Saturday 4 April 2015


Welcome to night six of the Dead Roses Special week.

Tonight sees the interview with the second half of the Light brothers, Evans.

He will be answering some general questions about himself and his writing and then some specific questions about Love Lies in Eyes, his story in the book.

Of course, at the end, Evans will take on The Ten Confessions!

I have had what I would like to call a building friendship with Evans over this past year or so but still didn’t know the nitty gritty of the man himself so I was really excited to get a chance at this interview.

Get yourself your poison and as it's Saturday, order something in, your choice, and settle down for this one......most of all enjoy!

COAF - So tell everyone a bit about yourself in general?

EL - I love a good laugh as much as a good scare. I take my work very seriously, but overall I approach life as a fun endeavour. I tend to be an obsessive about things I’m interested in, and anyone who’s been paying attention knows that I’m currently obsessing about vintage horror paperbacks, of which I’m both an enthusiast and archivist.

COAF - Why writing? Why decide on that as a career?

EL - Adam and I have been entertaining each other with stories, both written and verbal, for as long as I can remember. We discovered horror around the same time in the 80’s and consumed a lot of the same fiction growing up, beginning with Poe and Hawthorne, Bradbury and Shirley Jackson, before moving on to more modern horror such as King, Koontz and beyond.

We were in our twenties before we made the decision to pursue genuine projects, and have been polishing our chops, so to speak, for quite a while. Writing for me is a parallel career, one that I hope that - along with publishing – will continue to take an increasingly prominent role in my life going forward.

COAF - You have abundance of stories out there. How do you keep track of your ideas? Is it all in your head or on post it notes all over the house?

EL - I find myself confronted frequently with stories ideas, and for years lost many of them to forgetfulness and the passage of time. I eventually came to my senses and realized that these inspirations weren’t to be taken lightly, so now I take measures to recognize, capture and preserve each idea that arrives like the gift it is, in such a way that it doesn’t disrupt my current work but still allow me to revive it from cryogenic slumber when my writing schedule allows.

I try to outline each story idea as much as needed to allow me to be able to give it a proper treatment later, usually a one-to-five page outline. Typically I will dictate these to my phone using a voice-to-text program, and then frequently back these up to my email and download to my “ideas” file. My story for DEAD ROSES was first outlined in 2009, and was successfully resuscitated for this volume.

COAF - Take us through your process for a story. How do you start it and follow through to the final product?

EL - I typically use a five-draft process, very similar to what Joe Hill outlines in his article, POUR ME ANOTHER DRAFT ( The first draft is strictly to get the story down, work out the voice, the characters and pacing. My main challenge with first drafts is to keep myself from trying to write the “final draft” first, which slows things down too much and almost never works out.

I bring in outside editors for my second drafts, sometimes sampling new-to-me editors between tried-and-true collaborators. Adam and I usually get very involved with each other’s fourth draft, and do extensive editing work for each other at that point. An out-loud read through is a laborious but very rewarding final editing step that I highly recommend for any work, to be done prior to sending off for final proofing.

COAF - What’s the most difficult part of writing for you?

EL - Maintaining enthusiasm midway through a project, forcing myself to keep focused, to ensure the same level of care and commitment is maintained through each step in the draft process all the way to the end. That’s the biggest challenge for me. There’s so many other bright shiny ideas waiting to be written, but the work at hand needs to be completed first.

COAF - I know loads of people who all have their own personal favourite story of yours. Mine is most definitely ArborEATum. What’s your and why?

EL - ARBOREATUM is my personal favourite as well. It’s special because it came to me fully formed as a dream, and I feel that it’s the closest I’ve ever come yet to capturing a dream in a bottle.

A very short story of mine, GERTRUDE (from SCREAMSCAPES: TALES OF TERROR), is a close runner up. Short fiction below 20 pages is something I struggle with, and I was pleased with how that one came out.

COAF - When are we going to get a full length novel from you? Is it in the making or still an idea?

EL - The first full length novel from The Light Brothers is well underway, and I hope that it will be available sooner rather than later. That being said, we will release it only when it is ready and not before - you only ever get one debut novel, after all. That being said, I’m incredibly excited about it and think fans of our work will find the forthcoming novel to be a highly concentrated dose of what we do.

