Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi Fiona – thanks for the real estate! My name is Philip Fracassi and I’m a horror writer in my, well, let’s just say I’m in my 40’s.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, but have lived in Los Angeles most of my life.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m married and have an amazing kid, two insane cats and a rabbit. I’m not formally educated other than high school, most of what I’ve learned has come the proverbial school of hard knocks, plus I love to read and read and read.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My current book is called BEHOLD THE VOID, which is a collection of nine stories that fit into the supernatural horror classification, although I sometimes lean toward thrillers versus outright horror. My stuff is pretty mainstream – more King / Koontz than extreme body horror or bizarre, etc. Pretty literary stuff. Be warned – there’s prose!
I’ve handed in a 650-page novel and a massive story collection to my agent, so hopefully there will be some announcement on those books before the end of 2019. Fingers crossed!
I also have a few screenplay project in early development, but nothing fun to share as of today. Hopefully soon!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing steadily since the 3rd grade. In my 30’s, I wasn’t writing genre fiction, but more contemporary literary fiction, and had a really hard time selling any of it. About a hundred stories and three full-length novels will be forever sitting in my virtual desk drawer.
In regards to the “why”, I can only say I don’t think I ever really had a choice. It’s just what I do, and have always known it’s a part of me.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ll assume you mean professional writer, and I’d say it was when I sold my first screenplay around 2011. I sold a few screenplays since then, two of which have been produced (one by Disney, one by Lifetime).
As a fiction writer, I think I’ve always considered myself a writer, but not professionally so until I sold my first collection of stories in 2017. That’s when I said – Okay, this is what I’m going to do.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was inspired to write genre fiction for two reasons: First, because I’ve always read and loved horror. I grew up in the 80’s so my life was Stephen King and Twilight Zone. Second, I was writing horror screenplays but literary fiction. Around 2015 it hit me – Why the heck am I not writing horror fiction? It’s what I love! It was like a bomb went off in my head instead of a lightbulb, and suddenly I couldn’t write fast enough. Luckily, readers and publishers and editors seem to like what I’m doing, so it worked out.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
BEHOLD THE VOID was one of about 50 titles I was considering. At the end of the day I wanted something that said “cosmic horror” and it seemed to fit the bill. Plus there aren’t any other books with that title, so it was perfect.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My writing tone / style has been called “old-school horror with a modern sensibility” which I think is a coined way of saying I write pretty dark, aggressive, physical, violent stories, but I tell them in a way that is very literary. I don’t find it challenging at all, because it’s just the way I write, so it comes very naturally.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Zero. Nothing I write about is real. Most of my ideas stem from dreams or random thoughts or articles I’ll read.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t travel much and I don’t really like to travel. I’m a homebody. That said, when I do have the chance to travel it does almost always inspire new ideas. So I think it’s definitely good to do if you have the means and the time.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The new cover for BEHOLD THE VOID was designed by Steven Santiago using original artwork from Heather Landry. The interior illustrations were done by an artist named Dave Dick, who’s extraordinary. Very creepy stuff.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I would never tell a reader what to take from my work, because everyone should take from it what they want to take from it. I’ve had some amazing conversations with readers about what messages or ideas or themes they’ve seen in my stories, and it’s almost always different. I love it, and I’d never want to limit that feeling of ownership for a reader.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Honestly, there are too many writers to list, even new writers. But it’s not a massive community and I think readers can find the type of writing they like and run from there pretty easily.
My favorite genre writer is Laird Barron. He can do literary somersaults with his prose, and his stories are so dark and sticky you’ll never escape them.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Laird Barron, who I mentioned above, has been my friend and mentor for years. Without his support and guidance I wouldn’t be doing this.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do! Between my prose and screenplays I’m hoping to someday be a full-time writer. As it is now, I write about half the year full time and work a day job the other half. So I’m getting there.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. Not at all. I’m very happy with those stories.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Oh gosh, yeah. Learning the editorial process and working with a publisher on all the details of the cover and interior… all the technical stuff was a learning curve to some degree. But I enjoyed it for the most part, and I’m sure I’ll continue to learn as I go.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I’m working on the script for my novella “Mandala” right now. I’m hoping Colin Farrell plays the father.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
My friend once told me the best virtue of any successful writer is perseverance. Three years into it I could not agree more. Be prepared to get knocked down, and be prepared to get your ass back up.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I typically read around ten-to-twenty books at a time. I like to skip around between genre, literary, non-fiction, etc. This allows me to read what I’m in the mood for at any given time. But a few I’m reading now are the new Haruki Murakami, Jonathan Janz’s “The Dark Game” and “The Perfect Nanny” by a French author’s whose name escapes me.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not technically speaking, no. But the first books I recall reading were Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, Encyclopedia Brown, etc. The book that changed my reading life was “The Shining” – that hooked me on horror for good.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I hate politics. I love animals.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Stephen King. I’d love to meet him and tell him how much his work has meant to me.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Other than reading and writing? No.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like movies and TV shows that are dark and well-plotted and stylish. It’s hard to do all three things well.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Food: Indian Color: Blue Music: Everything and anything good. No preconceived notions.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would be dead.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Oh, gosh. So dark. I’d spend it with my wife and son somewhere quiet.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Even darker! Haha… Good Husband. Good Father. Decent Writer.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes, please visit me at my website: https://pfracassi.com/ . And if you’re on social media, you can friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter (@philipfracassi) or Instagram (@pfracassi).
Amazon Authors page USA
Thanks so much!