Ginger Nuts of Horror
One of the best things about having a horror fiction review site is discovering new and exciting authors, and based on Ken's Novel Of A Feather, Ken is going to be one of the horror authors to watch out for.
Ken Goldman, former Philadelphia teacher of English and Film Studies, is an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association. He has homes on the Main Line in Pennsylvania and at the Jersey shore depending upon his mood and his need for a tan. His stories have appeared in almost 700 independent press publications in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Australia with over thirty due for publication in 2014. Since 1993 Ken's tales have received seven honorable mentions in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror, and he has won an obscene number of contests for real money.
He has written five books : three books of short stories : You Had Me AT Arrgh!! : Five Uneasy Pieces by Ken Goldman, Donny Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Star Crossed and a novella, Desiree,
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I'm a former English and Film Studies teacher. My film course, Horror and Science Fiction in Film & Literature is rumored to have scared the pimples off my students, but they seemed to enjoy it since I always had a full class (with even a few stowaways who actually chose to cut their lunch periods). I have homes on the Main Line in Pennsylvania and at the Jersey shore where I plan to bake in the summer sun until there's nothing left of me but some ash. I've been writing semi-professionally since 1993 and have had almost 700 short stories published, including three anthologies of shorts (YOU HAD ME AT ARRGH!, DONNY DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE, and STAR-CROSSED; a novella (DESIREE), and most recently, a novel, OF A FEATHER published by Horrific Tales Publishing. I've won a bunch of contests (for money!) and my stories have received seven honorable mentions in THE YEAR'S BEST FANTASY & HORROR anthologies. I'm single, in case any of you women are reading this because everyone knows women are turned on by horror writers almost as much as they are by insurance salesmen.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Horror probably best describes what I do because many of my friends hate horror and consequently hate my stories. Can't please everyone, right? But I've been getting more into psychological type horror lately as opposed to the blood and guts stuff. There's much less to clean up.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
I'm required to say Stephen King, right? Okay, let's include him. I like a lot of the small press writers whose names you probably never heard. I also like the humorous books of Dave Barry, George Carlin, and Woody Allen too, and owing to their influence my stories have a lot of dark humor in them. Guilty pleasures include the old EC comics like Tales From The Crypt and the DC and Marvel superheroes.The more literary side of me likes Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, and (God help me) a lot of the American lit. greats like Hawthorne, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and Salinger. Don't tell anyone, okay?
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
I laughed out loud at Billy Crystal's STILL FOOLIN' 'EM. It's about adjusting to getting older, something I can relate to. The last one that disappointed me? BORN STANDING UP by Steve Martin. I expected more because he usually makes me laugh a lot and his writing is often hilarious (CRUEL SHOES is a good example), but not this time.
How would you describe your writing style?
I've been told I have a very visual style, almost like you're seeing a film. I'm a film buff and I'm very influenced by movies. A former girlfriend said my writing comes across like I'm actually talking to you, and friends tell me they actually can hear my voice in my stories. I guess that's true, but don't all writers write like that?
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
They ALL stay with me. I listen very closely to criticism, and if the same negative remark appears twice about the same thing, I take special notice. I actually thanked someone who had written a negative review for my novella DESIREE, and I wasn't being a wise-ass, either. I won't tell you what the reviewer said. My ego won't allow that. Luckily, though, most of my reviews have been positive. OF A FEATHER has gotten some good reviews, and I light up whenever someone says they 'loved' my book.
What’s your favourite food?
Chinese food, hands down. I could live on it. It's sad Chinese food sounds so crappy. Mooshoo goo poo sounds like something you scape off your shoe.
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
This will show my age, but here goes : Judy Collins' "Both Sides Now" speaks to me because I really have looked at life from both sides, as the song says, and like the message implies, sometimes life makes no sense. Also Collins' song, "Who Knows Where The Time Goes?" I get choked up just hearing it because I played that song the day my father was buried. And then there's The Beatles' "There's A Place" ("'There's a place where I can go, when I fell low, when I fell blue...") That place, of course, is "in my mind." I'm a writer, so that's very true. I go to that place a lot!
What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?
I've learned that writing will not make me rich, but I'd love to be proved wrong. (Fortunately, I had a good job teaching, so I'm financially okay.) I've also learned that writing is a lot cheaper than therapy.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Getting the next great idea for a story is much more difficult than writing. Once I have a good idea, often the story writes itself and it's like being possessed, but finding that idea is tricky.
How do you think you’ have evolved creatively?
I'm older and therefore wiser. (Well, at least I'm older.) I have a lot more insight into people than I had when I was younger. I've also learned a lot of writing tricks simply by teaching them for so many years. I'm pretty good at creating believable characters and dialogue. If you write long enough (and listen enough), you get an ear for that. I can create an elaborate story from a simple visual image in my head. (Rats in the subway? Okay, then...) I have a lot more confidence in my writing than I had when I first started.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Every story that you can think of has already been written in some form. You just have to find a new slant.
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
I like Socrates Singer in OF A FEATHER. He's introspective to a fault, has the tendency to over think things. That can become pretty stifling when it hinders his interactions with people. But he has a strong capacity to care, and while not exactly a role model, he means well. The tragedy is that most people can't see that side of him.
How about your least favourite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Can't answer this one. If I didn't in some way enjoy a character I created, I wouldn't be able to write about him. This doesn't mean he has to be good, but he does have to be interesting. I can create some evil and obnoxious traits, but I have to like writing his story.
Fame, fortune, or respect?
I'd have to go with respect. Without that, the other two don't matter.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
OF A FEATHER is my most ambitious work, so that ranks high. But I've written some short stories I really like. Check out the stories in DONNY DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
OF A FEATHER was officially released on January 2. It tells the tale of Socrates Singer who, by touching an ancient Indian tribal mask, discovers he has the ability to control birds of every species. My next few stories will be short ones, at least for a while. I've already written six short stories since I wrote FEATHER, and several have been published already or are going to be published in 2014. I think during 2014 I'll be starting another novel. I have some ideas.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do?
Hello. I'm this month's Playmate centerfold. Can I come home with you?
For More Information on Kenneth Follow The Links Below
Amazon Author Page
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