Ten Till Three : Tony Tremblay

Posted 10/31/2021 by Jamie in Interviews / 0 Comments

This Ten Till Three interview is a special Halloween treat as I’ll be interviewing horror author Tony Tremblay.

Tony Tremblay is the Bram Stoker nominated author of The Moore House. He is a writer of short story collections that contains numerous tales which have been published in various horror anthologies, horror magaizines, and horror webzines. Please give Tony Tremblay a warm welcome for this special interview event :

First Set (10 Questions) :

1.) When did you realize that you wanted to become an author?

In my early teens I started writing short stories. My dad made fun of them, so I quit. Later in high school, I wrote a horror tale for an English class which was well received, but it wasn’t enough motivation to keep me going. It wasn’t until I was 55 years old that I wanted to give it another go. The support from the horror community was awesome, and there was no stopping me from there.

2.) Where were you (either in life or a physical location) when you had the idea to write your first book?

I had signed up for what I thought was a class on short story writing, but it turned out to be a class on how to write novels. I had paid for it and committed to go, so I attended. At the time, I had been kicking around a short story about a man who breaks into a house and gets stuck in a window. While he’s struggling to free himself, a large dog wanders into the room. When I was tasked in the class to submit the first chapter of a novel, I wrote that story and submitted it. The feedback was very positive, so I kept on writing. It eventually became The Moore House which went on to become a Bram Stoker finalist for first novel.

3.) Do you have any methods, techniques, or rituals that you do in the process of writing a book?

Not really. The only thing that would come close to a technique is that no matter how much I write in a day, I spend the next day editing it. Then, I’ll write some more.

4.) After finishing your book, do you go out and celebrate and if so, what do you do?

It seems that a book is never finished after you write The End. My publishers then edit the book, and that takes some time. After editing comes the cover, the back page synopsis, obtaining blurbs, and asking someone to do the introduction. For me, the book is finished the day it’s released, and that’s when I’ll celebrate. If my publisher lives close to me, we’ll go out to dinner. If not, I’ll raise a glass of scotch at home.

5) What did you learn when writing your books?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is to listen to your publisher and their editors. You don’t have to take their advice, but more often than not, they’re right.

6.) What kind of technology do you prefer when writing your book?

All I need is an Apple computer and Word. I don’t use any other apps or programs. I also write in complete silence, so no radios, no television, nobody talking to me or around me.

7.) Were there any challenges and/or obstacles that you’ve encountered when you were writing your book?

I’ve written four books so far, and knock-on wood, any obstacles or challenges I came across weren’t great enough to cause me problems. If anything slows me down, it’s research. You have to have your facts right. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having an editor, or God forbid, a reader, take you to task for screwing something up.

8.) What characters and/or scenes in your book did you like or dislike and why?

Exposition scenes can be difficult to write. Providing background information needs to be handled well, or it becomes an info-dump, which is boring. I’ve learned through my editors that showing these scenes rather than telling them is a much better way to present exposition. As for scenes I like, I enjoy writing scenes that elicit tension, and they don’t necessarily have to be action scenes.

9.) Are any authors or a person in general that may have impacted your life that you consider to be an
important aspect of your writing career? If so, who were they and why?


Nancy Kalanta, the owner of Horror World, was one of my early promoters and the first to publish me. Tom Picccirilli was the first horror author who told me I was good enough to publish. James A Moore was my literary hero, his encouragement has proved to be invaluable and remains so to this day. David Dodd and David Wilson took a chance on me and published my first book. John McIlveen, the owner of Haverhill House Publishing, not only published The Moore House, he’s also been a brother to me. I can say the same of Christopher Golden, the man is a fountain of publishing knowledge and he’s more than happy to share it.

10.) Where do you get your ideas for your books characters? Are those characters based off people
you know personally or may have met by chance or are they completely made up by your imagination?


I make them all up. I do use the names of people I know, but the characters have no resemblance to them in real life. The Moore House is chock full of names of people I know, as is the new book coming out in October.

1.) Do you read your book reviews that were left by your readers? If so, how do you handle the good and bad reviews? If not, please explain?

I do read them. I am always gratified to read a good review. If it’s a great review, I want to share it with the world. As for bad reviews, if they are informative, I try to learn from them, otherwise, I try not to let them get to me.

2.) What are some authors that you consider to be your muse when writing a book?

I’ve always wanted to write like Tom Piccirilli, but as a friend once said, I’m not angry enough to pull it off. If I had to pick a muse, the great James A Moore would be the one.

3.) How did publishing your first book change your processes or views on writing? If there are none, could you please explain why?

It didn’t change my process, but it did influence me. I felt the need to make the follow-up as good or better. There is always the thought in the back of your mind asking if you’ve already wrote your best work, that’s when imposter syndrome rears its ugly head.

4.) Do you have any particular vices, rituals, or things that you do after you’ve completed your book? If so, what are they? For example: Going out for ice cream, having a nice glass of wine, etc.?

