Friday, April 29, 2011

A Dark Harvest at Seton Catholic Central High (Part 2)

I'm back with a few more questions about Dark Harvest from Kevin Lucia's Creative Writing students... and thanks to Victoria for the Sawtooth Jack sketch!

Dominick: Is there a direct connection between the October Boy and the candy (stuffed in his guts and pumpkin head)?

Sawtooth Jack is the walking, talking embodiment of Halloween, so I guess the answer to that question is yes. Plus, I'm a third-generation Californian, so a little Mexican influence crept in. In other words, I remember swinging at plenty of pinatas as a kid. Only this pinata is alive... and the October Boy is just as dangerous as those who are stalking him with baseball bats and pitchforks on the night of the Run.

Clarissa: What inspired you to write this story?

Dark Harvest started out as a Halloween present for my wife (writer Tia V. Travis). I thought I'd surprise her with a short story for the holiday. But as soon as I wrote the first few scenes, I knew I had a novel on my hands. And that means it took a little while for Tia to get her present, but I think she'd say it was worth the wait (and, yep, you can insert a virtual wink right ).

Pat: Did an editor/publisher ask you to change any part of the story?

No. One of the great things about working with Richard Chizmar at Cemetery Dance is that he gave me the keys to the car and didn't ask for them back. Rich and I have a long-standing relationship -- he published my first short story in '89 -- and he let me crank up the story and drive it my way. Dark Harvest hit the page just as I wrote it. When Tor picked up the novel for paperback, things were the same way... so it was a great experience for me all around.

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That's it for today's segment. We'll take a little break this weekend, then check in next week for a few more questions.