Philip Fracassi is an award-winning, Bram Stoker-nominated author and screenwriter living it up in Los Angeles, California. His body of work includes short story collections Beneath A Pale Sky and Behold The Void while his full length novels include Gothic, A Child Alone With A Stranger and Boys In The Valley, which garnered high praise from Stephen King. As a screenwriter, Fracassi’s feature films have been distributed by Disney and Lifetime Television. He has also written a children’s book called The Boy with the Blue Rose Heart and a collection of poetry, Tomorrow’s Gone.
Between not holding his breath as several of his stories await their fate in various stages of film development, and working on his current book in progress, I somehow convinced Philip to share some of his coveted time with me. Come closer and listen in as we chat about the recent global trade release of Boys In The Valley, his intense writing process and the inner nuts and bolts of how it puts it all together.
(Interview conducted by Rick Hipson)
CEMETERY DANCE: Thanks for chatting with me today, Philip. Of course, we’re here to talk about your latest publication, Boys In The Valley. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this one was first published as a signed limited hardcover back in 2021?
PHILIP FRACASSI: Yes, it was the 2021 edition of the Halloween Series from Earthling Publications. It was the first novel I’d ever had published. When it came out it was only 500 copies, and then we sold it to Nightfire, I think February of 2022.
Thank you, Tor Nightfire, for picking it up and making it a mass market, something that we can all enjoy. It’s great they released it originally in October, too, because the book fits the gothic creepy atmosphere of Halloween like a bladed glove. So much so even Stephen King himself had no choice but to sit down and tweet out some impressive accolades about the book. I think something along the long lines of how he felt it was an amazing old school horror book from back in the day.
My cup runneth over as it pertains to Stephen King. He tweeted about it twice. He tweeted about it last February. Frankly, his tweet really helped get the Nightfire deal done. At the time, my agent and I, we’re getting ready to take out a completely different book which still hasn’t been sold, hasn’t been shopped, called The Blue Butterfly. Then the Stephen King tweet happens, and we were both like, oh, well, you know, forget that book. Let’s take out Boys In The Valley, so we did. We gave it to Nightfire as an exclusive and I think we sold it in a matter of a week.
That’s incredible. Obviously, Stephen King has immense influence all across the board, but I didn’t realize he was so pivotal in getting this book out to the rest of us to be able to enjoy.
I think it was a combination of him tweeting about it then the response to that. I think there was so much reader response and people were getting really excited, so we offered Nightfire the book on an exclusive basis and they snatched it up right away. We actually ended up doing a two-book deal. We did Boys In The Valley this summer. Then we’re doing another book that I am doing rewrites on right now called Serafina which is going to come out, tentatively, in June of 2024 with both Nightfire and then Orbit in the UK.
I definitely want to get back to that a bit later on, but before I forget, I want to touch on something that struck me while reading Boys In The Valley, which I had mentioned in my review of the book for Rue Morgue magazine. I thought it was really cool that although you used Catholicism as the backdrop to the story, which takes place at Saint Vincent’s Orphanage For Boys, the book doesn’t force any absolute takeaways about whether religion is a tool that’s best suited for or against nefarious intentions. How much of your personal beliefs lent themselves to that approach in your book? And, to kind of piggyback off my own question before you’ve answered the first part: is the struggle regarding best practices for utilizing religion something you can relate to in your own private life?
My thing is, I’m very story focused, which I know sounds like an obvious thing to say, but what I mean is everything I do, everything I put into this story, good or bad depending on who you ask, is there to serve the story. To that end, with Boys In The Valley, a lot of the religious themes are in there to serve the story of Peter and David and Bartholomew and all the kids in the orphanage and what happens to them. It’s less about me wanting to inject a book with religious themes that I had some sort of personal agenda with or personal experiences with, and it was more about using it, using those themes as a device to enhance the story.
That said, I did grow up in a religious household. I did grow up with religion as a mainstay in my life. I’ve taken a bit of a broader, more philosophical, Western-teric, whatever you want to call it, spiritual view of things as I’ve gotten older and more experienced and have read more widely and have learned more about the world and about other religions and what other people believe. I enjoy reading a lot about the occult and the afterlife and a lot of that sort of stuff. But as far as the man-crafted practice of religion, the canonized version of the church, canonized version of the Bible, whatever you want to call…those very ritualistic things are not something that I put much weight in on a personal level. Like I said, it’s really the themes that are in there and the back-and-forth of what one or two of the characters go through. It’s less about me relaying a personal experience and more about me wanting to relay the struggles of an individual who does have those beliefs, who does have to make hard decisions, and who does have to come to terms with not only what they believe in, but how they prioritize their own life over what they’re taught. It’s a lot of complicated themes in that regard, especially for the main character, Peter, but it’s really more of a character study of him and his struggles. It’s a coming of age, in a way, where he has to figure out who he is and who he wants to be. That’s more of the point I’m making with those themes.
