Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
Since Vic Kerry is a pen name, I suppose it’s like a nickname.
Ah, so you’re one of those. Sometimes I write under a pen name too. Do you do your author interviews as the persona of your pen name or is it just a different name?
It’s just a name. Mike Arnzen advised me to take on a pen name due to my profession.
Oakman, Alabama. Population of like 900.
Google says “At the 2000 census the population was 944.” But maybe they were including dogs, chickens and cows.
I think that 2010 census dropped us down some folks. We are by no means Podunk. We’ve got two hair salons, a photography studio, a tax prep, a Dollar General, a tobacco city, four eating establishment (two of which are in gas stations), two gas stations. Our high school is located on Alabama Highway 69. When we were in school, we told people we were educated on 69. (We were geeks indeed.)
Favorite city and why?
Favorite city that I’ve spent time in is Pittsburgh. I have a lot of good friends in the Pittsburgh area. Being Southern through and through, I found it rather hospitable as well.
My favorite city I’ve lived in is Mobile, Alabama. I love fresh gulf seafood, I have wonderful friends there. I love Mardi Gras. Mobile is like New Orleans older, less slutty sister.
They should put that on the letterhead: “Mobile: New Orleans’ older, less slutty sister.”
I proposed that during the 300 year anniversary. They told me they’d stick to the Azalea City.
Birthday / Age:
August 24. I am 35-years-old, and I’ve never lived in a van down by the river.
I’m 39 and I have. Well, I used to sleep in a van over-looking the ocean. It’s not as bad as people make it out to be.
How would you describe yourself physically?
How would someone else describe you physically?
Others have described me as looking a whole lot like Elton John.
The first thing people notice about you is…
Physically is that I wear glasses. Personality-wise is that I am rather cynical, sarcastic, and will say just about anything.
Religion, if any?
Pastafarian of the Potatotarian sect.
Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I don’t really have superstitions. I have only two phobias. I am terrified of heights. Ironically, for a horror writer, I’m terrified of chainsaws.
Do you smoke/drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
I don’t smoke or drink. I have a lot of bad habits. Biting my nails comes to mind first. My wife would say I whistle and hum too much.
Current occupation / Dream job:
I am an inpatient psychiatric therapist working with the acutely and chronically mentally ill. I’ve been at this for about 12 years. My dream job is pretty much anything else. Burger King fry cook is a dream job when you live in a world of psychosis and despair.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Beyond normal domestic life. I write.
What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
Run just a little bit faster and a little bit longer than the slowest guy.
Weapon of choice:
.9mm and an ax.
Do you have any special skills?
I can tell you if there is too much sodium in the food you are eating.
By sight or by taste?
Definitely by taste, but I’ve read so many labels and nutrition guidelines that I tell by product mostly.
Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
For a while, I could have been classified as a professional student. I went to the University of Alabama studying psychology and journalism. I went to graduate school for clinical psychology at the University of South Alabama, earning an MS. Finally, I went to Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania to get my MFA in writing popular fiction.
If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
Still working on that. I am an underpaid public servant.
Any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?
Pets? We have 5 dogs and a cat.
Our dogs are: Emmy a 15-year-old mutt with a potato fetish; Hermes a lab mix, Napoleon a half Jack Russell half whatever jumped the fence that lives up to his name; Mr. Humphries a Heinz 57 that’s the best dog we have; Lady Jack Ketchum is Napoleon’s offspring that has a serious eating disorder and is of course the scariest dog in America.
Daisy is our cat. She’s a cat.
What is your favorite animal?
Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
Standing in line and ironically for where I live, rednecks who are proud of being ignorant.
Favorite / Least favorite Food:
My favorite food would be fried chicken and mashed potatoes, which cruel fate has forbidden me to eat. My least favorite food, coconut.
What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
“Ours is not to reason why. Ours is but to do and die.” Also, “May fortune favorite the foolish.” and “If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run. Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it, and which is more, you’ll be a man my son.”
What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
It changes every day.
What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
Almost dying at 34 of congestive heart failure that had been misdiagnosed as pneumonia for a month and that no one can tell me why I have.
My dad had the same kind of thing. He had angina when he was in his late 20s / early 30s and I think he had a quadruple bypass and lived. This was back in the 1970s when doctors were allowed to smoke in the operating rooms. I inherited the angina, but since I knew my dad had a risky ticker, I’ve worked hard to keep my weight down and try to exercise a little. Haven’t fallen over yet, but I did have to lie down and wonder if I’d see the white light once or twice.
Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Of course I’ve had a broken heart, but it’s just the same old story.
Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer? I’ve never been a heart breaker. I look like Elton John.
Elton John has his fans. Have you seen the young men he runs around with?
Money is an amazing aphrodisiac. I have none.
What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve saved lives.
What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve failed to save lives.
If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
If I told you who I would kill, and they ended up dead then I’m the prime suspect. Hypotheticals only work in fiction. They know who they are, and they know why, Little Wayne.
What do you do?
That’s a broad question. I’m going to assume that means what do I do that might deserve an interview. I am a horror writer.
The question is, I admit, intentionally broad. I always get confused when I’m interviewing an author, artist, musician, film-maker or what-have-you and they decide to use this question as an opportunity to talk about what their day job is. I mean, that’s fine and well, if that part of your identity over-shadows your dreams of self-actualization, but it tends to make for a boring interview.
How did you get started doing what you do?
I’ve always been a writer. I feel into horror because I live in a world surrounded by psychosis and despair. That isn’t a fertile ground for producing light-hearted comedy and romance.
There have been comedies written about insane asylums, but they are few and far between in comparison.
Unfortunately I get more One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest than The Dream Team.
What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Get a thick skin and listen to those who have been at it longer. Beginning writers think they know everything, and they aren’t even close.
Let’s talk about that a bit. What’s your opinion on self-publishing versus legacy publishing?
I want to discuss my comment about beginning writers a little further. What I meant in that statement is that beginning writers often but not always think they have nothing to learn. Regarding self-publishing, I think that it may have its place. I’m just not part of that. I’m too poor of a self-editor to self-publish.
What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
Beyond numerous short stories. I published by debut novel, The Children of Lot in 2013. I put out a novella “Decoration Day” in 2014. My second novel Revels Ending is coming out in May of 2015.
What projects are you working on now?
I finished and submitted a novel set in the 1990s a few months ago. I’m currently working on a piece about a serial killer with a love of peppermint candy.
What are you watching?
I only watch reruns and gameshows.
It would be interesting if you only watched reruns of game shows.
I love old Match Game reruns from the 1970s.
What are you listening to?
I’m listening to books on tape. Right now I find music to be in a stagnant doldrums that needs something to smash through and rid us of the dredges.
I love listening to books! I’ve got something like a month’s worth of audio books I like to listen to when I go to bed. It’s like being read a bedtime story by my computer.
What are you reading?
Nos4A2 by Joe Hill (It’s my read at work book), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Ferrell, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne (It’s my classic), and different style books.
Favorite author / book?
My favorite horror author is Jack Ketchum. The Girl Next Door is my favorite book by him. I also like Christopher Moore. Fool is his best work in my opinion.
Really? I’ve never had anyone answer Jack Ketchum. Have you ever had the chance to meet “Jack”?
Jack is an acquired taste for some, and a politically incorrect choice for others. He writes visceral stories and doesn’t make any qualms about it. I have met “Jack” in Austin, Texas. We discussed shrimp po boys. I introduced him to my wife, who hates scary stuff. Told him that she hated scary stuff and that I had to introduce her to the scariest man in America. He said “Boo! I’m going to get you.” He’s a great guy.
I’ve met Jack a few times too. His books are hit or miss with me, but I am still of the opinion that he’s a stand up guy.
Favorite band / song?
Not shockingly, I love Elton John. It’s just a coincidence that I look like him. “Tiny Dancer” would be my favorite song.
Least favorite band / song?
I slyly mentioned him earlier. Little Wayne. I’ve hated him since the block was hot.
How long has the block been hot?
Hell if I know. A long time. Sometime back in the late 1990s?
If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
I would be a full time writer. No doubt.
Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Alive: Elton John
Dead: William Shakespeare
Fictional: Count Dracula
What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
The best job I ever had was teaching adjunct in college.
The worst job is probably the one I have now. The problem is I’m good at it.
I work in the field of mental health too. At least one of my jobs is in that field at least until tomorrow. It’s stressful, but it’s also quite rewarding. It’s tough to explain to people that have never done it. Sure, sometimes people are trying to kill you, each other, or themselves, but in a strange way, you get used to it after a while.
I remember one time my father came to have lunch with me when I worked outpatient. We were leaving when a patient passed by responding to internal stimuli aka talking to the voices. My dad asked if he was listening to the radio. I said he was talking to himself. My dad asked if I found that strange. I told him no. He gave me a strange look, and we went on about our way.
Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
I’m a virgo.
Hey! So am I! Virgos FTW!
Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote. All of them.
Facebook: Vic Kerry.
Twitter: @darklyvickerry. (FYI, I hate twitter)
Website / Blog: www.vickerry.wordpress.com
About the Interviewee:
Vic Kerry lives in Alabama with his wife, five dogs, and cat. By day, he is a mild mannered psychotherapist. By night, he writes horror. Everything else seems frivolous to mention, but he is also a narcissist, day and night. Vic has an MFA in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University and is haunted by the ghost of his dearly departed cat, Possum H. Puss Lovecraff. That sums him up perfectly.
About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island, and Condemned; and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
Check out his electronic music here: soundcloud.com/master_control
And here: master-control.bandcamp.com
Check out his Etsy here: www.etsy.com/shop/ScottLefebvreArt
Stalk his Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheLefebvre
E-mail him at: Scott_Lefebvre@hotmail.com