Welcome back to Part Two of Confessions’ interview with Patrick Lacey.
Tonight Patrick will tell you all about his new collection, Sleep Paralysis. He will also talk about some more general stuff in his life and of course take on The Ten Confessions.
Monday night is a boring night.
Grab a big tub of ice cream and a spoon and lose yourself for a half hour. Most of all……..enjoy!
CoaR - Moving on to Sleep Paralysis, what made you collect all of these stories together?
PL - One day, I was looking at my Amazon author page, feeding my ego, and realized I’d gathered quite a few story publications in a short time and having a collection released has always been one of my writing goals. I went painstakingly through each and every contract, assured I had the rights to each story, and started putting them together.
CoaR - The stories are quite diverse. How do you come up with so many different ideas and scenarios?
PL - That’s a good question and I don’t really have an answer. Since I don’t plot or outline, I’m never quite sure how each story is going to come out. I try to take a strange, simple concept (haunted junk mail, inter-dimensional dumpster, etc.) and make it as believable as possible. But I am conscious of my backlog and if I sense that a story is getting to similar to another one, I’ll switch things up. Usually they just get weirder.
CoaR - Creepiness is the outstanding element in this collection. Do you have to concentrate on trying to make the stories creepy or does it just flow with you?
PL - I suspect and hope that creepy is one of my strong points. It’s tough because everyone is creeped out by different things. For me, things that seem unnatural are the creepiest. Let’s take Nightmare on Elm Street, the film that shaped my formative years, as an example. In one of the earliest scenes, during a nightmare sequence, Freddy Krueger’s arms expand several times their normal length. It’s seemingly random. Why would he do this? It serves no purpose other than to confuse or scare his victim and the audience. For me, that’s creepy.
If you were walking down the street, peering into storefronts, and noticed a man wearing a purple, pin-striped suit and juggling rotten apples, you’d laugh at first. It would seem ridiculous but also unnatural (there’s that word again). Then you’d start to grow antsy and eventually, the creepiness would set in. That’s a long-winded answer of me saying: yeah, I like it downright creepy and I try my best to inject that sort of thing in most of my stories.
CoaR - I found some of these stories very emotional as well. In one in particular you deal with a subject that is in the news on a daily basis these days. In my opinion you dealt with it superbly while still making the story scary. Did this worry you at all? Where would you draw the line with what you would write about?
PL - I suspect you’re talking about First Bell, which centers around a school shooting. That one was hard for me to write. It was just after the Newtown massacre here in the states and I, like much of the country, was feeling sad and anxious and disgusted. I needed to write it down (again: free therapy!) and get it out of my system. That’s another thing I love about horror: you can use real-life events and tragedies, hide them in a horror story, and explore the human effects of said events.
For the novel I’m working on now, I’ve had to do a lot of research with serial killers and how they’ve been glorified over the years, which also makes me just a tad disgusted. Real life is terrifying.
CoaR - You have a few different types of horror in this collection ranging from monsters to ghosts to evil people to evil dumpsters. What is your favourite sub-genre within horror to write, and also read?
PL - All of the above. I read all types of horror (and fiction in general). I love it pulpy and gory. You have a slimy monster chowing down on some severed limbs in your book? Count me in. But on the flipside, you have a quiet character piece that maybe just hints at the horror, perhaps on a cosmic level? Sign me up as well. Horror is so diverse and that’s another reason I’m so drawn to it. I think (hope) that since my tastes are all over the place, that my fiction runs the gamut as well. Then again, what do I know?
CoaR - What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
PL - Watch horror movies, play some retro video games (Sega Genesis/Mega Drive is my favourite), spend time with my wife/dog/cat, and drink an obscene amount of coffee. I also love cooking and am surprisingly amazing at it if I can toot my own horn for just a moment.
CoaR - What’s coming in the future from Patrick Lacey?
