Name: Raz T. Slasher
Where are you from: Dayton,OH
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc : I work in the horror industry. I write books and scripts, and even do a little acting now and again. Previously I was a Licensed Massage Therapist for many years, aiding in pain management for a variety of patients.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I guess my latest news is that I simultaneously released a book and a film called The Mime.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I actually started writing weird little stories in elementary school that nearly always got my mom called into school for conferences lol. Ah, those were the days!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s sort of a difficult question to answer, writing has always been a part of my life in one way or another. When I was a freshman in highschool I was one of nine teens selected around the country to take a semester at Ohio State for writing. I guess the day I got the letter was the day I officially saw myself as a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It’s something I’d wanted to do for a very long time. I’d written a ton of short stories, poetry, and screen plays in the past. Writing a book seemed like the next logical step to me.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Horror is and always has been my biggest passion. I enjoy exploring all subgenres of it really. The book I just put out definitely leaned between horror and comedy.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I wanted to name the series after the antagonist. I mean when you have a huge creepy mime killing people, you have to run with it right?
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Actually there are a ton of little messages scattered throughout the novel. I suppose the most important thing to me was how strong the bonds of love can be. Seems like a weird message in a horror novel I know, but it definitely becomes even more important with the sequels I plan to write.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
I spent a lot of time bringing a lot of realism into a surreal world. Everything law enforcement related was completely accurate thanks to a close friend of mine that worked the job for many years. I consulted medical experts on many of the deaths themselves to ensure the situations were plausible. There are also a few characters that suffer sometimes deabilitating panic attacks, something I know quite a bit about.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Honestly there’s a ton of my own life peppered into various characters in the book. There’s a scene in fact where a character’s love dies in a tragic car accident. That was something I experienced years ago, and was probably the hardest part of the entire book to write.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
To be honest so many books and authors have influenced me from childhood till now. I can say without a doubt Lovecraft, Poe, King, and Barker likely influence me the most on the horror end of things. For the comedic end I’d have to probably say Christopher Moore and David Wong really made me feel comfortable in my own skin. Comedy is a hard thing to write, it helps if you have a twisted sense of humor!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Right now I’m actually reading two books. Cabal by Clive Barker, and John Dies at the End by David Wong. Definitely two of my all time favorites!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m actually head over heels in love with the writing of Michael Richa, Mark Tufo, and Eric Asher right now. I buy every book they put out the second they hit amazon, something I haven’t done avidly in quite some time!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Right now I’m actually working on two different books. A collection of short horror stories called Campyre Tales, and a stand alone in the same world as The Mime called Haunted Hospital. Both books will be out later this year!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Honestly I get a ton of help from some truly amazing people. I think in this case there are two I have to mention equally for this. My sister and PA Christina Brumback, and my manager Michelle Keyser. They always know how to get me to keep writing and provide me with all the support an author could ever dream of. If you’re reading this I love you both to pieces!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Oh absolutely! It takes a surprising amount of work and dedication to be a writer. I can tell you that for me in many cases I’ve spent upwards of ten or more hours a day between writing and researching. It may not be the most high paying career in the beginning, but it’s ever single bit as worthwhile and satisfying!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think if I changed anything the book wouldn’t be what it became. The great thing about a book though is that you can always write a sequel if you feel like there’s more to explore. In my case The Mime is going to be a trilogy.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My mom had a rule in our home. We were allowed to read anything we wanted as long as we didn’t ask what a word meant. So I’d carry around books and a dictionary with me everywhere. I think that gave me a huge appreciation of what it took to write. The more expansive the vocabulary, the more I found myself enamored with what I was reading. The first time I picked up a pencil I remember thinking to myself that I had stories to tell to.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The current project is Campyre Tales: Voices From the Dark. It’s a collection of short stories written in modern horror format. It’s more than just a collection of stories though, there’s a complete wraparound to all of them that tells its’ own story. I was always fascinated with the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series when I was a kid. I guess this is my homage to that, though meant for an older audience.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Oh, definitely! The most challenging thing for me is probably knowing when to stop. I’m like a man possessed when I start a project and always end up writing far more than I can even use. Editing myself is an insanely difficult challenge!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
If I can pick only one then I have to say Clive Barker. He writes various genres besides horror. There’s so much passion in what he writes, that’s something I connect to as a person, not just as a reader. He makes even horror this deeply romantic thing always bubbling just below the surface of tragedy and terror.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I visit a lot of places for inspiration but for the most part they’re pretty much all here in Ohio. Honestly though I can’t even imagine how authors did their work before the internet. I’m truly in awe of how much more work it would have taken!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I was really lucky to have this amazing artist named Maria Gilbert give me a hand with my covers so far. We’ve had a blast working on them!
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I’d say the hardest thing about writing The Mime was probably writing the main character. He’s this guy in the most terrifying scenario you can imagine. It was so important to me to find ways for him to adapt to his situation, while keeping him as real as possible. It’s difficult to portray the descent into madness in my opinion.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I have a lot more patience than I realized. I don’t think I ever truly realized what went into writing a book. The work isn’t done when you’re finished writing, it never truly stops.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up on what you’re passionate about. Be prepared for things to be difficult. It takes a lot of time to write something and get it out there. Write every day because you love it, not because you have to.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope when you read this you’ll catch all the little horror easter eggs I’ve peppered in just for you. As one lover of horror to another, I truly hope that you enjoy this. It’s for everyone that’s ever loved a cheesy slasher film, but with a twist I think you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Dark Half by Stephen King was the first full length novel I ever read, I was in fourth grade and just discovering him.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
What makes me laugh the most is when I’m gaming with my friends online. We always seem to get into the most ridiculous conversations while playing. Just try not to laugh while playing cards against humanity, I dare you!
What always makes me cry is seeing my loved ones in pain and knowing there is nothing I can do about it.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’d want to meet H.P. Lovecraft. There were so many things he did in his career that continue to mean so much to me. To be able to pick his brain a bit about his work and life would be such a pleasure.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I’ve spent more time than any sane person considering this! Here’s what I’ve decided on:
“That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.”
It’s a line from Lovecraft’s story The Nameless City. To me there’s a beauty there about death, as well as a calm finality. No one, not even death, escapes the end.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I co-host an amazing podcast called Twisted Geekdom with some of my best friends. You should definitely check it out!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I watch The Walking Dead, Supernatural, and Doctor Who religiously! My favorite films right now are Cabin in the Woods, John Dies at the End, and Nightbreed
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
My favorite food are burgers, Green is my favorite color, My favorite music is Grunge.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I guess I’d take acting more seriously if I wasn’t a writer.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
If so what is it? Just facebook pretty much, for my various projects.
A mime is a terrible thing to waste! But what if the mime wants to waste you??
In 1985 a tragedy occurred during a small town’s founders day festival and performer’s parade somewhere in Ohio. This event left one woman dead, and a local man missing. Shortly after a series of murders began taking place over a span of more than 30 years. Samantha was a little girl when it all happened. Things have never been the same since she watched her mother die. She’s struggled her entire life just to feel normal. All grown up now, Samantha’s finally moved on with her life. She’s in a stable relationship for the first time with an amazing woman, and even has a few close friends. It’s just another night out on the town, until they find the body of one of her friends in a parking lot.
When no one can hear you scream, SILENCE is CRIMSON!
This book is available for purchase through Createspace and Kindle. A portion of all proceeds go to the American Cancer Society!
The Mime is also a motion picture! Get your copy today!