Friday, December 4, 2009

Dollar Bin Horror Spotlight - Keith Knapp

Keith Knapp is the author of over a dozen screenplays, including the direct-to-video horror-comedy "Shower of Blood." He currently lives in California with his three cats while working on his second novel.
The book he sent me is called moonlight. It all starts out with a power outage and the shit goes all to hell..almost literally. This is an amazing debut novel.It's very well written and It reminds me a lot of Stephen King in ways. It's a book that you will definitely find hard to put down. Everyone should check it out!
Because he kicks ass at writing, Keith Knapp is in the Dollar Bin Horror Spotlight.

Q: First I just wanna say the book is amazing and really well written. I'm amazed that this is your first book! How did you start writing and how long did this book take?

A: Thank you so much. It means a lot to me when another horror-lover like yourself digs it. I started writing very young - maybe seven or eight years old. Short stories, none of them very good. I couldn't tell you why one day I decided to sit down at a typewriter - yes, back before computers, this was - and start writing. It just happened. As time went on, other forms of art caught my attention; drawing, music. Music became a huge part of my life when I started playing the drums, but I kept going back to that computer (eventually I had one), writing screenplays and short stories. People would suggest I try writing novels, but that always seemed like such a monumental task. All those words... all those pages... how do you keep it all straight? But just like when I was young, I sat down one day and all of a sudden I was writing a novel. It took about two years, from beginning to end.
Q: Why did you title the book "Moonlight"?

A: This is a good question, and my answer will prove I probably didn't do such a great job in the title department. At the very end of the book, two characters are sitting in the darkness, the only light from the full moon outside. During their conversation, one of the characters is coming to terms with all that's happened, how it's affected his past, what it means for his future... all while they're sitting there in the moonlight. So the title references this man's epiphany in life. The meaning's really buried down deep in there, so deep I think only I (and now you and your readers) know what it means. I've since come up with a handful of titles that serve the overall story better, but it's stuck with "Moonlight."

Q: The story resembles somewhat of a zombie story, but then again it's completely different. How did you come up with the concept?

A: The concept came up by itself. When I started it, there was no supernatural element in it, no zombies, no Thomas Manning character, really. It was all about the power outage. Then, one day, the Man in the Dark Coat walked into Westmont and all hell broke loose. I didn't know who he was or what he wanted, but he was really giving the characters a bad time. I let the story go where it wanted.
Q: There are religious references in the book about innocence and sin, a lot like some of the works by Stephen King. Was he a big influence in the writing of this novel?

A: Stephen King is a big influence in me writing at all, I think. Growing up, I was always reading one of his books in class, and it's his work that really got me into reading novels. He has such a way with words, where you don't feel like you're reading... you feel like someone's telling you a story, that you're in their head and this is what they see. I loved that, still love it. So that kind of stuff, and how King deals with religious concepts such as good vs. evil, innocence, sin, and where those lines are drawn, was something I latched onto. They're universal subjects. I'm very interested in what makes us tick; why is one person "good" and another "bad"? What's so different about them at the fundamental DNA level? I explored that a little in "Moonlight," and go into it even deeper in my next book.
Q: What new projects are you currently working on?

A: I'm finishing up my second book, "Coda," about what happens to a group of people after an enormous earthquake hits California. I won't get into spoiler-ish details, but the earthquake ends up being the least of their worries. Should be out sometime next year.
Q: Where can the readers find more info about you and your book?

A: The best place is I still don't have my own "real" web-page yet. I think I'm the last guy on the planet to not have his own web-page.

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