DTW: Hi, Doug. How have you been?
DC: Great--enjoying a cozy winter here in New England, writing too much, now and then getting into trouble. Thanks for having me over at your blog, David.
DTW: Your ebooks are available everywhere. How has this format been treating you?
DC: I feel as if I was with the ebook in its earliest days--when I launched NAOMI in 1999 on the Internet, and my novella PURITY on cell phone in 2001. Way back when, during the wild west phase--before the Gold Rush hit and well before all these settlements grew around the ebook world.
I'd say, ebooks have treated me well--for years.
DTW: And as a follow up question, what are your thoughts on self-publishing now that basically anyone can do it?
DC: My thoughts are: good for the writers who are enjoying it. I've never thought poorly of self-publishing, even before ebooks. Publishing is publishing.
DTW: What is your favorite Clegg book? And what is the fan favorite?
DC: I have six favorites of mine, and they're favorites because of what I feel I was able to do within them, as a writer. They are NEVERLAND, PURITY, ISIS, MORDRED BASTARD SON, THE PRIEST OF BLOOD, and THE HOUR BEFORE DARK. Every now and then another one--like THE CHILDREN'S HOUR or HALLOWEEN MAN or YOU COME WHEN I CALL YOU--sneaks back on that list.
Fan favorites--well, I think it depends on the fans of the particular books. I hear from readers all the time, and everyone seems to have a different favorite.
I appreciate that any of my novels and stories have fans at all. I never set out to be the writer who consistently writes one kind of novel. My intention was always to follow the story--no matter what the story consists of--and forget everything else. Sometimes that means a fan of one story may not be a fan of another.
DTW: What are you working on now?
DC: I've been writing like mad for a few years here without sending any of it out--and these new works have just taken me over. These include a short novella called DINNER WITH THE CANNIBAL SISTERS, one called THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO and a novella called MY FATHER'S MISTRESS. Plus, the novel I've worked on for about three solid years.
I can say for a fact that DINNER WITH THE CANNIBAL SISTERS and the long-overdue novella MR. DARKNESS will be out in 2013, but I don't yet know about the others. I think I may also be able to get a short story out this year--I've been working on one for awhile, hoping to hit the right note with it.
DTW: You have an ebook containing 16 short stories titled NIGHT ASYLUM (which I just purchased). When will we see additional collections like this one in electronic format?
DC: I'd have to write more short stories. I've always been a slower and more methodical writer than I think people in the genre have suspected. A handful of my novels took years to complete, and only another handful of them were written in brief periods of time. The same goes for my short stories--some seem to write themselves fairly quickly, and others take a long time to reach the end.
So, short answer is: once I have 8-13 new short stories, I probably will put out another collection.
DTW: Any reading recommendations before I let you go?
DC: I have several. A writer who had a huge influence on me as a child was John Collier. Recently, I rediscovered Collier, and I think his short story, "Evening Primrose" may be one of the funniest and creepiest and most wonderful of short stories I've read.
I've also been falling in love with Steve Rasnic Tem's fiction, and would recommend reading his short story, "The Battering," which can be found in his collection called CITY FISHING. All the stories in CITY FISHING are provocative and beautifully done. He has this kind of poetic dystopian vision; if Franz Kafka and Ray Bradbury had a love child, he might have Tem's imagination.
This reminds me of another short story to recommend--a great one called "Toilet Paper Run" by Juleen Brantingham which is in an anthology called DEATH, edited by Stuart David Schiff, Another one called "Child's Play" by Villy Sorenson in the Ramsey Campbell-edited anthology FINE FRIGHTS.
With short fiction, I could go on and on. My friend--and family, in my opinion--Matt Schwartz recommends a lot of short fiction to me, and that guy has impeccable taste in terms of identifying great fiction.
His published novels include ar Neverland, Isis, The Priest of Blood, and The Hour Before Dark.
Visit his site at http://douglasclegg.com/