December 1st, 2006

International Kittens of Mystery

Virtual Book Tour: Cherie Priest at the Astraldome

Well this time the Astraldome leaves its walls unhosed down, its drains blocked and a film of scary ectoplasm moistening its drapes ... because (cue Vincent Price at the organ) it welcomes Cherie Priest - cmpriest and Mistress of the Southern Gothic.

So, same format as before, with the help of two mediums strapped to a supercomputer we are going to astrally project Cherie from her office in a Seattle graveyard to a place very close to your computer screen. Remember, there may be ectoplasm and if any gets on your keyboard - don't let your cat lick it up.

Ready? Okay, Windows ESP is loading and the quantum computer has flipped through to its spin cycle. Now concentrate on Cherie's picture below. Will her across the astral plane. And hold that image, even if it takes a scary form. The astral plane is a slippery place and Cherie's spectral image might snap back.

Can you see it? Cherie's spectral form? Then let the interview commence...

Q1. Do you think that you'll continue to set most of your novels in the South? Or has moving to Seattle nudged your writing axis?

Well, I spent most of my life in the south so it's the region I know best -- but I'm already planning to rework one upcoming project to be set in Seattle. It's simply easier to write about a location that I know very well and/or have easy access to.

Q2. If you were given a government grant to design the ultimate scary chimera. What animals would you borrow from and for which parts? And would it start with the face of a sloth?

Hmm .... let's see. Face of sloth, yes. Hands of sloth too -- they look like lobster claws with fur. Maybe mouth of those bitey fish that have the glowing lures on their heads. Legs of kangaroo ... because what could be scarier than a hairy lobster-clawed sloth beast with big teeth LEAPING TOWARDS YOU?

(long pause) ... Interviewer stands back for next question, sneaking worried glances over left shoulder whilst listening for Slobbo, the were-skippy.

Q3. If you had (pauses for another look over shoulder) the opportunity to spend the night in the haunted location of your choice - anywhere in the world - where would it be? Or would you pass?

I wouldn't pass so long as I'm not alone. I wouldn't do it by myself, that's for sure. But with company? Holy crap. So many options! I've always wanted to go to Waverly Hills, in Kentucky. It's an old sanitarium (what IS it about me and old sanitariums? I tell ya ...) , fearsomely haunted, and I think that Ghost Hunters on the SciFi channel even did an episode there. Really, I'd be game to go just about anyplace, so long as I was assured (a). that I wouldn't be alone, (b). some good recording equipment and (c). somebody else would be paying my traveling expenses.

Q4. If a friend with a time machine gave you the chance to go back in time and alter something from your writing past, what would it be? Telling your 15 year-old self to burn that first novel? Or would you say 'forget it' and take the machine back to watch an early Bowie concert?

Bowie. All the way. I've made a lot of mistakes, but I've learned from them -- and it's worked out fairly well so far. So yes. Let's say "Bowie" on that one. Or let's just say "Bowie" a lot anyway. Bowie Bowie Bowie ...

Q5. You receive a phone call from a serial killer. He asks you the same question he asked his previous victims. "You have 150 words to sell me your book. 150 words exactly. If I like what you write I'll buy the book. If I don't you die." What would your 150 words be?

Which book? I've got this stack of them, see ... But okay. Let's take Dreadful Skin (since that's the next one out). Dreadful Skin is a trio of stories about a little Irish nun who hunts werewolves with a silver-bullet-loaded Colt. The first story, "The Wreck of the Mary Byrd," is my werewolf/steamboat/disaster novella; the second one, "Halfway to Holiness," has the nun infiltrating a traveling Pentecostal camp meeting (in search of werewolves); and the third, "Our Lady of the Wasteland," features our nun-hero hunting werewolves in [cue Jack Palance voice] the ooooold west.

Is that less than 150 words? Cripes, I hope so ...

A glance towards the serial killer. He likes the nun, the silver-bullet-loaded Colt brings back memories... But he's not sure about the word count. He's taking off his shoes and socks ... putting down his chainsaw... Oh dear, I knew he should have done that the other way round. But ... here comes the verdict. He raises a thumb - several thumbs, several pieces of thumbs. And it's a many thumbs-up verdict for Dreadful Skin.

Thank you, Cherie. The mediums power down, the serial killer limps off towards a distant alley, and Cherie's ghostly presence returns from whence it came.

Or is it ... BEHIND YOU!

Now, for those still able to read, did anyone see any ectoplasm? Did anyone sober see any ectoplasm? Did Cherie's astral form billow out and grasp a pen? And if it did, did it write anything you can sell on eBay? Enquiring minds need to know.

Meanwhile, Dreadful Skin can be pre-ordered from all good bookshops including Amazon in the US and UK. For those who can't wait,Wings to the Kingdom is out now in the US, the UK and all good bookshops worldwide.