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Interview: Tom Deady, author of Skookum Lake, Haven, & Eternal Darkness

It's a special day, Dead Oaks fans, because we've got an exclusive interview you're sure to love: Tom Deady, author of the season one story (and first short story ever featured on Dead Oaks) Skookum Lake! Tom is also the author of novels Haven and Eternal Darkness, now available from Cemetery Dance and Bloodshot Books! Keep reading below to see some of Tom's thoughts on his inspiration for Skookum Lake, his own fears, and much more...


1)    First off, tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from? What do you do when youre not writing?

I grew up in Malden, MA and have lived in Massachusetts my whole life. Unfortunately I have one of those real job things that take up a lot of my non-writing time. Other than that, Im pretty much a boring homebody.

2)    At what point in your life did you decide to start writing?

I decided to start writing countless times from about the age of ten. My first attempt was a hand-written Hardy Boys rip-off that I wish I still had, just so I could cringe. I started writing my first novel, Haven, in about 1996 and finished it 15 years later! Since then, Ive completed another novel, have two others close to first draft, and have written tons of short stories.

3)    What inspired your Dead Oaks story, Skookum Lake?

Skookum Lake started out as kind of a prequel to Haven. I guess it still is, just cleverly disguised as a Dead Oaks story!

4)    Why horror?

      I wish I had an answer that really explained why. I grew up watching Creature Double Feature and reading Stephen King. Its what I love.

5)    Do you write any other genres outside of horror? If so, what are they, and what are you currently working on?

I self-published a mainstream-ish short story on Amazon called The Lake (what is it with me and lakes?). I could definitely see myself writing a full length novel outside the horror genrebut not too far outside.

6)    What is your favorite book or short story?

Without hesitation, IT by Stephen King. Im a sucker for coming-of-age stories and great monsters. Summer of Night by Dan Simmons is pretty close behind. For non-horror, To Kill A Mockingbird.

7)    What upcoming projects do you have currently and what can you tell us about them?

Im finishing up final edits on my second novel, Eternal Darkness, that will be out from Bloodshot Books in January. Then Ill be finishing up a ghost story/murder mystery novel, followed by a post-apocalyptic novel. I also have a bunch of short stories out looking for homes.

8)    What scares you most?

As a parent, theres only one answer: anything that could hurt my children.

9)    Where do your ideas come from when it comes to horror? Are they based on legends and real events, or are they completely imaginary?

I would say they are mostly imaginary, but I try to make them more realistic or believable by blurring the lines between the supernatural and what could be within the realm of science. Some of the real events I sprinkle in are more background stories or subplots.

10) If you had to choose one author (horror or otherwise) as your biggest influence, who would it be and why?

Stephen King. Obvious answer, I know, but its true. Since reading Salems Lot when I was twelve or so, Ive been hooked. He has an uncanny ability to make the reader feel like they know the characters in his stories. Then he takes those friends he introduces you to, and sends his haunted cars and rabid dogs and vampires and evil clowns to fuck with them. His novels (with a very few exceptionscough::Tommyknockers::cough) all stand on their own as greatyet are almost all connected back to the Dark Tower in some way. Its brilliant.


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