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Interview 5.5.5.: Norman Partridge on the future

'Johnny Halloween' - coming for you in October 2010.
'Johnny Halloween' - coming for you in October 2010.
Cemetery Dance

Today, we wrap up our epic five-day chat with Norman Partridge with a glimpse into the writer's future. A big tip of the hat to Mr. Partridge for taking the time to answer all these questions, and to everyone who's been reading along throughout the week - thanks. Let me know what you think of Interview 5.5.5. in the comments section, and if you have a suggestion as to who should be next in the series, please don't hesitate to toss it out there.

Now, without further adieu, here's five questions on the future for Norman Partridge:

How do you see your writing evolving in the future?

With two short story collections out this year (Lesser Demons and Johnny Halloween), I’m turning my attention to longer fiction. I’ve got a couple of novels in the works. I also started a blog called American Frankenstein, and that’s been a lot of fun. I talk about my writing, but also riff on other interests – horror fiction, comics, drive-in movies, music, even the haunted library where I work. The tagline for the blog is “One Guy, Many Parts,” and that says it all. The good doc’s monster was built from spare parts, and I’ve always felt that writers are the same when it comes to the influences and interests that fuel our fiction. Anyway, I hope readers enjoy my own personal mix.

Any thoughts of expanding into other media such as comics or screenplays?

I’ve done comics work in the past for DC/Wildstorm and Mojo (an independent outfit that produced some interesting stuff, including the Eisner-nominated Joe Lansdale/Rick Klaw anthology Weird Business). I’ve always been a big comics fan – in high school, a buddy and I ran a mail-order business to help finance our own collections. The business pretty much turned into my high school job, and we both built our collections with full runs of a lot of Marvel stuff – at one point I had every issue of The Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk. I also loved the horror titles that started in the seventies, both from Marvel and DC. I was a big fan of Werewolf By Night, Swamp Thing, Ghost Rider, The Monster of Frankenstein… all that stuff. Jack Kirby, Mike Ploog, and Bernie Wrightson were my heroes. So, sure, I’d love to write more comics one of these days.

Do you typically have a lot of projects lined up ahead of time, or do you just concentrate on what’s in front of you before thinking of what’s next?

Right now I’m focusing on novels, but I never say never. If something interesting comes up, I’m open to it. That’s what works best for me.

What works are finished and nearing release as of now?

The Dark Harvest mass-market paperback will be out from Tor in September, and Cemetery Dance will publish Johnny Halloween in early October. It’s great to have the new collection coming out from CD, because that’s where I got my start. Plus, the stories in Johnny Halloween really reflect the mash-up vibe of horror/crime/noir that CD has always been known for. Both the title story and the new Dark Harvest tale, “The Jack o’ Lantern,” have strong crime components. And of course there’s the nonfiction piece on the Zodiac murders, “The Man Who Killed Halloween.” Anyway, between those two books it’s going to be a great Halloween around here.

What are you currently working on that you can talk about?

Apart from the novels, I’ve got about eight short stories in various states of disrepair. When our daughter was born in February, I had the crazy idea that I could write a bunch of short stuff amidst the wild fun-ride that is new parenthood. Of course, it didn’t work out that way, but I did manage to start several stories. Now I just need to settle in and finish them off one by one. I guess I’ll be doing that in my “spare” time… when I’m not writing novels or changing diapers, that is.


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