Saturday, January 22, 2011

10 Questions With Author Ray Garton

Ray Garton is a legendary writer that has a fantastic novella in Best New Zombie Tales Volume One called Zombie Love. I was lucky enough to ask him a few questions about some of his accomplishments.

James Roy Daley - Hey Ray, thanks for taking a few minutes. I’m going to shoot a few questions at you. Looking forward to hearing your response. Here we go:

James Roy Daley - 1) Wikipedia says that you’ve written over 50 novels, which by anyone’s standards is a hell of a lot. What is the exact number of novels you’ve written, and do you have any that remain unpublished?

Ray Garton  - I need to fix that Wikipedia entry.  That shouldn't be novels, it should be books.  I've written 62 books.  41 of those books are novels and novellas, and then there are short story collections, movie novelizations and TV tie-ins.  There's one nonfiction book that hasn't been published, a couple of novels that haven't been published yet, and I've got two more collections coming out.

James Roy Daley - 2) Why did you start writing under the name Joseph Locke?

Ray Garton - I first used that name with The Nightmares on Elm Street, a novelization of two Elm Street movies that I had to write very fast, much faster than usual.  When I started writing YA novels, I used it again.  I was concerned that if I used my real name, young readers might look up my other novels, and they aren't written for young readers.  So all my YA novels were written under the name Joseph Locke.

James Roy Daley - 3) Is that name officially retired?

Ray Garton - I guess so.  I've learned never to say never, but I can't imagine using that name again.

James Roy Daley - 4) What is your finest work?

Ray Garton - My personal favorite of all my books is Sex and Violence in Hollywood.  It's not a horror novel and I've found that, if you're known for writing horror, people tend not to be that interested in something you've written that's not in the genre.  Sex and Violence in Hollywood has finally been published as a paperback from E-Reads, and is also available as an ebook.

James Roy Daley - 5) How did you get involved with the Nightmare on Elm Street series?

Ray Garton - David Schow was offered the job of writing The Nightmares on Elm Street and he had too much on his plate at the time.  He was generous enough to ask me if I was interested and I took the job.

James Roy Daley - 6) How did you get involved with Sabrina, the Teenage Witch?

Ray Garton - I was doing young adult fiction and tie-ins at the time, and when the call went out for writers to do Sabrina tie-ins, my agent got me the job.

James Roy Daley - 7) And one more: how did you get involved with Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Ray Garton - Bantam was publishing my YA novels.  I was a big fan of Buffy, and when I learned they were doing Buffy books, I spoke up.  I wanted to do more of them, but it just didn't work out that way.

James Roy Daley - 8) How many short stories have you written, and which one is your favorite?

Ray Garton - Wow.  I honestly don't know.  I've never counted them.  I'm guessing a few dozen.

James Roy Daley - 9) Being given the Grand Master Award is a big friggin’ deal. How did you feel when you were given the award, and when found out that you were being given such an honor?

Ray Garton - When I learned I was getting it, I was not myself.  I'd just had a third operation on my hip and was in a lot of pain and full of prescription painkillers.  At first, I thought, Wow, that's great.  Then, as the significance of it began to sink through the pain and the oxycontin haze, I started thinking, Wait ... that can't be right.  I'm being Punk'd.  The award was presented to me by Peter Straub.  I was reading Straub in high school and he's been a literary idol of mine ever since.  I was blown away by the whole thing.  I still look at that award on the shelf in my office and shake my head when I think of the other recipients, the company I'm in.  It still feels surreal almost five years later.

James Roy Daley - 10) Where do you think the industry will be in another 10 years?

Ray Garton - The publishing industry will still be around and all of the convulsive changes it's going through now will be over.  At least, I hope they'll be over.  Publishing has come to resemble Hollywood in all the wrong ways.  It's trend-crazy, for one thing.  Everything has to be a blockbuster or they're not interested.  I'm hoping that craziness will pass.

Thank you so much Ray. You’re the best.

Pick up Ray's favorite, Sex & Violence in Hollywood HERE.

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