Daniel Kraus’ short story “Nora and the Gravedigger” will appear in the Gothic Blue Book: The Revenge Edition this month.
1. Vampires or Zombies? Which do you prefer in fiction?
My preference is neither. There are so many new horrors to be dreamed up that don’t rely on established icons. But I suppose that answer is a cheat. There have been more zombie books that I’ve enjoyed than vampire books, so I guess there’s your answer.
2. Haunted House or Haunted Mental Asylum? If you had to spend the night in one to write about your experience which would you chose, and why?
Mental Asylum all the way. If you believe in ghosts, the kind of psychic energy stored up in an asylum must be staggering. Recently I read about this institute that habitually dissected the dead inmates to try to learn more about their conditions, and they kept all of the brains on shelves in jars of pickled liquid. They just sat there, year after year. There is no peace in an end like that. If anyplace is haunted, that’s it.
3. Have you ever read a book or a fictional story that frightened you so much you had to put it down at least once while you were reading? If so, what was it? What frightened you?
I can’t think of any books that I put down out of pure fear but I can think of one that so grossed me out that I had to put it aside. I don’t want to name the book because it’s fairly well known and it would be a bit of a spoiler, but it involves a character peeling the skin off of her own hand to escape from a binding. I was in high school when I read it, at my part-time job, and had to go home sick.
4. Why do you enjoy writing Gothic/Literary horror/horror/paranormal fiction? Or just, why do you enjoy writing in general?
I rarely set out to write horror fiction–with very few exceptions, there is nothing paranormal or supernatural in my stories. But I have a compulsion to push things as far as I can, and when you do that, you often end up in the realm of what is considered to be “horror.” And I’m cool with that. I love horror fiction as much as I like literary fiction, and am especially happy when the two cross paths.
5. What other projects do you have in the works?
I have a book coming out from Random House in March 2013 called SCOWLER. It’s the most messed-up thing I’ve ever written and part of me can’t believe that people are actually going to read it.
I also am co-authoring a book called TROLLHUNTERS with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. Writing with Guillermo has been the most fun I’ve ever had as an author and I really can’t wait for it to come out. Guillermo’s a large-canvas thinker and the scope of the project is really exciting to me.
I’m also working on about four other books but I can’t talk about any of them. I get tired just thinking about it, honestly.
DANIEL KRAUS is a writer, editor, and filmmaker. His debut novel, The Monster Variations (Random House, 2009), was selected to New York Public Library’s “100 Best Stuff for Teens.” Fangoria called his Bram Stoker-finalist, Odyssey Award-winning second novel, Rotters (Random House, 2011), “a new horror classic.” Upcoming novels include Trollhunters (Hyperion, 2013), co-written with Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. Visit Daniel at danielkraus.com.