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THOUGHTS, PICS, & VIDS (And other cool stuff!)

What Genre Do you write, Thom?
The question of genre is always a tricky one for me as, being a think-outside-of-the-box kind of guy, I tend to walk a tightrope between several. But, I usually classify myself as a speculative fiction writer. If you're not familiar with the term, speculative fiction is a category that includes sci-fi, horror, and fantasy. All of my novels tend to have at least one of these elements. There’s always something otherworldly, supernatural, or fantastic in some way or another. Though, I don’t fit perfectly into any of these subcategories. With the exception of THE DRACULA JOURNALS, my books aren’t full-on horror, but there are horror elements. THE DEMON BAQASH definitely has traditional horror themes. My novels THE EMPTY and THE INFUSION OF ARCHIE LAMBERT both have sci-fi premises but they are present-day stories and don’t have some of the elements normally associated with sci-fi. All of my books have an element of fantasy, but none (so far) are fantasy novels. And to complicate matters, I’m also labeled as a thriller writer. And this is equally true. My stories tend to be thrillers: fast paced, lots of twists and turns… with horror elements… and sci-fi elements… and a dash and a dollop of fantasy… and… Well, you get the idea.
What is more important, character or plot?
Obviously, they’re both important. A story, by definition, must have plot. Things must happen. There should be conflict and stakes. No one will read a story about a guy eating Cheetos and watching Seinfeld reruns. But, a great plot doesn’t mean a great story. To me, it always begins with the characters. A novel – or any story – needs to have characters that the reader can connect with, identify with, or even despise. The characters must feel like flesh and blood, must live and breathe in the reader’s mind. They must deal with true emotions – even if that character is a creature from beyond the furthest star. The reader should be able to say, “I know someone like that,” or even better, “I am someone like that.” A story could have the greatest plot ever devised, with great surprises and turns of fate, with a killer ending and shocks to make Hitchcock envious, but if the characters don’t ring true, if the reader doesn’t care about the people in this great drama, the book may well be set side unfinished.
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