Sunday, February 12, 2006

Pro-File: Graham Masterton

*Graham Masterton has published more than 35 horror novels and has won numerous awards, including an Edgar. Altogether he has written more than a hundred novels in a range of genres.

Born in Edinburgh in 1946, Graham became executive editor of Penthouse and Penthouse Forum magazines at the age of 24, at which time he began writing a best-selling series of sex how-to books.

His grandfather was Thomas Thorne Baker, the eminent scientist who invented DayGlo and was the first man to transmit news photographs by wireless.

Graham now lives with his wife Wiescka in a Gothic Victorian mansion high above the River Lee in Cork,

Ed here: among Graham's many fine novels, Trauma stands out as one of one of the most original and stunning crime novels I've ever read. While there is a horror aspect to the story, it doesn't play much of a part in this thriller about a working class woman who cleans up murder scenes after the various law enforcement people are done with it. It is one of the most honest noels I've ever read about the isolation of a woman from her family and friends and about the effects a job can have on a worker. It is also, flat out, one of the best written novels of any kind I've ever read. (Cemetery Dance published the novel as Bonnie Winter, NAL as Trauma.)

Graham Masterton:

1. Tell us about your current novel.

My most recent mass-market horror novel was MANITOU BLOOD from Leisure Books. I brought back the original characters from my 1975 novel THE MANITOU and had another go at devastating New York. Ancient Native American wonder-worker Misquamacus returns to life and employs long-incarcerated vampires to help him in his battle against the white man. Fake seer Harry Erskine attempts to thwart him, with the help of a sultry Romanian lady.

My most recent hardback was TOUCHY & FEELY (Severn House) based on the Beltway snipers. Two wildly different but equally disaffected characters accidentally meet in snowbound winter Connecticut and begin a random shooting spree. They are pursued by ageing fortune-teller Sissy Sawyer.

NIGHT WARS, a fourth saga in my novels involving Night Warriors -- ordinary folks who become heroic warriors in their dreams and battle against the forces of evil -- will be published this summer by Leisure. In this one, two epic nasties called the Winterwent and the High Horse are trying to steal the dreams of newborn infants in order to discover the secrets of the universe (and dismantle it).

DESCENDANT will be published by Severn House this summer, too. An American vampire hunter is sent to London in the 1950s to track down the last of the vampires who was used by the Nazis during the war to exterminate the French and Belgian resistance. He discovers some deeply uncomfortable secrets about his own family history...

2. Can you give a sense of what you're working on now?

EDGEWISE, the story of a woman who uses a Native American demon to find her kidnaped children...with terrifying consequences

3. What is the greatest pleasure of a writing career?

No commuting.

4. What is the greatest DISpleasure?

Irregular income and no friends.

5. If you have one piece of advice for the publishing world, what is it?

Stop mimicking Hollywood by relying on tried-and-tested formulae. Take some risks.

6. Are there two or three forgotten mystery writers you'd like to see in print again?


7. Tell us about selling your first novel. Most writers never forget that moment.

I was writing very successful sex "how-to" books in the mid-1970s (remember that I was executive editor of Penthouse at that time). But the bottom fell out of the sex book market quite abruptly and Andy Ettinger at Pinnacle decided he didn't want to honor my latest contract. So I sent him THE MANITOU as a substitute. He called me when I was sunning myself in the garden and said he'd take it, so long as I changed the ending. Which I naturally did. Wouldn't you?
Thank you


Blogger Harry said...

And one of the nicer guys around, too. Thanks for that, Ed.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Lee Goldberg said...

How is it that Graham Masterton has continued writing all these years... and I didn't notice? I LOVED his stuff when I was kid, I devoured anything and everything with his name on it (except, apparently, for his sex books). I'm going to have to catch up.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A true master of the horror genre. How lucky I am to be alive, to read his stories. How fortunate are we to read his novels and understand that ingenuity and the principle of being 'novel' in our novels hasn't been eroded. There's hope for us newcomers in Graham's background!

10:11 PM  

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