THE SEVEN: Al Sarrantonio

Continuing my interview series called THE SEVEN, in which I invite some of my favorite authors to answer seven questions about their most recent projects, today’s guest is the multi-genre author and anthologist extraordinaire, Al Sarrantonio:

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Q. What is your most recent release?

A: A YA title, my first, titled SISTERS IN MYSTERY, just released as an e-book and in print in the Spring.

Q. What inspired the project?

A: It’s inspired by the Nancy Drew mysteries, if you can believe it (!) and the protagonists are four sisters modeled after the LITTLE WOMEN gals. It takes place in a New Jersey seaside town. I did it because I wanted to see if I could do it.

Q. What is the primary theme you’ve chosen to explore with this project?

A: No theme except an old fashioned mystery for kids; the plot involves a stolen movie script.

Q. Of everything you’ve written to date, which project has been the most difficult for you?

A: Every one of them is difficult, until you start putting words on the screen (used to be, when I started, on paper). But some are more difficult than others. The anthologies I’ve edited are hard, because you’re the caretaker of other people’s work.

Q. Which title would you suggest as a good introduction for newcomers to your work, and why?

A: I’d start with TOYBOX, my first story collection, because it’s most representative of the core of what I’ve tried to do with my serious work in the fantastic. In novels, I’d point to MOONBANE, my werewolf novel.

Q. What are your thoughts on the burgeoning digital market?

A: I bought a Kindle a year ago, and am amazed at its potential, which hasn’t been realized yet. By which I mean the vast catalog of untapped out of print wonderful works (like Aldis Budrys’ ROGUE MOON and WHO?) that it could bring back to life. We’re in steam engine time with these little gizmos, but I wish agents and rights holders would wake up and rush to get all the good stuff available for e-readers.

Q. What’s next for you?

A: A “lost” novel titled UNDERGROUND will finally be published. Bantam books was set to bring it out in 1993, and then they jettisoned their entire horror line, and UNDERGROUND with it. It’s been in a drawer ever since, largely forgotten. It’s a follow-up to my novel SKELETONS, and takes place in — literally — Hell.

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