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F. Paul Wilson

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, F Paul Wilson, courtesy of the author; 220x322

F. Paul Wilson

According to his web site, F. Paul Wilson "misspent his youth playing with matches, poring over Uncle Scrooge and E.C. comics, reading Lovecraft, Matheson, Bradbury, and Heinlein, listening to Chuck Berry and Alan Freed on the radio, and watching Soupy Sales and Shock Theatre with Zacherley."

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

I love meeting my readers. They've made me truly unique gifts, slipped me weapons for personal protection, taken me to a shooting range to try out a rare pistol used by Repairman Jack. Some of the folks who frequented in the early days have become fast friends.

Sometimes readers ask the damnedest, most perceptive questions. It's all hard evidence that you're not operating in a vacuum, that you're touching people's lives, and it makes you more determined than ever to do your damnedest for them.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

Here's the most recent (which you won't understand if you're not familiar with my Secret History of the World): a reader tweeted me, asking if Ernst Drexler, Sr put the German army up to occupying the Keep. It's one of those questions that make you smack your head and say, Why didn't I think of that? (I informed him that if the opportunity arises I am going to steal that.)

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Writers as diverse as Richard Matheson, HPL (H P Lovecraft), Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler, Robert Heinlein, Dave Barry, Sax Rohmer, Henry Kuttner, Poul Anderson, PJ O'Rourke, and Carl Hiaasen have all left their mark.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Besides a really clever mechanic? The late Robert Anton Wilson, perhaps. Or Thomas Jefferson. Or Dorothy Parker. No, wait. What am I thinking? Jessica Alba, please.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Anyone with a big ego and a loud mouth. (Do any writers come to mind?) Any politician. (Oh, wait - I repeat myself.) A God-squad type might turn me homicidal.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

A laptop, a well-stocked Kindle, plus Doritos and Sour Patch Kids and Diet Pepsi (the latter to mitigate the sugar high)

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

If I can make an occasional reader look at the world from just the slightest different angle as a result of reading me, great. Otherwise I'm happy simply to entertain. I'm not a stylist. I don't write for the words, I write for the readers - to trigger emotions like wonder and awe and a little smile and - I hope - an occasional tiny epiphany.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

I like to get paid, of course. But mostly I love to tell a good story. Fiction (like religion) imposes symmetry on the chaos of reality and nothing satisfies like a good story that has kept you turning the pages and, in the end, paid off on all the promises it made at the start.

submitted by F. Paul Wilson

15 August 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: Jersey City, NJ -- late Cretaceous
Resides: The Jersey Shore
A Stoker, multiple Prometheus Awards, the Inkpot Awards from SDCC, the Pioneer Award from the RT Booklovers Convention, the Porgie Award.from the West Coast Review of Books, and maybe some others.
There's a not-so-up-to-date bibliography here

Web site:
Twitter: @fpaulwilson


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