In his latest interview, Mike Thorn answers Lou Pendergrast’s questions about Shelter for the Damned, Darkest Hours, and his new story “Deprimer” (from the latest issue of Vastarien).
“Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to be a writer?
I can’t remember a time before I started writing. For better or worse, it has been a lifelong impulse. I was always drawn to reading, which is probably where my interest in writing originated. As a kid, I was excited by fantasy and horror (J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and R. L. Stine when I was quite young, and then Stephen King when I got a little older).”
Niall Howell’s Only Pretty Damned is a seriously impressive debut, showcasing a sophisticated sense of craft and a deep understanding of its genre’s genealogy. Centered on a traveling circus making its way through the unforgiving environs of post-WWII America and Canada, Damned is steeped in richly detailed sociohistorical texture.
Mike Thorn reviewed Niall Howell’s debut novel Only Pretty Damned for FreeFall Magazine (volume 29, no. 2).
Niall and I first met as undergrads at Mount Royal University. From what I remember, we first connected through our mutual love of film, either through a course or a club of some kind. It wasn’t long before I learned that Niall was also a fiction writer, and we started exchanging excerpts from our works-in-progress. Niall’s rare, formidable talent was immediately evident to me—I saw in all his work a unique sense of humour and a mastery of pacing, plot and voice. After reading his phenomenal debut novel Only Pretty Damned (available now through NeWest Press), I reached out asking if he’d like to do a Q&A. He kindly agreed, and the dialogue below is the result of our email exchanges.
Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann reached out and asked if I’d like to share my list of 100 favorite books on Night Worms, and I was happy to do so.