Moon Books. And various dark and twisted stories in small press publications.
E: What are you currently working on?
K: I’ve recently completed a noir novel called Past Due that is prepped for shopping around. It’s based in contemporary Phoenix, with nary a zombie, vampire or extra-terrestrial alien in sight. It’s about a nine-to-six working stiff who, once again, lets bad instincts get him into trouble. Also, I’ll be in a collection of graphic illustrated stories drawn by artist Vince Larue from authors based in the Southwest. It’s planned for a 2014 publication.
E: Do you have any upcoming events, book signings, blog tours, giveaways, etc.?
K: No, I’m pretty much a home-body. I work full-time as a financial analyst so it doesn’t give me much time to get out there and tour. When not at work, or not festering on the sofa, I can be found sporadically posting to my blog The Ringer Files.
E: Is there any kind of writing that scares you (romance, MG, non-fiction, etc)? I’d love to write a fantasy series, but it intimidates the crap out of me so I haven’t done it yet.
K: Yes. I don’t think I could reasonably pull off a Western or Science Fiction novel. I admire the folks that can do that.
E: If you could get advice from any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you ask them?
K: Hmm…that’s a tough one! I think I’d rather eat more pie. Writers are a curmudgeonly lot, in addition to being just downright weird sometimes. Ironically, it’s the advice from folks who don’t write that I have to deal with most often. Maybe we all can relate to that.
You can find Kurt writing up articles for Dark Eclipse or loitering on Twitter.