Interview: Jack Ketchum

Jack Ketchum will be a guest lecturer at this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop. Ketchum is the pseudonym for a former actor, singer, teacher, literary agent, lumber salesman, and soda jerk–a former flower child and baby boomer who figures that in 1956 Elvis, dinosaurs and horror probably saved his life. His first novel, Off Season, prompted the Village Voice to publicly scold its publisher in print for publishing violent pornography. He personally disagrees but is perfectly happy to let you decide for yourself. His short story “The Box” won a 1994 Bram Stoker Award from the HWA, his story “Gone” won again in 2000–and in 2003 he won Stokers for both best collection for Peaceable Kingdom and best long fiction for Closing Time. He has written over twenty novels and novellas, the latest of which are The Woman and I’m Not Sam, both written with director Lucky McKee. Five of his books have been filmed to date–The Girl Next Door, The Lost, Red, Offspring and The Woman, the last of which won him and McKee the Best Screenplay Award at the prestigious Sitges Film Festival in Germany. His stories are collected in The Exit At Toledo Blade Boulevard, Broken on the Wheel of Sex, Sleep Disorder (with Edward Lee), Peaceable Kingdom and Closing Time and Other Stories. His novella The Crossings was cited by Stephen King in his speech at the 2003 National Book Awards. In 2011 he was elected Grand Master by the World Horror Convention. You can learn more about Jack Ketchum at his website http://www.jackketchum.net.


What is it about horror that fascinates you? Is there a certain element or style that always has to be present for a story to be horror? Continue reading “Interview: Jack Ketchum”

ODYSSEY WRITING WORKSHOPS CHARITABLE TRUST ANNOUNCES SUMMER 2013 WORKSHOP

Make a quantum leap in your writing this summer! The Odyssey Writing Workshop for fantasy, science fiction, and horror writers will run from June 10 to July 19 in Manchester, NH. Participate in the program that has led 58% of graduates to professional publication, with their work appearing in top magazines and published by major publishing houses. Challenge yourself and pack two years of learning into six weeks of intense work. Four-hour classes five days a week, an advanced curriculum, daily writing and critiquing assignments, weekly stories/chapters due, in-depth feedback on your work, personal guidance from Jeanne Cavelos, former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell and winner of the World Fantasy Award, and guests Nancy Holder, Holly Black, Adam-Troy Castro, Jack Ketchum, Patricia Bray, and Sheila Williams. The early action application deadline is January 31, and regular application deadline is April 8. Four scholarships and one work/study position are available. Read more here: http://www.sff.net/odyssey/workshop.html.

ODYSSEY WRITING WORKSHOPS CHARITABLE TRUST ANNOUNCES WINTER 2013 ONLINE CLASSES

For seventeen years, Odyssey has pursued its mission to help developing writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror improve their work by holding its annual six-week, in-person workshop in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Three years ago, Odyssey expanded its mission, taking the teaching techniques that are so effective at the workshop and adapting them to create online classes. Director Jeanne Cavelos explains, “Technology allows us to hold live online class meetings, so students can ask questions and participate in the class. Each course is designed to provide intensive focus on a particular aspect of fiction writing, and challenging homework assignments help students to improve their skills. Feedback from the instructor and from classmates allows students to gauge their progress. Each student also has an individual meeting with instructor.” Courses provide a supportive yet challenging, energizing atmosphere, with class size limited to fourteen students. While courses are designed for adult writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, interested writers of other genres are welcome to apply.

Last winter, Odyssey had a huge response to the three online courses offered. Writers from all over the world applied. This year, Odyssey is offering three different online courses covering some of the most critical issues for developing writers: Continue reading “ODYSSEY WRITING WORKSHOPS CHARITABLE TRUST ANNOUNCES WINTER 2013 ONLINE CLASSES”

Interview: Nancy Holder

Nancy Holder will be the writer-in-residence at this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop. She is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of adult, young adult, middle grade, and early reader work, both fiction and nonfiction. She has sold approximately 80 novels and 200 short stories, comic books, and essays in various genres. She has taught creative writing classes at the University of California at San Diego, the Maui Writers Retreat and Conference, and other conferences and colleges, and has been on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing for seven years. She has also served on the boards of Clarion (San Diego) and the Horror Writers Association. You can learn more about Nancy and her work at her website: http://nancyholder.com/


You are an incredibly busy and successful writer, writing in different genres, for different ages, in different formats. How do you keep up? Is there ever a danger of having too much on the go? Continue reading “Interview: Nancy Holder”

Interview: Alex Hughes

Alex has written since early childhood, and loves great stories in any form including science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. Over the years, Alex has lived in many neighborhoods of the sprawling metro Atlanta area. Decatur, the neighborhood on which Clean is centered, was Alex’s college home.

On any given week you can find Alex in the kitchen cooking gourmet Italian food, watching hours of police procedural dramas, and typing madly.

Alex is a graduate of the 2011 Odyssey Writing Workshop. You can learn more about Alex at www.ahugheswriter.com.


Congratulations on the upcoming launch of Clean! It’s been great to see so many success stories among the Odyssey alumni. Can you tell us about this dystopian thriller? Continue reading “Interview: Alex Hughes”

Interview: Meagan Spooner

Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

Meagan Spooner is the author of Skylark, the first in a young adult fantasy trilogy available from Carolrhoda Lab in August 2012. She is also the co-author of These Broken Stars, the first in a young adult science fiction trilogy forthcoming from Disney Hyperion (Fall 2013). She is a 2009 graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. More information about Meg can be found at http://www.meaganspooner.com.


Congratulations on the publication of Skylark! Can you tell us what inspired this YA fantasy? Continue reading “Interview: Meagan Spooner”

Interview: Jason Heller

Jason Heller is an author, editor, and journalist whose nonfiction has appeared in many publications, including Clarkesworld (where he’s currently the nonfiction editor), The A.V. Club (where he served as Denver City Editor and is currently a regular contributor), Weird Tales, Fantasy Magazine, Alternative Press, and Tor.com. His writing on popular culture appears in Scribner’s A.V. Club book, Inventory. He’s a 2009 graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, and his science fiction/fantasy/horror short stories have been published in Apex Magazine, Sybil’s Garage, Polluto, Expanded Horizons, Farrago’s Wainscot, M-Brane SF, the anthology Descended From Darkness, and others. Quirk Books released his debut novel, the satirical alternate-history Taft 2012, as well as his Pirates of the Caribbean tie-in, The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook. He can be found at www.jason-heller.com.


Congratulations on your debut novel Taft 2012! What sort of feedback are you getting? Continue reading “Interview: Jason Heller”