Michael Laimo Interview
Posted by Michelle on February 14, 2008
Micheal is a horror writer, with a collection of published novels and short stories. He has both a short story and a novel being made into a film.
Q. Firstly, what questions do you hate being asked in interviews?
A. Really, nothing.I do a lot of interviews, and every one of them has been unique and fin to do. Nothing insofar has been offputting as far the questions asked. If I had to choose one question, it’s the ever dreaded “Where do you get your ideas” question, but most interviewers have learned not to go there.
Q. How would you describe your style of writing to someone unfamiliar with your work in order persuade them to read your books?
A. My style is a unique blend of linear storytelling, dark fantacism, and visceral horror. I’m not afraid to put anything onto paper, but I also do my best to create a well-told, suspenseful tale.
Q. What inspired you to write horror, and why do you think this genre appeals to so many readers?
A. Before I’d started writing, I’d read King, Barker, McCammon, and Koontz. These are the guys that made me want to write—still do, really. I’d grown up on a menu of Godzilla movies and Frankenstein movies.—I’ve always been a horror lover. When I decided to write (at the ripe age of 27), horror was the only course to take. The genre appeals to so many readers, because it allows us to experience the lighter side of fear. It’s not much different than riding a roller-coaster. We’re safely afraid, and that’s what we horror fans like. As well, as some one that creates horror, it’s the darkly creative nature that forms so many aspects of the genre that we enjoy and relate to so much.
Q. With so many horror writers out there, how do you manage to come up with fresh ideas?
A. Heh heh, you nearly asked me the dreaded question. All I can say is that my mind takes old ideas and attempts to breathe new life into them. The other day I was looking for an idea for a short story I wanted to write, and said to myself, has anyone written a serious horror flick about a man who becomes a chicken. Really, it sounds corny, but I made it into a dark, eerie story.
Q. Being a writer is far removed from your previous career as a salesman, how difficult have you found the transition?
A. I’m still trying to complete the transition. I’ve been doing both full time for years now. It’s tiring, but one job feeds the family, the other feeds my creative hunger.
Q. I understand you’re a fan of Stephen King, how does it feel to be hailed as the next Stephen King?
A. Well, that’s a very nice compliment, but SK is one of the best writers ever, and not just a horror writer. Every time I read something of his, I am dumbstruck at his abilities to use all the right (and quite clever) words at the right time. The man is a genius, and I am far from his level. I wish I had even a fraction of his talent. Still, it feels great to be hailed as a writer to go to when in need of a horror fix above and beyond the field of SK’s offerings.
Q. Are there any other authors that have influenced your writing?
A. Sure—in addition to Stephen King, there’s Clive Barker, Robert McCammon, Dean Koontz, and nowadays Preston & Childs, Jeffrey Deaver, Greg Iles, HG Welles, Poe, Richard Matheson, F. Paul Wilson, Rick Hautala, Arthur C Clarke, Tad Williams, and more.
Q. How did it feel for your first novel to be so well received that you were a finalist for the Bram Stoker award, and again for your second novel?
A. Truly unbelievable. It gave me the incentive to move onward and upward with my writing career. Up until then, it had only been a hobby. But the fact that fellow writers were not only reading my work, but enjoying it to an extent that they would acknowledge it as superior work, well, that just made me realize that I could begin to call myself a writer, and perhaps make a career out of it.
Q. Your second novel, Deep In Darkness is being made into a film, how much input have you had in this process, and would you want to make an appearance on the big screen in your own film?
A. I have been, so far, quite involved in all aspects of the film, which as of now is simply a script and a lot of ideas being tossed around. And yes, I do plan on making a cameo in the film. I had the chance to do so with ANXIETY, but at the last minute had to cancel my plans to travel to Sacramento.
Q. In your novel Dead Souls, you challenge traditional Christian thinking regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ, by introducing ancient Egyptian beliefs. Where did this idea come from, and have you experienced any backlash from the Christian community?
A. Dead Souls is inspired through my somewhat vague fear of the church. As a child, I was made to go to church against my will, probably because is bored me to tears. But as I came to understand what was going on, it scared me a bit. People were worshipping a story of a man who rose from the dead. A zombie. So, I took that ‘concept’ if you will, and turned it into a horror story. The Egyptian theme was natural, considering all the Egyptian stories in the New Testament. After researching a number of books on the occult that referred to spells from the Egyptian Book Of The Dead, it all fell into place. No, so far there has been no backlash, but I would not mind some Evangelist touting my book as evil. It’d be great exposure!
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