Paul is a crazed lunatic, possibly homicidal, with a penchant for killing his fans and exploring the furthest reaches of mental illness and delusions for fun. Even the ones he doesn’t have. When he’s not writing twisted tales of psychological torment, he writes enterprise software and applications for the internet and the iPhone.
Paul’s Parsec Award Nominated Fiends collection and Garaaga’s Children collection are available for free from http://shadowpublications.com and in e-book format from Amazon.com. Paul is also the creator of MyWrite (http://mywriteapp.com) which enables authors to personalize and sign their ebooks using tablets and smart phones.
You can find the latest information, stories, essays, rants, and reviews from his site. He welcomes comments and interaction and especially enjoys speaking of himself in the third person.
Paul wrote the short story “Breakers”.
Why do you write/like horror?
Not really sure I “like” to write horror. The stories that come to mind have always been dark in some fashion or another. I do enjoy the obstacles the genre creates for characters and the kinds of goals that come out of it. Few things are more compelling examples of the human condition than people fighting for their lives or scared out of their wits because of something they don’t understand.
I believe the horror genre is a fertile playground for social commentary as well as exploring our darkest fears. Therefore, it’s a place my writer mind frequently visits.
What inspired this particular story?
“Breakers” originally started out as a story called “Cash for Corpses.” Because I couldn’t make some of it work, I changed the internals and the motivation. In the process, “the Breakers” were born.
We all have days where we wake up, read/listen/watch the news, and realize the world is spinning out of control. I wanted to paint the picture of a character who’s lost his hold on conventional thinking and ethics. The story is two parts insane justification and one part ideology.
With all the “crazy” people out there who believe everything they read/listen/or watch, “Breakers” gave me a chance to illustrate one without dragging in other political baggage. I like the idea of anarchists working to free humankind from their shackles of corporate greed, political corruption, and the dreams they are sold. At the same time, I wanted to show just how insane those ideas are in themselves. The narrator in Breakers was a perfect vehicle.
What’s the best horror movie you watched recently?
It’s been a few months, but “Sinister” is the best horror movie I’ve watched in quite a while. Its simplicity in the special effects department is made up for by great acting and a soundtrack that sets your teeth on edge. As I’ve often said, anything that involves small children can outcreep any monster you throw on the screen.
What scares you?
People whose ignorance leads them to violent thoughts, insane rationalization, or allows them to be lead into violent acts. The internet is stuffed with them, as are the talk shows, and, unfortunately, most of the folks on Capitol Hill. When ideology or religion leads one to eschew thousands of years of history, science, and simple human kindness, the world is destined for trouble. And we are in a lot of trouble.
What are you working on now?
I just finished writing a long arc in ancient history (Garaaga’s Children: Ancients) and now I’ve slipped back into the modern world to write “Flames” which is another Fiends’ tale. The novel revolves around an arsonist and religious worship. I expect it will be ready for publication by year’s end.
What’s your favorite beverage while writing?
Coffee. Water. Iced tea. Sometimes the blood of lobbyists.
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“In The Deep Dark” by Justin R. Macumber
“Morning Dew” by Edward Lorn
“Power in the Blood” by Scott Roche
“Getting Even” by Philip Carroll
“Breakers” by Paul E. Cooley
“Breakup” by J.R. Murdock
“Blister” by Jake Bible
Edited by Sue Baiman
Cover by Scott E. Pond.