Archive for August, 2011

Niteblade Contributor Interview with John Hayes

John HayesJohn Hayes is a multidisciplanary artist. He sculpts and writes poems.


When did you first recognize yourself as a writer?

As an undergraduate, I knew I was a writer. My first attempt to publish was a science fiction story to The New Yorker. Rejection was rapid. I decided the world was not ready for my genius and took a job writing manuals. The pay was good. Now I’m writing poems, short plays and fiction and have about thirty published each year. Several years ago I found the sci-fi story that The New Yorker rejected yellowing in a drawer. I rewrote and Gothic Light published.


What draws you to speculative fiction?

Speculative fiction is an exciting world with room for the new. The rules are loose and allow the imagination to soar.


Is there a piece of writing advice you’ve never followed?

If I only wrote what I knew, I’d never write anything.


In the September 2007 issue of Niteblade, Rhonda chose to publish your poem, “Unrequited Love”. Is there a story behind how it came about?

At times I feel like my life has been a series of unrequited loves. I’m still looking for someone with a few vampire genes.


What have you been working on lately?

A bout with bladder cancer slowed me down but I’ve started to rewrite some social justice poems. I’ve turned two of my recurring nightmares into horror poems and had three children poems published.


Is there anything else you’d like to share with Niteblade’s readers?

Keep reading.

When I give poetry readings I tell the audience my search for fame, fortune and great sex
brought me to poetry. I’m still waiting for all three but have learned the best
way to get published is to rewrite, accept rejection, keep sending and follow
the guidelines. The publisher sets the rules, not the writer.


I hate lying and that, in a nutshell, is why the Niteblade twitter account is soon only going to be following our staff and authors. Our number of followers on Twitter is growing and I (Rhonda) don’t have time to keep up with a lot of followers on the Niteblade twitter account if I want to have time to do other Niteblade-related stuf. In addition, I don’t want Twitter to say I’m following people whose feeds I’m not reading. You dig?

So if you’re wondering why @NitebladeZine is not following you back, that’s why.

And if Niteblade has published or accepted some of your work and you have a Twitter account make sure you let me know so we DO follow you back.

Interview with Daniel Polansky

Daniel Polansky’s debut novel, Low Town, is released into the wilds today. While prepping for the big day, he was kind enough to take a few moments out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions from Niteblade.

Here’s the information from Doubleday’s site to introduce you to Low Town.

Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops . . . and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.

In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.

The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street . . . set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted.

Low Town by Daniel Polansky
Which came first – the agent or the book deal?

Like most writers, I got an agent first — the fantastic Chris Kepner, tip of the hat and so on.

The UK edition is titled The Straight Razor Cure and will be published concurrently with the US edition. Why is the title different?

In short, because Doubleday, my US publisher, asked me to change it after they bought the book, and I was pretty giddy with the whole ‘being a published author’ thing, and not in the mood to quibble.

Your novel will be published in multiple languages. Will you handle any  of the translations yourself?

Would that I could! But if you had any idea of how inept a student of foreign languages I am, you would know the answer to that question already.

Low Town is your first published novel. How long did it take to write?

It’s a little hard to say — it took me about four months to get a rough draft down, but it was about a year and a half between penning the first word and getting a book deal. Of course, a lot of that time was spent trying to get an agent and so on.

What was the most interesting part of writing Low Town? Discovering the story or the characters?

They kind of came concurrently.

Do you have any other books in the works related to the Thirteen Lands?

I’m working on a sequel at the moment, though it’s sadly still untitled. All goes well it should be coming out in Summer of 2012.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with Niteblade’s readers?
Daniel Polansky
Only that I hope they enjoy the book. Actually, I mainly just hope they buy the book. Enjoying the book would be icing. I have a Facebook page that’s updated pretty regularly, on Twitter I’m @DanielPolansky, and you can find me on GoodReads if you look hard enough. First 7 chapters, mailing list, etc. at Appreciate your time.