Influenced by Stephen King and Rod Serling, Sean Seebach has written three books: A Looking in View, Autumn Dark and Our Monsters Are Real: The Pig Man.
When Sean isn’t writing or managing a wonderful barbecue joint with amazing people, he enjoys reading, cooking, and listening to rock n’ roll.
He currently lives in Ohio with his wife, daughter, and son.
Please help me welcome Sean Seebach to Roadie Notes……..
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I was probably in elementary school. I created a comic book with some “cool dude” who just did “cool things”. Cool things being riding a skateboard and hitting home runs, things like that. The first story was one called Blue Collar Diesel which I later named The Lake Shimmers. It’s terrible. I wrote that when I was 34.
So I took the title Blue Collar Diesel and wrote a novella that better suited the title. It’s in my collection A Looking In View.
2. How many books have you written?
I have written three books: Our Monster Are Real: The Pig Man, Autumn Dark, and A Looking In View.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
Probably not. I tend to stick to what is called Quiet Horror. Nothing too graphic or obscene. That’s not really by choice. The story is the boss. I just try to transcribe what’s happening in my head the best I can.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I was born in Lancaster, PA in 1980, moved to Columbus, OH around ’82. It wasn’t the best part of town, so I wasn’t allowed to leave the yard. At the time it was a bummer. Later on I realized being confined to just the front and back yard forced me to use my imagination. I could do (and be) whatever I wanted: a spy, a ninja, a jungle warrior, whatever.
Then in 1988 I moved to Lithopolis, Ohio, population around 600 people. There, I could explore the woods and creeks, ride my bike, and go to The Wagnalls Memorial Library, which still stands and became the cornerstone for my development as a reader. I did my first book signing there in May of this year. It was surreal.
I am married to a wonderful wife who supports me in every aspect of life. We have a baby girl and a son who just turned 2.
I work as a restaurant manager by day/night, depending on my work schedule. Next to writing, cooking and working with fun people is one of my favorite things to do.
I’m a very fortunate man.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
I should probably say Autumn Dark. That book has gotten the best response from readers. But, in truth, because The Pig Man was the first it will always be special to me. I love the story, but it isn’t written as well as the others. Which to me is a good thing because it shows that I’m improving.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
I don’t really know who or what inspired me to write. I think it chose me. I had a desire to write in my mid-20’s but I didn’t have the courage to do it. I thought you were either hand-picked by God or were chosen by teachers at a young age.
Maybe it was writer, director, screen writer, producer, and occasional actor Brian Koppelman. I found him on Twitter shortly after I gave up drinking three years ago. He had posted a series of Vines on his account. Vine was a service that featured 6 second video loops. Brian was giving people permission to create in the videos he made. I looked him up, saw his credentials (Rounders, Ocean’s 13, Solitary Man, among many others) and thought “Now, here’s someone who’s done amazing things and is telling people to go out and do it!” There are many videos and books out there that will say you must be some sort of special intellectual to be an artist. Those people are wrong and most are full of themselves, are bitter, and most haven’t accomplished much. Brian had. Following him then led me to The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
I was fortunate enough to have support in the beginning. Stephen King tweeted that he had a new story called A Death in The New Yorker and asked folks to comment on it. It was on their site and free to read. I thought, “Oh boy, who has the balls to critique it?” So I scrolled through the Twitter comments. There I found someone shamelessly self-promoting herself with a story she wrote called Alive. I read it and loved it. That person was Meagan Smith who then wrote as M.J. Pack. I reached out to her and we became fast friends. Shortly after she was hired on at Thought Catalog, an online publishing magazine. She asked to read my stuff. I sent her a cannibalistic story called The Best I Ever Had. She liked it and wanted to publish it. That gave me the confidence to crank out more stories. I’ve been writing regularly ever since. I owe her a great deal. She was kind of enough to write the Foreword for Autumn Dark which I’m very proud of. I’d like to collaborate with her one day. She’s a fierce talent.
Also, during that time, author Tom Callahan befriended me. I reached out to him after reading his wonderful story called The Soldier, The Dancer, and All That Glitters from Dark City Lights, an anthology put together by the great American crime fiction author Lawrence Block. Tom and I emailed back and forth a lot. He read my stuff and encouraged me to write, write, write! He gave me advice and recommended a slew of books about writing to read. I owe him a great deal.
And I continue to find support to this day. Author Lincoln Cole and I have become close over the years and he’s helped me in many ways. From creating a website to building a mailing list to formatting my books for self-publishing to finding cover artist (and author) M.N. Arzu to promotional tactics. He’s a good man and I also owe him a great deal.
