Wednesday, May 2, 2012

M.R. Interviews...Richard Kadrey

Please Welcome Richard Kadrey to Cutis Anserina

Where did the idea for James Stark/Sandman Slim come from?

A typical, boring writer place. After finishing a big project I was
looking for my next one. Going through some old notebooks I found the
phrases “Hitman from Hell” and “Sandman Slim.” The two seemed to go
together and I started developing a backstory.  How did he get to
Hell? How did he get out? How did he get that name?

Does the Sandman Slim series have a predetermined end point, or are
you taking it novel by novel?

I can’t say for sure. There’s a definite end to the six-book arc I’m
currently writing. I think there will be stories to tell beyond that
and not all are about Stark. I’d like to write about some of the other
characters. For instance, I know how Vidocq became immortal but I’ve
never had a chance to tell that story. It would be fun to get it down
on paper.

Are you finished with the character Spyder Lee from Butcher Bird? How
did the idea for this novel take shape?

I don’t have any plans for Spyder right now. Butcher Bird came about
because of a very simple idea. What if you gained a super power and
hated it so much you went on a quest through weird supernatural worlds
so you could find the magic to get rid of the power? It was
anti-quest. Like King Arthur looking for a way to put the sword back
in the stone and forget about it.

What was the collaborative process like, working with the Pander
Brothers on Accelerate?

Very interesting. It started with my writing a script, then Panders
sending me preliminary sketches of the scenes, and then either my
rewriting the script to fit within the images or them reworking the
images to work with the script. I’m happy to say that it went very
smoothly and I learned a lot about comics from working with them.

Your novels deal with a great deal of dark material. What is the first
book you remember genuinely being frightened by? Was your immediate
reaction to run out and find other similar tales, or stash it in your
closet and block it out?

Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado are the earliest
stories I remember scaring me. The first novel was Shirley Jackson’s
The Haunting of Hill House. At a local drug store I found a couple of
volumes of pulpy horror stories called Tales of The Frightened and
those scared the hell of me when I was a kid. Worse, I had an LP
version of the first volume read by Boris Karloff. It was a major
source of nightmares. As a teenager I discovered Lovecraft and
although the writing style didn’t appeal to me, the scope of the
Cthulhu stories thrilled me.

What active genre authors are you still excited to be following?

Neil Gaiman and Holly Black are two obvious fantasy authors. In SF
there’s William Gibson and Charlie Stross. Clive Barker and Joe
Lansdale in horror. Ellen Datlow and Jeff Vandermeer’s anthologies are
also favorites.

Do you have anything new coming down the pipeline you would like to share?

Aside from the Sandman Slim books I’ve started on some stories, the
first in a long time. I have my first YA book coming out later this
year, though I don’t have a date for it yet. I’m also developing some
non-Sandman Slim books. The Sandman Slim movie is coming along. I’m
looking forward to seeing that as much as anyone.

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