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Chet Williamson

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, Chet Williamson, courtesy of the author; 401x500

Chet Williamson

American writer Chet Williamson has published novels and short stories. He also acts in professional theatre and narrates audio books written by himself and others.

Says Williamson, "I live, write, and record in a small Pennsylvania town, surrounded by books, movies, recordings, and art, and assisted by my loving and very tolerant wife. And I love to hear from readers..."

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

I really don't go to very many conventions. Though I always enjoy hearing from and talking to readers, it isn't the readers or the market that dictate my work as much as it is what I want to write next.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

It's always great to hear from readers out of the blue, people who tell me that a certain work meant something to them. It doesn't happen all that often, and when it does, it's always a great kick that sends me back to the writing desk!

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

The author I like best is Joseph Conrad, first and foremost, whose works aren't read all that much today, unfortunately. My Ash Wednesday is basically a retelling of his Lord Jim. I love to go back and reread Conrad, but there are so many other new things to be read, I don't often have the time. Among contemporary writers I like is Joe Lansdale, whose period novels like Paradise Sky show a writer at the peak of his craft. When it comes to films, Hitchcock's Psycho was extremely influential, since I saw it when I was around twelve, and I recently wrote Psycho: Sanitarium, the first official sequel to the original since Robert Bloch's. (Due out April 12th from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press)

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Probably H. P. Lovecraft, with whose life and work I've had a fixation ever since I was a teenager. It would be interesting to find out what he was really like.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Easy -- Donald Trump.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

I have my Kindle loaded with books, including a lot of Delphi complete works of great writers, so I'd definitely take that, along with my old 120-gig iPod. It would be great to catch up on reading and listening. Also a DVD player and my collection of Criterion DVDs, as well as a case of Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey. And a treadmill.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

My ambition isn't so much to scare readers as to give them something to take with them when they finish a book. I've never been one for pure entertainment, something that gives you a quick thrill but you forget about as soon as you turn to the next book or film or TV show. I like my work to creep under the reader's skin, and provide a certain amount of ambiguity to help the story stay lodged in their minds.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

To come up with a different concept, and work that concept through to a satisfactory completion. It gets harder as I get older, because I've read (and written) so many different ideas that it's ever more difficult to come up with something new.

submitted by Chet Williamson

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: Lancaster PA, USA in 1948.
Resides: Pennsylvania, USA
He has won the International Horror Guild Award, and has been shortlisted twice for the World Fantasy Award, six times for the HWA Stoker, and once for the MWA's Edgar.
See the bibliography on his web site

Web site:
Chet Williamson on Facebook
@chetwill on Twitter


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