Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Sam Hooker Interview - Now Before the Dark


Photo Content from Sam Hooker

Sam Hooker writes darkly humorous fantasy novels about thing like tyrannical despots and the masked scoundrels who tickle them without mercy. He knows all the best swear words, though he refuses to repeat them because he doesn't want to attract goblins.
        


Paperback : 456 pages
ISBN-10 : 1645480291
ISBN-13 : 978-1645480297
Publisher : Black Spot Books (December 8, 2020) 

Praise for NOW BEFORE THE DARK

"With a lyrical tone and hilarious dialogue that do double duty with its world building, the novel continues the brilliant satire seen in the series’ earlier books...whimsical adventure, and frequent, humorous plays on words, spoofs of contemporary events, and clever reversals of expected dynamics make Now Before the Dark a delight." —C. Foster, Foreword Reviews

"Fans of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams will appreciate the farce and puns that are the hallmark of Hooker’s writing." —Dawn Kuczwara, Booklist



Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer? 
I have a vague memory of writing a story about the injustice of having to do the dishes. My parents were unmoved. I still had to do the dishes. But I’d created a world in which I’d triumphed over that particular tyranny, and since then I’ve been caught in the grip of escapism. 

Why is storytelling so important for all of us? 
Because current events are not the stuff of dreams. Stories allow us to escape our daily humdrums for a little while, and often when we return, it’s with a new perspective on our lives. To while away an hour in another world does wonders for the soul. 

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? 
A hard choice, but I’d have to say A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny. I read it every year, and I’m delighted every time. 

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. 
It was the first time that someone who didn’t know me personally compared me to Terry Pratchett. I grew up on his books. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, and after I read The Colour of Magic, I knew what sort of nonsense I wanted to write. Sir Terry gave form to my dreams, and that comparison is the highest compliment I could ever be paid. 

In your newest book; NOW BEFORE THE DARK, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it. 
The world needs a hero. It’s got Sloot Peril instead. 

Now Before the Dark is the third and final book of Terribly Serious Darkness. The Old Country, once a simple draconian dystopia, is on the brink of having its existence revoked. 

How does one save a nation when the erstwhile gods are against the idea? Sloot will literally go to hell and back in the attempt. If he's even going to survive the dance contest, he'll have to think of something now, before the Dark swallows everything up. 

Which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book one and in what way have they changed? 
I feel that my characters did their best to resist growth at all cost. That’s the best thing they can do when one is writing humor. Characters who grow and change tend to become wiser and well-adjusted, which is the literary equivalent of properly refrigerated mayonnaise: fine for a sandwich you’ll barely enjoy and never think about again. If you want something memorable, freeze that jar of mayonnaise, hurl it at a beehive, and see what happens. 

What do you feel is the most significant change since book one? 
There’s a bit of writerly wisdom that may have started with Vladimir Nabokov which says, and I’m paraphrasing, “first, you put your protagonist up a tree. Then you throw rocks at him. Then you get him down.” 

I like to think that I managed to keep Sloot up the tree and hurl progressively larger rocks. So, to answer your question, bigger rocks. 

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters? 
I was most surprised by how often I was wrong. I’d conceive characters one way, but when I called on them for some plot-driven purpose, they’d kick sand in my face and run in the opposite direction. 

Good characters, especially in humor, are the ones who surprise you. The big, burly fellow who doesn’t want to kick in the door. The villain who never meant to upset anyone. When it came time for them to serve their typecast destinies, I usually decided the best thing to do was derail the story. Throw a bigger rock at Sloot. 

Ten Random Things About Me TEN RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME
  • 1. I’m a left-handed guitarist 
  • 2. I made my living for several years as a professional armorer 
  • 3. I lived in Spain before I moved to California 
  • 4. I once thanked Joe Lansdale for a bloody nose 
  • 5. I studied broadcasting in college 
  • 6. I’m a barbecue aficionado 
  • 7. I’m a Certified Irish Whiskey Taster by the Jameson distillery 
  • 8. John Boorman’s Excalibur is my all-time favorite movie 
  • 9. I had a severe stutter in elementary school 
  • 10. I will never reveal the Wu Tang secret
What was a time in your life when you were really scared? 
I once dreamed that I was reading a magazine article about the cause of insanity. It turned out that I’d misunderstood the headline, and that reading the article was the cause of insanity. As I realized my folly, I felt my mind start to slip. 

I awoke with a gasp and sat up in bed. I was staying at a friend’s house and didn’t recognize my surroundings at first. It was several minutes before I was sure it had just been a dream. I didn’t go back to sleep that night. 

What’s the most memorable summer job you’ve ever had? 
When I was 18, I was a roofer for a single day in the southeast Texas summer. I carried buckets of hot tar up ladders, cleaned up piles of old shingles, and even shoveled wet sand for a few hours. I wasn’t sure what that had to do with roofing, but I was too sore (and sunburned) to go back the next day. I was broke for the rest of the summer. 

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today? 
I used to work security in a concert venue. I was strapped for cash in those days, and I’d driven to work on a night when they didn’t need me – no show, just a DJ. I couldn’t afford gas to get home. 

Alfred was probably in his late fifties. He was a recovering addict who set up the tables before the doors opened and cleaned the place at the end of the night. He usually had a couple of friends helping him, and they were paid $20 apiece. He didn’t have any friends that night, so the manager agreed to pay be as both of Alfred’s helpers. 

I sat outside with Alfred during the DJ’s awful set. He told me all about his big plan to move out of the city and get a job in a grocery store, share an apartment with a friend. 

All Alfred wanted was to stay clean and have a roof over his head. Work a simple job. He saw me in a tight spot and he bailed me out. I’d never worked that hard for $40, but I was grateful that he’d given me the opportunity. 

I lost touch with Alfred after that. I hope he got out of the city. He taught me that magnanimity wasn’t just for tycoons with monocle collections. He made me a kinder person. 

Tell me about your first kiss. 
In a word: moist. 

When was the last time you cried? 
My cat died last month. It was quick and entirely unexpected. The vet believes it was a blood clot in his brain, nothing that anyone could have done. I can’t think of a better way to go than suddenly, painlessly, in one’s prime. Maxwell is sorely missed. 

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before? 
To have loved and lost, of course. There’s a story there. 

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager? 
The 1990s. That’s when I was a teenager, and there’s nothing I’d change about my life. 
 

Time is running out for the Old Country.

How does one save a nation when the erstwhile gods are against the idea? In the finale of Terribly Serious Darkness, it's up to Sloot Peril--the world's greatest accountant and poorest everything else--to figure it out.

Unfortunately, he'll have help. A philosopher who'd sooner die (again) than do any real work, a bard who can't play his non-instrument, and a spooky wizard who's often mistaken for a vampire may not be ideal allies, but with any luck—which Sloot's never had—they'll occasionally get out of his way.

Does Sloot stand a chance against serpent cults, demons, dragons, and the most sinister financial report every written? Doubtful. If he's even going to survive the dance contest, he'll have to think of something now, before the Dark swallows everything up.

You can purchase Now Before the Dark at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SAM HOOKER for making this giveaway possible.
11 Winner will receive a Copy of NOW BEFORE THE DARK and Shirt.
1 Winner will receive a NOW BEFORE THE DARK Shirt.
WEEK ONE
DECEMBER 7th MONDAY Welcome to MLM Opinon's Reviews REVIEW
DECEMBER 8th TUESDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW 
DECEMBER 9th WEDNESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books GUEST POST
DECEMBER 10th THURSDAY BookHounds YA INTERVIEW
DECEMBER 11th FRIDAY A Court of Coffee and Books EXCERPT 
DECEMBER 12th SATURDAY Casia's Corner EXCERPT
DECEMBER 13th SUNDAY Reading Adventures of a Book Dragon GUEST POST

WEEK TWO
DECEMBER 14th MONDAY The Bookwyrm's Den REVIEW
DECEMBER 15th TUESDAY Insane About Books REVIEW 
DECEMBER 16th WEDNESDAY Gwendalyn's Books REVIEW
DECEMBER 17th THURSDAY Ya It's Lit REVIEW
DECEMBER 18th FRIDAY Kelly Riser REVIEW 
DECEMBER 19th SATURDAY Crossroad Reviews SPOTLIGHT
DECEMBER 20th SUNDAY TTC Books and More EXCERPT

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway
jbnlatestinterviews

0 comments:

Post a Comment