Terry M. West was nice enough to give Examiner a look at his new horror collection "What Price Gory?" Available on Friday, December 13th! These stories have a hint of shows like "Supernatural" with the adult flare of books like "Trueblood." The collection consist of some really great stories that are sure to please horror fans. Terry's style is a refreshing as sweet tea, as he give you stories that keep you fascinated, with characters that charm you to your core.
Each story transfixes you in the worlds he creates, ghost, monsters and horrors that will chill your soul with an old school style of horror feel. The book's itself are easy to read and fun full of southern twang. If you love to be shocked or scared What price is Gory is the book for you. If you love sex mixed with horror try "Pleasant Storm's" "What Price Gory?"
Hey Terry, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. After reading your collection, "What Price Gory?", I have a lot of questions.
Thanks for the opportunity to talk about my new collection. I appreciate the attention.
Well before we start with your new collection, can you tell our readers about the Comics, graphic novels, and film work you have done?
" I created the comic Blood for the Muse as well as the YA graphic novel series, Confessions of a Teenage Vampire.The two most popular films I directed were Blood for the Muse (based on my comic) and Flesh for the Beast."
A few of the stories are set in Texas towns. Is the fictional town of Pleasant Storm built around a real place from your life?
"The Hermit’s Creepy Pet is set in Lake Worth, the town of my birth. Cecil & Bubba meet a Succubus is set in Fort Worth, where I lived in my teens. Car Nex is set in Pleasant Storm, which is based on a couple of small towns I spent time in. Pleasant Storm was also the setting for my novelette, Hair & Blood Machine, which appeared in my collection, A Psycho’s Medley. Put on a Happy Face and The Hairy Ones both take place in unspecified areas near pleasant Storm. A lot of bad stuff happens to people who live in or near Pleasant Storm, Texas. And I will be returning there to dig up more monsters."
The characters seem well thought out. Are they based on people you know?
"Oh, sure, every character in my fiction is based on somebody I have encountered. And there are several aspects of me that appear in many of my characters, as well. I pride myself on the characters I create. They must breathe on the page. When you are dealing with a story that has fantastic elements, you need strong characterizations to ground it and bring your reader inside of it."
The imagery in these stories created a real atmosphere of dread. Were you trying to shock the readers?
"That is always a consideration. There are certainly gruesome elements to my horror fiction. I wouldn’t say that the gore in my fiction goes too far, but it does get pretty bloody in a few of the tales. My first concern with any story is to construct it as strongly as possible. I will often skim over the violent spots and come back to them in revision and orchestrate those elements further."
Without giving too much away tell us who are your favorite characters?
"I like Cecil & Bubba, because they come across very strongly in their story and it is very hard to write a horror tale that is humorous as well. A few of my tales deal with writers, so obviously I feel some connection with them. Tommy Summers in the Hermit’s Creepy Pet. Tommy is me when I first tried to take pen to paper. I even like Trevor Hughes in the story, What Price Gory. Trevor’s a real bastard, but there is a lot of him in writers out there. You may not like him, but many writers can certainly sympathize with what goes through his head. And there is, of course, Susie Monroe, from Put on a Happy Face. She turns out to be a very wise seven-year-old girl."
The moods you create and the details are so vivid, the average reader can't help but see this world through your eyes. How did you learn to create such easy to read page turners?
"It has taken me a long time to find myself as a writer. I was published ten or more years ago, but the work I was putting out was very weak compared to what I am currently managing. I feel I have gotten better with age. I took a ten year sabbatical from the creative world, but I continued to write and to study and grow. When I write a story now, I ask myself what I am trying to say with the story. What message am I trying to convey. And once I am done with a story, I look for questions. And if I have any questions about the story, I answer them in revisions. When I have no more questions, the story is done. It’s an exercise that works for me."
Your stories are very visual. Were they written to be adapted to T.V. or Movies?
"Well, I have written a few screenplays in the past, and my fiction has a tendency to be visual. The stories in this collection were inspired by anthology programs like The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and Tales from the Darkside. So, yeah, I feel they could easily translate to the screen."
Where do you think up the concepts?
"They just come to me. It is very had to say where they come from. A lot of times, I will get a little horrific glimpse in my head and I will build an entire tale around it."
Can you tell the readers a little more about you?
"Well, I am a family man. I have a wonderful wife named Regina and together we have a wonderful son named Terrence. Terrence is already showing signs that he might follow in my footsteps. Regina has been very inspirational, to me. My writing has improved in leaps and bounds since I have known her, and she takes full credit for that! Seriously, Regina reads and edits my work, and she always comes back and tells me if it doesn’t shine as brightly as it could. She is very important to my process, and I love her. I am a nerd. A huge horror nerd. I have a vast collection of horror comics, paperbacks and DVDs. I have been a collector my whole life and I still troll thrift stores looking for rare books and movies. It is a sickness. I have many friends who are writers and artists, and I believe in karma. I try to help my friends, when I am able. I don’t believe in drama and try to handle things in the kindest way possible. I also have a website that I would love for readers to visit. It iswww.terrymwest.com and please find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/terry.m.west) and if you are a horror writer or reader, friend me. I won’t bite."
Who inspired you in the horror genre?
"Rod Serling, who was just wonderful. I also have a fondness for the work of Edward Levy, who wrote one of my favorite books, The Beast Within. Of course, there’s King and Barker, but I also draw a lot of inspiration from the classics, as well. Lovecraft and Poe. And Theodore Sturgeon. He was a craftsman."
Where did you get your start?
"I lucked into a few gigs at a fairly young age in the Young Adult market. And then I moved into the independent film market, where I worked on a few memorable and not so memorable no to low budget features. But horror fiction has always been my first love and true calling."
Thanks again for speaking with us at Examiner.com
The eight stories in What Price Gory?
"This collection also features a sneak preview of the novella currently under work: Cecil and Bubba meet the Thang.When asked about his newest collection"
- What Price Gory?: Two famous horror authors have a supernatural contest of the imagination to crown the true king of horror
- Car Nex: A God-fearing man accidently calls forth a hungry demon from an ancient book of shadows.
- The Hermit’s Creepy Pet: An ill-tempered hermit captures a local urban legend in a bear trap.
- Held Over: Welcome to the Milburn and Stein Home for Continuance. It is a first class living community for the recently undead.
- The Hairy Ones: An elderly couple living deep in the woods prepares a sacrifice for the Hairy Ones on All Hallow’s Eve.
- Cecil & Bubba meet a Succubus: Two good old boys who are strapped for cash hire on to a paranormal investigation and are soon haunted by a seductive demon.
- Put on a Happy Face: Susie Monroe hides in an old house with her brother, Billy. Billy is a shadow man who wears many faces. But none of them are his.
- Midnight Snack: Calvin Winslow gets lost during a late night drive and he finds a strange and dangerous place on the back roads.