Interview with Richard Gazala

How do you approach cover design?
I'm very proud of the cover for "Trust & Other Nightmares." It's an original artwork done for me under commission by a gifted young Virginia artist named Abigail Fundling. At the time I hired Abbie to create the cover for this book, she was a high school senior, seeking admission to art school to further her professional dreams. I'm pleased to report Abbie achieved her goal, in some small part because of the inclusion of her cover work for me in her professional portfolio. Since then Abbie's talents have continued to blossom admirably. See for yourself at http://www.tumblr.com/search/abigail+fundling.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read voraciously from a wide array of genres for pleasure. When I was a boy my mother taught me no author is any greater a writer than he is a reader. I've followed Mom's advice unwaveringly. My favorite authors include Hunter S. Thompson, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, and especially Edgar Allan Poe.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm far from the first to note the Internet has birthed a brave and tumultuous new world of book publishing and marketing. There's no better marketing technique than good writing, lauded by word-of-mouth both oral and virtual.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in a small Ohio town, but moved abroad to Beirut, Lebanon with my family for my Dad's work when I was very young. We lived there until forced out by the first rounds of the sad and savage Lebanese Civil War. Thereafter we lived briefly in Boston, Massachusetts, before we moved to the United Kingdom. I graduated from high school in London. I was fortunate during those years to travel extensively in the USA and overseas. So where didn't I grow up? (According to reliable sources, I've not quite grown up yet.) The various "wheres" I grew up inform my writing by inspiring me to work hard to convey the sets and settings of my stories. The quasi-nomadic moving about between the "wheres" taught me the permanence of impermanence, which influences everything I write, not to mention my personal philosophy.
What do your fans mean to you?
I've had the chance to hang out with a lot of great, and some very famous, authors over the past few years since the release of "Blood of the Moon," my first novel. Many times I've been advised that for authenticity's sake, "write for yourself." I agree. Nonetheless, as I toil under my muse's unforgiving lash I'm always aware that people who don't know or love me will read what I write, and I'd like them to enjoy spending some of their precious time with me. When they do, and then let me know they're glad they did, there's no stronger wind to fill my sails. My fans mean more to me than they could know.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Breathing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't. My earliest story-reading memory is my mother reading to my brother and me. Over several days in every December from when I was very young till I was deep in high school, she would read us Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." No matter where we were in the world, or what conflicts gnawed on our schedules, Mom always found a way to read this story to us, and to ensure that every Christmas Eve the last words we heard before bed were, "God bless us, Every one!" Besides a love for reading, stories, and my Mom, thinking about it now I suppose that's also where my love for ghost stories and things spectral started.
Published 2014-03-03.
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Books by This Author

Trust and Other Nightmares
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,340. Language: English. Published: August 23, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Each of these stories has its germination in nights when my sleep was suddenly savaged by ethereal visions and sounds sufficiently disturbing to wrench me from tangled, sweat-drenched sheets. All of them are spawned of the dancing skeletons and reanimated corpses that plague the bleakest, blackest hours preceding my blessed dawns. Why keep my nightmares to myself, when I can share them with you?