Our bookseller Mike got the chance to ask one of his favorite authors five questions. Of course he couldn't stop at just five...
Joe Hill is the author of over a dozen books, including his latest, Strange Weather, and the Locke & Key comic series.
Strange Weather cover image
The Fireman cover image
NOS4A2 cover image
Horns  cover image
Heart-Shaped Box cover image
20th Century Ghosts  cover image
Locke & Key: Small World  cover image
Locke & Key: Heaven and Earth cover image
Locke & Key, Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega cover image
Locke & Key, Volume 5: Clockworks  cover image
Keys to the Kingdom cover image
Crown of Shadows cover image
Locke & Key, Vol. 2: Head Games cover image
Welcome to Lovecraft cover image
Locke & Key Master Edition Volume 1 cover image
Locke & Key, Volume 2 cover image
Locke & Key Slipcase Set  cover image
Joe Hill: The Graphic Novel Collection cover image

1. You have been successful in many forms of entertainment including Graphic Novels, Short Stories, Novellas, Films and Novels. Do you have a preference among them, and if so what was your favorite project to work on?

    Probably the new book, Strange Weather, has been my favorite. It's a collection of four short novels, stories about guns and the grotesque, the impossible and the unstoppable. I wrote them longhand over the course of the last five years, jotting them down in between more demanding projects. You could argue that the novella is the best of all literary forms. You get all the depth of characterization to be found in a full length novel, and all the pedal-to-the-floor energy of a short story. Most of all... they're fun to write.    

2. Your writing style stands out as eerily unique, as a result does this attract a particular fan base?

    I seem especially popular with the discriminating, thoughtful, and highly literate readers who frequent Hudson Books. What can I say? Such folks obviously have good taste.    

3. The covers on your creations are very artistic and eye catching. How much input do you have towards the final product?

    I've always had something of a comic book imagination... my very first professional submission as a writer was a Spider-Man story I sent to Marvel at the age of 12 (they turned me down). It's probably no accident that decades later I wound up writing a series of six graphic novels, Locke & Key, about a haunted New England mansion full of reality-bending keys. It's always a thrill to see what a gifted artist will bring to a tale, and I've had the good fortune to work with some of the best. In Strange Weather, I joined forces with four different illustrators - they each took a story and put his or her unique visual stamp on it. I think readers will dig the eye candy.    

4. Looking back, has the decision of a name change accomplished what you intended to achieve?

    Bernard Malamud - author of The Natural and The Fixer - said the first and hardest job for the artist is to create themselves. I think that's right... every artist has to develop their own identity, their own voice. For me that started with being Joe Hill.    

5. Relating to your professional career of writing, what would you consider your greatest achievement?

    Every day I get to sit down and play make-believe for a living. I've been at it for over a decade, and people still seem interested. That's the only achievement that really matters in this business.    

6. Who do you feel has a firm grasp on the "dark" fiction genre today?

    Oh, man, there's so much great stuff to choose from. Fans of the scary stuff will want to turn their attention to M.R. Carey, author of The Girl With All The Gifts, Fellside, and The Boy on the Bridge. He writes horror and dark fantasy with great intelligence and humanity. Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes is as twisty and twisted as The Girl on the Train, but with a dizzying supernatural hook. And you can never go wrong with Neil Gaiman.

Mike -- thanks again. This was fun.