Our next edge-of-your-seat anthology, A Hint of Hitchcock, will be released in time for Halloween, and is available for Kindle pre-order today for just $1.99 instead of $3.99. While the suspense is building, we're interviewing the contributing authors so you know a little more about what makes them tick...
The first question is inevitable...which Hitchcock film is your personal favourite, and why? Which actor or actress do you think was the best he worked with?
That’s an unfair question! Obviously I’m partial to The Lodger, since that was the source of inspiration for my story, but I enjoy almost all of his films. He had a certain flair for the reveal that not many other filmmakers have mastered. Other movies I particularly like are Strangers on a Train, Vertigo, and Rear Window. Add in to that The Birds which my father let me watch way too young. As for the actors and actresses in Hitchcock’s films, I think it’s important to recognize up front how terrible Hitchcock was, especially to the actresses. He was prone to randomly locking people to sets with real handcuffs, throwing them into an attic full of actual birds without warning, and even worse. Sure, their reactions are real on screen, but holy hannah was it inappropriate. That being said, I especially enjoyed Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, and Tippi Hedren on the actress side of things, and Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant on the other.
What is it about Hitchcock’s films that makes them so timeless, or is it just the opposite, that the appeal lies in that bygone era?
It’s a little bit of both.The glamor and elegance of his movies is achingly beautiful, and Hitchcock has a real talent for expressing true horror in everyday things and people. This dichotomy is one of the things I most admire in his movies, and something that transcends the dated set design, camera work, and editing. The draw is different depending on the viewer, I think. For me, I enjoy the wardrobe and the cars, while still finding the meat of the movie to be the staying factor. No matter how much the world around us has changed, there are still murderous people out there, and that terrifies us.
Do you have a favourite director, other than Hitchie himself, of course?
I have to admit I don’t seek out movies because of their director, and only sometimes because of the actors. For me, it’s more about the story than anything else. However, there are a handful of directors that, after I enjoy a movie and credits role, I say “Of course I loved this! [That guy] was the director!” So... If we want to talk about similar era and content, I very much enjoy Stanley Donen’s work; Charade is one of my all time favorite movies (don’t watch the remake, it’s a travesty). If we want to talk about more modern directors, I will watch anything Taika Waititi is involved in, that man is amazing. For another, I was introduced to Kenneth Branagh first in high school with his production of Hamlet and fell in love and am still surprised when I pull up his filmography and go, “He directed [that movie]? No wonder I love it!”
Without giving too much away, how did you come up with the idea for your story in A Hint of Hitchcock?
I enjoy diving into research around media I enjoy, especially older films, and the story around The Lodger is a fun one, full of interesting reinterpretations and classic Hitchcock sulking. Originally, The Lodger was a novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes, which Hitchcock reworked for his movie. However, Hitchcock didn’t like who the murderer was in the book, so he wanted to change it to [redacted]. However, the censors at the time didn’t like portraying [redacted] as villainous, so they ordered him to change it. That’s why the final climax and reveal of the movie feels so...stilted and disappointing. Hitchcock threw a hissy fit, and still refused to use the original villain. That’s where I come in. Not only do I use the villain he never got to, I also incorporated some of the rumors around the actors’ personal lives to add depth to the characters, and fulfill the promise of this story in a way that is much more satisfying than the movie was allowed to be. Plus, it’s a fun commentary on policing, and who can pass that up in this day and age?
Time to get more personal. Tell us three interesting facts about yourself.
Hmm...I fell off a 20-ft waterfall and landed on bedrock but walked away only with lacerations from sliding on shale as I fell. I have a talent for finding what other people are looking for at resale shops in excellent condition. I am hyper-mobile, which means I’m a mutant, but not really a useful one. It means I can dislocate my joints super easy but at the same time I can wriggle into weird tight spots. So...plus/minus?
What do you aim to give your readers?
A fun ride through interesting terrain with a satisfying ending that sticks in your brain.
What are you working on now?
The last year I dedicated myself to working solely on short stories and poetry, which has been super refreshing. I think I’m finally getting a handle on writing interesting poetry, i.e., not the drivel that fills two journals from childhood. Several of the pieces have been picked up for publication, which is very nice, and you can find out where they are living from my website. Now, though, we are coming up on NaNoWriMo and I think I’m going to jump back into the novel ideas I have sitting in front of me. Specifically a sci-fi romp which includes a young ship engineer, an accidental symbiote, and a technomancer communing with the ghosts in the machine.
Where can we find you online?