Interview with Richard Easter, author of The General Theory of Haunting
in Author Interviews, Mystery, News, Thriller
27 Mar 2018
What can you tell us about your new release, The General Theory of Haunting?
“The General Theory…” is a ghost story and one-third of my “Snow Trilogy” – three books set in and around snow, published by Endeavour Media.
The books can all be read independently, but once you have read the entire trilogy, you’ll see how themes and characters interweave. Minor characters or plot lines in one can become major in another, but they can be read in any order as totally separate entities, should you wish.
In “Theory…” I wanted to take you to a haunted house you hadn’t been to before. So everything you would expect is there – the creepy hall, the guests cut off, the creaking floors…but that’s all just set dressing and by the end, I hope the reader will agree that Marryman Hall is unlike any haunted destination you’ve visited. So far, I’ve been humbled by the generosity and praise given the book by international readers, so I thank each and every one of them for taking the time. It means a lot.
What’s the last book you read?
“Berlin” by Antony Beevor. I enjoy historical books, particularly about that period and Beevor is a master. This one concerns itself with Berlin’s fall in the last days of WWII and is a powerful, extremely detailed account. In “…Theory,” I’ve tried to keep my historical references as accurate as possible. You’ll see genuine people and places from history get walk on parts…
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I have to say, it was Stephen King. I started reading King when I was around 11 years old and became somewhat obsessed. It’s ironic that the first book of my trilogy to get a release is a ghost story – that was never the intention, but how very King-esque. I love his imagination but sometimes I wish he’d turn himself to less, shall we say, fantastical areas (wow, what a criticism. Yeah, “I wish Stephen King would be less “Stephen Kingy”, right).
His short stories based on “real” life are as good as anything he’s produced in the horror genre and I think perhaps some critics may be a little sniffy regarding his literary weapon of choice. The man can always write like an absolute dream.
What is a typical day like for you?
Get up. That tends to be a good start. Not getting up begins the day on a deficit, as one generally needs to get out of bed to let things proceed. Have breakfast with my wife and daughter, then start writing, usually in the bedroom. So yes, I do go back to bed, thus negating the previous sentence. It’s where I’ve always worked. If I’m not writing books, then it’s scripts for TV. That’s my other hat. I’m lucky to work from home, that’s a great pleasure and privilege.
BAM. You’re a superhero. What’s your superpower?
Through thought alone, I could switch off everyone’s mobile phones at will. That way, families and groups of “friends” in bars and restaurants would have to actually sit and talk to each other, rather than messaging people who aren’t there. Also, on that note, anytime someone took a selfie, I’d make them loudly break wind at the same time. That should stop that nonsense, quick smart. Wow. Can you spot a particular Social Media Shaped Bee In My Bonnet, there?
You’re hosting a literary dinner party. Which three writers are invited?
Stephen King, just because. Ronald Dahl, just because. JK Rowling, just because. They’re obvious as hell, but they’re my obvious, so there.
What scene in The General Theory of Haunting was your favorite to write?
The end, where everything comes together. I can’t say any more than that. You’ll just have to find out why for yourself.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I’m a “Santa-Ist” not a Satan-ist, nooo, a “Santa-Ist”. Santa Claus, for me, has the simplest ideal for living. It doesn’t involve loads of rules or even much effort, but it is rewarding for everyone. Just two words; be nice. You don’t have to be a Saint, World Leader, or Genius. Just…be nice. If everyone could just live by those simple two words, wouldn’t the world be…nicer?
Richard Easter is the author of the new book The General Theory of Haunting.
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