Just recently I did an interview with author Armand Rosamilia , also owner of Project Entertainment Network, for the Armcast Podcast. I also was invited in a flash fiction contest along with authors Stephen Kozeniewski, Gabino Iglesias, and Justin Bienvenue. Three big names in the horror community.
Book reviewer David Spell has been in my corner since day one and I had the fortunate opportunity to meet him in Naperville, IL during Stephen and Owen King’s tour stop for Sleeping Beauties.
And, now, this interview. Thank you, Becky!
I’d also like to mention that since I’ve begun listening (and advertising) on The Horror Show with Brian Keene, a podcast dedicated to the genre, I’ve met all kinds of great people: readers and authors alike. It’s opened the door to many authors I was ignorant to before. It’s also highly entertaining.
But none of this would be happening without the support of my wife. She’s my first reader, my Annie Wilkes, and I still like to make her laugh and cringe, and when I do, I know I have something worth publishing.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
Watch movies. This year has been great for them. IT, Gerald’s Game, The Dark Tower, Baby Driver, 68 Kill. I’m really looking forward to seeing I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday by writer/director Mike Lombardo. The World Premiere is happening in Columbus, OH on October 20th at 2p.m. at Nightmares Film Festival.
I also recently went on a hike with a close friend. No internet, no social media. Just us and nature. It was awesome to not only spend time with him, but to also disconnect from the world for a few hours. It’s something we’ll be doing regularly, weather permitting.
I run on a regular basis. It keeps the head clear and helps me cope with stress.
I also like to cook, try new recipes, and eat. All with balance. Dessert is okay if it’s not for breakfast. Sometimes.
The most fun I truly have is building blanket forts, going to the park, and reading to my son. He likes flip books and monsters and dinosaurs. We read Harold and The Purple Crayon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Little Blue Truck… Watching him develop has been the ultimate high for me.
I recently bought a stack of books off Mike Lombardo. YA horror, Goosebumps, Eerie Indiana, that sort of thing, for my kids when they get older. Maybe they’ll dig them like I did.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
I go to Starbucks inside of the Barnes and Noble in the town over from me and get a piece of Red Velvet Cheesecake (they sell Cheesecake Factory cheesecake) and a coffee. Then I daydream that thousands of people will rejoice in being so entertained by something I created! Then I get nervous and think my writing is garbage then I publish it anyway and buy ad space on the Horror Show.
9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
I write in my office in our basement at a desk. I used to write everywhere but I found in approaching writing like a part-time job its best for me to have a designated place to work. Like, I’m clocking in for the day! Time to go downstairs and get busy.
I do write to music. I have a writing playlist on Spotify with four composers: Chad Lawson (who creates music for the Lore podcast), Lena Natalia, Danny Elfman, and most recently, Jon Hopkins. Most of it is classical. I get too distracted when I write to music with lyrics. There’s a Twin Peaks playlist on Spotify that I sometimes put on as well.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
The only thing I would change about my writing is improving it. Early next year I’ll be attending the Borderlands Press Writer’s Bootcamp in Maryland. I’m also reading How To Write Short by Roy Peter Clark. Once I’m finished with The Dark Tower Series, I’m going to start reading all the authors I’ve discovered from The Horror Show. One, for entertainment and, two, I think it’s good to read books by authors from different backgrounds. It gives the mind a new perspective on the world and offers a different voice, a different way to tell a story.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
From a writing perspective, my dream is to become a full-time writer. As Brian Keene describes it, the main source of income.
Now that I’m 37, the dream is to live long days upon the Earth (Dark Tower reference) with my wife and for us to raise our children to be loving, caring, responsible adults who follow their passion.
Famous writer? No. Keep the fame. But I’ll gladly accept huge royalty checks!
12. Where do you live?
A small town in Ohio. Surprise!
One dog, Chloe. She’s a German Shepherd. We took her in after my mother-in-law passed on. She’s great with the kids and patient with us.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
There’s a moment when I transcend into a story. The more I write, the more that happens. I’ll go back and polish what I wrote the previous day, sometimes not remembering certain lines that I had written. Sometimes I find myself next to the characters, oblivious to my surroundings. Sounds crazy (maybe it is) but it’s true. Writing makes me feel alive, as cliché as that sounds. It enriches my life.
Also, one of the most rewarding things about it is when someone reaches out to tell you much they appreciated something you’ve created. That’s special. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s very touching.
15. What is coming next for you?
A book called An American Monster. I won’t get into details because it’s not finished. I’m superstitious and if you’ve read anything I’ve ever wrote then you’ll know that I need all the luck I can get.
You can connect with Sean Seebach here:
Some of Sean Seebach’s books:
For more on the people I’ve mentioned, here are links to their work:
Meagan Smith (M. J. Pack)
(no link. Just watch Billions on Showtime!)