Please welcome, Patrick Lacey!
I first discovered Patrick’s writing in the anthology, Widowmakers, and immediately fell in love with his writing style. Hopefully after the next couple of nights he will have picked up another few fans!
In Part One of the interview tonight, Patrick will be telling you all about himself in general, his writing and his influences.
In Part Two, tomorrow night, he will tell you some more general stuff about himself and his writing then more specific stuff about his newest collection, Sleep Paralysis, and also, he will take on The Ten Confessions.
The final night on Tuesday will see my review of Sleep Paralysis published.
It’s Sunday night, so, go get some proper comforting junk food and a cold one and sit back, and most of all…….enjoy!
CoaR - So tell everyone a bit about yourself in general. Who is Patrick Lacey and what is he about?
PL - Patrick Lacey is a young man whose earliest movie memory is seeing Nightmare on Elm Street for the first time at age five. His parents grew up in the sixties, were ex-hippies, and didn’t put many restraints on what he watched as a child. Because of this, he devoured horror films on a regular basis, became obsessed with monsters, and started writing his own stories about them. Not much has changed.
CoaR - Do you have a pay the bills job? Care to share what it is?
PL - Sure, by day I work as an Editorial Assistant at a medical publisher and enjoy it quite a lot. My co-workers are supportive of my writing and the stress level is very low. It’s the perfect job for a by-night writer.
CoaR - Why writing? What made you tackle it professionally?
PL - The first story I remember writing all the way through was my own Goosebumps novel, The Haunted Scorpion. I was in third grade and my grandfather had just died. It was, essentially, my first experience with death and writing seemed to help with the grief. I kept that part tucked away in the back of my mind when I started writing more seriously. It truly is a coping mechanism for life and while I’m doing it, all of my problems go away. Plus, it’s much cheaper than therapy. If I go more than a few days without writing, I start to grow antsy and my attention goes out the window. So it’s as much a compulsive habit as it is something I strive toward. Also, as I mentioned earlier: monsters are neat!
CoaR - Checking you out on Facebook and suchlike, you seem to like your beer. What’s your fav?
PL - I’m glad you asked, Nev. For me, beer is like coffee. There’s nothing like relaxing and sipping a cold one. I love sitting in a busy bar and people watching.
It’s a great way to come up with characters. I’m big on porters lately so I would pose two of my favourite selections: Monk’s Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery and Victory at Sea from Ballast Point. Both are extremely dark, heavy, and taste a bit like coffee. I hope this also describes my writing.
CoaR - Take us through your process for a story. How do you start it and follow it through to the final product?
PL - I don’t take notes all that often and I’ve never outlined. I mull ideas over and if they don’t go away, I turn them into a story. I can usually tell if it’s going to be a short story or something longer but I never know just how long, nor do I know much about the plot. So, in that sense, I’m a by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of guy. I usually do three drafts: a rough, first draft (this story is total and utter shit!), a critical rewrite/second draft (this is great!), and a polish/third draft (it’s okay, I guess). As for a writing schedule, I try to write one thousand words each day but life gets in the way often, so I’m happy if I get five hundred words. Or at least a really cool sentence or two.
CoaR - Checking you out on Facebook and suchlike, again, you seem to have a thing for T-shirts. Where do you get them? How many have you got?
PL - Oh, how I love horror t-shirts. I buy way too many and my wife tends to get me one for every holiday. I get them from a plethora of places but some of the best are Fright Rags, Rotten Cotton, Cavity Colors, and Scurvy Ink. All of those companies are amazing and you can’t go wrong with either. If I had to guess, I’d say I’m pushing fifty shirts or so. Not as many as Adam Cesare, who posts a new one just about every day (filling me with total jealousy), but I’m getting there.
CoaR - How do you keep track of your ideas? Do you carry a notebook with you everywhere or write stuff on the back of your hand?
PL - I usually don’t write anything down unless it’s such an odd or specific idea, that I think I’ll forget it seconds later. Then I’ll either grab a post-it note or open the notepad app on my phone and jot something down. The latter is preferred because of my horrid handwriting, which looks a bit like hieroglyphics.
CoaR - Checking you out on Facebook and suchlike, again, you also seem to have a thing for collecting memorabilia and stuff. Are you a real geek? For example, I noticed the other day a picture of Colorforms Play Sets. Are you really just a big geeky kid?
PL - I’ve always been into collecting stuff, mostly horror, since I was a kid. It’s only gotten worse as I’ve become older and have a steady income. I especially like finding retro memorabilia (i.e., the Ninja Turtles/Ghostbuster Colorforms sets in question) at thrift stores. It’s much more enjoyable finding that sort of stuff out in the wild. It’s my form of hunting, except with a lot less blood (for the most part).
CoaR - Everything I have read of yours so far has been either a short or a novella. When is the biggie coming? The first novel?
PL - As luck would have it, Nev, I have my first novel Dream Woods debuting from Sinister Grin later this year. For an elevator pitch, think The Shining if it took place at Disney World and had things like demonic vending machines, possessed mascot bears, and roller coasters that run off human blood. It’s a wild one. After that, Sinister Grin will release my novel Darkness in Lynnwood. It’s based off of The Lynnwood Vampires, which is in my collection Sleep Paralysis and it’s my favourite thing I’ve ever written. It’s also extremely personal and drove me to the edge of insanity several times during its creation. Good times.
CoaR - Can you tell us if any of the characters in your books are based on people you have come across in your life or maybe even yourself?
PL - See above. The main character in Darkness in Lynnwood definitely has some of my traits in him. Otherwise, I tend to steal bits and pieces from multiple sources to create characters. It’s a great way to make them realistic while also avoiding a lawsuit.
CoaR - Who would be the authors you would give the credit of being your influences and who do you just not “get”?
PL - There are a bazillion but I’ll just list a few. I started off with King, like many other writers, but he was more of a gateway author for me. Then came the other influences like Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, John Skipp, Graham Joyce, Stewart O’Nan, Richard Matheson, Paul Tremblay, Brian Keene, Elmore Leonard, Ira Levin, and so forth. I guess that was more than a few, huh? As far as not “getting” someone, I’ve never been big into H. P. Lovecraft, which, depending on who you talk to, might be blasphemous. I truly appreciate his contributions to the genre, and love weird fiction as a whole, but he just doesn’t do it for me.
CoaR - What’s the most difficult part of writing for you?
PL - Probably the first draft. While it’s fun and exciting to have a blank page awaiting you, it’s also scary because as I’m going through that initial stage, I absolutely loathe every word. Usually it’s the second draft that calms my worries. After I’ve had time to reflect on the manuscript, I don’t hate it that much.
CoaR - What would your ultimate wish be with your writing?
PL - I do not expect to ever become a best seller but then again, I never really thought I’d sell a story or a collection or a novella or a novel either. I just started writing and figured I’d keep at it and see what happened. I’m a simple man, so if I could make enough money writing someday to maybe pay off my mortgage/school loans, then I’d be happy. I’m fine working a full-time day job. I would make a terrible starving artist.
Well that is it for Part One of the interview. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night to hear about the new collection, Sleep Paralysis, and see Patrick confess to The Big Ten!
CONFESSIONS REVIEWS PATRICK LACEY
Patrick Lacey was born and raised in a haunted house. He currently spends his nights and weekends writing about things that make the general public uncomfortable.
He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, his Pomeranian, his cat, and his muse, who is likely trying to kill him.
And for more about Patrick, visit his site or find him on social media: