Short, Sharp Interview: Will Viharo

VIHARO FRONT FOR WEBPDB: Can you pitch LOVE STORIES ARE TOO VIOLENT FOR ME in 25 words or less? 

Yes.

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

I really dig the works of my Gutter Books editor Joe Clifford. I especially recommend his novel Wake the Undertaker and his fictionalized memoir Junkie Love. Joe is part of a thriving community of up-and-coming authors that I am just now discovering, and he’s plugging me directly into that network. It’s very exciting.

I’m also diving into the bibliography of Dan Fante, son of one of my favorite authors, John Fante. The ongoing graphic novel series by artist Darwyn Cooke based on the “Parker” novels of Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) are also very cool. Slayground is the latest. As for music, I always listen to it when I’m writing to help set a certain mood and tone. Typically that would be classic jazz, but also a lot of film soundtracks, since my work is more cinematic than literary in nature.

I find Hans Zimmer’s score for The Dark Knight Rises particularly inspirational. TV-wise, I’m totally hooked on Mad Men and The Walking Dead. I got into Breaking Bad late in the game, but glad I caught up before the finale this past fall. All three of those shows beat the hell out of anything on the big screen these days.

As for movies, 2013 has been sort of a bust, IMHO, but then I’m mostly a grindhouse kinda guy. My favorite film of the past year was an obscure horror oddity called Frankenstein’s Army. It’s one of the most original genre films I’ve seen in ages. Creativity counts more than prestige in my book. Literally.

will the thrillPDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

Speaking strictly subjectively, I find it impossible to read any type or fiction without paying more attention to the style than the substance. I’m always more interested in how a story is being told than the story itself. But maybe that’s just me.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

At this point, I’ll go wherever the money is, frankly. I did collaborate with Christian Slater on the screenplay adaptation of my novel Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me, which was recently reissued by Gutter Books. Hopefully when that project finally gets the green light it will open more doors for me in that industry. Right now he’s busy filming his new TV series Mind Games in Chicago, which premieres in March on ABC. I’m thinking about writing a spec script for the show after I’ve watched a few episodes.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

50 years of hard livin’, pally. And counting.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

Since most of my books are self-published, the internet is pretty much the only promotional tool at my disposal. I’m luckier than most independent authors in that I have a pre-existing platform – “Thrillville” – built during my days as a film programmer/impresario, along with local media connections. Not all movie fans like to read, though, so in some ways I’ve started over, re-introducing myself to the world at large as a pulp writer, not just a “B movie lounge lizard.” It’s been an uphill battle but I think the message has finally broken through the barrier of public preconceptions.

PDB: What’s on the cards for 2014?

Moving to Seattle after nearly three decades in the San Francisco Bay Area. (I was born in New York and raised mostly in New Jersey, with some time in Houston and LA). I find the Pacific Northwest very stimulating, both personally and creatively. I dig that cool climate and progressive culture. I also hope the film version of Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me – which Christian will direct while portraying my private eye Vic Valentine – finally takes off soon. I plan to complete the sixth Vic Valentine novel, Hard-Boiled Heart, at some point in the near future. I am also writing more short stories. I’m a novelist by nature, but these satisfying sprints in between marathon projects help keep me healthy in mind and spirit. Writing is my therapy. Hopefully this year it will become my full time livelihood, too.

Bio:Will “the Thrill” Viharo is a freelance writer, pulp fiction author, B movie impresario and lounge lizard at large. His novels A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge, Chumpy Walnut, Lavender Blonde, Down a Dark Alley, Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room, It Came From Hangar 18 (with Scott Fulks), and the entire Vic Valentine, Private Eye series (including Love Stories Are too Violent For Me, Fate Is My Pimp, Romance Takes a Rain Check, I Lost My Heart in Hollywood, and Diary of a Dick) are now available. Actor Christian Slater is currently developing a film version of  Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me. The original “Vic Valentine” cocktail is now being served exclusively at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge in Alameda, CA. For more info swing by The Thrill’s cyberpad.

Advertisements