RW: Thanks for taking
the time out of your schedule to do this interview with
BS: Well, I did have to shuffle some things around, but
I managed to carve out this little wedge of time in
between sending demons on violent rampages and forcing
a proper English Jeeves-style butler to chainsaw a
corpse into little pieces.
RW: First off, can you tell our readers a little about
yourself and how you got your start in the writing
BS: I'm just a guy who loves to read and write horror.
I've been doing both since I was very young. Wrote my first
stories when I was just eight and became hooked on the
horror genre when I read Stephen King's The Shining at
RW: Who would you say have been your writing
inspirations throughout the years?
BS: Stephen King, Hunter S. Thompson, Elmore Leonard, Joe
R. Lansdale, Richard Laymon, Edward Lee, Carl Hiaasen, Tim
Dorsey, Richard S. Prather, Edgar Rice Burroughs. Basically
a lot of the usual pulp fiction suspects.
RW: Do you have a set schedule laid out for writing
each week or do you just write as ideas hit you?
BS: I don't have a set schedule, but I do not write just as
ideas hit me. I try to write four or five days a week, but
those days and the times vary depending on what's going on
in the rest of my life, which frequently interferes with
being able to write on any kind of regular schedule.
Basically, I just try to write whenever I can as many days a
week as I can.
RW: You are a huge music fan, correct? Who are some of
your favorite musicians/bands and would you say that the
music you listen to helps inspire your writing?
BS: Yeah, I'm a big rock and roll geek. I obsess over
finding cool new music the way other people obsess over
collecting books, baseball cards, the skulls of little
children, or what have you. All time favorites would
include The Stooges, the Cramps, AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, the
Ramones, Motorhead, Misfits, Supersuckers, etc., while
relatively newer things I like (say within the last 10
years) would include the Backyard Babies, Hellacopters,
Crystal Pistol, Angus Khan, Crank County Daredevils,
Nashville's own The Creeping Cruds, Hardcore Superstar,
Turbonegro, the Erotics, The Last Vegas, Wednesday 13,
Viking Skull...well, I could go on forever. Music hasn't
been a huge influence on the books, except in subtle ways,
in terms of an edge or attitude. I have an obvious fondness
for sleazy, falling-down-drunk-in-a-gutter rock and roll,
and some of that sensibility creeps in a bit, but it becomes
more pronounced in the next two novels.
RW: Can you tell us a little bit about your latest
release from Leisure Books, DEPRAVED?
BS: It's safe, wholesome fun for the whole family. Nuns
should read it to little children on Sundays. Okay, those
are lies. Basically, it's a book in which I tried to mesh
my recent obsession with old pulp crime fiction with
harder-edged horror things like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
and The Hills Have Eyes. I wanted it to be suspenseful and
fast-moving, the kind of thing where you're so enthralled
you can barely come up for breath. And judging from the
bulk of the reaction, I think I succeeded.
RW: How did you come up with the idea for DEPRAVED?
BS: As I alluded to, it's sort of the culmination of all
the years of watching movies about backwoods cannibals and
mutants preying on unsuspecting interlopers. I wanted to
take that and stir in a big helping of southern flavor. I
grew up in small town Tennessee, and as I've gone along in
my writing career I've wanted to work in a lot more
authentic local color and make the southern setting as
integral to the tales as any of the over-the-top gore I'm
known for. Hoke and Jessica, for instance, feel very real
to me. They could be from the sort of hip urban
neighborhood I live in, which is right next to Vanderbilt
University. They're city people with small town roots.
There was no single A-HA! moment in the genesis of this
novel. It was just the right time for all these things to
come together in this particular way.
RW: DEPRAVED, is quite extreme compared to some of your
previous titles. Do you feel that this might scare off
some horror readers that can't handle the more grotesque
and risque content that is included?
BS: I suppose it might scare off some potential readers,
but that's not my chief concern when I'm writing these
things. I always want to tell the story the way it feels
like it needs to be told, and that includes not shrinking
away from writing scenes a particular way when my instincts
tell me they should be written that way. That said, my
books have always had a high level of gore and over-the-top
material. I don't think DEPRAVED is any more extreme than,
for instance, THE FREAKSHOW, which easily contains the most
out-there material I've ever done. DEPRAVED, however, is a
better book. And I think most who give it a chance will
enjoy it, even if they're not usually inclined to enjoy
RW: You currently have six titles released through
Leisure... which would you say is your favorite and why?
BS: DEPRAVED is my favorite of the ones released so far,
though I like my next release, THE KILLING KIND, equally or
perhaps a bit more. Why DEPRAVED? Mainly because it feels
like the one in which I most fully realized the vision I had
at the outset. It accomplished everything I set out to do.
RW: What projects are you working on now that our
readers should keep an eye out for in the future?
BS: I have two more novels lined up so for with Leisure
Books. The Killing Kind comes out in July 2010, and The
Dark Ones, the one I'm working on now will be out at some
point in 2011.
RW: Where is the best place for our readers and
librarians to look online for up-to-date news on Bryan
BS: My main web address is
, which redirects to my blog, which
has links to my message board and Facebook and My Space
RW: Bryan, thanks again for doing this interview. It's
BS: You're welcome. Thanks for the opportunity.