Hi! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. In Midnight Picnic, one of the themes is revenge. What made you decide to tackle this theme?
I wouldn't say that I decided to tackle that (or any) theme. In my experience, themes emerge organically from ideas that are not so abstract. It's an inductive, not deductive, process. I wanted to write a story about a dead child taking a man through the world of the dead in pursuit of his killer; the basic themes are present in the idea. I was more interested in and compelled by the idea of creating a mood. I think of Midnight Picnic as a "mood book." In addition to writing something disturbing and otherworldly, I wanted to create a mood of peaceful fatalism.
What were the challenges in writing the book?
I wrote the book entirely at night. Maintaining a sleep schedule that allowed me to do this and to work at my day job was difficult. I took naps in my office during the summer when I wrote most of Midnight Picnic. I also had very strange dreams.
How did Word Riot Press end up publishing your novel?
The novel was originally to be published by the now-defunct Impetus Press, which published my earlier novel, Fires. The week before it was supposed to have come out, Impetus went bankrupt. (They hadn't printed any copies.) It seemed Midnight Picnic was totally screwed. But Jackie Corley at Word Riot stepped in, and the book was published only a few months late, despite a printing delay. Word Riot did a wonderful job. I thought the book was dead in the water and they came out of nowhere to rescue it.