“Under Cover of Night” has a gritty narrative voice, one that carries the stark boredom and moments of sheer terror with equal strength. Did you ever serve in the military or the National Guard in a desert setting?
I never did. In high school, I seriously considered the Navy for about a day and a half, but then I was reminded that I’ve always had a problem with authority, and would probably get my ass kicked every day. I have the utmost respect for those who have served or are serving now, including members of my family and some very dear friends. I hope that comes through, both in this story and in my new novel, Tin Men, which is a near-future SF military thriller.
The story has an urgency, a sense of immediacy with a growing tension that carries the reader along. How would you describe your writing process when capturing such a mood?
Fear, really. I try to imagine myself in such a position, the tension, how fast my heart would race. Weirdly, writing scenes like that is a lot like acting, in the way you have to put yourself in the moment.
Often in modern horror, the main character is written as a hero, sometimes unlikely, but always ready to face the monsters and win the day. Weston isn’t like that. His idea of heroics is to save the immigrants in his charge from the creature in the night. This makes him all the more accessible as a character. How does Christopher Golden, the writer and the man, define “hero”?
I’ve always said a hero is someone who does what must be done, and needs no other reason. Weston is named after my friend and fellow writer (and military man), Weston Ochse.
What inspired you to first dip your toes into the darker waters of horror fiction?
I never had a choice, really. I started writing young, and horror was always my passion. The stories that ignited that spark in me were always the weird ones, the frightening ones, the unsettling ones. Stephen King started me off, and the anthologies edited by Charles L. Grant.
What’s next for Christopher Golden? What can readers expect in 2015?
Tin Men will be out in June from Ballantine. My new anthology (as editor), Seize The Night, is out in October, more than five hundred pages of terrifying and unique new vampire stories. My new horror novel, Dead Ringers, will be out from St. Martin’s in November. On the comics and graphic novels front, Baltimore — my series with Mike Mignola — continues from Dark Horse, and we’ll be announcing a new project shortly. And the second graphic novel in the Cemetery Girl trilogy, which I write with Charlaine Harris, will be out in October. Charlaine and I are writing a short story together in June, and we’re both part of a very cool ten-author project called Indigo that I can’t talk about. 2015 will see a lot of new work, but in comparison, 2016 looks very quiet — which is probably okay. People need a rest.
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