COAF - Given the amount of books you collect, do you have a separate annex in your house for them? How many do you think you have?

EL - I’ve decided to limit my horror collecting to a single library in a single room in my home, so once it’s at full capacity, that’s it. Since all four walls are lined with shelves that are reaching towards the ceiling, I’m becoming increasingly selective in what I bring home. Though I do have some nice hardcovers, the main focus of my collection is horror paperbacks from the late 70’s to the early 90’s, with an emphasis on garish covers.

I haven’t counted lately, but I’d guess the collection is running somewhere in the range of 1,500 volumes. There was a lot of horror published in its heyday, and I’m always looking for those overlooked gems, both in terms of cover art and content.

COAF - What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

EL - I’ve got a large family, all boys, and I love spending time with them as much as possible. I also have a cute little granddaughter, who I don’t get to see nearly enough. We try our best to get out, be active and see the world. My wife and I also enjoy travelling further abroad each summer while our kids are away at adventure camp.

Once upon a time, I played classical piano, trumpet and guitar, and spent much time composing, but nearly a decade ago I decided to devote that time to writing instead. And, of course, whenever I’m not writing, I like to grab a book from my horror library and read.

COAF - What’s coming in the future from Evans Light?

EL - Besides the first Light Brothers’ novel, I think you’ll see me being much more active on the publishing side. I look forward to doing my best to help identify and develop new talent in the field of horror fiction.

I want nothing more than to see a full-scale horror revival, to put some fun back into the genre, peel away some of the literary pretension while maintaining the quality of the writing and the stories and do my small part to help horror fiction become mainstream again. When Barnes & Noble has a “horror” section instead of “paranormal” romance, I can say my work here is done.

COAF – Moving on to Dead Roses and Love Lies in Eyes, what did you want to achieve with this one?

EL - This was a story that I outlined and originally began in 2009, and I scaled down the scope of my original vision a bit to fit the short story format.

I’m well aware that tales similar to this have been told before - the “careful what you wish for” love story - but felt that the approach I was taking was fresh enough to merit giving it a spin.

Have you ever looked over at the person sleeping beside you and had a sense of déjà vu, or wondered who they really, truly, were? I wanted to take that underlying sense of uncertainty that simmers beneath many relationships to its extreme, what if every new person you thought you were falling in love with wasn’t as new as you thought?

COAF - You always have a lot of dark humour in your stories but there is none in this, apart from a little in one scene. Why did you leave the humour out this time?

EL - It wasn’t intentional, and humour is something that’s not easily forced. I experienced the sudden and unexpected loss of a very close loved one just before writing commenced on this one. Having to intimately deal with closing out a life that ended midsentence undoubtedly tempered the laughs a bit, even though I’d always planned to write this story in a fairly serious tone. Since the premise was a bit wacky to begin with, I felt that an overall serious approach might work best for this one.

COAF - Is this one based on any particular ex or just plucked out of the air?

EL - A few little bits and pieces here and there were informed by real life events (I’ll not say which part to keep it scandalous), but the characters in the story aren’t based on any exes, thankfully. I consider myself lucky in love, thus far.

COAF - When you get involved with the concept for a collection like Dead Roses how do you put yourself in the right frame of mind to write a twisted love story?

EL - I’ll admit it: I found this story somewhat harder to write than most. I’m not sure if it was due to the other events I was dealing with at the time, or because it dealt with the theme of love. Regardless, I wrote about two-thirds of the story in the third person when I had to come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t personal enough, and just wasn’t working. I ended up rewriting the whole thing in first person instead, which made the entire undertaking remarkably easier.

COAF - Do you feel sorry for Nathan, the main character, or do think it panned out as it should have? Is the ending your secret dig at him? (Don’t give it away)

EL - Unlike most classic Weird Tales, many of my stories are morally neutral: good and bad things happen to the good, the bad and in-between alike. Crime isn’t always punished, nor is virtue rewarded. Looking for this type of morality in my stories that are cast in a ‘Tales from the Crypt’ style can create dissonance for some readers, but for the most part I don’t write morality tales. Things panned out the way they did for Nathan mostly through no fault of his own, but he made his choices and achieved less than stellar results. He’s a bit of an everyman and thus sympathetic - but mostly he strikes me as extremely unlucky.