It’s really interesting to hear you say that because you certainly nailed that point across. I think that’s part of the brilliance of this book, that no matter what your belief system is, or your disbelief system or somewhere in the gray, I think you can still look at this as a relatable philosophical struggle between somebody that is trying to fight between doing what they feel is right, and what they think is right through teachings and their own environment. You definitely nailed that internal struggle so well.
For sure. it’s also a little bit about where do you draw strength? Where do you draw your will to do right, to do one thing or another? In the book, you could almost argue each way, right? You could argue that he draws strength from this ambient universal power. You can also make the argument that he ultimately draws strength from himself.
So yeah, that’s something else that I wanted to, I don’t want to say play with, but I wanted to get into (Peter’s) character, because I do think it was an interesting study for him to make some of those harder decisions and why he made them and where those decisions were rooted inside of himself. He was a great character to write.
I think a lot of people who have read the book so far – I don’t want to say that. There are some people think the complexity of (Peter’s) character is not as obvious as maybe the other characters, that it’s something you have to read into. He was an interesting young man to create, from a fictional perspective.
He’s an interesting person to read about from a reader perspective, certainly.
I found Boys In The Valley also had a cool Gothic vibe to it as well. It has such creepy, brooding atmosphere that was hanging over everything. The atmosphere was a character of its own. I felt your setting became like a second skin to everything that was happening sort beneath the atmosphere. Was the setting — particularly with the St. Vincent’s Orphanage For Boys which, of course, is where the majority of the story takes place — was that based on any real places that you might have spend time with? It seemed mean like you had been there before because it felt like we’d been there with you.
It’s good that you felt that way, but no not really. It was all made up. Now that said, the story of the orphanage does have roots in fact. Not so much the supernatural elements of it, if you will, but there were these kind of orphanages in rural Pennsylvania in the turn of the century, you know, in 1800, and these boys were often mistreated, and they were sold as slave labor to factories at a very young age. There is a story about — I don’t want to misspeak because it was about five six years ago now that I read this article, but I remember stumbling across an article where it talks about a lot of the boys who had disappeared, relatively mysteriously at a particular orphanage. And of course, foul play was assumed, and nothing really was ever solved, but I thought that an interesting basis for a story and then everything else was my imagination. A lot of the setting is rooted in places which existed and the type of characters who existed in those places.
So yeah, not as far as personal experience myself. I was born and raised in Detroit Michigan and have been living in Los Angeles for thirty odd years so I don’t have a lot of experience with any sort of remote Gothic locations in my life. I’ve been pretty much a city boy from the get-go.
Very cool. Me as well. Although I do lone for the quietness of the of the country once again, but yeah, city boy here.
Me too. My wife and I are talking about it; we’re maybe going to see if we can find a quieter place to hang out and hang our hats, but for now, we’re still in LA.
You’re the wrong place for quietness now. (laughs)
I’m surprised you haven’t heard the sirens go by outside my window. They seem to go about very five minutes.
It’s a hotbed for different story ideas just wondering, what’s that siren all about? What about that one?
Philip, you kind of alluded to this already as far as character development goes. Although we follow young Peter as your main character throughout the story, in a sense, his counterpart is a character named Brother Johnson who has a very storied past of his own. I love the fact you don’t just come out and blurt his backstory out all at once. Even by the end the book, we still wonder about his past. Brother Johnson becomes sort of the sympathetic villain in this. There are certainly a few villains in the story, but not all of them are sympathetic. My question regarding this is twofold. First, how much fun is it to write a sympathetic villain? Second, how important do you think it is to a horror story to have a sympathetic villain rather than just somebody that you absolutely hate, or is otherwise one dimensional?
Well, first of all, thank you for saying that. You know, my thing is — and sometimes this gets me in trouble — but I like to write characters who are very much real, who could be real people. And what I mean by that is that every one of my books and stories has a little bit of good and a little bit of bad, just like real people do. And sometimes they make bad decisions. And sometimes they do things that are questionable. And sometimes they do things that are surprising because that’s reality. That’s how real people act. And a lot of my characters, if not most of my characters, are flawed in one way, just not in this book, but in every book and story I write because, again, that’s real. No one is perfect. No one is just one thing, or just one other thing. I don’t really rely on character tropes. I create my own manifestations of characters, and I like that they do things that are unexpected, both to me and to the readers. I’ve had characters do things in books, where I’m like, I don’t know about that. I don’t know if that’s gonna fly. But it’s what feels real when I’m writing it.
