Hello Phillip. It was nice of you to grant me this interview for your novel’s upcoming August release date.
1. Pulse of Evil is an interesting title. How did you come up with it?
It’s a vampire novel. Unique—if I do say so myself. In the story, the Pope has a team of priests and nuns that sole responsibility is to hunt down and kill vampires. So it is important for the Vatican to keep a … pulse on evil.
2. Tell us about your novel.
I tried to play with the stereotypes of vampires some. And of course, keep a love-story at the center. In Pulse of Evil, the main character is involved with a woman. He does not realize she is a vampire. When they get into a car accident, he is mortally wounded. She saves his life by trying to turn him. However, the turn is not complete until a first kill is made—or until human blood is ingested. My main character fights this transition, despite growing weaker and weaker. Ultimately, he is on the run. The woman’s family has to either get him to change, exterminate him, since he knows too much. Taking some refuge in a church, the main character confesses all to a priest – who in turn, contacts the Vatican.
3. Where did you get the idea for this story?
Long before Twilight, >wink wink<, I have been fascinated by vampire stories. Have read most novels out there. And have written a few manuscripts in my time. None good enough to move forward with until, Pulse of Evil. The actual idea – I dreamt it. Of being in a psych-ward, hiding from vampires. Was quite the nightmare!
4. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
This list will not surprise many. However, I grew up with a reading disability. Did all I could to never read. Wasn’t until 7th grade that I actually read my first novel. It was an assignment. It was S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. Read it cover to cover. Went on to read, Rumble Fish, That Was Then This Is Now and Tex. Once I finished with those, I was hooked. Never before realizing that books could actually be better than TV, I began to devour every novel by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and John Saul. I still prefer to read horror, but my list of favorite reads expands regularly, if not daily.
5. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Oh, I think I put a lot of real life into every story I write. A lot of “me” can be found in a little of each character. My dry sense of humor, my outlooks, my fears … Yes. To call each novel a snap-shot of autobiographical-fiction would not be far from the truth.
6. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
While my first short story was published in 1984, and I have since sold more than 100 short stories, 9 novels and 2 middle grade books – the criticism has spanned the spectrum. However, some of the best things I’ve learned are, fiction still needs to be factual. Keep sentences short and simple. Dialogue needs to be crisp—so read your scenes out loud to test it for authenticity. There’s more. Always more. These three stand out most.
7. How have your personal experiences affected your writing?
In 2007 my wife and I separated after 15 years of marriage. Worst thing to ever happen in my life. My work, since, has become more gritty. A bit darker. Unfortunately, I like it. The awfulness of divorce has improved my writing. Tough to admit. But true. Some silver lining, huh?
8. How did you choose the genre you write in?
I have tried reading literary works. Classics. I just don’t enjoy them. I need something that … happens. Page one. Intensity. Something that drives me to keep turning pages. Time is of the essence. That kind of thing. I remember reading Cannery Row. I thought, when I finished, am I missing chapters here? Nothing happened. I am not putting down Steinbeck. Just saying. So I prefer to write fiction that is similar to what I like to read. Suspense. Thrillers. Horror.
9. What project are you working on now?
I have two books previously released (Tenth House, Third Ring) that feature a private investigator who’s client’s and cases teeter on the edge of supernatural. I am working on the third in this series that I call, First Fragments. And I am also turning a recently published short story, “Vaccination,” into a novel – and deals with zombies. Love zombies nearly as much as vampires. And with The Walking Dead’s huge success, I have high hopes for this manuscript.
10. Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?
I love email from people who have read my work. As I’ve stated, I have 9 published novels out there. If you are in a hurry to see what I’ve written while waiting for Pulse of Evil to be released, please Google my work. I like to tell people, I am very Google-able! Thank you for taking the time to interview me. I’ve enjoyed the questions very much!
No Idea Why This Blog Looks So Funny. Best I Can Say Is…Sorry 🙂
Pulse of Evil For Sale (Just click on the book cover)
The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback — writing as Thomas Phillips