After reading Lee Pletzers The Last Church, I discovered a passion for NZ Horror and Lee Pletzers work.
I asked Lee the tough questions…
What would you do if you couldn’t write? (Explode? Be a mad scientist?)
I haven’t a clue. I like making movies and I have some basic director skills, so I would probably have gone to film school. Photography is also a skill I have. I take some interesting shots. If I couldn’t write, I am sure I would find some other medium to express my creative side.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what 5 things would you take with you and why?
1) A solar powered laptop so I could document the events of a zombie invasion and have several hundred ebooks to read as I wait for a rescue ship after I emailed my location.
2) A rifle for fishing. I would save one bullet in case my email didn’t get through. Plus, I don’t eat fish.
3) Sunglasses (for sunny days. I have light sensitive eyes having spent most of my childhood in a room with a pad and pen).
4) A sleeping bag and pillow, in case it gets cold at night.
5) My ipod (solar powered computer will be able to keep it charged — AC/DC on a desert island! Ye ha).
On second thoughts I think I should have answered with: Pocket-knife / Bottled water / filtering system to turn sea water into drinking water / matches to light a fire / SOS knowledge. But my brain doesn’t think that way.
If you couldn’t use the computer for a week, how would that affect you?
I would have a lot of email to read after that week, but it wouldn’t affect me too much. I would read all the time and handwrite some notes.
What made you decide to write?
I don’t think there was any actual decision on taking the plunge to write. I just sat down and wrote ever since I was a kid. I have always loved books and I wanted my family to read my stories.
There were no thoughts of becoming rich and famous when I was a kid, I just wrote when I had an idea.
My first long short story came about when I was 13 and in Whangamata and it was raining cats and dogs (the poor little pets hit the ground with resounding thumps — occasionally a whimper before impact) and I was bored. No TV, nothing to do and I had an idea of an alien race entering Earth and taking over. It was set in another dimension. It took two weeks to write and was over sixty pages long.
I never made a conscious decision to write, I just did it and didn’t stop.
When I was eight a teacher would send me and my friend to the playground during Social Studies to write a short story. It had to be two pages long. We had trouble understanding Social Studies. Each week, we wrote a short story, usually vampires (Hammer Horror fan here, from childhood) and the teacher decided to read my story out in front of the class. I had made a spelling error writing bloood (blued) instead of blood and everyone laughed (me included), but then the teacher said: ‘Lee writes ten times better than all you put together.’ Head swell moment that lasts even to this day.
Why write Speculative Fiction?
Because it is the fun genre. You have freedom to explore the imagination in fun and exciting ways. My SpecFic is always a mixture of horror / action / SF or Dark Fantasy.
When will the next Lee Pletzers book be out?
It was released last Saturday 05-09-09. Currently stock is sold out but if you order you will be next in the line. Amazon is waiting for some more books from my publisher.
The link is: http://is.gd/2W62x I use the short URL as Amazon URLs are very long.
Publisher is: Black Bed Sheet Press.
As for my next book: The Game, I have no idea. My publisher hasn’t mentioned any date yet, so I suspect it will be next year.
What is the Last Church about?
I was going to say, check out what Amazon is saying but there is no description there yet. So, http://thestoryteller.co.nz/lastchurch.html will take you to a page where there is a book trailer and a description, plus several advanced reviews.
I could copy + paste the information but the trailer does a real good job, and it’s short. It will barely touch your bandwidth.
Why did you write it? What inspired you to create this novel?
The only inspiration I have is the need to write a story that popped into my head. There is no special message, political or otherwise in any of my work. I just want to tell you a story and if I scare you or excite you, then I’m telling it right.
And the really tough question…
What are your thoughts on publishing in NZ?
Oh, don’t get me started on this topic. There is a reason most authors in NZ are published overseas (USA / Australia / UK). NZ publishers aren’t interested in horror, sf or fantasy–regardless of what they say. They want NZ based books about the NZ spirit. Books that I don’t read or write. In an interview on radio a HaperCollins editor said he wanted to see more SF in New Zealand, but when he rejected my friend’s novel, he said there was no place for SF in NZ publishing houses (this person is a member of SpecFicNZ).
There are some books that make it through: Bloodline (SF/Fantasy) for example. A good story but the writing needed some flavour.
I tend to buy from the small press in the US/UK as most of the SpecFic in these houses are good reads with exciting storylines and themes that aren’t currently profitable for a major publisher to invest in. Although I have heard that Pocket books is buying up zombie novels as zombies are the new vampires. Apparently.
Anything else you would like to tell NZ about Speculative Fiction?
Give it a try. Order books online, explore the small press, discover the new breed of horror writers, you may be very surprised (as I was, hence my decision to find publication in this realm).
Lee, I appreciate your time and your assistance.
No, thank you for the interview.
It was my pleasure and I look forward to reading it in the SpecFic Blog week.