No, not really. I might have a glass of top shelf scotch.

5.) Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It’s funny, I feel exhausted when I sit down to write, but as I go on, it becomes energizing.

6.) What was an early experience that you had where you learned that language had/has power?

Gosh, I guess when it was when I went to church, and the words of the Bible would be recited. The same passage could be spoken calmly, reassuringly by one person, and someone else would read it with a raised voice and their hair on fire. To this day, I’m amazed how many interpretations are made from the same scripture.

7.) If you hadn’t become an author, what would’ve been your backup career and why?

I would say that being an author was never a career choice for me, though maybe now it is since I ‘ve retired. The management of plastic production facilities has put food on our table and paid the bills all my adult life.  I don’t personally know more than a handful of authors who can make a living writing.

8.) What is the most difficult part of the writing process?

               

Editing, either when I do it, or after the publisher does it. It’s a slog.

9.) How long on average does it take you to completely finish writing a book?

On average, it takes me a year. A short story takes about a month.

10.) what period of your life did you start writing (child, teenager, adult) and knew that was your purpose in life to be an author?

I started writing in earnest about 12 years ago, when I was in my mid-fifties. I wouldn’t say my purpose in life is to be an author, especially at this late period, but I do have a drive to create. That is something I didn’t have before I started writing.
               
List of Nonsensical Funny Questions:

1.) What are the three things you would buy at Walmart or at any Grocery store that’ll make the cashier look at you weird?

Oh gosh. I would say anything to do with a medical problem. For instance, there’s nothing more embarrassing than strolling up to the cashier with a bottle of stool softener.

2.) If you were put in charge of creating a brand-new global holiday, what would you name it and how would it be celebrated?

I would have a holiday called Friends Day. You would have to reach out to people and thank them for their friendship. No gift giving, but going out for a coffee, drink, or dinner with a friend that day would be encouraged.

3.) If animals could talk, what species would be the rudest and most annoying?

Chipmunks. They are already annoying, and I can’t imagine how much more they would be if they could talk. The damn things are everywhere around here, and they’re not afraid of you. I could see them taunting me as I’m in my yard mowing the lawn, tending the garden, or hanging around the fire pit. I trapped and released over 30 of them this summer, and it would be hell listening to them begging to be let out of the cage.

4.) If you were suddenly arrested for no reason, and your face splashed all over the news, what would your family and friends assumed happened or that you’ve done?

Whoa, that’s a tough one! I would have to say it would be for a political stance or action. I have gone to demonstrations, and while I’ve never done anything to get arrested for, I could see myself being dragged away by security or the police for refusing to leave. “Hell no, I won’t go!”

5.) If out of the blue you were kidnapped by strangers, but for some reason they returned you within minutes of kidnapping you and left a note pinned to your shirt. What would the note say for your return?

“All this guy talks about is Neil Young. All he wants to listen to are Neil Young songs. He sang Heart of Gold so badly the whole time we had him, and we couldn’t take it anymore. No amount of money is worth this.”

6.) A witch has cast a spell on you turning you into an inanimate nonelectric object for a year. To be changed back into a human before the year is up, you need to be able to get at least 100 people to touch you. What inanimate object would the witch turn you into?

A statue of Barbara Eden dressed as Genie.

7.) You’ve just won an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world, but you can only go if you take three people that were bullies to you. Would you still accept the prize, or would you skip out?

I’d stay home. It’s not worth having them around if you can’t enjoy the Dairy Queen in Utah.

8.) If your pet could talk, what’s the one thing they would or could say that would ruin your image?

I haven’t had a pet in a long while. I did have a dog once; his name was Neil. If Neil wanted to ruin my image, he could have said that I kicked him once when he was mean (I didn’t by the way).

9.) You’re now banned from the local library, what would be the reason for the ban?

Signing the author’s name in the front of every book I had checked out. Doesn’t everyone like a signed book?

10.) If you could change what falls from the sky every time it rains, what would it be and why? (note: it can’t be anything of significant value).

Maybe not every time it rained, but if it rained Neil Young c.d.’s occasionally, I believe people would rejoice. Beatles c.d.’s would work, too.

11.) If the sea is salty, is it because the shore waved goodbye?

No. It’s because someone changed the rain into salt (see above question). 

12.) Why do superheroes wear their underwear outside of their clothes?

Wait. What? The Hulk doesn’t wear his underwear outside of his clothes. Nor does Ben Grimm. Is this a trick question?

13.) Do you need to get an appointment with a psychic or will they be expecting you?

An appointment with a sidekick? I’m pretty sure most of the time that’s not needed. Sidekicks are always around, unless you ask them to go somewhere or do something for you. Is this question related to the superhero question you asked before? I’m not up on superheroes or sidekicks, but…oh…hang on…I just read this question again…you said psychic, not sidekick. Never mind.