Today, Paul D. Dail, author of The Imaginings, joins us to answer questions about his fiction.
Thought-provoking, unpredictable, spiritually ambiguous, darkly humorous.
2. What do you enjoy most about writing horror fiction?
Absolutely everything. I’ve loved horror movies and books since I was little, so while these days I enjoy reading almost any genre, when it comes to writing, I’m happiest when I’m writing horror.
Oh, and I love the opportunity to give someone the creeps. I recently read a story of mine to my classes that I thought was fairly innocuous, but was pleasantly surprised when many of my students said it was “freaky.”
3. Many people enjoy reading stories about undead creatures – ghosts, vampires, zombies.
What do you think is the appeal?
I think these three examples appeal on different levels. If I were to oversimplify, I would say people like ghosts because it gives them a sense of something beyond death. Vampires is a desire for immortality. Zombies… well, for that one, I think it’s more about the characters other than the zombies that has the appeal. People want to believe that in a zombie apocalypse, they would be able to survive.
Actually, yes. My story “The Interview” was heavily influenced by mythology, specifically the story of Phineus, a Phoenician king who was blinded by Zeus for his ability to see into the future.
5. Your story “Another Oldie But Goodie” in Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies (edited by Rayne Hall) starts with a retirement home resident hearing music nobody else can hear, and leads to raising a long dead person from the grave. Where did the ideas for this story come from?
This was originally a flash piece for the Vamplit Publishing blog. The theme for the week was “Love in the Cemetery,” I think. Then it was kind of a perfect storm of events that brought the actual story together, the biggest of which being when my 99 year-old grandmother, who doesn’t move very fast but is still sharp as a tack, informed my father and I one day while we were visiting that she had been hearing the song “Ave Maria” at various points throughout the day where no one was actually playing it. At that point, I started putting together the story of the nursing home resident, and I knew it was her dead husband that was singing to her (don’t worry, this comes out in the story pretty early). From there it was a matter of picking out the song, something fitting for the time. And the rest of the pieces just fell into place, especially the ending.
Thank you for joining us, Paul. May 2013 be a year of many more creative ideas and fantastic success.
Paul D. Dail is the author of The Imaginings, a supernatural/horror novel, as well as several other horror short stories. While he will quickly tell you that the people he has met in the many places that he has traveled have been the best schooling he could get, Paul received his formal education in English with a Creative Writing emphasis at the University of Montana, Missoula.
In addition to his fiction, he has had a non-fiction submission published in The Sun magazine’s Reader’s Write section entitled “Slowing Down” about the birth of his daughter.
Currently Paul lives in southern Utah, amid the red rock, sagebrush and pinion junipers. He teaches Language Arts and Creative Writing at Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts.
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