Featured Author: Stuart Conover
Story: Gator Bait
State of Horror: Louisiana Volume II
Stuart Conover is a father, husband, blogger, published author, geek, entrepreneur, and horror fanatic. He lives in the Chicagoland area and when not delving into the land of horror, comics, and science fiction he spends his days working in IT and his nights with his family. Passionate about writing you can find his work in a variety of outlets and books. When does he sleep you may ask? No one is sure that he does!
Synopsis: “Gator Bait” in State of Horror: Louisiana Volume II
Three college kids (Frank, Cliff, and Beth) are on a bayou excursion to see gators. The college kids are obnoxious and Beth especially is drunk. They are insulting and condescending to the tour guide/boat operator Big Amos. Amos shows them the gators and interacts with the kids warning them to be more respectful. Frank is impressed with the gators, Beth is drunk and making snide/rude remarks, Cliff is trying to make peace. Big Amos tells them about the deep bayou and the voodoo shacks and other info about the area and offers to take them there, to see real voodoo stuff. After some squabbling, the trio decides to get their money’s worth out of the trip and agree to go deeper in the bayou. Amos takes them deep in the bayou and stops at a dock with some rundown shacks. Decisions are made that will change their futures.
Another piece of meat tossed in, this one closer to the first gator he had fed and it pushed up above the water and for the first time they had a chance to see how big it really was as its entire body surfaced for a moment.
Time to Meet Stuart Conover
Charon Coin Press: What inspired your story in State of Horror?
Stuart Conover: I tried to think of something I knew was actually real in the state of Louisiana that a tourist might do. Something I felt would be far too boring in general for me to ever want to go on and how to make it a little more interesting. I know not everyone out there would agree but to me rising on a boat getting a tour of a bayou when New Orleans is a stone throw away sounds like a horrible idea.
CCP: Is there a reason this particular state appealed to you?
SC: Honestly my love of Cajun food and seasonings! Which makes it a little surprising that the entire thing is less about food and more about a bayou ride!
CCP: What do you look for in a horror story as a reader?
SC: I am a huge fan of psychological horror and suspense. A great build up and proper pacing will grab my attention every time.
CCP: What is your favorite writing snack food?
SC: Does coffee count as a food? Either way, coffee is the answer.
CCP: What other works do you have out there?
SC: My short stories are in a few anthologies out there including two prior ‘State of Horror’ anthologies. At this time I am knee deep in finishing the draft of my first stab at a full length novel.
CCP: What is one important thing the readers need to know about you?
SC: I am a total comic book junkie. Specifically Marvel (aside from their rather annoying all universe encompassing recent story arc) and everything that Mike Mignola releases. On top of that the recent Image Comic runs titles such as ‘Trees’, ‘Spread’, and ‘Sheltered’ have me fully hooked!
CCP: Who are your favorite authors?
SC: That is a tough one. Frank Herbert for science fiction and when it comes to horror my tastes range from Stephen King to Timothy W. Long and everywhere between. I also love just about everything that Neil Gaiman has released.
CCP: What drew you to State of Horror?
SC: Initially it was from seeing an Illinois themed horror anthology. The amazing staff of Charon Coin Press and their fantastic editing team has me coming back for more. The truly fun part is working on stories in settings I am not familiar with where I get to learn about areas I haven’t been to.
CCP: Do you have a favorite state or state you are waiting to open?
SC: My favorite states would be Illinois, California, and Hawaii. Two have already been opened and only one to go! Though, I have absolutely no idea what is in store for Hawaii quite yet.
CCP: Music or no music when writing?
SC: I have music on when writing and what I’m listening to depends on the mood. A huge action sequence full of zombies? I’ll probably have Slipknot on. Something a little more quiet or dialogue based there is a good chance that Vitamin String Quartet will be playing. Witty banter is a mix of the above and easing in and out some Eve 6.
CCP: If you could go anywhere in the world right now where would you go and why?
SC: I live in Illinois so with it being winter I would quite quickly choose to go somewhere warm with a beach like Hawaii or one of the touristy vacation spots that has sun, warmth, a beach, and booze!
CCP: What was the hardest part about writing your story?
SC: I don’t actually know how to read or write so finding a way to make sure that the trained monkeys are actually typing what I think to them. Someone for the love of God help us he keeps us chained to the desktops typing away forever for bananas! Call 911 before he finds out that….
Sorry about that. . What I meant to say was that the hardest part was to try and capture the speech style of the tour guide which I felt was difficult to translate to page from what I had in mind as well as the stillness of the bayou that the story takes place in.
CCP: Do you have any writing rituals?
SC: I do the bulk of my writing on the train during my commute to and from the day job. So really it is just to get settled and in the zone as fast as possible to not waste my limited time.
As we wrap up the time with Stuart Conover, here are some of the ways to follow and learn more about today’s State of Horror: Louisiana Volume II featured author. To follow him on Twitter seek out @stuartconover. Take a tour of his Facebook author page Stuart Conover Author (or click here). However, the best way to keep up with her is to follow Stuart Conover at his websites, http://www.StuartConover.com. Pick up your copy today by visiting these great retailers.