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Richard Thomas

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, Richard Thomas, courtesy of the author; 220x331

Richard Thomas

American author Richard Thomas, announces on his web site, "Richard Thomas writes neo-noir transgressive slipstream fiction. It just means dark and strange."

In his spare time he writes for The Nervous Breakdown, LitReactor, and is Editor-in-Chief at Dark House Press.

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

I don't get out as often as I should, so that's a tricky question. If anything, they just kept asking, "When is Disintegration going to come out?" And all I could tell this that my agent was shopping it. So, now that Random House Alibi has bought it, this Dexter meets Falling Down neo-noir thriller, that question has been answered.

I do remember the first time I went to AWP and a person came up to me and asked if I was Richard Thomas, the author of Transubstantiate (my first novel, now out of print). I was SHOCKED. I mean, I didn't think anybody had heard of me, aside from a few friends, so that really made me feel like I was doing something right. It was very encouraging.

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

I remember meeting Craig Clevenger at a reading in Los Angeles, and here I am like a total idiot, with a suitcase of books for him to sign. SERIOUSLY. But the comments that CC had given me years ago, telling me to send out my story, Stillness, those will always stay with me. I had no faith in myself, but that story ended up in Shivers VI alongside Stephen King and Peter Straub, which just blew me away. It got me a lot of attention, and I felt like maybe I could actually write for the first time.

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

Oh man, where to even begin? So many. Stephen King was the reason I read so much as a child, and I've read everything he's ever written. He taught me about storytelling. Chuck Palahniuk woke me up and got me to write, really showed me what could be done. Then it was the Velvet trio of Will Christopher Baer, CC, and Stephen Graham Jones that showed me what you could do with neo-noir. I've probably given away more copies of Kiss Me Judas (WCB) and All the Beautiful Sinners (SGJ) than any other title. For films, it's the work of David Lynch (Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet), Christopher Nolan (Memento, Inception), David Fincher (Fight Club, Seven) and of course Blade Runner, possibly my favorite film ever.

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

Can I just say Scarlett Johansson? If it was an author, probably Will Christopher Baer, because I have so many questions, and I'd love to convince him to find a way to get Godspeed out into the world.

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

Ann Coulter. Because I've always said I'd never hit a woman.

book cover, Transmogrify, by Richard Thomas; 180x270

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

I'm not sure how long the Taco Bell or White Castle would last, but those are my fast food weaknesses. But probably something more like a 500 lb bag of coffee.

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

I'd like to be able to earn a living at it, to support my family through my writing, editing, teaching, and publishing. After that, it would be nice to be remembered, for my work to still be read long after I'm dead.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

I feel like I push people, I pull them into a story, and while my writing is often dark, and tragic, I think there are a lot of positive message to get form the work, hope, and lessons to be learned, cautionary tales, possibly some insight into the human condition.

submitted by Richard Thomas

1 August 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: St. Louis, Missouri
Resides: Chicago, Illinois
Short Stories in print

Web site:
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