Dawn on the Road Advert

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Author Interview: Ross S. Simon

Interview with 
Ross S. Simon, 
author of 
Red Dahlia!

Today we're welcoming author Ross S. Simon, author of horror and paranormal books, to The Happy Book Reviewer.

In Red Dalhia, Commodore Clifford Selickton takes beautiful priestess, Virhynda, for a wife, and they bear a darling little child…a child prophesized to become the very incarnation of the dread Kali-Ma, East Indian goddess of blood sacrifice. The mind-bending examples they witness of random people receiving their doom are, in fact, only preludes to the hideous, demonic goal of the Blood-Mother: conquest of the Earth. It might take a miracle from the gods themselves to stop her once and for all.
Okay… yikes! How did you come up with this creepy idea? 

       Simon: I came up with the idea from a combination of pop-horror factors: the movie "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" introduced modern America (and my consciousness) to the worship of Kali as an evil deity, plus information on her background also came from the "Monster in My Pocket" figurine line, and the plot device itself for "Red Dahlia" was more or less copied off of David Seltzer's "The Omen."

Did you already have an interest in the Hindu religion and know about Kali, consort of Shiva, and the goddess of time and change and, thus, death? Or did you have an idea of what kind of goddess you wanted and then researched this mythology in preparation for writing the book?

       Simon: The above factors had me interested in Kali, and much of the data on her mythological principles came from online sources such as Wikipedia, and also from a textbook on Asian religions I was lucky enough of which to come into possession during the writing of "Red Dahlia's" second draft.  I also researched Hinduism, the post-WWI Raj, and other such topics online.

I know that my characters get into my head and my dreams, and I have all-mortal stories (albeit with some bad guys). But the goddess of blood sacrifice? Do you ever have nightmares about your own characters and stories?

       Simon: I'd never involuntarily allow my horror villains' essences to drive me insane; that's done much more in effect by certain TV cartoon characters from throughout the past quarter-century, but I won't get into that as a subject.

You’re also the author of The Snow, which is a horror novel centered around Norse mythology and Loki. I’m seeing a trend… are you a fan of mythology in general?

       Simon: In terms of myth, I'd stop well short of calling myself another Joseph Campbell.  In legends told throughout global cultures, however, I'm well aware that gods and monsters go hand in hand, and what fuels my exploits of horror writing, or at least the way it's started out, is knowing that certain "evil" gods—Kali, Loki, whoever—have been generally underrated in their malevolence.

Will you explore other myths in your future novels? Any specific myths or legends you’re particularly interested in?

       Simon: The momentum of myth in my horror, alas, is perhaps winding down, at least for the moment.  Even so, I've contemplated doing a supernatural thriller set in Scotland, based on one of its children's rimes: "Arthur O' The Bower."

Since you're only on the contemplating phase of the Scotland story, I'm guessing you're working on some other next book. Tell us a bit about it.

       Simon: My next novel, in fact, my next trilogy, entails a vampire hunter, the swashbuckling Sebastian Stander, combating the worldwide menace of the bloodsucking night creatures on both the lives and the society of humans.

If you could be sucked into any novel, I’m guessing it wouldn't be your own books, since they’re pretty gruesome! So… which book would it be?

       Simon: This is a hard question to answer; there isn't any particular book I would like to populate for the mere thrill of it...but I guess I would choose, if I absolutely had to, the book of Genesis, to be the character of Abraham, who held direct communion with God when the world was young.  But that's only for the sake of being cute, in this instance.

Do you read horror and paranormal books, or do you write in a different genre than you read?

       Simon: Oh, I read horror, all right; I enjoy it, too.  It serves both equally as fuel for the mind of a "fright-write," and as entertainment for it.  I just remember to spread my tastes around to some of the slightly lesser-selling names in the genre, and not go overboard on His Majesty.

Ah, His Majesty... in the case of horror, that must be Stephen King. So, what book have you read that that you wish you had written?

       Simon: Another tough question about books and myself, this is.  I suppose I wish I'd written His aforementioned Majesty's "It," which, without even having read it, I can tell is 190-proof horror.  Whoa.

Finally, a change of subject to wrap up… I hear that you’re a fan of pinball! We have a Whitewater pinball machine at home, and my favorite is probably the really odd but cool Orbitor-1 (available to play at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas). What is the coolest pinball machine you've ever played?

       Simon: To date, the pinball "ne plus ultra" in my hobby would be "Tron Legacy."  It's not all that easy to play, but it has a lot of great features. 

Readers can find your book in e-book and print at:

No comments:

Post a Comment