Stephen Kozeniewski (pronounced “causin’ ooze key”) lives with his wife and two cats in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie. During his time as a Field Artillery officer, he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor’s degree is in German.
Huh. I never really thought about that. I guess it was just that or dinosaur erotica. I mean, I’m not totally ruling dinosaur erotica out, but for now horror is what I’m comfortable with.
What is your most notable work?
Boy, that’s a bit of a loaded question, isn’t it? I love all of my books equally. They are like my children. Although I do kind of hate some of my children (yes, I’m talking about you, Norah). So I guess it shouldn’t be too hard to choose after all. My most notable book is The Ghoul Archipelago. Bam. Done.
What are you working on now?
I am presently working (not very hard) on a vampire novel for Permuted Press tentatively titled Hunter of the Dead. Don’t worry, my vampires are different. As cliché as that is to say, I’m trying to dig into some of the more visceral, medieval vampire lore, and eschew all the latter day sexiness and metaphor and seduction. Fingers crossed!
How much planning and research do you undertake before writing?
Describe your writing routine.
Hmmm, I’m not sure I have a routine, per se. But I’m also not a willowy, flippity-floppity hippy who waits for the muse to strike. I guess I just get a sense, usually after a few days have passed, that I ought to be writing. And aside from opening up a Word document there’s not a whole lot to it. I don’t force myself to write in sprints, or turn off the internet, or anything like that. Actually, if I did turn off the internet, trying to remember a bon mot like “catharsis” or what the gross domestic product of Denmark is or something would just eat away at me.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
Dang, that’s another toughie. Can I just say who I don’t admire? Actually, that might be the longer list. Um…I really have strong personal and professional admiration for Brian Keene, Jonathan Maberry, and Bill Braddock. Oh, and Shana Festa, but don’t tell her I said that.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
Gore. I’m pretty sure there’s a particular way I’m supposed to answer this question, like, “I like to think I deliver both” but, no. Just gore.
Why should people read your work?
My imaginary children (yes, even you, Norah) gotta eat.
Recommend a book.
Oh, like not one of mine? Well, it’s not strictly horror, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t pick up Kimberly G. Giarratano’s Grunge Gods and Graveyards now. No, seriously, right now. Go get it.
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