Johnson is an example of a character who is very complex. There are things that he does throughout the book which might not be obvious that sort of seed that emotion, that sympathy, that empathy you’re talking. They’re little things, but the way he reacts to the little things make you wonder, is this guy not just a villain? It seems like there’s a depth to him. And even Peter is wildly imperfect. David is wildly imperfect. They all live in this very real world, and I think that’s one of the things that I — not to pat myself on the back — but I think that’s one of the things my books bring which maybe a lot of other books in the genre don’t bring (regarding) that kind of character depth and complexity. I’m not dissing any other books at all, and not trying to elevate my books over anyone else’s. I’m just saying it’s something I focus more on. I really try to focus on it. I really want my characters to be complex and confusing, and sometimes it gets me in trouble.
I’ve had a lot of reader comments say I don’t even like the hero of this book. I don’t find them likable. To me, that doesn’t bother me in the slightest because I don’t see that as a negative. I think it means that the character is a real person. There’s some readers who do find that character, if not likable, at least they have empathy toward that character, they understand that character’s motivations, and they understand why that character would make the decisions they make. That’s really what it comes down to. It comes down less to hate the villains love the heroes and more about can you understand why this person would do this? Sometimes there’s an emotional reaction where some readers get gotten very upset because they’re kind of like, I can’t believe this person would ever do that, that would never happen. They get defensive almost. And I’m like, I think you’re over generalizing because it’s your own perspective and would not want to think that a person would do that, but this person did.
All that to say, yeah, with Brother Johnson, he was one of the funnest characters I’ve had the pleasure of creating. I loved bringing him in and making him seem to be one thing, and then slowly making him into something else, and then making him into something else, and then something else all over again. He has quite an interesting series of arcs throughout the story I think will keep readers on their toes.
Yeah, absolutely. And I’m not sure that his character is going to lessen the polarizing responses you might get from the fans.
Probably not, and that’s okay.
Absolutely. And the cool thing is for anybody who’s ever been really pissed off at one of your villains or heroes and is going to check out Boys In The Valley and may find themselves kind of pissed off at some of the choices that the heroes or the villains make, I think it’s really important for people to consider, well, why do you feel that way? It might be more about the reader than the character, which isn’t a negative thing, but certainly with Brother Johnson, as far as he’s concerned, one thing I loved about him is that he was constantly at a crossroads. You get the impression — or at least I did — that his idealisms, where he saw the possibilities for his choices I think were well intended, but ultimately, the choices he made were, frankly, bad choices in a lot of ways. It’s like he’s right there at the precipice of being potentially a good person, but there’s just something in him which makes him go in a different way than what we would expect or what I think even the character expected. If that ends up bothering people, I think that’s certainly a good cause for analysis.
He has what I call a self-destructive personality. if you want to go full therapy mode, a self-destructive personality based on grief and guilt and shame. He’s also kind of not a great guy, either. He’s an interesting cat. I really, I really had fun with him. And he seems to be, at least with the early readers who have read the book, targeted as a character people tend to talk about a lot. That makes me very happy because I don’t love the idea of there being one main character. I like the idea of it being a cast of heroes and a cast of villains. Even if there’s a primary protagonist and a primary antagonist, I still like the idea of having anyone who can kind of jump into that slot in a way, you know, what I mean? And in this book, I think there’s a lot of people of taking control in the story. I wrote it very specifically that way with the way I handle perspectives in the story chapter by chapter. Everyone has their time at the at the plate.
It was a really fun book to write. I wrote it in like four weeks. When I say I wrote in four weeks what I mean is I physically typed the book in four weeks. I had done a lot of pre-outlining and character development and all that stuff, so there’s another month or two there. But the actual writing went very fast. What that always says to me — and I’ve written six or seven books now — is that I was very confident in the characters and their decisions. So, yes, it was a really fun book to write and hopefully, it’s a lot of fun to read.
Getting back to my initial comment, all this character stuff is really all service to the story. All that stuff is so that the story is fun and engaging and is the best story it can possibly be, because all this stuff is just to make sure that the story works for everybody. You’re not getting invested in the story if you’re not invested in the characters, and you’re not going to get invested story if you’re not invested in the setting and all this stuff serves the story. I think this one worked out pretty well and, so far, people seem to be digging it.
