Fantastical Dreams

Can you handle horror? Interview with author David Fingerman

Posted on: May 28, 2010

Please give a warm welcome to one of my favorite authors,  David Fingerman.  David has a compilation of short stories currently on the market titled,  “Edging Past Reality”.  He will soon be releasing his novel “Silent Kill”.

Welcome David and thank you so much for stopping in.

Please introduce yourself….

Hi Brandi. I’m a life long resident of Minnesota, and every fall I try to make it up to the north shore. I can’t think of a place on earth I’d rather be in autumn than atop the cliffs overlooking Lake Superior or bopping around on The Gunflint Trail. As for my writing life – I’ve always loved the written word, despite what four years of college did to quash that interest.  After graduating from the U of Minnesota, I fell into a job with the Hennepin County Court system.  I figured I’d stay there maybe a year or two until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.  It took me a little longer than that – around twenty-four years, but I finally figured it out.  I wanted to write.

Tell us about your work…..

I’ve been writing short stories for a number of years with a moderate amount of success.  They are mostly horror and speculative fiction.  I love writing short stories – by the time I get sick of looking at them (after all the editing and rewriting), I’m done.   My first book, “Edging Past Reality” is a collection.  After I left the courts, I concentrated on writing novels.  So far I’ve completed “Silent Kill” (I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be released sometime next month),  “Spyder,” (hoping it will be out by the end of the year, but who knows?), and “Playing the Hand She’s Dealt.”  That one just got accepted.

Is horror the only genre you choose to write?

Nope.  A number of stories in “Edging Past Reality” wouldn’t be considered horror.  “Silent Kill” is classified as a suspense/thriller.  “Spyder” is more of an urban adventure.  “Playing the Hand She’s Dealt” is a mystery.  That being said, I’m in the process of writing a novel (I’m about halfway through the first draft) that is true blue horror.

If you couldn’t be a writer,  what would you want to do?

Now that’s scary!  Hmmm, it would have to be something creative.  I was in a rock band back in high school and early college.  That’s a lifestyle I could certainly learn to love and abuse.

What about the horror genre pique’s your interest?

As far as the supernatural aspect of it – who knows what might be on the other side?  Whatever it might be, I’m fascinated by all the possibilities.   I’ve also always been curious about the workings of the mind.  What circuit shut off that would make it okay, and even pleasurable, to torture and/or kill another human being (or in my case, want to scare the bejeebies out of them with my stories)?

What is the first horror book/story you ever read?

I don’t remember the name of the story, or the author.  I was about ten years old (give or take a couple) and read a short story about a boy who was raised in the country by his grandmother.  They were vegetarians.  When his grandmother died, the boy went into the city and ate meat for the first time.  He was so impressed that he had to discover how it was made so he went on a tour to the slaughterhouse.  (SPOILER ALERT)  He ended up being taken with the pigs for slaughter.

What was the book that made you decide that was the genre you wanted to write in?

See above answer.  That story is still with me after all these years!!!

Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself?

Only because it makes me question my mental health.

What is your favorite horror novel?

So many good ones.  I think my sentimental favorite would have to be “Pet Sematary” by Stephen King.  That was the first horror novel I read and it got me hooked.  But the one that really made me go ‘ewwww’ would be Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood.” Although, that’s not a novel but a collection of short stories.

What is your favorite horror movie?

I’ve seen the original Frankenstein a number of times and still love it – I guess I’d have to go with that.  I’m also a sucker for a good zombie movie.  Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’ is classic.  But I also can’t see ‘Shaun of the Dead’ too many times.  Well, maybe I can, but I haven’t got there yet.  And once every few years I can’t resist watching ‘Hellraiser’ (just the first one).  Um, you only asked for one, huh?   Sorry.

Do you feel any competitive pressure from horror films?  If not,  why not?

None at all.  I’m way too naive about the film industry to feel pressure.  Maybe one day if one of my stories is ever made into a movie I might start feeling it.  I like to think my horror is unique.  I’ve actually trashed a couple of my stories because I saw something that was too similar on the screen, but not similar enough that I could sue for plagiarism (I am paranoid about plagiarism and shudder at the thought that one day it might happen to me – and NO – I would never plagiarize someone else’s work – but that doesn’t mean someone might not think so.  It’s happened a number of times to other writers).  But I digress.

What draws people to horror novels?

It’s got to be mass hypnosis.  I can’t think of any other explanation.

Why do you think we as readers like to be scared?

Speaking for myself, it gets the heart pumping, the blood flowing and it’s much easier than exercise.  It also makes me realize that my life ain’t so bad.  I might be behind on bills and my car is in the shop, but at least I’m not surrounded by zombies, monsters, or sadistic murderers.

Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions?

When it stops adding to the story.  Sometimes a certain amount is needed to set the scene, add tension, feel the characters pain, or maybe even make the reader go “ewwww.”  But gratuitous gore just makes a story boring and will desensitize a reader, especially if you want to make them feel pain or dread or whatever later on.   “Yeah, I get it.  There’s lots of blood and guts scattered around.  (Yawn)  Can we move on now, please?”  Even worse, I don’t want my reader to start laughing while I’m trying to scare the hell out of them.

The perception of the horror writer is that he/she is just a little bit weirder than most.  Do you find yourself – and other horror writers – to be more idiosyncratic than the average person?

I won’t speak about other horror writers, but as for me – oh yeah!  A few people have told me I’m very weird.  Most others aren’t nearly so tactful.  A very small example of my sense of humor is when I used to work in court.  One day a woman was caught shooting up in the lady’s room right next to the courtroom used to hear all the drug cases.  I’m sorry – I find that hilarious (maybe you had to have been there).

Any parting comments?

T’is such sweet sorrow.

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with us today.

Thank you so much for having me.

David is on virtual book tour with Authors Supporting Authors,  so please be sure to follow David along his tour,  leaving a comment for him at each pit stop for an entry to win a copy of Edging Past Reality.  You can find David’s schedule on his website at

Be sure to watch for David’s upcoming release,  Silent Kill!


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