At least he knew love, even if only for a while. That’s better than some, I suppose.


1 Who would you view as your main competitor in the writing world?

I firmly believe that a rising tide lifts all ships, so if someone is writing and publishing solid horror, consider me a fan. I don’t view the horror fiction community as competitors, rather as potential future collaborators.

2 What book or author have you read that you think should never have been published?

Interesting question, and a tough one. If it was something I didn’t think should have been published, then it’s unlikely I would have read it. That being said, I’ll go out on a limb like Lieutenant Dan shouting at God and say that I think at least a third of the pages in each book Stephen King has released during the last twenty years should never have been published. Commence heckling if you must, but I prefer concisely told tales.

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?

The initial experiences of the main character in my story CRAWLSPACE were drawn from actual experience. CRY BABY was also inspired in part by real life events from a child of mine who went through a phase of bizarre night-time behaviour and talking in his sleep.

Besides that, it’s mostly fiction.


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 can honestly say I’ve never blatantly or consciously stolen anything from other works, but I’d also be naive to say my work hasn’t been influenced by things I’ve been exposed to. Rather than adopting ideas, I find myself sometimes adapting the voices of writers I’ve read recently to my own work. Before writing PAY BACK, I’d been reading a lot of Joe R. Lansdale, and I think my story ended up mirroring a little of the storytelling style and cadence of BUBBA HO-TEP. Likewise, just before penning THE MOLE PEOPLE BENEATH THE CITY I’d been tearing through Richard Matheson short story collections, and as undoubtedly as a result my tale ended up being told in a drier, more noir-ish style to emulate his. BLACK DOOR was my attempt to do something in a more nostalgic, Bradbury-esque manner.

So if you ask about something I’ve tried to borrow from others, I’d have to say it’s a sense of style, of taking all these influences I’ve loved and blending them into something new, something that’s uniquely “me”.

5 Have you ever anonymously left a bad review for someone else’s book? If so, care to share?

No. If I write it, I own it, and that’s that. When I do have the misfortune of leaving a less-than-positive review, I at least try to be constructive in my criticism.

6 What’s the one thing you are least proud of doing in your life and why?

Wasting too much time worrying about things instead of just doing them. That being said, I try my best to make good decisions with the information I have at hand, and even though I’ve made plenty of mistakes, my intentions are good and I sleep well at night.

Again: mostly.

7 What’s the one thing you are MOST proud of doing in your life and why?

These are hard questions! I don’t think in such concrete terms, really. I’m proud of the whole, of the many little things that create a greater whole. That being said, I am really proud that four decades into our lives Adam and I are fulfilling the dreams we had as children. Not many dreams live that long, and even fewer come true.

8 What’s your biggest fault?

I’m probably not the best person to ask this question, but I’ll give it a go:

I’m too nice? Too handsome? Too smart for my own good?

Okay, we’ll go with “full of himself” and call it a draw.


9 What is your biggest fear?

I’ve considered this question before, and I know the answer: My biggest fear is that I’ll reveal my biggest fear to the world online, and then some psychopath will read it, take me hostage, and make me confront it for his/her pleasure. That is truly my biggest fear, and the reason why I refuse to divulge my second biggest fear here.

10 If you had to go to confession now, what would be the one thing you would or need to get off your chest?

Adam Light, every piece of gum I’ve ever given you was put somewhere nasty first. Can I interest you in a fresh piece?


I want to personally thank Evans for not only taking part in this interview but in all his help in setting everything up for this entire week to take place.

His input and help in organising this has been invaluable and it wouldn't have happened without him taking the time to bring the other guys on board.

You can see more of Evans at his website.

Evans' author page is here.

Please come back again tomorrow night for the seventh, and final night of interviews.

The last interview includes all five authors answering the same group questions about the book. None of them knew how any of the others answered so it is original. I will also have a special bonus to announce tomorrow night!!

No comments:

Post a Comment