I dug it quite a bit myself as you know. Philip, even after writing a complete outline and all the details you had set out, writing a first draft in a month seems fast paced to me. Was that unusual for you to have written so fast? I mean, at about 360 pages, it’s not exactly a short novel.
That’s pretty par for the course. I mean, this book was a little bit different. This book was originally a screenplay, right? I used to write screenplays. I still do, but I used to write screenplays for a living and now I write fiction for a living. I write screenplays when the opportunities arise. I wrote this as a screenplay. I fleshed the whole story out in about, I don’t know, a few weeks, then wrote the screenplay, and then I basically rewrote an entire new outline when I thought I’m going to adapt my own story into a novel. A lot of things I had done in the screenplay — obviously, the novel has a lot more depth to the characters and their inner dialogue and motivations and all that kind of stuff. I really wanted that, so I rewrote it from top to bottom. That was a little bit faster than normal, but standard for me?
The novel I’m writing right now that’s coming out in summer of 2024 took me about a month of outlining, getting the plot where I want it, the characters fleshed out and all that stuff. I do extensive outlines. I usually break down every single chapter ahead of time. My outlines are kind of like fifty or sixty pages and then within each beat, I have character notes, and all this stuff that I’m going to be seeding for later (such as) misdirection here, or whatever. I do all that stuff ahead of time which usually takes me about a month, maybe a little bit less. Then I usually spend typically about six to eight weeks to write the book, to write a first draft. Rewrites go on and off for three, four, five, six months or whatever depending on when I’m getting feedback from editors and so on, but the actual writing of the book is about just about a month or two — if this is interesting to anybody — then usually another month of rewrites before I show it to anyone.
And is there a specific time you would normally spend in a day on a book, Philip? I mean, do you have specific time slots that’s all the writing? Or is it just a matter of writing as much as you can squeeze into the day?
Yeah, it’s the latter of the two. This is my full-time job, so I work on and off between like 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. My days now are a little more complicated. I have a lot of projects going on so I am spending my days doing a lot more administrative stuff now, maybe more than I would have a few more years back. I usually take a couple hours in the late afternoon, and I usually take a couple hours in the evening for family or hanging out with my wife or my kid or whatever. And the end of the day is always reserved just for writing. I don’t do any other business stuff. I try and get a couple hours in in the morning, and then a couple hours in at the end where I’m just turning everything else off and tuning everything else out and just focusing on writing. Then I usually spend another four or five, six hours talking to agents or editors or lawyers or you know, doing social media promotion, or whatever. So, yeah, that’s my typical day, and I do that seven days a week.
When you’re a working writer like yourself there’s no such thing as any time off really, it sounds like.
I’ve been wanting to be a writer since I was ten years old. I’ve now worked hard enough and been lucky enough, had some good fortune to be in a position where I can write full time so I’m kind of living my dream in a way, but the only way to keep that is to keep working just as hard as you worked to get there.
I’m kind of always in a bit of a panic mode. I currently have books —not all these have been announced, but I have like four books now slated through the first half of 2025 and I’m still kind of panicked about getting another book written. I’m always thinking about what’s next, what’s next, what’s next, and I love it. I thrive on it. When I am writing a novel or when I have a deadline, I am way more focused on writing a majority of the day, whereas when I’m kind of in between projects I can pull the throttle back a little bit and maybe just write for three or four or five hours a day and then spend my time doing other stuff like catching up on reading or maybe even walking out of the house. Who knows? Crazier things that happened Every now and then I do like to see the sun.
Sure, proof of life.
Just for a minute, and then I scurry back inside.
It does tend to burn after a little while, right?
Philip, on your socials you mentioned you were working on a prologue for, I imagine the story you’re currently rewriting. Then, maybe a day later, you posted on your Facebook feed you got to write “the end.” Is it fair to say you’re one of those meticulously clean writers so that when you write “the end” it truly is all but a completed manuscript?
If I’m getting your question right then yeah, when I write “the end,” that’s it. I would say my first drafts are typically about eighty percent of what the final version will be. I do sort of edit as I go, but I don’t do the Joe Lansdale model where I write and then, at the end of the day, go back and reread everything I just wrote. I don’t do that.
