Ginger Nuts of Horror
Dave Eisenstark has been writing professionally and working in the film industry in various capacities for more years than he actually remembers. Nine of his feature film scripts have been produced, including the award-winning comedy Monkey Love (starring Jeremy Renner) and the horror classic Creepozoids.
Like film producer George Lucas, Dave graduated with a degree from USC Cinema; unlike Mr. Lucas, everything else.
Dave's first novel, The Video Killer, is probably vile, tasteless trash, but possibly amusing, and currently available from Spanking Pulp Press.
Dave lives in Los Angeles with his wife, a production sound mixer on major motion pictures. His daughter resides in the San Francisco Bay area and speaks both English and Chinese for some unknown reason. Yes, he has pets, who asked not to be mentioned.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I'm a handsome specimen with a dark past and a warped imagination. But aging, working on my tenth career, this time as a novelist, after working in the film industry in every job except makeup and hair. I love the movies, they just never loved me back. I've written some 70 film scripts, most on assignment from various dreamers and schemers, nine of which have been produced. (Secret: I also use the name Burford Hauser sometimes.)
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I'm not writing, I'm reading a book or watching a movie, and always thinking about writing. I have a million things to do around the house, and like everyone in LA I have a couple of cars and a career just around the corner to re-park somewhere.
What’s your favourite food?
Wow, all of it, but I'd go Mexican first and Thai after that.
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
I'm folk/soul/blues/country. Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Sam and Dave, Dolly Parton, Muddy Waters, Dusty Springfield and Howlin' Wolf. I seek out and enjoy the authentic in everything. Iris Dement makes me cry.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Anything's fine. Fiction. Let's leave out the categories.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
John LeCarré, Elmore Leonard, Lawrence Sterne, Mark Twain. I was saddened by the recent death of Thomas Berger. Little Big Man was one of my favourites.
What is your all-time favourite horror novel, and film?
Favourite horror novel – The Turn of the Screw. Movie – Rosemary's Baby.
If you could erase one horror cliché what would be your choice?
Stupidity. Bad choices. That moment when a character goes back for the cat, the Teddy Bear, the milkshake they left on the mantel, despite the certainty of gruesome death and dismemberment.
Which fictional character would be you perfect neighbour, and who would be your nightmare neighbour?
You gotta go with Batman, don't you? First off, he lives in a mansion, which implies that if you live next door, YOU probably live in a mansion, too. Second, he seems like a quiet neighbour, with the hidden identity and all that. Not the kind of guy to talk your ear off over the back fence, is he?
On the other hand, Minnie and Roman Castevet from Rosemary's Baby WILL talk your ear off, and take your first born, but that's the price for living on the Upper West Side, right on the Park, isn't it?
What do you think of the current state of the genre?
I've been through so many ups and downs in the horror genre, I don't pay attention anymore. I do think a lot more movies and books are being produced for probably the same number of fans.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
I finally got around to reading Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, which made me laugh out loud. I realize I'm about 80 years late to this party—I'd seen the movie some 20 years ago and always meant to read the book.
Disappointed? Maybe it's low expectations, but I can't come up with anything here.
How would you describe your writing style?
I'm a Black Comedy guy, dark humour, arch, over-the-top, Pulp on Pulp, with a gentle inner core.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
Yes, but like Satchel Paige, I "don't look back, someone might be gaining on you."
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Research used to be difficult, but now it's too easy, and I can get lost on the internet for days. Finding the time to write has always been a challenge.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I'm not averse to writing about all sorts of unpleasantness, as long as I can make it fun!
If you could kill off any character from any other book who would you chose and how would they die?
Towards the end of Huck Finn when Tom Sawyer's screwing around with Jim and Huck, I'd like to see Tom get it. Boating accident.
What do you think makes a good story?
I'm a big fan of 50% familiar stuff, 50% surprises.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
I worry the names to death, but people looking for direct meaning are going to be disappointed. The names are very personal, usually, but not people I ever knew.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I've become far more adventuresome and daring over the years. I'm not afraid to fail, or offend, or look like an idiot anymore—been there, done that!
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Nothing special. A computer, software, internet, email. Oh, like personal resources? All the things that make a successful banker, lawyer, businessman, anything, also make a successful writer, unfortunately. It's no good being an antisocial toad, trust me.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Start writing first thing after you wake up in the morning.
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
I like Ralph. He tries so hard and just can't get a break.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
Honestly, I'm most proud of just finishing things! I have so many unfinished projects, it's downright tragic.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
THE VIDEO KILLER is a straight-forward Black Comedy, which will make you laugh and/or cringe, depending on your personality. Think of it as ink-blots for your soul.
BLEEDING KANSAS is my next book, coming out this fall (2014) from World Castle Publishing. It's a fictional tale about the guerrilla war along the Kansas/Missouri border during The Civil War.
Find out more about Dave by following the links below
WANNABE MUSIC-VIDEO director Johnny Tone believes his next-door neighbor, Laura Causely - beautiful, suicidal, and just released from a mental institution — is his ticket to Hollywood. ONCE A professional dancer, Laura had the moves Johnny craved, and for her part, she’s convinced he could rescue her from her controlling sister, good-for-nothing brother-in-law, and the demons that scream in her head. LAURA IS not the first pretty young thing to fall under Johnny's spell. What happened to those old flames was a secret horror but she had her own bloody past to obliterate. ONLY ONE of them can survive. WHO WINS in a fair fight, the psychopath or the sociopath? *** DAVE EISENSTARK is a full-time screenwriter who wrote the award-winning comedy MONKEY LOVE (starring Jeremy Renner) and the horror classic CREEPOZOIDS. This excellent thriller horror is his debut novel.