Hello everyone! And welcome back to my author interview series.
Today I am talking to another member of my Indie Eden book club, Sergio Gomez. His book, Dark Treasures, is a collection of short horror stories that features monsters that range from demented clowns and sewer monsters to just your average, flawed human being. Let’s see what he has to say about Dark Treasures, and about his writing process.
Hi Sergio! I always like to start my interviews by finding out what authors think that their fans most need to know about them. So, what is the one question that you wish people would ask you about your latest book? (And what is the answer?)
I wish they would ask me what I enjoy writing more; novels or short-stories. My answer would be both, because even though they’re both similar enough, the process behind writing the two forms are radically different when you get down to doing it.
Can you give us a short description of your book or books?
My books are technically horror, and for the sake of filing them into one of the known genres that’s what I call them. But, I actually think they don’t exactly fit the bill of horror. They’re more like stories that explore dark topics like jealousy, heartbreak, loss, loneliness, depression, etc., but the gore and scare factors are never the forefront when I’m putting them together. I’m more interested in writing stories that are relatable to people that may be going through a hard time, or perhaps already been through hard times. I want those people to read my stories and know they’re not alone, and no matter how bad things get, it can never get as bad as the situations my characters are put in.
That’s a really inspiring approach (And as someone who is reading Dark Treasures now, I can say that I hope I never get into a situation as bad as the ones your characters get into! haha). Is there any famous author that inspires you, personally, or that you admire?
Oh yeah, many. Oddly enough, most of the ones that inspire me aren’t horror writers. Stephen King is of course at the top of the list, considering he’s the best that’s ever done it in the genre. The other names that immediately come to mind are Haruki Murakami, William Goldman, Timothy Hallinan, and Richard Laymon. Two names from my childhood that I still tap into to try to emulate when I’m writing for children/teens are Gary Paulsen and S.E. Hinton.
Your book is in the horror genre. What drew you to this genre? Do you also like to read books in this genre?
I don’t think anything in particular drew me into the genre, it’s just what comes out when I write. I’ve tried writing superhero stories, young adult stories, fantasy stories, etc. and the one thing that always seemed constant in them was either the “dark” elements that would snake themselves into them or I’d be focusing a lot on the blood. I eventually started to write what would be my first published novel, a post-apocalyptic story about a father and son, and it felt “right”. [You can find Sergio’s first novel, The Chaos, on Amazon.com]
I do read books in the genre. Not as many as you might expect, but as I mentioned I love Stephen King. I’ve also read a few of the classics like the Hellbound Heart [by Clive Barker] and The Girl Next Door [by Jack Ketchum] and stuff like that.
Who is your target audience for this book? What do you think will appeal to them about Dark Treasures?
The target audience I suppose are horror fans. What would appeal to them is the dark tones of the story. But, I think anyone who wants to entertain themselves with a quick story could also enjoy Dark Treasures. There’s a wide variety of stories, and I tried to write each one with a unique voice, that I think even non-horror fans can find at least one story they enjoy in the collection.
I noticed while reading that each story has a unique voice to it, which made it very interesting to read! When you write a book or a short story, though, do you plan out everything beforehand, or do you let the story follow its own course?
I let the story follow its own course. It makes it exciting for me, and I know that means my excitement will transfer into the writing, which then (hopefully) transfers into excitement for the reader.
Do you have any quirky writing habits?
Not really. I guess I like to always have a drink while I write. Whether it’s water, soda, or coffee. Which means I get up to use the bathroom a lot, haha.
Do you have any writing tips for other writers? (Other than not drinking too much water while they write? :P)
Don’t ever put anything in front of the story. Our jobs as writers are to entertain people, not to try to impress them with how smart we think we are or to deliver our political messages. That stuff has a way of finding itself into stories without you needing to drive it home, so just focus on telling a good story.
That is great advice! Thank you so much for letting me interview you, and telling us about your book.
Don’t be afraid of the dark. Sometimes there’s treasure in it. A shunned clown with a murderous plot fueled by jealousy, a hungry creature living in the sewers of a small town, a haunted board game that pits friends against each other in a game of life and death, a grim spin on a childhood tale, and four other stories that will grip you and won’t let go until the last page.
About the Author:
Born in Mexico but raised in the United States, Sergio Gomez lives in Philadelphia with his family. He enjoys reading, martial arts, cooking, but most of all writing. His favorite superhero is either Batman or Hellboy depending on the day.