October, the leaves are falling off the trees, flickering grins wink at us from pumpkins, candy abundantly appears in bags held by costumed children, and Thomas Scopel scares the crap out of us unwary readers.
If you’re one of those people who are afraid of evil clowns, then you’ll want to wear a diaper when Mr. Scopel is in your hands or on your screen. But seriously, underneath the bloody, grimy, creepy makeup, Thomas is a sweet heart—I promise (he only bites on the full moon). I saved Mr. Scopel’s interview especially for Halloween time, because most of all, I truly enjoyed reading his short story ‘Twitch’, not to mention all the other amazing short stories and entertaining blog posts he writes. And don’t miss this cleverly horrific creative author’s new webcast: Wee Willie Wicked!
NS: *SCREAM* Oh, it’s just you Thomas—you scared the heck out of me! Now that you’ve snuck up on me, why don’t you tell everyone out there who you are, and give us some links to your sites and webcast.
TS: Well, there’s my main website http://www.thomasscopel.com. Then there are two blogs that I write on. Http://stayingscared.blogspot.com is what I like to consider my official blog, while http://weewilliewicked.blogspot.com is my evil clown alter ego’s blog. On a whim I started the webcast and tried on both Ustream, as well as Livestream, but found both to be a bit slow. And, while we’re on the webcast subject, I am regretful to say that due to recent changes in employment, time constraints have reared their ugly heads forcing me to limit some of my horror endeavors. It was a matter of selecting one or the other, and since I’ll never eliminate writing, the next in line was the webcast. I hated to do this, but there are some things more important like food and shelter. Although, and at this point I can’t say for sure or exactly when, but I suspect that this webcast will continue. In the meantime, time permitting, I’m occasionally creating little creepy videos featuring Wee Willie Wicked and posting them at various places.
NS: One of my favorite things to learn about authors is what they were like as children. So, what sort of a horrible munchkin were you? And what were your hobbies back then?
TS: I grew up in the shadows of Pittsburgh’s Chiller Theater. This was a Saturday night staple featuring Chilly Billy Bill Cardille (the newscaster in the movie Night of the Living Dead) that I began watching at a very early age. Every Saturday night from 11:30 pm until 3:00 am I could be religiously found glued to the television watching. Sometimes I made it through both films and sometimes I didn’t. This show is what I primarily contribute to starting me on the road to horror. I also read voraciously too, and am a huge fan of horror magazines and comics. There was a massive Oak tree in our front yard that I had climbed and wedged an old chair seat from one of those single piece school desks into a couple of branches. This is where I did a majority of my reading. Comfortably perched high and hidden by the foliage. With the exception of an occasional car passing by, it was serene and secluded, a perfect reading spot. This is where I found the likes of Poe, Lovecraft, King, Stoker, Serling and so many others.
As far as hobbies were concerned, besides reading and film, I built the old Aurora monster models and had them scattered around my room. I also had a fair amount of horror type ceramics too. When I hit my early teen years, I found special effects, masks and such, to be quite interesting. I suppose that’s where Wee Willie Wicked stems from.
NS: Everyone has someone who influenced them. Who or what influenced you to be truly passionate about horror?
TS: I guess Chilly Billy would be considered my most influential. Even though he never wrote horror, he certainly introduced me to it. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee from the old Hammer films had a lot to do with this too. As far as writers’ are concerned, I’ve admired and enjoyed many, but don’t truly have a favorite. I really enjoy horror anthologies filled with established and the up and comers.
NS: So, I have to know, will there be a companion story to Twitch? And what other haunted goodies do you have in store for us?
TS: I’ve been asked this a number of times and yes, there is another Twitch tale in me. When? I can’t say other than I’ve jotted a few things down and it will be his chronological middle story. I’m working on fleshing it out, research and with how to make it a standalone. I may take the novella and rearrange it, include the middle tale and make it a novel. But, I’m not sure yet and would like to finish a few other things first.
Otherwise, I’m working on a horror / sci-fi type novel called Future Past. It is a story about a company that you can go to in order to see what could have happened had you taken a different route in life. But, you can’t change it and this has various repercussions for the characters.
Besides that, I have a number of short pieces (A Lawnly Existence, The Sidewalk Ends, Legacy, Dreamented, Rudely Yours and more) in various stages.
Most recent publishing includes The Pumpkin Patch (NorGus Press’s Look What I Found anthology) and The Christmas Help will be in the Open Casket Press (an imprint of Living Dead Press) Dead Christmas anthology slated for release in December.
NS: In the future, when you have a story that will appear on the big screen, which producer/director do you most wish to work with?
TS: I’ve never given this much thought and actually never considered one of my tales for the big screen. But, now that you’ve mentioned it and planted the seed, if it ever happens, Rob Zombie would probably be my first choice. And, I might add that if this were to occur, I would like to follow the Stephen King route and play a very small role too.
NS: I’ve heard rumors and want to clarify—were you really chased away from a carnival by an angry mob with torches and pitch forks?
TS: I guess my clown outfit wasn’t appreciated heh heh.
NS: What is your costume for this Halloween? And where in the world will you be materializing during October?
TS: A lot of people hate clowns and since I am to frighten, I’ll most certainly be Wee Willie Wicked. However, his brother Jack (a jester who is just as wicked) may also show up on a doorstep somewhere. And, there is a little film in the works that includes both. Mwhahahahahahahaha!
NS: Any bloody bits to impart on the readers (quick, everyone don your raincoats—he took that literally—WATCH OUT!)?
TS: The dull crack of the cleaver gashing into and through her skull bone was music to his ears. Somewhat disappointed the scream didn’t last as long as he had hoped for, the warm blood spraying across his face made up for it. And the taste was oh so sweet…
Wow, you are one freaky author Thomas, and I’m super excited you stopped by for the interview. Many, many spine-chilling thanks! Happy Halloween Everyone!!!
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