My first drafts are pretty close to the end product. And then, when the first draft is done, I take a couple of days off to reset, and then I go all the way back and I start reading the book for the first time in a way. As I read, I edit. It’s making sure everything makes sense. I sweeten the prose. I modify, you know, whatever I need to for clarity or whatever. That second pass is really my polish, and that’s usually all I do before I would hand it off to an editor for their notes. Because I’ve come from the indie world, a lot of times if I’m handing a book off, and then it’s going to the printer, I’ll do probably my own proofread passes. I basically work as my own proofreader and editor. Otherwise, I let my editors and the publisher’s proofreaders give me feedback.
The other thing I do which readers may or may not find interesting is, when I am doing a book I know is not going to be seen by a lot of people before it goes to print, I will go to Amazon and print out a bound draft of the book that I can hold in my hands and read. Then I read through and make edits. I always catch stuff when I’m reading it in that format.
That’s a really cool idea.
Assume I have no editors and proofreaders. I’ll do the first draft, then I’ll do the second draft, which is where I sweeten everything. and that’s kind of the book. And then I usually print everything out on computer paper, then red pen it and rewrite the whole thing. Then I send that draft to Amazon. They send me a book for five bucks, I edit the book and that’s pretty much what I hand in at that point. So that’s kind of my process.
With the book I’m doing for Tor, I won’t have to do all that stuff because they have people who will help me, thank God, and do a more detailed, meticulous editing which is a wonderful thing to have.
Yeah, it’s a fantastic resource to have that you just don’t get as an indie writer.
I’ve got another question for you before we change gears a little bit. I know you mentioned this before, and I’m glad that you brought it up regarding the origin of Boys In The Valley, which began as a script because that’s how you used to make a living. I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you, when it comes to Boys In The Valley, and perhaps even Gothic, how close are you to making a film adaptation of either film a reality? Is that even important to you?
Okay, so Boys In The Valley, the screenplay that I wrote, is not going to be in any way associated with any sort of film adaptation of the book. I just want to make that kind of clear. It’s a screenplay I wrote that I shopped around that nobody bought, so I wrote it as a book. That screenplay will live on only in print. So that folks reading this know what we’re talking about, Gothic is another novel of mine which was originally a screenplay I, again, adapted into a novel. Those two screenplays are going to be bound into a limited-edition book I’m selling purely to raise money so I can go on tour around the country into the UK to promote Boys In The Valley.
But not Canada.
Not this time. It’s all coming out of my pocket so it adds up pretty quickly when you’re talking about doing twenty-five cities and a trip to the UK for two weeks.
Plus the currency conversion here sucks.
Yeah, I would love to come to Canada, believe me. (Since this conversation, I’m happy to report Philip is indeed visiting Toronto Ontario on September 1s, 2023 – Rick) But back to your question and to add to that, the book is currently being shopped by an agency who represents a director and a writer who are attached to the project. It hasn’t been announced so I can’t say because it’s not my place. They’re working on it is the answer. Hopefully, it happens. It would be obviously amazing. But you know, it’s Hollywood. We also have the WGA strike. Everything’s up in the air right now. The idea is hopefully it gets made into a film. I think it’s got a good shot based on how things have been progressing over the last six months or so, almost a year now, actually.
So there’s that and then I have, I think, five of my short stories currently in different stages of being developed for adaptation, and a couple of my novels, so a lots going on in that area. The thing with that side of things is, for folks who may or may not be overly familiar with it, it’s sort of like buying a lottery ticket. It’d be great. I’m glad that somebody is interested and there trying to make it a reality. That’s awesome. But the idea of getting to the point of it happening or being on the screen is like one in ten thousand. It is exciting. You want to have as many irons in the fire as you can, with the hope that at some point, something breaks your way. As far as Boys In The Valley is concerned, it’s being pitched to various places. Hopefully somebody wants to make it. You just have to wait and see how it goes.
I appreciate you saying all that because I’ve certainly talked to several authors who have a pretty healthy side hustle just selling options of their work to interested filmmakers. Whether anything actually comes out of it or not, as long as you get paid for it, that’s a bonus. Writers deserve to get paid as much as they possibly can.
It’s definitely one way to monetize your (intellectual property), your content, your stories you create because, frankly, publishing for the most part doesn’t pay all that much. It’s hobby money. It’s not rent money. The good thing about movie stuff and TV stuff is it’s more like rent money versus hobby money. If you can do it, it’s great. I’ve been lucky in the sense that I have help on that side of things. And I don’t really have to do all that much. I meet people, I talk to people who have interest, and then lawyers do other stuff. Fingers crossed that Boys finds a home. I’ve read the script and it’s great. The director is an amazing guy. Now we just see how it goes.
