Perry Prete is a native of Sudbury, Ontario, but grew up in London, Ontario. After graduating as a paramedic in 1983 from the Ambulance and Emergency Care Program at Fanshawe College, Perry worked part time for various EMS agencies before settling in Brockville, Ontario. He continues to work as a full-time paramedic and is also the owner of Sands Canada and founder of Sands Press, an independent publishing company. Using the vast amount of knowledge that he has gained over his thirty years working as a full-time paramedic, Perry crafts gripping and suspenseful mystery novels and horror stories full of realistic details.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I first starting writing after an injury left me unable to work for a few months. I started my first novel All Good Things, set it aside when I went back to work, and then picked it up a few years later. My first four novels, the “Ethan Tennant” series, were mysteries, but I found my passion in horror and suspense with Highway 7.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I continue to work full-time as a paramedic, run several businesses, and write in my spare time. I guess the answer would be work.
What’s your favourite food?
Anything served on the buffet at a tropical, all-inclusive resort.
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
The Alan Parsons Project, Tales of Mystery and Imagination Edgar Allan Poe
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
None; labels can be limiting and confining.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Kathy Reichs, Stephen King, Brad Meltzer, Kristine Barker
What is your all-time favourite horror novel, and film?
Any book by King, and for film, Jaws. Scared the pants off me as a kid.
If you could erase one horror cliché what would be your choice?
That all horror has to be a slasher movie or book.
Which fictional character would be you perfect neighbour, and who would be your nightmare neighbour?
Ooooo, the perfect neighbour is a secret that I’ll never tell. The nightmare neighbour, without a doubt, hands down, would be Hitler. The man defines horror.
What do you think of the current state of the genre?
Growing, but seems to be misunderstood.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
Break No Bones, by Kathy Reichs, was the last great book I read. Just completed it two days ago.
I’ve never read a book that really disappointed me—you can always take something away—but with one book by Brad Meltzer, I didn’t get past the first chapter. Sorry Brad. Loved all the others.
How would you describe your writing style?
Free flowing and casual.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative, that have stayed with you?
Of course; one negative review that complained about the paper and print quality but said nothing of the story.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Time. Time, and time. Never enough time.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
Politics. OMG so boring.
If you could kill off any character from any other book who would you chose and how would they die?
I should only comment on my books. I want to kill off a main character from my mystery books, the “Ethan Tennant” series, and it would be gruesome. Saying anything more would be a spoiler.
What do you think makes a good story?
A really engaging topic. Without that, you have nothing.
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 love odd names. I hate trendy names that in a few years will be out of vogue.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I’m better at finding time, and more productive when I do get time to write. And I have to say, story and character development have become main parts of my stories.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
A typewriter. Yes, an old-fashioned typewriter. Get one, play with it, learn the craft on something where you can appreciate the tactile and auditory experience.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
A good publisher. Find one. NOW! A good writer writes, a good seller sells.
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
I wrote a character who was dead before the story even started, and they turned out to be pivotal in the “Ethan Tennant” series.
How about the least favourite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
I kill off poor characters before they get a foothold in the books.
Fame, fortune, or respect?
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
My new release, horror short story anthology Highway 7: 4 Dark Tales. I wrote it in just a few months. It wrote itself.
And are there any that you would like to forget about?
Not yet, but I’m sure there will be.
For those who haven’t read any of your books, what book of yours do you think best represents your work and why?
The More Things Change for mystery. Try it. You’ll like it.
Highway 7: 4 Dark Tales for horror, or dark or weird fiction.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
Highway 7: 4 Dark Tales is my latest book and my first horror work. I’m working on the next suspenseful, spooky one now. Love the genre.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do? And what would be the answer?
Question: Hi, I represent the world’s largest bookseller, and I want to know if we can sell your books.
Answer: …….? Do I really have to answer?
A terrifying tale of claustrophobia reveals a dark secret even more disturbing than the present ordeal. What should be an idyllic family reunion turns to trauma when a demon from the past reappears to claim its victim. An innocent girl investigating a series of brutal murders becomes warped in ways one cannot imagine. And a pit stop along a long highway drive may lead to love, or it may be the final destination in a bizarre twist of fate…
Award-winning mystery novelist Perry Prete returns with Highway 7: 4 Dark Tales, an anthology of unsettling horror stories that are sure to leave you shivering as you triple-check your locked door. Get ready to experience a weird world as you journey along Highway 7!