>David Nail Wilson Interview
When did you start writing, and do you think you have reached a stage
where you are comfortable in calling yourself a writer?
I started writing seriously in the mid 1980s. Since then, I’ve had
seventeen novels, four collections and about a hundred and fifty short
stories published. Recently my screenplay KILLER GREEN was optioned,
and a director is being attached this week, so I have high hopes of
seeing that in theaters soon. Though I’m far from the level of success
I’d like to have reached at this point in my career, I feel pretty
comfortable calling myself a writer at this stage of the game.
What inspired you to start writing?
I honestly don’t know. I spent my childhood reading everything I could
get my hands on. I have always liked to write. When I was young, I
wrote more poetry than stories, but when I started high school I already
knew I wanted to be a writer. By the time I’d joined the US Navy at age
17, I already told people that I WAS a writer, and eventually I sat
down, applied fingers to keys and pens to notebooks and made it happen.
I think I’ve just never considered being something else, though my
career as an electronics technician and now IT Director might seem to
Can you tell us about your past work, and any future projects you have
Well, it would take a while to list everything, and that’s been done
pretty well on my website. My first published novel was the Star Trek
Voyager novel CHRYSALIS, but the first I sold was “This is My Blood,” my
retelling of the Gospel through the eyes of Mary Magdalene, fallen angel
cursed to follow Christ as a vampire. After that I did a number of
novels for White Wolf Publishing in their World of Darkness, including
the Grails Covenant Trilogy, which is still very popular. In recent
years I’ve had the novels Deep Blue, The Mote in Andrea’s Eye, and
Ancient Eyes published, as well as the collections DEFINING MOMENTS
(which was nominated for the Bram Stoker award, and ENNUI & OTHER STATES
OF MADNESS last year from Dark Regions Press. My stories are spread
across collections, anthologies, and magazines spanning more than two
decades, and aren’t too hard to find. My story “The Gentle Brush of
Wings,” first published in the collection DEFINING MOMENTS, won the Bram
Stoker for short fiction in 2007. My novella “The Not Quite Right
Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Currently Accepted Habits of Nature” came
out in 2008 and has received some positive feedback.
Upcoming I have the novels Vintage Soul, due in December of 2009,
Maelstrom, and the Stargate Atlantis novel “Brimstone,” which I wrote
with Patricia Lee Macomber, the love of my wife and a talented author in
her own right. My screenplay KILLER GREEN will very likely be produced
by Ambergris Films this year, and I’m pretty excited about that, as well.
Has there been one author more than any other that has been a major
influence on your writing?
I would say that a great number of authors have been strong influences,
each for different reasons. I love the works of Stephen King, Clive
Barker, Neil Gaiman, Kathe Koja, Poppy Z. Brite, Peter Straub, and Dean
Koontz, to name a few. I’m fairly widely read, particularly in these
later years since I’ve had a lot of hours of commuting and discovered
audio books. I pick things up from those I admire – there’s no way to
avoid that, I don’t believe – but I try very hard to keep my work
personal at the same
Do you have any rituals you go through when writing?
Not really. I started my writing career in the US Navy, and I had to
learn to write under pretty much any circumstances. Sometimes there
were two televisions and a radio going, as well as a lot of yelling.
These days the TV is going, kids are playing, and people are talking,
and I write. It’s kept my career alive, this ability to write under duress.
How much of you goes into your work?
It varies with the work, of course, but all of my best work – the most
memorable writing – is the work that has the most of me in it. I’ve
always said you have to be willing to write what hurts, what puts you
out there and really shows what you think, feel, dream – if you can’t do
that, the writing will be entertaining, maybe, but no one will remember
it after a few years. You have to write yourself in to get the power
Will we see the return of# The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J.
Absolutely. I love Cletus, and I actually have a couple of ideas
plotted and planned to write more stories starring the good reverend. I
really enjoyed that story, and as oddly humorous as it was, a lot of my
past, my own life, and things I’ve seen and experienced went into it.
It’s a strange mix of weird and serious…a good mix, from the reviews, so
I’m sure Cletus will be back.
David, how much of an insight politics of the horror genre did being
the President of the HWA give you?
Honestly, the HWA has some great members, some great programs, and a lot
of flaws that have ebbed and flowed over the years. What I discovered
was that there ARE politics in horror – at least in the community – but
that they have little or nothing to do with your career. I have been a
member off and on since the organization was called HOWL and I’m a
lifetime member as a past president, but I believe most of the time
spent in the “politics” is more likely to distract you from writing than
it is to have a positive effect on your career. I can tell you as a
past officer that no good deed goes unpunished.
Do you believe in things that go bump in the night?
I don’t disbelieve. I don’t believe that we’ve even come close to
unlocking the secrets our universe has to offer. I believe in ghosts
more than any deity worshipped by any organized religion – that much is
certain. I find vampires as likely as resurrected prophets, and I would
love to find out that all of it is true – magic, evil, good – but
suspect that it will remain secret and mysterious and therefore suspect
during my lifetime.
Watching the news about the search for the last victim of the Moors