Fingers crossed for sure. Like you said, you just have to hope you the numbers line up when it comes to that particular lottery.
There are so many variables. It could what particular studios are looking for at a particular time. This has happened to me, where I finished a novel and then a week later, you see a trailer that could be the backstory you just spent three months writing and now the movie side of your product just got shelved for at least five years or so. You never know, but I’ve had some pretty good success so far. With those things just gotta wait and see what happens. Hopefully, hopefully something works out.
Me too. I would love it, believe me.
Especially Boys In The Valley. I could see them doing it in a series so you can get backstories from the different boys. I can see some potential in there, too, for some cool flashbacks where you get a better idea of where they came from and really up the stakes for the big finale. I probably shouldn’t dwell on this too much because now I’m really excited at the prospect. They have to make this!
Yeah, you can do a lot of different things. The TV thing is interesting. This is something I’ve learned recently is that if you if you do something for TV, they want to see stuff that’s going to be made into multiple seasons for a variety of reasons. But this is a pretty contained story, so it probably leans toward a feature, but you never know. Mini series, maybe?
These days, the line between TV and film is so blurry with streaming and all that stuff. I remember when I was starting everything was so formulaic and templated. A TV script could be thirty minutes or an hour, less “X” amount of time for commercials and that was how you had to write it. Nowadays, it doesn’t really matter. If you go on Netflix or Amazon or whatever and look at some of the runtimes and look how dramatically different each episode is, which I love as a writer because the length serves that story or that part of the story. If it’s a 45 minute thing, then that is 45 minutes. If it’s an hour and eight minutes, then that’s what they need. But it doesn’t really matter because it’s all on demand now. It’s pretty neat. Like I said, I’ve a few things in the works that I’m very excited about it. None of them have been announced. I just have to hope they continue to develop and grow and get their foot in.
As we begin to wrap up this fascinating conversation, what’s the best way to follow you as far as what projects you’re working on, the places you’re appearing where folks can meet you? And also, what is the one thing that you hope readers think about and take with them after they put down Boys In The Valley or any of your other books?
For the first part of your question, the best place to follow me is on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok. You can also visit my website, pfracasi.com, and I have a newsletter you can join where I’ll send my full tour schedule out. I always send notices when I have a book coming out or have a book on sale like once or twice a month. If you join the Fracassi Freaks group on Facebook, those guys always get info first.
As far as what I would want people to take away from finishing one of my books, I mean, first and foremost, I want people to be entertained. And hopefully distracted from some of the more serious and difficult parts of life while they’re reading the story. I’m hoping that it’s immersive for people and it’s emotional for people or at least fun and entertaining. I always think about movies. When I have this kind of conversation, I always feel like the number one priority of any film is to be, before anything else, entertaining. And then you can be as artsy and as weird or as thematically heavy as you want to be. But the movies got to be entertaining. And I think fun. Viewers have to be engaged and have to enjoy the experience of watching it. I always think about it that way with my books as I think they have to be first and foremost entertaining.
then, my deep hope is they’re impactful in some way to someone’s life, hopefully in a positive manner. It’s very humbling and to think about, but I love the idea that hopefully reading a book like Boys In The Valley is something they’ll remember for a long time and remember that story and the way they felt reading that story. That’s really all I can hope for is to, number one, entertain folks and, number two, hopefully leave them something or somehow have my story be part of their lives, which is such a wonderful feeling. It’s really the ultimate desire for anyone who uses art to express themselves is that you want people to feel the same way about that art that you felt creating it. Hopefully that’s what happens when folks read my books. I think some stories are more of the fun, entertainment part. Some stories are more of a balance between the impactful, hopefully, and the entertaining part. I think Boys In The Valley is one where I’m hoping it does resonate with folks long after they’ve first read it, but you never know. The mileage may vary, obviously, but what I really hope happens when folks read my work.
I have no doubt folks who are already reading a lot of your other works who have been looking forward to Boys In The Valley for quite a while will not be disappointed. I think it’s a great springboard for wanting to jump back into being one of the Fracassi Freaks.
That’s wonderful to hear, man. Thank you.
Rick Hipson is a Canadian genre journalist living in Kitchener Ontario with his partner in crime, young spawn and two cats who insist they aren’t vying for world domination. For over twenty years Rick has written for a variety of small press publications in print and online which no longer exist through, assumably, no fault of his own. He continues to share his love for dark culture entertainment through his film and book reviews, interviews and articles, which can be found through Rue Morgue Magazine, Cemetery Dance and Hell Notes.