These interviews are related to our GHOST AND GHOULS AND OTHER CREEPY THINGS campaign. For those just joining us, we are crowdfunding three projects on Kickstarter and also taking some time to introduce you to our participating authors, some of whom are new to eSpec. The campaign has launched! Check it out to see how we’re doing, and what awesome rewards are left to be had!

eSpec Books interviews Lou Rera, contributor to Even in the Grave, edited by James Chambers and Carol Gyzander.

eSB: Even in the Grave is a collection of ghost stories, without spoilers, can you tell us a bit about your story and how you came up with the idea?

LR: I’d thought about the idea of a groupie or fan. There seems to be “fanboy” in almost any type of pop culture, and serial killers are no exception. My protagonist stumbles onto some memorabilia which gives him a front-row seat into the hideous acts of murder. 

eSB: What was the greatest challenge you had coming up with an idea that would stand out among the other submissions?

LR: How do I write a ghost story that does not rely totally on the well-established tropes of the genre?

eSB: Is your story a part of a greater universe stemming from other stories you have written, or does it stand alone? Whichever your answer, can you tell us about what makes that universe unique?

LR: I consider humans the most malevolent of creatures. During our evolution, the one trait we developed (as far as I know) no other animal possesses, is deception. I write of the darker side of human existence. My story fits that viewpoint.

eSB: Do you foresee writing more stories with this character or in this world? Whichever your answer, why?

LR: No, I feel this character has taken his complete journey.

eSB: Okay, first off the top of your head, who is your favorite ghost and why?

LR: The ghost of Eva, in Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. Straub skillfully combines youth and beauty into death, revenge, and horror. Just brilliant.

eSB: Do you believe in ghosts, and why? Is there an experience in your life you can share with us that strengthened that belief?

LR: I’d be ignorant to flat out say no. About two months after my wife died, I heard her call my name as I entered our house. It was as if she were standing next to me. I ‘d swear it was her. Being more analytical about the experience, I researched what it might be. Simply put: An auditory hallucination brought on by extreme grief. But to this day, I don’t know.

eSB: Have you ever incorporated aspects of your own experiences in your fiction? Tell us about it.

LR: I do this in ALL of my work. The best resources are my own experiences. Of course, I alter everything. The example I use the most is the full moon. My first novel, SIGN, the protagonists spend their night of terror, outside, stranded during a full moon. I spent months, during all the seasons, out late, in remote rural locations to experience first-hand how a person would negotiate their world under the light of just the moon. I was stunned by what I’d discovered!

eSB: What haunts you as an author?

LR: The brevity and unpredictability of life.

eSB: What drew you to appreciate the horror genre? What inspired you to write in it?

LR: I’ve always had nightmares, vicious ones. I often wake screaming. I don’t know where these come from. Outside of that, I’ve always been drawn to the irony of life in general. Horror fits perfectly.

eSB: Other than horror, what genres do you write in? Tell us something about your other works and what makes those genres different from writing horror.

LR: I write horror book reviews now and then. Since I was a professor in communication, I’ve written journal articles in the field, and I’ve edited a textbook on Visual Communication.

eSB: What is your least favorite aspect of being an author, and why?

LR: The time-consuming side of self-promotion and marketing.

eSB: Could you tell us about one of your most amusing experiences promoting your books?

LR: When my first novel was published, I was invited to read and speak at a bookstore near Cornell University. They promoted the event. They paid for my hotel and meals. I was treated very well. One person showed at the event.

eSB: What is one thing you would share that would surprise your readers?

LR: I think of and write all this nasty stuff, but I’ll capture small insects in my home, and release them outside. With one caveat: I am terrified of spiders.

eSB: What are some of your other works readers can look for?

Lou_Rera_Promo_GfxLR: SIGN (2014 novel. A supernatural tale of deception and murder) AWAKE: Tales of Terror (2020) Collection of 14 short stories)

eSB: As a horror author, where do you find support for your writing?

LR: Writing is such a solitary endeavor. That has both and negative aspects. The finest support and comradery is through the wonderful organization I joined in 2014, The Horror Writers Association. I am part of the NY Chapter, and formerly of the Ontario, Canada Chapter. I’ve also belonged to a writers’ group for 15 years, basically the same people. All experienced and accomplished writers.

eSB: What advice would you give aspiring horror writers?

LR: Don’t live in a tunnel. Network with writers of the genre your write in. READ, READ, READ everything that inspires you.

eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?

LR: I am working on several short stories for themed anthology submissions. I am writing a script based on one of my stories and I am working on a new novel.

Writer_Lou_Rera_new-2Lou Rera writes horror, supernatural crime and subjects that delve into the darker side of humanity. He is the author of SIGN, a supernatural thriller of deception and murder. His collection titled, AWAKE: Tales of Terror, features 13 stories of horror, supernatural crime, and murder. He is a professional designer, media producer, writer, and musician. He is an experienced music producer, working in studios in Western New York and Los Angeles.

He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, New York Chapter, Just Buffalo Literary Center, and IMDB. His short stories have appeared in the Canadian anthologies, Group Hex Vol 1 and Vol 2. His collection of flash fiction There are no doors on a cocoon, is a caustic look at the seedier side of existence. His flash fiction has won awards in Art Voice Magazine. His flash fiction and short story work have been published in Queen City Flash, The Writer’s Eye, Twisted Dreams and The Flash Fiction Magazine. Lou writes occasional reviews for Horror Novel Reviews.

Lou holds an M.A.H. in Information Design from the University at Buffalo. He lives in New York State with his wife MaryRuth, a personal chef and their wire-hair fox terrier.

Find out about Lou Rera: 

Website  *  GoodReads  *  Amazon  *  BookBub

Follow Lou Rera on social media: 

Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Instagram  *  TikTok  *  Pinterest  *  YouTube  *  Horror Novel Reviews

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