Name Thomas Kleaton
Where are you from
I was born in Madera, California, but now reside near Auburn University, AL with my wife of 15 years, Sheila. No children, and no pets. Sounds kind of like the old Roger Miller song King of the Road, doesn’t it?
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest story acceptances were for Scavenger Hunt in the anthology Pernicious Invaders from Philip Perron at Great Old Ones Publishing, and First Impressions in the anthology Final Masquerade from Jo-Anne Russell at Lycan Valley Press.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I decided I wanted to start penning horror tales in a professional mode almost four years ago. I had to try something I’d wanted to do for years, but never made time for.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was ten years old and writing stories in the classroom. On a serious note, only after I’d had a few stories accepted and published did I dare consider calling myself a writer.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing st
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
This is a tough one. My earliest recollections of the books that influenced me would be the Alfred Hitchcock series of spooky books like Haunted Houseful, Monster Museum and Ghostly Gallery. Ray Bradbury dazzled me with stories of space and dinosaurs in books like R is for Rocket, S is for Space and The Illustrated Man; Then it was on to the horrors of writers like Richard Matheson, Peter Straub, and Stephen King.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are a couple of newer authors, Rose Blackthorn and Morgan Griffith, that I feel don’t get the credit they deserve for the fantastic stories they write. I may get a lot of flak on this one, but Stephen King is my favorite author. He just has the ability to write a story that grabs you by the neck hairs and won’t let go.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
All of the author friends who have, at one time or another, read over my stories and gave me friendly advice and constructive criticism in equal doses.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would like to at least be writing as a second career; I write to entertain and, sure, I’d like to be able to pay a few bills occasionally with my writing.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I would say I wanted to be able to make up my own adventures on paper as a child. This was certainly encouraged by the Creepy and Eerie magazines my dad would let me read, and by books I was reading like The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am writing a story about a little girl’s fear of birds, and about the unusual burial ceremony she holds for a deceased crow. I write quite a few stories with little girls as the main character, stemming from the fact I always wanted a daughter and, being childless, wonder what she may have been like.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes. Editing everything I write so it makes sense to a reader.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
My only advice to other writers is to make a little time each day to write, so that the habit becomes firmly ingrained. Another positive aspect, instead of the time factor, is to set a goal of 400 words each day. Reaching your goal inspires confidence. And don’t be afraid of rejections. They are a normal part of writing, and the acceptances will come.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Only that I write in order to entertain. If you are entertained by reading something I wrote, that’s the payoff.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Re-reading Ghost Story by Peter Straub, with Stephen King’s Revival slated for my next reading slot.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Probably Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Followed closely by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl certainly had a way with children’s books.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?
It would have been an honor to have met Ray Bradbury in person, to discuss his books and writing in general. The man ignited my imagination.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
“Although Finished, He Never Finished.” Because you can never finish writing. There is always another story out there, even if you are not around anymore to be the one to write it.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Yes. Expanding my personal library of recorded TV programs like 48 Hours, Dateline, and Deadly Women. After all, what’s scarier than the harm people are capable of inflicting on one another?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Don’t get me started on this one! In addition to the aforementioned shows I enjoy The Outer Limits, Hammer House of Horror, Night Gallery, Tales from the Darkside, Tales from the Crypt, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Masters of Horror, in addition to horror movies like The Conjuring and Pet Semetary.
Fiona: Favorite Music:
Hard-rocking groups like Boston, Blue Oyster Cult, and Iron Maiden. I also like Beethoven– I know-this clashes! Some of the older stuff like Buddy Holly and the Crickets. And Linda Ronsteadt, who took Buddy’s song It’s So Easy and turned it into a smash hit in 1974.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I am actually a tech at my daytime job. But writing is my first love.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?