This week I had the honor of interviewing Pete Clark, author of Midnight Riders and winner of the When Stars Die Cover Art Contest. First off, a big congratulations to Pete for winning, it was a pretty close race in the end and he took first place by just nine votes!
Mariah: Tell me a bit about yourself.
Pete: I teach High school English Lit. I love animals, reading, writing all kinds of random things. I enjoy travel but I am so sick of airports that I don’t plan on going anywhere in the near future. I love all kinds of comedy from subtle satire to offensive slapstick to bad puns.
Mariah: When did you first start writing?
Pete: I started writing when I was little. Sometime around ten. I wrote a lot of short survival stories featuring friends of mine. They were terrible. I basically killed people off in the order that I liked them at the time. Psychologists would have enjoyed analyzing my madness.
Mariah: Along with Midnight Riders, which is an historical paranormal fiction novel, you've published a short story collection of westerns and you're querying a YA fantasy novel. Is there a genre you don't write in?
Pete: I don’t do Romance or erotica. I don’t do much with realistic fiction outside of plays. But I am considering a couple of novel projects of realistic fiction. We’ll see if it goes anywhere. I write almost anything else. My favorite genre is comedic horror. An odd mix, but they’re fun.
Mariah: Being a multi-genre author, is it difficult to switch genre's so often?
Pete: Not really. I like changing genre, style, perspective, everything. I like getting short story challenges full of restrictions or scenarios I don’t normally use. I enjoy trying new things. The bad part is that it kills your branding and people who like some of your stuff are surprised when they read something else and it’s so different. But I enjoy it so I’m sticking with it
Mariah: What was the inspiration for Midnight Riders?
Pete: I love early American history and so does my father in law. We were having a discussion about some of our favorite under-appreciated heroes of the revolutionary war. Yes, that is the kind of nerdy discussions we have. At the top of the list were Benedict Arnold, Samuel Prescott and William Dawes. So I wanted to showcase them and many others. Also I love comedy and supernatural creatures. So I figured I’d mix them and there you go.
Mariah: Except for the wendigos, the rippers and the gargoyles, is Midnight Riders historically accurate?
Pete: The vast majority of it is. Most of the timeline locations and major events are accurate. I do take some liberties here and there. A few major ones. The most obvious being that Daniel Boone spends virtually of the war in the south western theater, but in Midnight Riders he is all over the place. I know several people didn’t know he was around during the Revolutionary war. So he is another guy I wanted to include.
Mariah: Would you write another novel like Midnight Riders? If you did, what era of history would you choose?
Pete: Probably. I like combining history and chaos. I have a few ideas. If I opt for a sort of sequel I would target the war of 1812. That’s another part of history that a lot of people don’t know much about. I also have something going now that takes place during the middle ages and another that I have finished that takes place during the Renaissance. But that one is literary not historical.
Mariah: What unique talents or hobbies do you have?
Pete: People tell me that I am very funny and quick witted. A lot of my students have told me that my class is like learning from a stand-up comedian. I am pretty good at mimicking accents. But that’s probably more annoying than a talent. I’m pretty bad ass at Team Fortress 2.
Mariah: What can your readers look forward to seeing from you in the future?
Pete: Well I may convert a play of mine that is realistic fiction into a novel. But I have a lot of other things closer to release. I am involved in a couple of cool group writer projects with my publisher JEA. Those should be out this month. I have a collection of short stories, that are a mix of genres. I may release that before the end of the year, not sure. And I finished a novella that features a slew of Shakespearean characters pitted against each other and other treats. Not sure what I’m going to do with that yet. I may self-publish it or query. Not sure. I think it’s a little too crazy for most publishers. But I think that readers will really enjoy it.
Thanks again for stopping by, Pete.
If you have a minute you should visit Pete:
On his Website