PL - Let’s see. I’ve got a plethora of short stories coming out over the next year or so. Then I have my novel, Dream Woods, dropping from Sinister Grin later this year and Darkness in Lynnwood next year. After that, my schedule is open as of now. I’m shopping around a novella that is a direct sequel to my story Operation Parasite (which appears in Sleep Paralysis), and I’m finishing up a novel as we speak. It’s the darkest thing I’ve ever written. And there’s plenty of that creepy stuff you mentioned earlier.
THE TEN CONFESSIONS
1 Who would you view as your main competitor in the writing world?
This may seem like a cop out, but I’m just about the least competitive guy I know. How about this? How about I mention Matt Hayward, whose debut short story collection is coming next year from Sinister Grin? The stories I’ve read from it are great. He’s roughly the same age as me, so I’ll call him my direct competitor starting next year, though by that I mean he’s going places and the bastard can write with the best of them.
2 What book or author have you read that you think should never have been published?
The Hunger Games. I hated it. Absolutely loathed it. But you know what they say about opinions and all that. Plus, I think that author is really going places. Maybe they’ll even make it into a movie or four.
3 Are any of the things your characters have experienced in your books been based on something that has actually happened to you? What was it?
Definitely. As I mentioned prior, the main character in my upcoming novel Darkness in Lynnwood resembles me in many ways. But we’ll get to that closer to the book’s release. How’s that for a tease?
4 Have you ever blatantly stolen an idea or scene and adapted it for one of your own books? If so, care to share?
I honestly don’t think so but if anybody spots one, let me know!
5 Have you ever anonymously left a bad review for someone else’s book? If so, care to share?
Nope. If I dislike a book, I won’t leave a review. What can I say? I’m a nice guy. Plus, I can find something I like in just about any book. I grew up watching horrible horror movies, after all. I’m easy to please.
6 What’s the one thing you are least proud of doing in your life and why?
How’s this for a confession? During college, I used to drive down to this quiet spot in Salem, Massachusetts to read in between classes or whenever I had downtime. I was a bit more of an introvert then and being around people quickly drained the life out of me. One day, as I was reading, a woman knocked on my window and, quite clearly distressed, asked if could give her car battery a jump. I told her sorry, I didn’t have any jumper cables, which was an utter lie.
She thanked me and walked away and I thought about how much of an asshole I was. I just wanted to be left alone for that hour but it would’ve taken approximately five minutes to help that woman. Probably (definitely) not the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life but it still haunts me from time to time.
7 What’s the one thing you are MOST proud of doing in your life and why?
Marrying my wife. Also, publishing books and stuff!
8 What’s your biggest fault?
I obsess over a lot of things, sometimes to a fault. If I’m working on a book, I tend to think about it almost constantly, which isn’t necessarily a healthy habit. I’ve gotten better about it over the last couple years, though. So there’s that.
9 What is your biggest fear?
This ties oh so perfectly in the release of my collection. I’ve suffered from sleep paralysis for most of my life and often, during those episodes, I see something. A monster if you will. It’s actually a common effect, though most sufferers see an old hag watching them. For me, it’s something else. For me, it’s a creature of some sort and it’s always nearby, drawing closer each time. Not fun at all. Great title, though.
10 If you had to go to confession now, what would be the one thing you would need to get off your chest?
I’ve never read Bram Stoker’s Dracula all the way through. There, I said it. Mock me, torment me, do what you will! At least I’m honest.
Sadly, that is it for the interview!
You should, by now, know a lot more about Patrick Lacey than you did a few days ago.
If you need to know more then come back tomorrow night when I will be publishing my review of Sleep Paralysis, and giving you all the links to buy it and all the links you need to follow Patricks career in the writing world.
As always I would like to give my personal thanks to Patrick for taking the time to complete this interview with Confessions and not getting annoyed with the constant messages he was getting from me.
I know that time is a precious commodity coming up to a book launch so thank you sir!
Don’t forget the review tomorrow night!
Thanks again for visiting Confessions of a Reviewer!
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: