Monday, November 4, 2013

Interview with H. E. Goodhue

Full Name:
Henry E. Goodhue III

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
Most people know me as Hank or H.E. and I'm sure there's a few other nicknames out there that I'd rather not mention.
In an interesting coincidence, at least interesting to me, I’m working on a character named Hank “Don’t Call Me Henry” Lee. I wish my first name had a cool and commonly used nickname associated with it.

Very cool - there aren’t a lot of characters named Hank! I’ll make sure to check that out!

Favorite city and why?
New York City because it's New York City

The first thing people notice about you is…
Probably my tattoos.
That only happens to me at the beach. Most of my ink is under my t-shirt, although people often comment on my Oroboros elbow rings.
What is your favorite tattoo of yours and why?

That would be hard to say. I have a traditional sleeve that runs from my chest to my wrist - all of which commemorate the memory of my brother. I spent a solid 3 years working on the sleeve and choosing the parts of it. I had other tattoos before this, but none that I connected with like my sleeve.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I'm not really superstitious, but as for phobias - heights and I currently do not get along, though for some unknown reason I've gone bungee jumping and love roller coasters. Go figure?

Do you smoke/drink?   If so, what?   Any bad habits?
Does writing horror count as a bad habit? Honestly, I try to live pretty clean.
As far as bad habits go it’s not that bad.

I know, I’m boring right? I think people expect writers, especially horror ones, to live in the worlds they create, but there’s a risk of being one dimensional in that. Now that doesn’t mean that I spend my time smiling at everyone and watching the Lifetime Network, because honestly I pretty much default to horror all the time and don’t smile much, but I also enjoy other things in life.
More than anything being a father supersedes bad habits. I want to be present and in as many moments of my daughter’s life as possible.
I know a fair amount of people working in the horror genre and for the most part they’re the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. I think that part of it is that writing awful things happening to people is quite cathartic.
That’s a really good and possibly scary point! What would we become if we stopped writing about terrible things? On a serious note though, you’re right - some of the most relaxed, easy going people I have ever met write about some of the most intense and terrible things. That’s what’s great about horror books, movies, etc. They allow catharsis and provide a window into something that dwells within all of us. On slightly funny note, some of the worst parts of my stories where written while watching PBS kids shows with my daughter. I hope that doesn’t undermine my image.
Same thing applies to most musicians too. I’ve met some of the people that make some of the most vile and violent music available and they’ve all been pretty decent people, but almost every pop star I’ve ever met has been completely unbearable.
Thankfully the ability to write, whether it be pen on paper or fingers on keys is always readily available as an outlet to authors or who know what kind of trouble we’d get into.

Current occupation / Dream job:
I currently teach 6th grade math and it's a good job, though my dream would be to be able to support myself solely through writing.
What steps are you taking to reach your dream job?
How often do you write and how many pages do you write when you write?

I’m trying get out as many pieces of work as possible. I’m pretty much always shopping something to an agent or publisher. It takes time away from writing, which sucks, but you can’t ignore the business end. Beyond that, I try to connect with readers. One of the parts of writing a book is hearing how readers connected with it or whatever feedback they want to offer.
I’m not one to set daily page or word goals for myself. I tried that and it just frustrated me. I make a point to write everyday. Sometimes that means a few pages and others I get caught up and churn a couple chapters. But I also don’t think it’s a bad idea to take a day off if you need one or the story stalled. There are authors who force books and that can come across in the writing.
I totally agree with most of what you have to say, but especially the last sentence.
I’m kind of lucky that I work in a variety of artistic mediums, so if I start to feel less than enthusiastic about writing, I can take a break and make some art or work on some electronic music. That way I can always come at each project with a fresh perspective and renewed enthusiasm.

That’s a good point too. It seems like some writers fall into the trap of relying solely upon written form for artistic expression. It definitely helps to take a break and done something that activates another region of expression.
A lot of the stuff I do compliments each other. For example, when I finish with my interview homework I’m going to edit an audio book for the short story that I wrote which inspired my latest project.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Anything not work related. Being outdoors and finding as much time to write as possible.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
Head North and don't die. Beyond that I'm making it up as I go.
Why head north?

I have a lot of family in the Northern region of Maine. They know how to survive and take care of things. There are also less people in that area, so I’m hoping that would mean less zombies as well.
Solid plan.
I certainly hope so!

Weapon of choice:
Toss up between a machete and crowbar. Both require no skill or real upkeep and have other practical uses.

Do you have any special skills?
Before becoming a teacher I spent some time training and competing in a wide array of martial arts. So I guess that could come in handy when the undead rise. I also have a grandfather who is a retired game warden. He taught me a lot about outdoors survival and a little tracking.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
Education and Psychology.
I also went to school for psychology. Do you think that studying psychology helps authors to create believable characters?

Absolutely. Understanding people is crucial to character development. That’s not to say that every writer should have a psych degree, but it can’t hurt. Overall, I think writers need to bring in whatever background/experiences he or she has. That way the characters tend to be a little more believable.
I totally agree. That’s why I think more seasoned writers usually have a more believable voice than younger authors. At least I’ve noticed that with my own work. If you want to be able to write about life, you have to go out and live it a bit. Although it’s a constant struggle for me because I really don’t like other people and I’m usually happiest alone at home.
I was laughing as I read that last sentence because that totally captures my sentiment. But I would guess that living life and writing about it is somewhat of a catch-22 for authors. We never take anything at face value - always wondering about actions and emotions. Sometimes that gets to be a bit overwhelming, so holing up at home is a good option.
Also, for me, it’s totally ruined more than a few relationships, both ongoing and potential. I guess it’s a blessing and a curse being able to do what we do.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
I had a full academic scholarship, so I was lucky enough not to have any loans when I graduated.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
I've got two hard headed pit bulls named Douglas and Maxwell.

What is your favorite animal?
Pit bulls.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
Way too many to list...traffic is probably the worst.
I feel that feel. These are some of mine.

That was great ! No better way to spout anger at humanity that through the visage of a cuddly panda. Standing close in bathrooms is definitely on my list as well.
I don’t mind if someone stands at the urinal next to mine. Sometimes to break the tension I look over at the guy and say “Wanna race?”. They never do.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
I could eat Mexican or Thai food everyday. For the sake of those around me I don't. Least favorite food would be anything with cilantro. I detest that herb!

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
Theodore Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of joy" and that's something I think all authors need to keep in mind. We should be colleagues, not competition.
Totally agreed. I also say, “A rising tide rises all ships.”
That’s part of why I do this interview blog. It’s not always about me and my projects.
I think everyone should be able to have a forum to promote their work.
Unfortunately a lot of the bigger media, both printed and online are “pay for play”.
They’d be more than happy to do a piece on your project… if you were interested in buying some ad space. That’s why I do this.
There’s no money in it. Just a labor of love to help other artists.

Very true! That’s one of the best and worst things about the indie writing scene. There are some truly awesome people that are out there to write cool books and elevate the scene for everyone. Then you have those that are already famous in their own minds and spend most of their time trying to convince others instead of writing. Thank you for being one of the good ones and running this blog!
Aw, shucks. Don’t thank me! It just seemed like something that needed to be done.
Thanks anyway!!!

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Become a father.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
I plead the fifth.

The fifth is fairly often invoked for this one.
I bet it is! Then I will redact my response and simply say that it’s between me and the Devil.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
I can't say because then they would know...

What do you do?
Torture 6th graders with algorithms and variables and write horror novels.
Speaking of your novels, if a reader was going to pick up one of your books to get into your work, which one would you recommend and why?

I would say that Zombie Youth: Playground is a good place to start. I like the characters and story arc in that series and I hope it offers something a little different to zombie fans.

How did you get started doing what you do?
With regards to writing - it's something that I have done throughout my life. As a child I used to have recurrent nightmares and used writing as a way to deal with them.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
If you want to write - start doing it. People over think things too often. After that it comes down to solid characters and editing.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
I've written a few other novels before my first published one, Zombie Youth: Playground Politics (Severed Press). Following that I wrote the follow up Borrowed Time and I'm currently finishing the third book in the series. In between writing the Zombie Youth series I wrote two other horror novels that I'm currently shopping around.

 What projects are you working on now?
The third book in the Zombie Youth series.

Favorite author / book?
Too many to say, but The Power of One has always been a book I go back to. Richard Matheson is also in the top. I love just about anything he has written.
The entomologist?

Dear God, I’m glad you caught that! RICHARD!!! That’s what happens when I’m trying to type while doing other things. No offense to Robert Matheson or to the world of entomology, but bugs aren’t exactly what I spend my free time reading about.
I kind of figured you meant Richard Matheson. But it was fun to learn about Robert Matheson.
I figured you’d know, but how ironic that someone is out there is such a close name. But who knows? Insects make a good horror subject.

Favorite band / song?
That's another tough one. But if I had to only pick one, I'd say it was a tie between Social Distortion and Johnny Cash. Anti-Flag, Face to Face and anything Motown are close behind.

Least favorite band / song?
Dave Mathews Band - anything and everything.

Desert Island Music / Movies / Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
Books would be Power of One, I Am Legend, The Time Machine, my H.P. Lovecraft anthology and maybe coloring book.
Music would the greatest hits of Johnny Cash, Social Distortion, Faith No More, Anti-Flag's The Bright Lights of America and Motown's greatest hits.
As for movies I'd probably opt for the entire library of the Olsen Twin's work...just kidding. It'd be the original Evil Dead 1 & 2, Army of Darkness, The Crow and Night of the Living Dead (60's B&W of course!)

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Fly? No, I enjoy what I do, but it would be great to be able to write full time.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive. Dead. Fictional.
FDR, H.G. Wells, Edgar Allen Poe, Tyler Durden and Sloth from the Goonies.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Having to clean the grease traps in a deli. That smell never comes off, not even with paint thinner.
That sounds awful.

It was! And made even worse so by the fact that I’m a vegetarian.

Recommendations for future interviews:
P.A. Douglas, David Dunwoody, Cedric Nye, DA & MP Wearmouth, Mark Tufo and David Moody. (Not sure if any of them have already been interviewed, but they'd all give great answers.)
I don’t recognize any of those names so I’m pretty sure they haven’t been interviewed yet, at least not by me. I’ll flip through your FB Friends list and send them and Add Request and an Interview Invite and let them know you sent me.
All of them are good guys and worth an interview. Thanks for taking my recommendations into consideration.

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.
Twitter: @HEGoodhue
Website: I blog for them and they rock!

About the Interviewee:
H.E. Goodhue is an author and educator. Goodhue's series, Zombie Youth: Playground Politics (Severed Press) is the first installment in a new series that has been called “unrelenting”, “thrilling and exciting” by both fellow authors and literary critics. Since its release in April 2012, Zombie Youth has posted sales throughout the US, Europe and Australia. H.E. Goodhue currently resides in New Jersey with his wife, daughter and two hardheaded pitbulls.

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and 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 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.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces Electronic Music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here:
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
Check his author profile at:
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his electronic music here:
And here:
Check out his videos at:
Check out his IMDB profile here:
Follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here:
Check out his Etsy here:
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at:
E-mail him at:

OPTIONAL: Prove you’re not a replicant.

Question 1:
A tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without your help, but you're not helping. Why is that?

Jeez, the only answer I could think of is because that person is a huge asshole. I'm more likely to help the turtle on the side of the road than the person with a flat tire.

Question 2:
Describe in single words, only the good things that come in to your mind about your mother.

Question 3:
It's your birthday. Someone gives you a calfskin wallet.
And I promptly give it back. I think my friends know me well enough not to do that.

Question 4:
You've got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar.

Question 5:
You're watching television. Suddenly you realise there's a wasp crawling on your arm.
Flick it off.

Question 6:
You're reading a magazine. You come across a full-page nude photo of a girl. You show it to your husband. He likes it so much he hangs it on your bedroom wall.
I'd be more concerned that my wife (now husband) got gender reassignment surgery without telling me. We should probably have discussed something like that first.

Question 7:
You're watching a stage play. A banquet is in progress. The guests are enjoying an appetizer of raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog.

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