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Monday, 17 December 2007
Getting to Know Howard Hopkins
Topic: Author Interview

Howard Hopkins the person:

1.  What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Driven, sensitive, annoying.

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Probably shy and quiet, a loner...oh, my, now I'm sounding like a serial killer...He was such a quiet guy, I didn't realize he had all those bodies in his cellar!

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Music and bodybuilding and comic books.

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

Not since losing my cairn terrier. Haven't been able to bring myself to get another. But I am a huge animal lover.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

Don't really have one. How lame is that?

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

If I told you you'd have to enter the witness protection program...but it involves a cheerleader locker-room and some guys dressed as elves. Beyond that, I'm thinking colonoscopy...

7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

Would like to be a pro musician and singer, but have always suffered from tremendous stage fright, which makes that profession tough.

8.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Even as a horror writer, this ranks as the creepiest question I have been asked. But since I AM a horror writer, I plan to be immortal. So it would read, don't mourn Howard because he'll be rising by midnight and by that time you should probably be running...

Howard Hopkins the writer:

9.   Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

I am not sure if there was a defining moment, but probably it had to be the first time I pulled a magazine with one of my stories out of the envelope. Before that, I thought I was a real writer, but holding an actual published piece sorta justifies it, especially to doubting relatives. In my personal view point, anybody who sits down and finishes writing a story or book is a real writer. It's not the easiest thing in the world to do, writing, so my hat goes off to anybody who can finish a story.

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

Actually a lot of things. I have been doing a lot of anthology work for Moonstone Publications (they publish comic books, prose anthologies and novels, graphic novels, etc.) At present I just had a story published in their The Spider Chronicles (The Spider is a 1930s pulp novel hero) with John Jakes, and have upcoming shorts in The Avenger Chronicles (another 1930s/40s pulp hero) and Captain Midnight (an old time radio hero). I furnished the Introduction for The Avenger book as well and was just made co-editor on the project, so I am very excited about that, because The Avenger, along with another pulp hero, Doc Savage, is my all-time favorite pulp character. I will also be doing a Spider graphic novel for them. I'm also working on two new westerns for Black Horse, have a story bringing awareness to spousal abuse in Express Westerns new anthology, Where Legends Ride, five or six different horror and adventure novels, three comic book scripts, plus keeping up on ongoing horror serial called The Chloe Files (which also has a just published Amazon Short). My latest Black Horse Western, Desolation Pass, under my Lance Howard penname, is just out.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

Basically to keep writing about the things I love to write about-but making a heck of a lot more money doing it!

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Usually I start off-after dragging my bum out of bed, showering, getting to the gym-by checking email for anything that absolutely has to be answered right away, then it depends on what I am doing-novel, or other work. Lately I spend a few hours editing the Avenger work, or writing a couple blog pieces, Chloe Files, or working on whatever project on the front burner. I spend a couple hours a day promoting or doing the peripheral promo type things like updating websites or MySpace, Facebook, etc.

13.  Why do you write?

Probably for the same reason most authors do-because we have to. It's something inside and we have stories that force us to tell them. There are certainly easier ways to make a living or even to creative something, but writers HAVE to write. It's a compulsion. We want to entertain people, too.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

That would be Doc Savage pulp writer Lester Dent. His ability to hook a reader and create a character in only a handful of words was an incredible gift. His imagination was a thing of wonder. And he had a way with prose, very snappy. I owe so much to him.

15.  How do you define your writing?

I'm an entertainer. I like to take people away from their problems for a few hours. I don't want to depress or add to their troubles. I want them to feel my writing is an escape. So that's what I strive for. Whether it be one of my western or horror novels, I want them to feel it was worth the time they spent with the book and that they hopefully got lot of enjoyment out of doing so.  I will never be Hemingway but I can tell a story...

16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

Damn, they actually paid him for that? Seriously, if they say "I enjoyed that book," that's the most I would or could ask for.

Howard Hopkins the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?

My personal website is:

My Blogsites are:

Dark Bits:

The Chloe Files:

I also have a MySpace page is:

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Readers can reach me at

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

My horror titles under my own name, Howard Hopkins, are: NIGHT DEMONS, GRIMM, DARK HARBORS, THE DARK RIDERS, PISTOLERO,  THE NIGHTMARE CLUB #1: THE HEADLESS PAPERBOY (this one for kids 8+).

Some of my Lance Howard western titles are, LADIGAN, DESOLATION PASS, RIPPER PASS, JOHNNY DEAD, THE WEST WITCH and 20+ others.

20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

Escape, characters they can relate to, fast pacing and crisp dialog. Mood and suspense also. For my horror novels, if you are expecting something like SAW you won't find it in my books. You'll find more classic horror, things that go bump in the night, fear without huge heaps of gore and four-letter words. Certainly some deal with frightening issues, but I am more in the Stephen King and Dean Koontz mode than the recent spate of gore-filled movie horror (and I do want to scare the crap out of you, after all!) My kid's horror series novel harks back to the Hardy Boys meets Scooby Doo, something parents can give their kids without worry. My westerns are a bit of a mix of traditional western with modern characters and human issues. Some deal with spousal abuse and prejudice while telling an action and character-propelled story.

In conclusion:

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

I would like them to know I write for them, to entertain and help them escape, if only for a few hours, their everyday problems and disappointments. Life is hard, and if you want more depression you can turn on the news and find a bellyful of it. But if you just want to curl up and get away for a spell, then that's what I try to give you. I want readers to have a good feeling when they finish the book, not a notion to fetch a straight razor and a bottle of wine and climb into a tub. There are enough bad things in the world, enough pressures and stresses...if I can relieve that even a tiny bit, then it makes all the work worth every second of it.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007 12:53 AM EST
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