It is my pleasure to host author Lee Anderson on my blog today.
Me: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Lee: Always. When I was little, my dad was a voracious reader, and I was perplexed by what could possibly hold him mesmerized for so long like that. Where was he? My fascination with books was born. An inclination to become a writer naturally came next, I guess. I even wrote my first novel in 2nd grade. It was 2 pages-long and was called “Jaws.”
Me: What made you pen this down?
Lee: Varies. There’s stories in this collection that are twenty years old, and others I wrote late last year. Some were writing assignments from college while others were just inspired by people I’ve met. Or people I heard about and never wished to meet. Mostly, these are just stories made by whatever odd thing hit my antennae.
Me: What should readers expect from the Dark Lords of the Trailer Park?
Lee: Hopefully, a trip. A ride through underbelly of our country. Joseph Campbell once mentioned how the best way to study any society is to examine its dark side. The shape of its shadow. I did my best to do this while also keeping it somewhat humorous. Life is nothing if not funny, no matter how seedy it gets.
Me: What made you write a collection of short stories right after writing a novel, What Happened at Sisters Creek?
Lee: That novel was something I’d always wanted to do. I’d always wanted to write a horror novel. See if I could actually be scary. As with anyone who came of age in the Eighties, I’ve read some Stephen King. It’s impossible not to. Love or hate him, his stuff grabs you. It’s powerful. I wanted to see if I could do it, too. Thankfully reviews of the book have been mostly great. Even the Amazon reviews from people saying they had to put it down, I take that as a compliment. Go hard or go home, right? I saw Dark Lords of the Trailer Park as a great companion piece since Sisters Creek is pretty short. You can easily read it in one sitting.
Me: How are these two books different (leaving aside the length of course) and similar when catering to a reader’s base?
Lee: Well, a horror novel is certainly more commercial. People adore getting freaked out. Being scared. It’s exhilarating. Reading short stories can be more challenging because you’re being pulled in and out of different worlds so much. There’s a heightened level of attention needed. That’s why it tends to only attract people who are pretty damn serious about their reading.
Me: What according to you makes or breaks the horror genre?
Lee: Has to be unexpected. It nearly angers people to guess what’s going to happen in a book and – presto – it happens. The cardinal sin of any writer is to be boring. I’m quoting with that, but I can’t remember who said it.
Me: Do you check out your book reviews? If yes, how does that impact you?
Lee: I do read them, yes. Feedback is important. Nobody writes in a vacuum. All those cliches. Also, if I ignore what people think of my work, then why am I doing it?
Me: Are there any new projects underway?
Lee: A fantasy series with unicorns and spaceships. Just kidding. Or I don’t know. I could write that. But my very next project is to edit another anthology soon. I would enjoy that again.
Lee has written short stories and essays for a multitude of small and large press publications, including Fiction International, The Citron Review, The Remington Review, The Miami Herald, and The Broadkill Review. His two plays “Supper’s Ready” and “Little America” were produced and staged in New York City.
He lives in Westchester, New York with his wife and calico.
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