My next author/publisher hardly needs an introduction—but in case some of you have missed knowing him, let me invite you to get to know Richard Chizmar. He is a brilliant writer and publishes amazing books, magazines, podcast and many other things as well. Richard is co-owner of the famed Cemetery Dance Publications, which publishes many great, talented authors. He is a dedicated family man with two handsome boys, is very driven, and has a great sense of humor. He believes in helping other writers and publishers he believes have the ability to become great. To say the least, I admire and respect him—and what he stands for. He is a class act all the way. His stories will amaze you and take you on a ride like never before. I have always loved reading his books, and highly recommend if you have not had the chance to read them, that you do so immediately! Please take a moment to get to know Mr. Chizmar and say hello—you won’t be sorry. Please welcome Richard Chizmar to Roadie Notes…..
1. How old were you when you wrote your first story?
Probably five or six. I used to write monster and war stories. I’d sit at my desk in front of the window in my second-floor bedroom and write in a thick, lined tablet my father brought home for me. Right from the beginning, I felt like a real writer. Making up stories has always been fun to me.
2. How many books have you written?
Three short story collections, a handful of novellas, and four of my scripts have been published in book form.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
Nothing specific comes to mind. I tend to just focus on people, places, and moments in time that mean something to me. Wherever that takes me…I follow.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I just recently turned 50 (and as a two-time cancer survivor, I’m pretty pleased with reaching that plateau). I’m married to a wonderful woman, have two amazing sons, and Cemetery Dance Publications has been my full-time job since before I graduated from college, closing in on 29 years now. I’m blessed in more ways than I can count.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
It will sound like a cop-out, but it’s true: the most recent one, A Long December. Thirty-five stories, spanning my entire writing career. I can trace the entirety of my adult life by when each story was written and where I was at the time it was written. It’s been pretty neat to look back on each story, almost like traveling back in a time machine.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
I was fortunate in that my family was a big reading family. My father always had a book in his hands, usually a well-worn paperback novel from the library swap shelf. My mother was always reading a magazine or some type of non-fiction. My sisters were all big readers. So I learned a love of reading from a very early age.
The initial spark of writing interest just always seemed to live inside of me. I felt like I saw and heard and felt things just a little differently than the people around me, and I wanted to write down those thoughts so people might understand. But I was also just a normal little boy who was obsessed with baseball and football and fishing and playing marbles and climbing trees. It wasn’t until early in high school when my English teacher brought in a copy of Stephen King’s “The Monkey” for us to read aloud in class that I knew I wanted to truly grow up to be a writer. That is the moment where I knew…
7. What do you like to do for fun?
Fishing. Hiking. Exercise. Watching my sons’ sports team.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Get to work on the next project. That’s something I learned from my father. Finish one job and move on to the next one. Keep grinding.
9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
Most of my writing is done in an upstairs bedroom in my house, but I will write anywhere and at anytime. Parked in my car. At my office. At dinner in a restaurant. Wherever the mood strikes me.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Sometimes, I wish I was more of a stylist; that I produced a lusher, more lavish prose. But that’s not me. My writing is all about clarity and forward momentum.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I’m living my dream. One hundred percent true. I am living my dream each and every day.
12. Where do you live?
I live in the Maryland suburbs about a half-hour north of Baltimore. I’m 15-20 minutes away from the CD offices in Forest Hill and about the same distance from Edgewood, the town in which I grew up.
Three dogs: Boo, Zoey, and Cujo.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
That moment when everything clicks into place and you know the story works. It doesn’t happen with every story, maybe not even most of them, but man oh man when it does, it’s a magical feeling.
15. What is coming next for you?
The rest of 2016 is busy. My collection, A Long December, is due from Subterranean Press in early November. Darkness Whispers, a novella I co-wrote with Brian Freeman will be published later in November from Scarlet Galleon Publications. And, finally, Heroes, a chapbook featuring my short story and the script adaptation (co-written with John Schaech) and a comic adaptation, as well as a brand new introduction and afterword, will see print from SST Publications in December. I also have new short stories appearing in a variety of anthologies and magazines including Dark Hallows 2, Christmas Horrors, You, Human, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.
You can connect with Richard Chizmar here:
Cemetery Dance Publications: http://www.cemeterydance.com/
As always, thank you so much for letting us get to know you better. I wish you continued success and much happiness. So very proud to call you my friend.
Some of Richard Chizmar’s books: