Earlier this week I posted a glowing review of Willy by Robert Dunbar, a book which, whilst not strictly horror, was dark and intelligent. I was delighted therefore when Rob agreed to be the latest guest on The Inquisition :-
1 – Which book has been most influential in your career?
I trust you have assassins standing by for people who say either The Stand or the Bible.
2 – Which writer has most influenced your style?
That I’m conscious of? Samuel R. Delany possibly, what with his being a god and all. But one venerates so many great artists – Baldwin, Joyce, Faulkner. Henry Roth maybe? Where do you begin?
3 – What’s the future for the horror genre?
Does it have a present?
4 – Which book do you wish you had written?
Either The Stand or the Bible.
5 – What writing equipment could you not live without?
6 – Do you plan in detail before starting a new piece of writing?
Yes, I have to create an outline, but then I try not to let it strangle me.
7 – Ebooks or Paper Books?
I enjoy the whole eBook experience – lovely gadgets – but nothing compares to the sensual pleasure of holding a book in your hands.
8 – Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Dark Fiction, always.
9 – Who should I read next?
Greg F. Gifune. Start with GARDENS OF NIGHT. It’s pure genius.
10 – What was your last book and what is your next book?
WILLY is the latest … and the one that almost killed me, because it all had to be written in the boy’s voice. It’s the diary of a disturbed adolescent in a “special” school, and his consciousness is so fragmented that he barely grasps the significance of the bizarre events he relates. So the plot has to emerge almost entirely between the lines. Plus he grows emotionally, day by day, becoming more coherent and insightful, which means the voice evolves, but every syllable must ring absolutely true, psychologically and etymologically, or the whole thing collapses. Like I said – almost killed me. But the kind of response it’s been getting is very gratifying. Over and over, people have praised it for being unlike anything else they’ve read. (MARTYRS & MONSTERS evoked much the same sort of response.) For a writer, that’s everything – the kind of feedback one always longs to hear. My next effort? I have a new novella called WOOD that should be out in a few months, also from Uninvited Books. It’s about a teenage Hispanic girl and an older gay guy who battle monsters (metaphorical and otherwise) in the inner city. That one was a sheer delight to work on: total romp. For more info, people can always check out www.UninvitedBooks.com or www.DunbarAuthor.com.