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Oct
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The “Phantom Paragrapher” Interview

Paula Phillips, the Phantom Paragrapher interviewed me via email.

Here’s the full interview, enjoy!

-Derek

1) Tell us about your book The Occult Files of Albert Taylor?

My book “The Occult Files of Albert Taylor” is about a paranormal investigator, Albert Taylor. He’s a professor at UC Berkeley and investigates cases of the supernatural on the side. In addition to his work, he also publishes a magazine called “The Occult Files Magazine.” The book is a collection of 11 short stories, each of them a ‘Case File’ from his investigations, ranging from topics like Bigfoot, vampires, ghosts, ghouls, UFOs and space aliens, cults, psychic mediums, Jack the Ripper, the Boogeyman, poltergeists, haunted houses, and more.

2) Are you a fan of the Paranormal/Supernatural Genre and if so what are some of the books that you have enjoyed in this genre besides your own lol ?

Yes, I’m a fan of the paranormal/supernatural genre. Some of the books I’ve enjoyed are “Hell House,” “I Am Legend,” “Duel” by Richard Matheson; “The Martian Chronicles,” “The Illustrated Man,” “The October Country,” by Ray Bradbury; “Smoke and Mirrors,” “Fragile Things,” by Neil Gaiman; “Just After Sunset,” Skeleton Crew,” “Nightshift,” “Everything’s Eventual,” “The Shining” by Stephen King. Those are just some of many books I like.

3) What gives you the innovation to write a particular genre?

I like creating imaginary worlds, characters and have always been drawn to supernatural topics like werewolves, vampires, zombies. Sometimes I get wild, strange ideas for stories, and I’ll get ideas for characters from people watching.

4) Has your characters or writing been inspired by friends/ family?

Some of my stories have been inspired by friends/family and personal experiences.

5) Did you experience writers block? If so, what did you do to get rid of it?

I don’t experience writer’s block.

6) What are you working on now?

I’m currently writing more Albert Taylor stories as well as some non-series stories.

7) What is your favourite file/short story in your book , I loved the Hawaiian Vampire ?

This is a tough one, but if I had to pick a favorite story from the book it would be a tie between “The Exhibit” and “Dear Boss.”

8) Had you previously written anything?

Prior to this book, I’ve had three chapbooks published as well as stories published in small press magazines.

9) Were there any scenes that were cut in the editing process you wish had made it into the book?

No, there aren’t any ‘deleted scenes’ from the book.

10) Can you give us one fun fact we might not know about The Occult Files ? Something about the story itself or the writing process?

Here’s a fun fact about the book: originally Albert Taylor wasn’t the intended lead for this paranormal series, it was actually his friend, Ben Waters, a rock and roll musician and Bigfoot aficionado.

11) How did you get into writing? Did you always want to become a writer?

I got into writing in high school. We had a fiction magazine on campus and I submitted a story to it. That’s how it started. It was then that I knew I wanted to write.

12) If you were stranded on a desert island, what are three material things you couldn’t be without?

If I was stranded on a desert island, the three things I couldn’t be without are notepad/pen, iPod, books.

13) What are you reading now?

Right now I’m reading Dear Husband by Joyce Carol Oates.

14) Which author has inspired you most and why?

Hard question!! I’d say the authors above inspired me the most, along with countless others (Joyce Carol Oates, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sherman Alexie.)

15) What advice would you give aspiring authors?

My advice to aspiring authors: never get discouraged from rejection letters or criticism, keep writing and submitting your work.

16) As a Quotes Person I always like to ask To finish off, do you have a quote or poem that has stuck with you over the years and what is the story behind it?

No quotes/poems.

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